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Hello,

I have a 15week Dutch Shepherd that bites/barks on occasion when I'm walking her. We will be walking fine and then she looks up at me and starts barking uncontrollably and stops with several corrections. Sometimes she will take a nip at my calve without warning.

She also barks and tries to cut me off/ stop me from running forward if I try to run/jog with her. What's the reason for this? I am sure she see's me as the alpha so this behaviour is confusing.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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She's pretty young, my puppy just gets over stimulated sometimes and used to frenzy at the drop of a hat. It's probably not on purpose, think 2 year old kid chucking a tantrum. It's definitely eased up, we are at 20 weeks now. She still frenzies every couple of days, it used to be almost constant because she has a strong prey/herding drive. Keep the breed purpose in mind shepherds are bred respond to movement.

I find I can only run with echo if shes got a toy in her mouth so I always carry one. If you have specific goals in mind like being able to run with a loose leash you'll need to train her step by step, it's generally not something that comes naturally.

The other thing is that dominance theory came from a badly structured piece of research that has since been disputed by a huge number of behavioral studies, wolf hierarchy is more like parents and children than alpha and pack, and dogs are far removed from wolves.
 

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Belgian Shepherds are herding dogs and she's young. Sometimes when innate tendencies surface and haven't been given a proper outlet suitable to the human, you see some behavior which you might be able to trace back to the breed's strong suit. My knee jerk reaction is more aimed at her herding instincts rather than a rank and file situation. Nipping at the calves and trying to direct you by cutting you off sounds like a natural born herding dog.
 

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Dutch and malinois commonly bark and/or bite/nip as a stress outlet or displacement for excitement. The movement of running may specifically be overstimulating to her.

It can take a lot of consistency, work, and time to redirect these behaviors to something more acceptable (like toys).
 

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My dog used to do something similar to this, but he was doing it because he would get overexcited by the running/jogging and start to want to play. So he'd jump in front of me and try to jump up and nip at my sleeves to initiate play. I would always stop right where we were, make him sit, and wait a few minutes until he calmed down enough to walk beside me again. It would take him a while sometimes, but he eventually got the point and doesn't do it anymore. :)
 

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My australian shepherd would spontaneously start to jump and nip while on every day walks when he was a young puppy.

The general rule seems to be stop movement as soon as jumping/nipping/barking begins and turn your back/cross your arms avoid laughing/smiling/talking (as they can be reinforcing) or basically just ignore until behavior calms and then continue on.

My puppy would continue nipping shortly after I stopped walking and it was near impossible not to shout 'ow' or move out of the way. I too thought it might never end. But, on the other side of this now--I can definitively say that time and becoming instantly super boring once that behavior starts while out on walk has been effective for my dog and I.

Good luck! I know how you're feeling. Try and stay positive!
 

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Hello,

I have a 15week Dutch Shepherd that bites/barks on occasion when I'm walking her. We will be walking fine and then she looks up at me and starts barking uncontrollably and stops with several corrections. Sometimes she will take a nip at my calve without warning.

She also barks and tries to cut me off/ stop me from running forward if I try to run/jog with her. What's the reason for this? I am sure she see's me as the alpha so this behaviour is confusing.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Over excitement. My lab just turned one in March and she's just stopped that behaviour. She started at six months old, I need a new wardrobe because of that bad habit lol. Randomly she will go into a bit of a crazy spirt on walks but tends to grab the leash now instead of me. I can only jog with her near the end of a walk when she's tired, otherwise I become her prey :p She will grow out of it, trust me, I never thought mine would.
 
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