impulse control aggression in dogs

How To Stop A Dog From Nipping When Excited.

How To Stop A Dog From Nipping When Excited.

 

A dog nipping and jumping are just two of those annoying habits that your dog may already have or for no relevant reason startup out of the blue. You are not alone if your dog is nipping when excited or indeed jumping on people. Your dog is not perfect and over their life, you will probably find that other quirky little habits will develop such as eating poop, eating grass, excessive barking and so on.

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Why is my dog nipping when excited?

 

Dog nipping when excited is annoying behavior, but sadly common in our dogs. The behavior is likely to start at a young age. Mostly, puppies aged 6 months will display the behavior. And sometimes in younger dogs. We cannot look at nipping and jumping altogether, even though your dog may display both habits simultaneously.

Nipping is an intolerable behavior that may lead to actual biting. We do not want to incur charges after our dogs bite people, do we? Jumping can also be scary to guests and strangers. What are some of the reasons our dogs indulge in these behaviors?

How To Stop A Dog From Nipping When Excited

5 Reasons why your dog is nipping

Dog owners who have had the chance to raise puppies understand how undesirable nipping is. Your puppy will try to bite your ankles to initiate play. Or maybe he enjoys it when you withdraw your legs from him. He is usually having so much fun, and you are encouraging it. Some of the most common reasons why your dog is nipping include:

  • Exploration

Puppies are always trying to figure things out in order to understand their surroundings. They do this with their mouths. This is why you are likely to find your dog biting objects to manipulate them. Sometimes, your dog will want to play with you and mouth your hands.

At first, it is all fun and games but he is never going to stop. Now imagine an adult dog mouthing your hand, not knowing if he is going to bite it off! That is scary, which is why we should not encourage the behavior.

The nipping behavior might also be triggered by the natural need for dogs to chew. This is common in teething puppies and may become chronic if not discouraged.

Nipping and mouthing in dogs should be discouraged from a young age. Do not encourage any play that involves mouthing or nipping.

  • Maternal Instincts

Female dogs that have recently given birth is likely to show some aggressiveness. This is from their maternal instincts to protect their young ones. However, most dogs will howl at the potential threat while others will bite.

It is important to warn children to stay away from such a dog. Whenever she feels threatened, she will be prepared to attack. Like human beings, dogs also get protective of their young ones. They are prepared to fight for their young ones.

Usually, your dog will develop this habit after she delivers and goes on for a few months. You should, however, curb this habit lest it becomes chronic.

 

  • Possessiveness

This is also termed as territorial and we all know it is common in dogs. Dogs believe in protecting their territories, which includes you. This means that he will get protective when strangers approach you or your home.

Some dogs are actually possessive of toddlers in a household. Dogs adapt to a new environment with time, but they take time to accept change. This is why some dogs will spend all day protecting your toddler against other pets and even strangers.

This drive is fueled by the nature of your dog to protect his pack. It is rare to see a lone dog due to domestication. This is because even in the wild, dogs live in packs which may translate to what we term family. Every dog is prepared to defend his pack, which in this case includes you.

Nipping and biting may be more common in dogs bred for herding and protecting. This is because they have increased sensitivity to threats and they fight instead of fleeing. This means that any threat that comes in your dog’s way, he is prepared to tackle it. Sadly, the only way he knows how to is by biting the attacker.

  • Stimuli

Dogs nip or bite because he has been stimulated to. Unlike humans, dogs have very little self-control which means that once he is stimulated to bite he will do so. We have already determined that sometimes we encourage this behavior.

However, in extreme situations, some dogs will playfully bite on his owner. It is very rare to find a dog acting playfully with strangers. For instance, your dog might nip on a stranger during walks if not put on a leash. This could lead to lawsuits among other problems with passersby and even neighbors.

This kind of nipping is encouraged by the prey drive. This is whereby your dog is stimulated to hunt a person down. This is where I take a second to remind you that dogs are scavengers. In the jungle, wild dogs hunt for food while domestication has eliminated this practice. We now buy the food we feed to our dogs.

For example, your dog enjoys chasing you around playfully, and probably nipping on your skin when he catches you. He might do the same to other people and even children around your neighborhood. Whenever he sees someone running, he may assume that they are initiating play. In return, he will chase the stranger away, and nip or bite them! This is why you should not encourage nipping behavior whatsoever.

  • Attention seeking

Well, don’t our dogs love our attention? Your dog is prepared to do anything to have your attention. Normally, this is not because he feels neglected, it is because he enjoys it. The worst thing you can do to a nipping pup is giving him what he wants. This will be like signing a deal with him that he can always do that whenever he wants to.

You should refrain from giving your dog the attention he seeks. This is because he is looking for it in the wrong way. You can ignore him until he stops or engages him in other methods of training. The point is, you should discourage this as soon as it is detected.

The above-discussed factors contribute to why dogs nip. Even though undesirable, the behavior has been observed in younger dogs more than in older ones. This could be because of teething and exploration in puppies. However, this is not the only disturbing behavior in dogs! Jumping has also been observed in both puppies and adult dogs.

How To Stop A Dog From Nipping When Excited

Why do dogs jump at people?

This has to be quite a common question with definite answers. However, different dogs will display this behavior at some point in life. Well, your dog may have adopted this behavior when he was younger. It is difficult to notice such behavioral vice in puppies as it comes out as play or greetings!

In most cases, new dog owners will encourage this behavior unknowingly. Whenever your puppy sees you get home, he will jump and wag his tail in excitement. Unfortunately, your cute dog will lure you into joining him in celebration. This will end up with you petting him and thus he thinks his behavior is acceptable. Petting a dog is similar to rewarding him! Let us briefly look at some of the main reasons why your dog is jumping up;

  • Greetings

This is the main reason for jumping in dogs. Your dog misses you when you are away from home and rejoices when you come home. Your dog will jump at you the moment you open your front door since he already knows his master is home.

You should, however, refrain from petting him after doing so to discourage the behavior. He will do this to your guests and sometimes to people when you are walking.

  • Express dominance

This is far from the playful jumping rather this is serious. Your dog jumping at a stranger is never a good sign as he may intend to bite or attack them. Your dog may display signs of aggressiveness while jumping at a stranger. This may happen when your dog feels like the person has overstepped his territory.

  • Excitement

You do not know joy until you have finally come home to your dog after several days of absences. He will sniff you from outside and sometimes he will get excited. This makes them want to jump at us from the excitement. It is like a happy family reunion!

However, we should discourage this behavior to avoid similar future behavioral vices.

 

How to stop a dog jumping and nipping

Curbing behavioral problems in dogs is not always an easy task. These behaviors include nipping and jumping among others. However, unless you deal with the vice, you will have to experience trouble with your dogs. Some of the ways you can use to stop the two vices include;

  1. Training

 

This is an extensive solution that has helped curb behavioral vices amongst dogs over the years. You as the dog owner will be responsible to monitor your dog upon noticing the behavior. This will help you identify the reason as to why your dog is nipping and jumping. We have already discussed these reasons so let’s proceed to the training.

Training for puppies should commence at a young age. This is because puppies tend to indulge in various behaviors out of exploration. If he is nipping or jumping to see attention, be sure to deny it from him. This is because when he gets what he wants you are encouraging this behavior.

Training may involve verbal commands, desensitization as well as play. You can use verbal commands like sit and stay to keep your dog away from the stimuli. For instance, if your dog jumps at your guests, you may caution him to sit or go away from the front door. Alternatively, you can decide to keep him in a different room.

For nipping dogs, consider introducing play that discourages any form of contact. For example, you can get a ball for him to fetch and so on. You may also want to teach him gentleness and boundaries. You should make sure your dog is aware that nipping and jumping are not allowed.

  1. Introduce new greetings

This is for dogs that are so fond of jumping at you and others for greetings. It is important to understand that your dog is usually happy to greet. However, you should teach him that jumping is an unacceptable way to greet people. Instead, you should teach him alternative ways to greet people like a handshake.

Desensitization

This comes in handy when you want your dog to quit a certain habit completely. To be able to do this, you may ask your friend to help you. It is an effective method to curb jumping as well as nipping. For instance, your friend may stand outside your doorstep until your dog stops jumping. This way, you can expose your dog to the person stimulating him to jump.

You can also be able to do this by yourself. Whenever you come home to your dog and he is all happy and jumpy, pause until he calms down. Usually, this kind of excitement is as a result of seeing his owner after a long day apart. You may wait for a few seconds before checking on him to see if he is calm. This way, your dog is going to slowly quit jumping as you do not encourage the behavior.

Put him on a leash during walks

Your dog probably hates a leash, well, they all do. However, if you have a dog that loves to nip, you may consider putting him on a leash, especially when you have guests. Children may also trigger your dog to nipping as well as jumping. This might not end up well for you as he may attack them following an aggressive approach.

It is important to keep children away from a dog that has not stopped nipping. This also includes dogs that recently gave birth as they may display aggression to protect her kids. Consider taking your dog to someplace quiet where you can provide toys and other playthings.

Avoid Punishing your dog

The method of punishing your dog after engaging in nipping or jumping is a waste of time. This is why! Your dog does not understand the concept of punishment. This might include yelling or getting physical with him.

Instead, you can substitute this with consequences. For example, you may keep treats away from him every time he jumps or bites on you. You can also make him spend some time alone if he is doing it for attention.

In conclusion

Abnormal behavior in dogs is easy to manipulate. It is how you relate with your dog that affects the way he acts. However, remember he is still a scavenger but domestication allows us to live together. Keep your pup healthy, disciplined and happy!