A doggy dilemma….

Millie (1)

As much as I rave about our cute dog, Millie, there has always been a bit of a problem with her when it comes to me/her. She likes to nip/bite me…a lot.

For example, she nips my leg if she wants me to get up or bites my hand if she wants to play. It used to be no big deal as a puppy, and I thought she’d outgrow it, but now, its starting to actually hurt!

She really doesn’t do this to the hubs either.

Has anyone ever dealt with this? I love her to pieces, but the biting needs to stop. :-(


  1. Can you tap her on the nose when she nips, firmly say ‘no’, and then go about your business? (i.e. don’t do what she wants you to do, if she bites at you…. obviously you need to feed her–for example–but give it a few minutes so she doesn’t think her you biting led to her getting fed or whatever it is she wants you to do). This worked with my childhood dog. Mainly you have to reinforce the idea that you are the leader here, and their negative behavior does not lead to your compliance with their wishes.

  2. Give her something to do that you want her to do when she wants to do something! “Sit” is our magic trick for our pup. If he wants to go out the door? He sits. If he wants to get petted by a new person? He sits. If he wants his leash on? He sits. You get the idea! He loves jumping on people so he struggles with the whole sitting for pets thing, but in an ideal world it works. Just ignore anything else. Though with biting I think you’ll need a bit more proactiveness there. I would just yelp and act severely wounded (emotionally!) and do NOT do whatever it is she wants. Even if it’s feeding her! Wait until she’s doing a behavior that you want to play/feed/etc. Dogs learn their bite inhibition as puppies, which is why it’s really important for them to play with other puppies when they’re little, and for us to train them not to nip/bite when they are little as well. Obviously if they don’t learn as puppies it’s not the end of the world – my dog was a rescue we got at age 1 and he’s still (slowly) learning things! He likes to herd us :) Anyhow, that was a huge rambling paragraph, but my final thought would be to look into clicker training and other positive training methods. We used a clicker to train Mal and it’s been really great! “Good Dog 101″ was also a great book, I guess the woman who runs the school we took obedience at wrote it (though I never met her). But yeah, good luck! I love learning about dog training so I can go on about it for a while…Mal just graduated his beginning flyball class today! I think he would have won the most ADD puppy award if they’d had that :)

  3. Izzy does this and we’ve almost broken her out of it. What we do, and it sounds violent but it isn’t, is hold/gran her by the scruff (not hard), look her in the eyes and in a very stern voice tell her no or growl at her. It totally works and she’s fine. If we were playing when she got all nippy, I stop playing with her for 2 minutes after I’ve said no. The grab is suppose to simulate the way another dog or her mother would teach her that her behavior isn’t allowed.

  4. All these suggestions are good. We have had the same problem with Dora, but it’s usually my husband that she does this too b/c he plays more rough with her. We make her completely stop what she was doing, and make her sit and be a nice girl for a minute to calm her down. She does it more out of love than out of trying to be mean, but it does hurt! Our dog also doesn’t like squirt guns (kinda like cats don’t like them), so we keep one handy and when she bites, she gets a spray (just by her feet… it scares her for a sec & makes her stop what she was doing). Hope you can break your pooch of this!

  5. Thanks for the suggestions y’all! I’m going to try all of these! :)

Speak Your Mind