My puppy is a Great Dane/ Doberman mix named Diesel. He will be 6 months old on Nov. 5th.
We are having a hard time with him. He LOVES to nip at me & sometimes my boyfriend (however mainly me.) I do not understand. It doesn't seem like he is doing it out of aggression- its kind of like "hey, pay attention to me." We do pay attention to him- I spend every second I can with him- whether its playing in the yard, going for walks or just petting him. Its when I am doing things I have to do such as cooking dinner, washing the dishes or cleaning the house. He nips my butt and it hurts! He grabs just a tiny bit of skin and it stings like crazy. We have taken him to puppy school, he gets plenty of exercise, he plays with the neighbors puppy- I just do not know what to do. It is annoying! I have to watch my back when I am doing things that aren't with him. He has only done this one time to my boyfriend. I yell at him and tell him "no" but it is not working. I do not know what else to do. Any suggestions- he is getting really big and I do not want a big dog (or for that matter any dog) to nip at me or anyone else. Please help!!!!!
Have you tried spraying him with a water bottle, and sharply saying 'NO' at the same time? You can also bang a can of pennies or slam something on the counter, whilst saying 'No'. You could also try letting out a loud scream if he nips you and hurts you. Do you play with him with your hands, or does your boyfriend? I would firstly contain him in his crate, or in a gated off room while you are in the kitchen. Give him a big kong stuffed with peanut butter, and only let him back in the kitchen if he's going to behave. He is still a puppy, and puppies do like to nip. Others may have better suggestions. I really would not let him follow you everywhere if he's going to nip you from behind. You may want to follow up with further obedience classes as well, to reinforce what he has already learned at puppy school. Good luck with him.
We have tried water, bitter apple, and the yelping idea. However they do not seem to help. He is such a good puppy other than that, he knows all the basic commands. I think we will try the can of pennies. That might alert him that it is bad. We give him time out now- that is what puppy school told us to do. It settles him down but I dont think he learns anything from it. I know he still is a puppy- I just thought he was too old for nipping now! Thanks for you advice- I appreciate it.
If it's any consolation, I have some 4 year old dogs that have not grown up yet! Just persevere, and he will get better. Good luck with him, and I agree, the time out is what I was meaning when I said put him in another room or his kennel with a toy or a kong to work on. He's probably teething as well, so the chewing will do him good.
PLEASE WHATEVER YOU DO NEVER USE A SPRAY BOTTLE WITH WATER OR ANYTHING ELSE ON YOUR DOG. I RESCUED A PUPPY FROM A "COMPANSIONATE RESCUE GROUP". I WAS TOTALLY UNAWARE THAT THEY TRAINED THEIR FOSTER HUMANS TO USE THIS TECHNIQUE!! WHEN I ADOPTED HIM HE HAD A SKIN PROBLEM WHICH NEEDED TO BE TREATED WITH A SPRAY MEDICATION. WHEN I WENT TO APPLY THE MEDICATION HE WAS PETRIFIED, FREAKED OUT AND THOUGHT HE HAD DONE SOMETHING WRONG!! IT TOOK WEEKS FOR ME TO REESTABLISH HIS TRUST AND NEEDLESS TO SAY A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT OF TIME AND TRAINING WITH TREATS SHOWING HIM THE MEDICATION BOTTLE, LETTING HIM SNIFF IT BEFORE HE WOULD EVEN LET ME APPY IT WITH A COTTON BALL! IF HE NIPS WHILE YOU ARE COOKING ETC.IGNORE THE BEHAVIOR AND REMOVE HIM FROM BEING WITH YOU FOR A FEW MINUTES. IT WILL TAKE SOME TIME AND DISCIPLINE BUT HE WILL EVENTUALLY LEARN THAT IF HE NIPS YOU HE WILL LOOSE THE PRIVLEDGE OF BEING WITH YOU, WHICH IS TORTURE.
I have a 9 month old Doberman that did the same thing to me. He would nip at me constantly. Whenever I put my attention away from him. I was freaking. I have raised dogs (sheperds, pittys, and staffys)all my life and never had one that did this. I figured it out and found it is their way of trying to dominate you and test you. He thinks you are second in command or equal to him, a playmate. You have to stop him right away or he won't pay much attention to your commands later on when he is older and a lot bigger. I left the leash on my dog so it didn't turn into a game trying to catch him after he nipped me and everytime he nipped I grabbed the leash and made him sit, lay down and stay. I wouldn't let him get away with it once. I took his mind off nipping at me and made him focus on something else and then I gave him a chew toy. I was rewarding the sit stay not the nipping. I would also leave him alone if he persisted. I would tell him no and then leave the room or just turn my back on him and totally ignore him. I wouldn't let him do it once without being corrected. He doesn't do it at all anymore.