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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19270
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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My dog is 3 and a ***** ***** mix chiwawa. He is loyal and

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My dog is 3 and a ***** ***** mix chiwawa. He is loyal and loving but he goes to nip the occasional person back of legs and if I go to pick a young child up he ll go to bite their legs please help ?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 11 months ago.
Hi JaCustomer, My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today. In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient. Is Fred intact?What obedience training has Fred had?When did this training occur?Is he allowed on furniture?How is he around children when you are not involved?Does this nipping of people only occur in his home or yard or anywhere?What have you tried so far?
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 11 months ago.
Hi again, I was hoping for some responses back but also don't want you waiting for an answer either. The first thing that should be done is to rule out a medical cause for the aggression. You can read about these here:http://www.petplace.com/dogs/medical-causes-of-aggression-in-dogs/page1.aspxhttp://www.tropicaldogtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Dodman_MA10.pdfhttp://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.michvma.org/resource/resmgr/MVC_Proceedings_2015/horwitz_02.pdf If there is no medical cause for the aggression which I suspect there isn't, then it is strictly behavioral. Dogs are aggressive toward people for a variety of reasons. It might be that they are fearful of people and thus are aggressive before the person can be. In other cases, a dog is aggressive in order to dominate the people. Other causes could be that the dog feels they are the alpha member of the pack and as the alpha member they must protect the pack (you) from threats (people). I suspect fear plays a part in the nipping at the back of legs while jealousy is a factor in the dog attempting to go after the children..Owners sometimes make the situation even worse by tensing up and worrying about what will happen. The dog senses the owner worry and feels that he is justified in his aggressive stance because you are obviously worried about the people. They don't know you are worried about them attacking, they just feel that you are worried and assume it is the people..For a dog like this, total control is necessary. This means not only physical control but on a mental level, you must be the boss. You will need to have him obedience trained. If you can, I would do group classes and let the trainer know of the problem your dog has.. Before you can get into classes, the following site is helpful in helping owners train their dog. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htmhttp://www.humanesociety.org/animals/dogs/tips/training_nothing_in_life_is_free.html This obedience work establishes you as the boss and asthe boss it is your job to protect the dog and not the dogs job to protect you. Now the dog will still protect you if something should happen because you will be protecting yourself and as part of the pack, he will follow your lead and protect as well. But if you are calm around someone, he will see that you are ok and there is no need to help. This is why being the boss member works well. In addition, it is not up to him who you interact with or allow in the house as it is YOUR territory and not his. Obedience training also helps a dog gain self confidence which lessens fear and stops fear aggression. Dogs like knowing what is expected of them and they love the little paper thin slices of hotdogs that I use for treats while training. Give this a try and see how it works for you. For nipping at the pants legs, you need to have people adopt an exaggerated walk with the heels coming up on the back swing. In they walk in this manner, when the dog gets too close to the feet, they will end up getting the shock of a heel coming up and possibly catching them in the jaw or chest. Since the person is just walking, it will surprise them. It usually only takes a few times before they stop jumping on the backs of legs or biting them. Of course, this will also involve having all visitors do this while the dog is in training. I think you will find most people willing to help..If you have someone he tries to do this to on a regular basis, this person could be elected to help with training allowing you to work with him several times a day when you know he would normally do it. Once he stops ankle biting, reward him with tasty treats and praise. For each person he doesn't do this to, reward him. He will learn that strangers mean treats and are a good thing and that should help stop the biting. With obedience training you can also have him sit and stay until visitors are seated or out the door preventing the nipping at their heels. I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19270
Experience: Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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