Nipping and Insecurity

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rme598
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Nipping and Insecurity

Post by rme598 »

I have a 1 1/2 year old male brittany. He's very obedient with commands and is generally well behaved. When we take him to the dog park, he gets very anxious and fearful around large dogs and aggressive around smaller dogs. When large dogs try to approach him, he gets very defensive, yelps, and nips at the dog. With the small dogs, he chases them, and nips/bites at them to, what seem like, instigate the chase again. He also becomes fearful around children (we do not have any children in the household). My 5 year old cousin is very overwhelming and constantly chases, pokes, and teases our brittany, which makes him defensive, leading to the nipping. I know my brittany is doing this in a protective/defensive manner, but I want to stop this behavior. He's been through three levels of obedience training and this is the one habit we cannot seem to stop. Please help!

Rachelle
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Re: Nipping and Insecurity

Post by Rachelle »

Welcome to the board! I'm sorry that you have to join under difficult circumstances. I'm sure someone with more experience dealing with dog-dog interactions should be able to offer some advice regarding the situations you are experiencing at the dog park.

I did want to chime in regarding the 5 year old's behavior. PLEASE for the sake of your dog - do not allow this child to be around your brittany unsupervised and discuss with this child's parents the fact that the child needs to learn the appropriate way to treat animals. Chasing, poking, and teasing are NOT appropriate. If this child's behavior continues, I fear that your brittany may feel the need to escalate from nipping at the child (which the dog could easily see as not having the desired effect of making the child's behavior stop) to a full on bite. You need to be your dog's advocate and not allow your cousin to mistreat your dog. Again, if something doesn't change with the child's behavior, the consequences could be severe for your dog and the child. Does your dog have a way or a place to escape from the 5 year old, such as a crate, when the child is in your home?
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swillow66
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Re: Nipping and Insecurity

Post by swillow66 »

Welcome!! Let's try address each issue-
rme598 wrote:I have a 1 1/2 year old male brittany. He's very obedient with commands and is generally well behaved. When we take him to the dog park, he gets very anxious and fearful around large dogs and aggressive around smaller dogs. When large dogs try to approach him, he gets very defensive, yelps, and nips at the dog. With the small dogs, he chases them, and nips/bites at them to, what seem like, instigate the chase again.

Any reason you have to go to the dog park? If you must, can you go in the "off" hours where there are less dogs. This is very normal as dog parks themselves are notorious for having both rude owners and rude dogs. While most dog owners have perfect invisions their happy dogs playing gleefully with other canine companions, a lot of dogs (including my own) actually are very stressed because they are overwhelmed. Perhaps trying to visit when there is a smaller crowd or find a play group of the same constant "fur-friends" would be more advisable.

He also becomes fearful around children (we do not have any children in the household). My 5 year old cousin is very overwhelming and constantly chases, pokes, and teases our brittany, which makes him defensive, leading to the nipping. I know my brittany is doing this in a protective/defensive manner, but I want to stop this behavior. He's been through three levels of obedience training and this is the one habit we cannot seem to stop. Please help!

Rachelle is correct, PLEASE keep the dog and child apart. The child is not showing appropriate behavior around the dog, but if the dog hurts the child, then the pup will be blamed. Either remove the child from the dog, the dog from the child or purchase a $30.00 baby gate from walmart and keep them seperated. I don't think anyone here can stress this enough.

Hope that helps - Shelli
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janet909
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Re: Nipping and Insecurity

Post by janet909 »

I have 3 dogs and there is only one of the three that I take to the dog park. He's 1 1/2 years old and loves all other dogs. My older Brittany who's going on 8 and my 13 year old blue healer want nothing to do with strange dogs sniffing at them. Their stress levels go through the roof!!!!! My other dogs, if they happen to be in the car when I want to run some energy off my other dog, will sit in the pre-gate area by themselves and be totally content vs. putting them in the actual dog park. The other dog owners keep chumming me to let my other dogs play and they just don't get it when I say it's absolutely NO FUN for them. THEY WILL HATE IT. Interestingly, I've never been to the local dog park until I had this new pup who WANTS TO PLAY with all dogs :lol: ...and needs to run his puppy energy off. My point is, my other dogs just don't do well in big strange packs so I don't force it. They love their personal dog friends so we pick each other's dogs up for play dates if we want/need more dog stimulation. :roll: The games we play for our pooches.

Dave
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Re: Nipping and Insecurity

Post by Dave »

I agree . Keep the child away from the dog . It escalates from the child not listening and the dog loses every time many times with their life .

My old dog bit my nephew who was about that age because he would not leave her alone :? . I told him to stop and stay away from the dog . I then told his mother to make him stop to no avail . My Amber nipped him in the face but only left red marks . I reacted out of anger and beat the dog :( .

I'll never do it again . I didn't really injure her , but you thought I was killing her from the yiping she was doing :? :? . Next time I paddle the child be darned of the parents being there or not .

Dave
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AuntieMom
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Re: Nipping and Insecurity

Post by AuntieMom »

Hello and welcome.

Does the place where he was trained have any behaviorists? You might want to get him into a socialization class. Our humane society actually offers a class for dogs that get growly with other dogs. http://www.nehumanesociety.org/site/Pag ... erest=1005

Your cousin, at age 5, is old enough to know how to treat dogs. Ditto what the others said on that issue.
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rtropeano
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Re: Nipping and Insecurity

Post by rtropeano »

I'd try something other than a dog park at this point. It can be very intimidating for dogs. Daisy LOVES it, but there are times even she gets a little stressed and runs underneath the picnic table. BUT she pretty much runs right back out - that's how I know her stress level isn't really that high.

If you need other outdoor - off leash areas, sometimes you can use a gated baseball field or tennis court. Or maybe a trusted neighbor's backyard. Daisy has playdates with her doggy buddy too and that helps a lot.

I've found that *private* dog parks tend to divide their areas and match personalities, play styles and size etc. So maybe that's a better option, only difference really is that the private ones charge a fee. Some private facilities even do a behavior evaluation which is even better.

Ditto, what all the others say about the child/dog. If this escalates it could cost your dog his life,-keep him away from your nephew.
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