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My 6 mo old BC has just started nipping at people's feet. I know its a herding thing, but how do I stop it?? At first it was only if they were playing or running around, but last night she nipped at my sister in law then later on, my brother in law when they were just walking around the outside! (We were at a neighbors house, not even on her home turf.) Hubby is not happy to say the least. It wasn't an aggressive bite, but still not acceptable. Any suggestions out there??

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Hello all,

I can guarantee you this behavior will escalate either as it is, or into something else if you don't stop it now. My suggestion is to catch her in the act and smack her hard enough on the nose that; a. she never does it again and b. you never have to do it again. As Bobby Dalziel says; "make it short and sharp." I find it helpful on the rare occasion that I resort to a physical correction to associate a sound with it, so that if I have to repeat the correction, I can just use the sound. I have a 5 month old puppy that was grabbing hold and swinging on the big dogs tails when playing. Some may say it's cute, but it could inflict real damage as he grows bigger. I did as I have stated here. He repeated the behavior and I was able to stop it by a simple "hey." The key is catching them in the act, because that is the only time the correction makes sense to the dog. I imagine I'll get a whole lot of flack here for suggesting a physical correction, but for me it's a small price for my dogs and I to pay for well behaved, respectful dogs that are a joy to live with.

Cheers all

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You can tailor the severity of the correction to the temperament of the dog. If the dog is sensitive, you can clap at the dog or turn around and get in the dog's face and make a huge deal about what a bad dog it's being. Although I am real big on nonaversive training, in a few situations I have had to resort to these kinds of corrections (e.g., chasing cats). Anyway you don't necessarily have to pop the dog on the nose. It might be enough just to catch her in the act and rush at her and really get in her face about it, waving your arms around and making a lot of noise and saying "BAD DOG NO" while being very intimidating looking. Personally, I try my very best not to resort to anything physical as dogs may mirror behavior back. But my training experience has only been, admittedly, with sensitive and/or severely reactive dogs.

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