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I have a 7 month old border collie who nips at me constantly to the point where my arms and legs are always bruised although not drawing blood. She only really nips at me and one other person but not anyone else. I have tried diversion by giving her a toy to play with instead, crating her when she nips and yelping like it hurts but nothing seems to work. She gets plenty of exercise in a day, running around my acreage as well as minimum 5km of walking in a day. If  anyone can suggest anything that would be wonderful! I feel as though I have tried everything and nothing is working with her.

Note: I have signed her up for training but was just looking for other suggestions while I wait for that to happen. 

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Is there a dog trainer that could help you? And for now, definitely correct. A biting dog can become a dead dog very easily. I'd also give the little darling a time out in a crate. Let her out in a few minutes. If she bites again crate her again, for longer. 

You'll probably need to do this several times for her to get the message. Very Important, do it consistently every single time she bites or you'll confuse her and possibly make the biting worse.

Do understand, if she believes she can get away with biting you, she might well bite someone else. You must give her appropriate corrections and break her of this habit. If she bites another human she could lose her life. And you could possibly be sued for everything you have as an owner who knew her dog bit humans.  

If you walk her in public, (and don't ever let her off her leash if you do) you need to use a muzzle. 

P.S. Do you do any training with her? Trick training, obedience training, puppy agility? If you're not giving that brain something to learn, frustration and boredom might be a part of her reactivity. Google 'tricks to teach your dog' to get some ideas.

Ruth & Gibbs


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You say that she nips at you constantly. That means you are not correcting every single time. Crate her when she nips. And do this every single time without fail. And keep doing it for as long as it takes to change this behavior.

Don't bother to yell as if hurt. Just simply crate her and leave her there for 5 minutes. Let her out and the moment she nips she goes back in, even if it is 5 seconds later. If you have to do this 20 times in a row, do it 20 times in a row. Do it all day if you need to. I doubt that this is a dumb dog; she will learn that biting means all the fun stops and she will stop doing it.

Being bitey is a puppy thing, so to her it's just playful, but she must learn it's never, ever acceptable. If you are 100% consistent and persistent with the correction it will change. Just give it time and don't think that the correction is not working because things have not changed on your time table. You have to keep at it until it does change. And it will.

I have trained a lot of dogs and had a lot of foster dogs. My approach is that I have a 100% consistent reaction, whether positive or negative, to anything the dog does that I am training the dog to do or not do. When the dog catches on that every single time this is what happens, they change their behavior. But it has to go on long enough for the dog to become convinced that it won't ever, ever work to do this particular thing. For some dogs that takes longer than for others. 

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