Does your dog grab at your hands or nip at you to get your attention? Does he overreact in order to make you stop doing something HE doesn’t like? Perhaps this happens when you are trying to brush your dog, cut his nails, or put his leash on. This can turn into a huge problem!
First off, dogs are extremely smart creatures, but they are incapable of reasoning like a human. They will do what works for them. If your dog learns that putting his mouth on you frustrates you enough that you quit trying to wipe his paws, your dog will do it every single time. This can very easily turn into a dangerous situation.
I want to tell you about a recent success story. Gracie, an 11 month old chocolate Border Collie, came to us with a severe case of aggression. When anyone would approach her with a leash or a collar, she would avoid it at all cost and resort to using her mouth to get you to stop. She’s injured other trainers who initially thought she would be an easy case, but I knew right away she wouldn’t be. She has even injured her owners on multiple occasions.
Another trainer reached out to me because during an attempted board and train, Gracie tore her hands up badly when she got spooked outside on leash. She was not the only trainer who gave their best but was unsuccessful.
Poor Gracie was so afraid of a leash coming near her that she would submissively pee and poop when approached, while also trying to attack. Even while wearing a pair of bite gloves, I was injured severely on my hands when I first attempted to put a leash on her. Once a leash was finally on her, she would chew right through it. So I had to use a chain leash and keep it attached at all times.
This dog was so sweet any other time. She loved to play ball, cuddle and give kisses when she was comfortable. We were her last hope. We had to find a solution for her. However, we couldn’t even begin to work any obedience until we could get her comfortable with leashes and collars!
Multiple approaches and methods were used during the 5 weeks we had Gracie. We even considered behavioral medication because of her intense fear combined with her quick movements and unpredictable biting. However, we hit a breakthrough. We built her trust and we made her LOVE to put leashes and collars on. She even liked getting a muzzle put on when we were finished! Once she was comfortable with the equipment, she worked on walking on leash, relaxing in place, socialization with so many dogs, and even off leash training! Gracie went from a dog that lived in a constant state of fear, to a dog that is happy and free now that she isn’t attacking anyone that comes near her.
If your dog is showing any signs such as bossy behavior, mouthing, growling, stiff posturing, or biting, take action now before it escalates any further! Do not be afraid to seek professional help if needed. We can help your dog learn how to make the right decisions and be an amazing companion that you can trust in every situation.