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Advice For (Play) Biting?

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Anyone have advice for dealing with a young greyhound that bites/nips/nibbles when excited? We've had Kira since late April and the issue wasn't bad at first, as I think she was settling in - but now, she nips/nibbles at us anytime she gets excited (which is a lot!). By the way, she's only nippy with my husband and I - not our other greyhound or other people. These are not aggressive bites, but they can be quite painful.


We always stop whatever play/fun stuff we are doing, so as not to reward the behavior - and she gets the "correction" sound. We read somewhere that one strategy was to pretend to be another puppy and as soon as she bites, we yelp loudly and act hurt - which we did (it was quite funny to watch) for a couple of weeks and that did nothing - we also tried the strategy with treats to reward her when she played and didn't bite - but it didn't seem to help. We've tried redirecting her to toys, but it's not overly effective because the nips happen a lot when we're just trying to put a leash on her to walk, or when we're petting her and she gets excited. We also try to be really calm, and that works to a certain extent, but as soon as there is any situation to get her excited...the nipping commences.



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Ignoring it and stopping whatever activity provoked it is the right thing to do (the correction noises can help, but if you notice they're not, try leaving them out and see if just leaving the scene has more of an impact). It takes time (sometimes a lot of time!) to get through to them. I've always just stopped whatever fun or exciting thing we were doing and walked away. Not only does the fun stop, but I leave! Some catch on quicker than others. I'm sure the trainers on here will have additional advice for you! :)

Mom of bridge babies Regis and Dusty.

Wrote a book about shelter dogs!

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Yes. It takes a long time and consistency to do it every time!


If she's overly excited, like putting on a leash, teach her a different command (at a calm time!), such as watch me or sit or down, or a settle command. One that engages her brain enough so she has to focus. You can also try and circumvent the behavior by not using her cue words (walk, leash, whatever you usually say). Just calmly get up and clip her leash on. If she gets too excited just seeing the leash, start carrying it around with you all day. Tie it around your waist, or let it hang over your neck. Don't let her play with it. Pretty soon she'll ignore it.


If she still nips, say OUCH! really loud, rub where she bit and immediately turn away and cross your arms over your chest and ignore her. As soon as she stops jumping around, try again. Stop immediately as soon as she begins the unwanted behavior. It might take you longer to get out the door than to actually do the walk, but it needs time and patience and consistency.


Good luck.

Chris - Mom to: Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

52592535884_69debcd9b4.jpgsiggy by Chris Harper, on Flickr

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom, Lilly

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I'm guessing she needs more exercise and mental stimulation. Dogs that are overly mouthy more often that not aren't getting enough of both. If the energy doesn't come out through their paws and brains, the only thing left is their mouths.

Edited by NeylasMom


Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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My boy is like this too, but we've managed to redirect his need to mouth things with toys. Each time he'd put his mouth on me, I put a stuffy toy in his mouth. He'd then play with that. Now when he feels the urge to nip something he does it to that toy instead. Very unintentional training on my part but the solution works for us.

He still puts his mouth on me at times, but never bites down and quickly stops and redirects.

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