Bad Habits - Nipping & Biting
The playful but painful habit of nipping at people's heels and biting
starts as a game, but can well become a social nuisance and nearly
always ends up with the dog becoming too cranky to be kept with any
pleasure. Usually it starts with the wrong kind of rough games - one
very common and stupid one being holding the dog's muzzle in play. I
suppose we have all seen the man - it is nearly always a man who grabs
the dog by the nose in a hard grip, then shakes it about a bit, no doubt
thinking this shows he is used to dogs.
The nose is one of the most sensitive parts of a dog and he
naturally, and quite rightly, resents the rough and painful treatment.
If he is a nice dog he nips the offending hand to say 'keep off', and if
he is tough he takes a lump out of it.
A tug of war with an old cloth is a sure way of making your dog a
nuisance. He enjoys it, and everyone thinks he is cute in the early
days, so later on how can you expect him to learn it is wrong to pull
every bit of cloth in sight, including skirts and trouser cuffs of
Do not leave very young children and puppies together.
If by chance the child hurts the puppy he has only limited ways of
retaliation, and the most likely one is a nip which could be painful and
harmless, but equally could be dangerous.