Nipping: herding or agression? Help.....

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Postby Siberian » December 11th, 2006, 2:48 pm

When I got Sheba, she started to develop guarding tendencies. For example, I will be in the office, and someone would come in to talk to me. She will sit between me and the person, facing the person. Once the person starts to leave, she will trot after them, and very casually nip on their pant leg. She would also sometimes bump peoples legs with her shest, from behind as well, or she would also crowd them, getting very close in their space.

All that was freaking me out and I went to behaivorist. She tought me how to deal with problem, and we started to work on it.

Eventually I went with another behaivorist/trainer, to really improve our relationship. Now I have a very obedient dog. She reconizes me as a leader and protector of her. She won't try to guard me anymore. Most of her decision making process goes through me. She asks for aproval from me whenever she is not sure I would approve....

BUT.... occasionally she still does this pant leg nipping thing :( She reached out for my neighbor, as he was passing, very recently.
Few days ago we had friends over. She was all over this guy, kisses, rubs, etc. But, when he got up off the couch to go to the bathroom, she jumped off to follow him, and I just saw her mouth open as she reached for his pant leg. Needless to say she got a correction.

What is the reasoning of this? Is it still guarding? Or am I overlooking somehting? I seriously want her to stop. One day she will nip the wrong person, and I don't even want to imagine the concequences.

Just to clarify, it is not a full bite, she doesn't growl, her hackles are not up, she is very relaxed, and does it very matter-of-factly. She would sometimes nip the pant, or sometimes she would just bump with her head (right in the calf area).

It is also not linked directly to me either. She does it with my boyfriend (neighbor insident happened when he was with her). She has done that recently with the friend of mine, who was taking care of Sheba while I was away. She took her to work, and Sheba did the nip attempt at her boss. They didn't know she was nipping, until he noticed saliva on his pant leg.

Most recent nip just puzzled me. She nipped the pant of a very close friend, who she knows and loves. He was going to the balcony for a smoke, and she did it to him.

I am glad it was him... She finally got corrected not by me, but by the victim (he is a pretty alpha guy). So, I will monitor it from there. But it just bugs me!! I can keep correcting her, however I'd rather learn the reasons and work with it, than to correct the symptoms.

Ideas anyone?

Oh, also, she does a lot of circling around. Like around her dog friends. She would just run in circles around them.
Just Whelped
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Location: San Francisco, CA

Postby mnp13 » December 11th, 2006, 2:55 pm

it sounds like herding to me, and that is an instinct. Note that there is no breaking of the skin, and no intention to injure.

Instinct is a hard behavior to break.

Inside me is a thin woman trying to get out. I usually shut the bitch up with a martini.
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Evil Overlord
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Postby katiek0417 » December 13th, 2006, 10:21 am

I agree with Michelle. Herders will "nip" members of their herd to get them to go where they should be going. Now, none of my herders will nip at Greg or me, they'll just try to push us with their bodies....but I've watched them playing together and they'll do the nip thing (especially to the lab - she's white in color - maybe they think she's a sheep LOL)
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Postby Siberian » December 13th, 2006, 2:28 pm

Any suggetsions on how to curb it? She doesn't respond to correction here. When she does something unwanted, and I correct her, she looks guilty, stoppes doing whatever she got corrected for, etc. With this, when I correct her, she looks at me like 'what? Did I do somehting wrong?"
Just Whelped
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