Dog snapping/nipping people
My 2 1/2-year male flat-coat retriever mix (I think) has technically snapped (but to the flesh) 3 women, whereupon we underwent BarkBusters training. The dog recognizes me as dominant, but not totally in the house, it's as if he thinks he is my assistant. Yesterday, he nipped (no harm done) a friend who had stayed with us for 2 consecutive nights previously and who had cuddled him several times. As we got up to leave, he nipped our friend. The first time he snapped, it also happened after the woman had been in the room for several hours. It's definitely some dominance/herding issue, but I do not know what to do. If I can't find a solution, I will have to give him away since I have a 5-year old child whom at some point he might bite. Please help! Thanks, Ute (Austin, TX)
Hi Ute, I think you would need to become more proactive in making the whole experience of meeting and bonding with humans more enjoyable. Its not a issue of you being dominate or him being subservient. He simply has something to fear, and he is acting out on it. Best bet would be to become really productive in socialising him with visitors and make sure you explain the situation before people knock at your door. Have them greet your dog with some treats you may provide, and ask them to engage in some really positive communication with him. Just remember to reward the good behaviour. Simply punishing him when he does wrong will not work.