Chasing and biting your pantlegs and feet

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Murf

Boxer Buddy
Our boxer who is 11 weeks old has this habit of chasing and biting our feet.He gets lots of exercise but we our limited because he hasn't got all of his shots yet and won't get his 3rd set until Apr 27.We correct him by distraction with his toys which he has plenty because my wife is in the business and we have also statred leaving his lead on while in the house because its eaisier for us to grab to correct him.From reading some of the threads I know this is a puppy stage but it kind of concerns us because sometimes he barks right in our face while doing this and by no means do we think this is cute or put up with it.He is getting it slowly that we are the leaders of the pack so I guess it might be just a stage he will outgrow.He has learned everything else so quickly like potty training and sleeping in his crate.Just wanted to know if we were on the right track and if this is normal puppy behaviour?

Thanks.
 

gmacleod

Elusive Moderator
Staff member
I think you need to change your approach and reactions ;)

Your puppy is trying to play. If you don't like his idea of play do not engage in it. Instead, turn away and ignore the puppy. Cross your arms and examine the ceiling for a while, or speak to someone else without giving any indication you even know the puppy is there - he does not exist. If that is consistently the nil-response he gets for barking and nipping at your feet, then he will cease to do it, and try something else instead.

If you want to influence what that something else is, the best way is to teach an acceptable alternative, and consistently reward it with your attention and engagement in games or other activities.

Nipping of feet is certainly something that needs to be discouraged (it won't be in the least cute when he's bigger, or if he does it to a small child). But he needs to be taught not to use his mouth on people - and taught that AFTER he has first been taught to use his mouth gently (it is very silly not to make sure dogs understand the power of their jaws - and they can't learn that unless they're first encouraged to use said jaws and be given feedback on what hurts). The following is an excellent article on how to go about teaching all of this, written by an extremely credible source. It is VERY much worth your while to read and to follow the training program outlined: http://www.jersey.net/~mountaindog/berner1/bitestop.htm
 

Sonnysdad

Boxer Pal
I think you need to change your approach and reactions ;)
I agree. Your puppy is trying to play. Our boxer has never done that, but our puggle(Sammy) used to do it to my son until he just simple started paying more attention to him...but not when the Sammy did that!
 

Chiefsmom

Boxer Insane
We are currenlty facing this issue with our new rescue girl. She has an obsession with anything that has to do with feet. She'll chase feet and pant-legs, nibble on them, and steel shoes, socks, or slippers. She's definately playing; but can get somewhat rough when she gets into the nibbling. Thanks for the article gmacleod! Very good tool!
 

MannysHallie

Boxer Pal
Dito on the great article!! We're having the exact same issue with Manny... I mean I'm having the same issue with Manny. He doesn't do it to everyone, mostly just me. And, I've realized if I'm wearing pants that don't sweep the floor, he does it less. I've been wearing lots of leggings, and it really has stopped a little bit!! The ignoring has started to work pretty well, so that when I turn my back and walk away he gets to the same spot right before I go into the next room and sits and starts to behave... maybe he's actually getting it!! Another thing that might help for a quick fix so that you're able to distract him for a split second while you find another appropriate toy besides feet... I put a little bitter spray on my pant legs and socks or shoes, then when Manny tries to attack he tastes the yucky stuff and realizes it's gross, and I have time to quickly grab another toy and redirect his attention, so he forget about the feet until next time. Also, I've been trying to keep an eye on Manny at times when the foot fetish might kick in, like when I'm about to put on my shoes. He gets a crazy look in his eyes and zones out like he's staring down the feet, and when I see that happening I make some noise and give him something else to do and that helps to actually prevent the biting. And FYI- just as I was typing this SOMEONE jumped up onto the chair to nibble my toes!!
 
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