Today’s topic is what to do when your dog won’t stop biting your shoes. I had the opportunity to work with the cutest little Corgi puppy today. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but I really like Corgis. It has to be one of the cutest dogs on the planet. And if I ever decide to get a dog besides the German Shepherd, who I’m absolutely obsessed with, it’s probably going to be a Corgi.
So this particular Corgi, like most of them, likes to bite things. Yeah, you’re going to see this type of dog bite quite a bit. My clients ended up asking me a few questions. The first question was, how long is my puppy going to be biting?
Well, obviously, the answer to that is the dog’s entire life. But I ended up telling them since their dog is young right now, it’s likely that they’re going to see an increase in biting and nipping behavior. Up until the time that the dog’s adult teeth come in. Which is somewhere between 5-6 months. After that, it should taper off. One of the things that you should be doing is training the dog in the meantime. That way, you can begin to focus the dog on what it actually should be biting.
They were having a problem when one of the children would come downstairs, and the puppy would relentlessly go after their shoelaces. You could try to do things to get the dog to stop biting your shoes by correcting and things like that. But this is not what I actually advised them to do. This technique will take a little bit of communication, so they can get the dog to stop biting shoelaces.
It’s important to look at this problem from the dog’s perspective. The child is coming down the stairs, the dog sees them, it’s happy that they’re there, and now it wants to play. So the person downstairs with the dog can have a toy and already be in a session. You don’t have to be an incredibly structured session, but it has to be structured enough. One where maybe you have a leash on the dog and a toy that the dog really likes. So as that person comes down the stairs, you can block the puppy from getting to them with the leash and remind the puppy of how amazing it is to play with its favorite toy.
Now I want to go into just a little bit of detail about how I move toys. I know how to focus dogs on what I want them to do. Most people, when they use a toy, move it too slowly. It would be best if you moved the toy pretty quickly. I have found that making a swift motion at your wrist where you’re basically shaking the toy left and right is best.
There should be some arm movement there, but you’re really making your wrist do the vast majority of the work. And then the toy should be kind of flopping around as you make this move. What you’re trying to do here is you’re trying to trigger the eyes. Once the eyes get set on this motion, then that toy should begin to move away from the dog. And that’s going to draw the dog’s focus, and it’s going to get the dog to bite the toy.
This tip is easy for me to explain, but it’s not so easy to do. So if you’re trying to get a dog to stop biting things, find a toy that the dog likes. Get on the floor and figure out how you’re going to be moving it. Move it so that it is very engaging for the animal to go after it and bite it. The answer here to get the dog to stop biting your shoes, especially when it’s a young puppy, is to direct it to the appropriate thing to bite and show how fun it can be.