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Behavior / Training
Your Shiba in the Morning? Does she act funny?
Hello everyone, I and my Shiba, Scarlet, are new to your forum. I am also a new Shiba owner having adopted her from the Humane Society. Previously someone had her and she was 18 months when we got her and she never had a check-up nor was she spayed, flea protected, etc. Well...quite a bit later, she is great (she has gained weight, has a nice warm home and is loved..Oh, and was checked by a vet thoroughly).
My question, in the morning only....she "sometimes" seems that she gets a bit "nippy"....she sometimes wants to bite and/or wants us to play tug of war with her...and growls. She is a sweet dog during the day but in the morning acts funny! Anyone else ever have this problem. And...until she plays tug of war for a while and exerts does a ton of energy, she chases our feet and really seems a bit nasty, etc.
Thanks so much.
[mod edit: changed category]
Post edited by sunyata at 2016-11-21 19:52:09
-When I first rescued Quakey almost three years ago I noticed that when I would give him a treat he would take it to the bedroom and eat it on the rug. If right after he finished eating the treat, I would walk on the rug he would try to nip at my feet. I know it is a different issue in that his issue was more about resource guarding. However, the end result was the same in that he would try to nip at my feet. He never bit me at all. From the first time he tried that, I said ACH loudly and sternly but not yelling and I also ignored him for about 5 minutes. The behavior occurred two times and he learned quickly he was not supposed to try to nip at all. I think you need to let Scarlet know that such behavior will not be tolerated. By playing tug of war with Scarlet right after the nipping you are reinforcing the nipping. I would say "ACH" and then ignore Scarlet. I would not play tug of war with her right after she has tried to nip. I hope that this helps.
I agree with Antoinette, tug of war probably isn't the best game. Hiro gets like Scarlet sometimes, but at night. For me, making a loud sound only made him more excited, I found that ignoring bad behavior/only playing when he does something gentle like licking, works but it did take a few weeks. See if she will play fetch instead, and drop the toy for a treat. When you ignore her, go about your business and try not to even look in her direction.
Also, at first, Hiro would do that if he needed to go potty. I'd wait for her to stop the behavior before you take her out though, so she doesn't learn to nip when she wants to go out.
Our morning experience with Sachi -- who is just shy of 5mo old now:
She is a sleeper!! (And we
that...) But, she'll initially get up around 6/7:00 to go pee and drink a little water. After that she usually likes to "play" for 10~15 minutes, always interactively and fairly high energy -- fetch, chase, etc. She used to nip at us to initiate this but that has subsided over the past month or so. We figured it was likely just her way of getting us to play with her (seems like a normal way dogs will solicit play with each other) so we "corrected" it ignoring it and redirecting the nipping from our calves to her toys by giving her a little playtime. After her 10~15 minutes of that she'll stop on her own and typically goes back to sleep until 10:00 or so. She doesn't really nip much any more to get us to play -- she just finds a toy and stares at us with it in her mouth and sometimes gives a low, short growl. (Too cute to ignore!)
We've found that the only time Sachi is really ever vocal (barking, growling) is either to solicit play or during play itself -- so, she'll do that sometimes in the morning as well. In her case, it's not an aggressive bark or growl, but a playful one -- and I think that's pretty common in Shibas. We have yet to see her growl or bark aggressively, but we've seen other Shibas do it and, so far, there has always been a very distinct difference in the quality of the growl/bark. (To the extent that it "should be" a very easy distinction to make.)
The only other times of note for barking and/or mouthiness with Sachi have been:
(1) When she "NEEDS" to be taken outside. (That's also been a very different bark and is typically followed by her waiting at the door so it's been easy to do the math...!!) Again here, the nipping gradually went away and now she just gives us a couple short barks.
(2) When we get home after being gone for a while and she's excited to see us. With this, we didn't really mind the barks and howls (it's actually quite endearing!) but we didn't want her to make a habit out if nipping our calves so we would withhold any/all attention when that was present. She still does it sometimes, but a lot less frequent than before and she stops it very quickly with a "pst" and a "stern glare" from above.
(2a) I just picked her up last night after leaving her with her trainer for 5 days while we were on vacation. It's the first time we've done this and she was SUPER EXCITED to see me and was VERY mouthy (and bouncy!) for about 15 minutes. (Of course, I was also excited to see her and just let all this go while we drowned each other with affection...)
Puppies "yipe" during play when one gets to rough and they all learn boundaries that way -- so, using the "Ach!" that Antionette mentioned is a common way to mimic that behavior. Like BrennaB, it was a complete fail for us though because our YIPE only seemed to incite Sachi to play (nip/bite) harder. For us the key was to either completely withdraw from interaction -or- to consistently redirect her mouth to a toy. The combination of these has worked. I'd say that 80~90% of her nipping has subsided and most of her mouthing that remains is now extremely gentle.
- We require all new members to introduce themselves to the community before being allowed to ask questions. Since this is a common topic, I am going to go ahead and close this thread. I also changed the category since this was not an introduction.
Please start a new thread and tell us about yourself and what made you decide to adopt a Shiba and share your life with her. Once you do so, you will be upgraded to full member status and can read through and post in other categories.
Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
I Wander, I Ride
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