Why does my dog keep biting my feet?

asked 2015-06-30 12:13:27 -0600

My dog has been constantly nipping at my feet and I have no idea why, and what to do to stop it. It happens when I'm barefoot, wearing socks, and wearing shoes and usually when I'm walking from one place to the next. Should I try using a squirt bottle to discourage this behavior?

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More information is required to determine what might cause it. Does it happen aggressively or playful? Does it happen whenever you walk, or only when you walk past your dog? Definitely do not use squirt bottle. Either your dog is not getting proper exercise or had a dramatic episode in the past.

Aidar T.'s profile image Aidar T.  ( 2015-07-07 19:01:45 -0600 ) edit

I had min. schnauzer who was a nipper on ankles when anyone tried to leave. He was a sneaky biter and definitely an alpha. He never broke anyones skin. What I did is train him to sit stay whenever anyone got up to leave. After I released him he would tear toward the door and bark.

Sheila H.'s profile image Sheila H.  ( 2016-05-24 14:20:38 -0600 ) edit

My friend has a 1 year old border collie that won't stop biting my feet when I go to walk somewhere and she only does that to me how do I stop it

Daeshawn R.'s profile image Daeshawn R.  ( 2016-07-07 23:47:47 -0600 ) edit

The way our dog is like the way you would play with another pup. And its when we have our house shoes on in the evening. She would like bump her body up to your feet. Also, its by far × 100 she's not aggressive. Her name is SheBa. I just wanted to know if this is good or bad?

Nanette T.'s profile image Nanette T.  ( 2017-01-09 22:03:37 -0600 ) edit

5 Answers

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answered 2015-07-08 13:51:42 -0600

My puppy (10 months) is a rat terrier mix who has been biting my feet on walks for a few months now. He is high strung (see rat terrier) and a bit dominant. Though I am unsure what he is mixed with, I am pretty sure he is not herding and 99% sure his biting is not from herding. He is very active so sometimes he does it to play. He also knows it frustrates me so he will also do it when he gets frustrated ( when we are crossing the street, leaving the park, stopping play). For awhile, I tried different correction methods, but we just ended up in a dominance struggle. I have found the best thing to do try give him a series of obedience commands and that usually breaks his state of mind. I also usually start with a sit stay and modified heel (he hasn't quite mastered this command yet) before we reach areas where I know he often exhibits the behavior.

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answered 2015-07-07 19:08:59 -0600

More information is required to determine what might cause it. Does it happen aggressively or playful? Does it happen whenever you walk, or only when you walk past your dog? Definitely do not use squirt bottle. Either your dog had a dramatic episode in the past or is not getting proper exercise. Like Amberlie R. mentioned, herding dogs do bite at the feet of the sheep.

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She was dropped of at our doorstep and was raised as a baby a couple of weeks after her eyes were open and is now 8ish wondering what I can do to end this biting it drives me bonkers because she has so much potential I should have nipped her attitude from starters I think she was abused prior unsure

Blake W.'s profile image Blake W.  ( 2020-08-15 01:45:46 -0600 ) edit
answered 2015-06-30 20:12:00 -0600

I fostered a dog who displays similar behaviors. What I've found is that because he's such an energetic puppy, he did this mostly when he wanted play time and attention. I would NOT recommend a spray bottle because, personally, I like to stick to positive training and find that they're actually more effective. What did help was taking him on more walks and giving him a chance to use up some of his playful energy and teaching him the "Enough" command. I would highly recommend looking up Patricia McConnell- her books on training have been very helpful and she goes over this command in detail.

Basically when your pup is bothering you/nipping on your feet, tap him twice on the head gently then say enough. Then cross your arms (or just keep them away from him) and turn the other way so that he knows you're ignoring him. Then once he calms down pet him or give him treats and praise to reward him for his good behavior. That was very helpful with getting my foster dog to stop bothering/nipping at me or other people. Another thing to try would be the "muzzle grab." If he nips at you just wrap your hand around his nose to close his mouth and hold it for a few seconds. This doesn't hurt him but makes him uncomfortable. It sort of mimics the way mother dogs teach their pups not to bite and it will stop biting behavior fairly quickly.

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The bad behavior of my dog forced me to investigate how I could train him. I found this system online and it has given me excellent results, https://tinyurl.com/dogbestbehavior ! He no longer bites my furniture, or my shoes, no longer urinates in the room, and no longer barks like crazy!

Foxie S.'s profile image Foxie S.  ( 2018-12-13 11:49:12 -0600 ) edit
answered 2015-07-03 22:19:29 -0600

What kind of dog is he? A herding breed will tend to nip at legs/feet.

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I have two standard collie puppies 10 months old. The mail has begun playfully biting my feet lightly when I am sitting on the floor playing with the two dogs. Should this be discouraged?

Mike C.'s profile image Mike C.  ( 2016-09-25 19:37:01 -0600 ) edit
answered 2016-04-21 20:14:10 -0600

Could you distract the dog from nipping your feet by dangling a toy near your heels? My dog loves her snake toy.

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