Why would a normally calm dog nip and try to bite someone?

Over this past Thanksgiving, we had a ton of people in the house and it was loud. My teenage nephew tried to play with my dog and dog nipped. I have a dog that is about 2 to 3 yrs old. It's a male mixed breed. he does have separation anxiety. I have another dog here to keep him company

Asked by Kim Rhoades

1 Answer

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Hi Kim, I think the key to your dog’s behavior is this “we had a ton of people in the house and it was loud.” That can be stressful for any dog and if your boy already has some anxious tendencies, he could well have found that situation quite overwhelming and that’s why he reacted as he did. It’d be a good idea to plan ahead for future holidays.

Is he crate trained? A crate can be a great place for dogs to escape to when they need a break and your guests can be asked not to touch him when he’s in there. Put it somewhere easily accessed and in a place that’s not in a busy thoroughfare in your house. Alternatively, give him a place to go to, such as the laundry room, when he needs a time out where he can escape the noise and hustle and bustle. Make it comfortable for him so he’s happy to stay there for a little while.

Be aware that he may nip when overwhelmed and supervise him while you have guests. Watch for changes in body language that show he’s becoming stressed and intervene. Ask guests not to pat him unless he approaches them. If you have any ongoing concerns about his behavior, have a chat to your vet. | 01.13.17 @ 02:48
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$commenter.renderDisplayableName() — {comment} | 11.17.17 @ 17:41
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