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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been walking dogs for a while now and have just gotten paired up with a Cairn Terrier. Cutest little guy in the world. He is 7 months old and very smart. The only problem is he really likes to nip, especially at your nose! His owner just kind of blows it off as puppy behavior and doesn't do much about it. I can watch myself, but I see the little guy around others and it's kind of like watching an accident waiting to happen. What can I do to discourage him from this? I am with him 3 or 4 days a week about 1 hour each visit so I would have the time. And I do have the owners permission to work with him. I am trying distraction right now as he is very food motivated. Any other suggestions?
 

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Are you letting other people pet him when you're dog walking? If so....don't. It is puppy behavior and not unusual, but strangers who are not familiar with dogs might not see it that way. When you're working with mouthy dogs, the people who are helping you need to be aware of what they're getting themselves into. It's only fair, because it can be painful, and I feel like one lousy person who likes to sue people might come for you if they got nipped...

If the owner refuses to work on it, I feel like any efforts you expend are in vain. Also...you're not getting paid to train this guy's dog. You're paid to walk dogs that are, presumably, reasonably well behaved. If I am mistaken and you are in fact a dog walker + dog trainer, please disregard, but I feel like you wouldn't be asking a bunch of internet strangers about this problem in that case!

If you're just trying to get some relief for yourself...under what circumstances is the dog nipping? Trying to play? If so the usual method of withdrawing attention when teeth meet flesh would be my first step. But, again, if the owner is not also being consistent it's not going to help greatly, although dogs don't generalize well so the dog might not be quite so mouthy with you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response! I am a dog walker/pet sitter. I do NOT let other people pet him when we are out walking. He is way too much of a nipper, especially when he gets excited. It seems to me he just wants to play. His tail is always wagging and he is a happy little guy. I was thinking about the whole ignore him thing when he starts doing that and I do try to redirect his attention to his toys, but he does love people so sometimes that just doesn't work. I am asking here because, to be honest, I have never been around a Cairn before. I think if I get just a little success with him, his owner might pick up on the training, but he seems to think the dog will just out grow it. Do they??
 

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It's a terrier...so probably not. It might get better, but if the owner isn't purposefully working on it, he'll always be mouthy.
 
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