This could be fear-based! Try the following;

  1. Keep a journal and log when the behaviors are happening to identify the triggers that cause nipping to occur.
  2. Before the visitor comes into your home, put your dog on leash to manage and reduce opportunities to nip, and leave a bag of treats by the front door. The visitor can toss treats towards your dog (not at them) as they enter your home.
  3. This will start to show your dogs that visitors are good and they associate the visitor with a treat.
  4. Teach your dog to “sit” before being pet. Check out Truly Force Free Animal Training’s Good Manners 1 Course to learn how to teach your dog “sit”!
  5. If your dog is a high energy breed such as a heeler I recommend giving them a job or something that will keep them mentally stimulated such as a Kibble Nibble Ball or Puzzle Toy.