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My dog nudges, or noses, the cat and my grandkids. He has also nipped visitor's hands on occasion and although I know it's not actually a 'bite', they don't quite see it that way and so they think he's dangerous. (I'd like to tell them if he really wanted to bite, it wouldn't be a nip. I apologize profusely instead). He also snaps at faces once in awhile, which results in a correction- a stern 'no' and pushing him away. Are these herding behaviors?
 

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How old is your pup?

What does your obedience instructor recommend?

How many miles of exercise is your pup getting each day?

It sounds like general annoying pet behavior rather than 'herding' but need age of your pup and the training/exercise to help more.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
He's 4. He's walked over a mile almost daily, and if not, played with pretty rigorously. He's not around kids very often, and when they're here, we watch like a hawk. He'll nudge and then lick faces. He's been doing this for quite a while. What do you think?
 

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I have a puppy that has a high herding drive. Her #1 activity more than anything she sees as playing (over ball, tug, etc.) is chasing other dogs and "herding" them. I watch her do it all of the time at the dog park.


With that said, she does not do any of the activities you describe without provocation. What I mean is if she saw a child run near her at the park and I let her, she would probably give chase and try to "herd" them. But I couldn't see her doing this inside of the house.


With the limited information given, I would look at this more as some sort of Alpha behavior. Trying to control situations, trying to correct and control others in their territory. You'll see Alpha dogs do this at dog park with other dogs they see are "misbehaving". This type of nudging or nipping.


I would have to agree with carmspack that there needs to be better expectations in this behavior. A stern No doesn't normally suffice especially when they see themselves as the alpha. There needs to be positive reinforcement when they stop the behavior and then an actual correction if they do not. If my dog stopped, they would be rewarded wth a treat or a pet. IF she did not, My dog would be ignored and/or separated from everybody, usually in the kitchen where I have a gate. This way there's an associated correction with the behavior and an associated positive reinforcement for the right behavior.


This requires consistency and is hard to introduce to a 4 year old dog vs a puppy. But this is a hole in the dogs training, not something I would look at as herding
 
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