- Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 


yorkie biting husband

February 6th, 2005, 06:49 AM
My newly adopted Yorkie is biting my husband, we were told by his foster mom that he could be very aggressive to men, so are very careful, we have had him a week and he has attacked 3 times. He absolutely loves my husband most of the time but if he is sitting with me and hubby approaches he literally attacks to the point of chasing after him when he tries to walk away. He has bitten him twice, and hangs on for the bite. He sits in my husbands lap, plays ball with him, will sit in the chair with him, goes for walks or in the car. Have not seen the bad behavior in the day only at night. At bedtime have to crate the dog or he won't let hubby in the room. Hubby went to bed ahead of me one night and Chip went with him, no problem when I went in. If hubby lays down Chip will lay down with him. My husband can do anything with him most of the time, so attacks are very unexpected when they come. When I try to get him to stop it is like he dosen't even hear me. I and my husband are in love with him already but need to correct this very bad behavior. We have no idea what his past was like but he is only 5 and has had four homes. Last house had teenagers in it. We will persevere as we feel he had a bad time of it before, and like I said he is a doll most of the time. Now for the question I dread asking as I know I will probably get blasted. I have two young neices that the dog will come in contact with very occasionally, but I cannot take the chance of him turning on them, is it ever okay to use a muzzle for a short time. I have never had to use one with my previous dogs so have no knowledge of them but someone suggested I use one for safety. I would much rather train this out of him but should I be safe rather than sorry. He would only be around them once a month or less. He is usually only around us, but would love to take him to the park and not be constantly worried about this. I do not allow them or other kids to pet him as I am not sure of his reaction. If there is a muzzle I can use what is the best one, he has a very small snout as he only weighs 6 lbs. If not a muzzle , is there something else out there. Sorry for the long message but am desperate for some advice. He is 5 yrs old , is it too late for social training classes.

February 6th, 2005, 11:13 AM
It's never too late for training. It's just a matter of finding the right method that will work for this particular dog. First things first, have you brought him to a vet to rule out a medical issue? Once that's been done, you should look into seeing a behaviourist. The poor pup has probably had a rough start to life. Good for you for sticking it out with him! :thumbs up

Lucky Rescue
February 6th, 2005, 11:16 AM
He sits in my husbands lap, plays ball with him, will sit in the chair with him,

The first thing you need to do is get him off the laps, chairs and beds. He may be only 6 pounds but he's still a terrier!:) All the drives, determination, courage and stubborness of a 70lb Airedale are in that little body!

Never carry him around either, as that also elevates his position. In fact, don't do (or allow him to do) anything you would not allow if he were 100lbs.

Right now he sees himself on par with you, and your husband as subservient to him. He needs to learn that he is number 3 in the pecking order of your house.

Of course being in so many homes is damaging to a dog, but he can over it with consistant, kind and firm training.

Later on, when his behavior improves, you can let him on the chair etc. but ONLY when you invite him on. For now, if he gets on the bed, put his leash on and say "OFF" as you guide him down.

Here is my favorite link for dealing with this type problem. Both you AND you your husband must strictly follow it at all times.
Alpha Boot Camp (

I also suggest you enroll in obedience classes. This is wonderful for dogs of all ages.

Tiny dogs and young children are not a good combination and for now I would keep him away from little kids. Little dogs are just too vulnerable and often get very defensive with kids out of fear.

February 6th, 2005, 08:16 PM
Chip has gotten away with this behavior for too long - time to stop it. Hubby needs to attach himself to Chip (with a leash) as much as he can. He needs to set boundaries for the dog in every aspect of the Chips life. Hubby feeds him only after Chip has done several things to earn it. Hubby takes him out to potty and only lets Chip through the door after Chip has made eye contact with him. Hubby asks him to do a thousand different things throughout the day. Chip doesn't get attention unless he works for it. If Chip threatens hubby with even one hair out of place then hubby gets firm and insists on a down stay for as long as Chip can stand it and then a minute more.
Mom needs to step back in your attention to Chip. You don't have to ignore him completely but you need to help hubby establish a balanced relationship. It is NEVER too late to teach an older dog.

February 6th, 2005, 11:51 PM
This brings back memories of Den-Den2. He was only 6 mos old when my hubby left for a year in Vietnam. For a year, he was my dog. When hubby returned, Den-Den2 loved him but was protective of me. If hubby went to bed first, no problem. If I went to bed first, he would growl when hubby tried to get in. He didn't bite. All hubby had to do was pet him first before getting into bed. It almost got to be a game with them. The bad thing was he would occasionally pee in my hubby's shoe. He only did it a few times, but we could never figure out what had triggered it.

February 7th, 2005, 11:57 AM
Our mini doxie gave my husband and children NO respect, so I gave him no attention and NO respect,no privilidges like the couch until he showed the rest of my family respect. Tenderfoot is a genius :thumbs up .

February 7th, 2005, 03:51 PM
Thankyou for all the advice. I have printed off the alpha boot camp suggested by Lucky and can't wait for my husband to read it. We have been trying to get Chip to spend most of his time with hubby, car, walks, and food but were not applying the boot camp strategy. We will be very diligent with this as a few of you seem to think this is best. Very surprised what I read as far as him being the leader. Will have to change that very quickly. Nobody answered about the muzzle. Are they humane and should they be used for safety?? Again thanks for your advice. will let you know if it works.

February 7th, 2005, 04:19 PM
Muzzles are fine when safety is truely an issue. But muzzles don't teach and can actually cause a problem to get worse. If a dog were snapping out of defensiveness then the muzzle could cause him to feel more defensive. Like throwing someone in a pool with their hands tied behind their back.
Muzzles can also put the human in an odd place psychologically. When a human sees a dog with a muzzle they behave differently towards the dog which then causes the dog to sense that he is causing fear in the human and it can empower the dog. Like someone who sees a dog that just looks omnious, they behave extra cautiously, which inturn can encourage the dog to behave dominately.

February 8th, 2005, 06:41 AM
I had a similar problem with a rescue dog. We had him for 9 months had private training, group training and great advice from this web site. Unfortunatly his agression could only be managed and not eliminated. On the advice of our vet and after he had bitten both of my children ( the agression grew and became very unpredictable and unprevoked) We finally agreed to put Brandy down. You must do what is best for your family. We had young kids to think about. I pray that you have better luck than we did. We tried for 9 whole months we din't just give up. We have since purchased a cockapoo puppy. My kids are safe and Lucky hasnt shown one little growl. in 8 months My children have learned about trusting dogs and are still careful but a non agressive dog is a blessing in the family Good Luck. You may want to check out my older posts.

February 13th, 2005, 06:59 AM
We have been doing the alpha boot camp with Chipper for almost a week and it seems to be working. We have only had a few growls towards hubby but no attacks. Whenever he growls hubby gets very firm with him and makes him sit and stay. He must have had some previous training because when he is told to stay he will stay until he is told to come. I hope I haven't made him out to be a vicious little thing because 99% of the time he is a doll, something seems to set him off and we are watching constantly to see what that is. We think it may be him protecting me. so am very careful not to allow him to stand guard over me. I still won't let my guard down with him because I beleive he has been this way for a long time so will always keep a close eye on him. He is not around children and will never be trusted to be with them without my undivided attention. My hubby does everything for him now. I don't even feed till hubby gets home , if he's a little late Chip will sit and moan at me, but I don't give in. Hubby is beginning to get eye contact most of the time but Chip is a little spiteful at times and turns his back. We are grateful for the boot camp advice and will stay with it. I have enrolled him in obedience class but can't get in till April, so we will be diligent till then. Again thanks for the great advice.

February 13th, 2005, 12:22 PM
You've gotten excellent advice here and sounds like you're doing everything right!! GOOD FOR YOU!!!!

February 13th, 2005, 12:46 PM
Sounds like you are doing a great job. Kudos to you! Anyone can hear advice but not everyone will use it - so you get all the credit. Well done!