Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

dog biting need help

cathym
July 16th, 2005, 07:01 AM
I posted here back in march that I had just adopted a 5 yr old yorkie. He is 6 lbs of ferocious.We were told about is agression problems, but were willing to work with him for however long it took. It has now been 5 months and it is still a terrible problem, but we are not willing to give up on him. 99percent of the time he is an absolute doll. But when he decides to guard whoever is closest to him it gets very bad. No one else can approach the one he is guarding. We have tried keeping him in his bed on the other side of the room but if any one approaches each other he is across the room in an instant and trying to bite. he also will attack if you try to scold him for whatever reason. He messed in my bedroom and I took him to see what he had done and he turned and bit me, will not run away but will stand his ground and bare his teeth at me. After 5 months we have learned to read his body language but this has only taught us to be aware not taught him not to bite. We have tried the spray bottle, makes him more aggressive. We tried the alpha boot camp , but he still thinks he is the boss. I have been told to try shock collars, lime juice and other mean training solutions, but he is only six pounds and I am not willing to cause him pain in any form. I have been researching training methods and discovered a womens prison who are doing training for problem dogs, sounds like a good idea, but he would have to go there for six weeks and after four homes in five years i think he would feel abandoned once again. Has anyone tried a dog behavior specialist, I am willing to pay $180. if anyone thinks they are a good idea, but a lot of money if this is just a fad. We are willing to try anything. My husband is the one he bites the most and this is because my husband refuses to back down from this itty bitty dog..Even though he bites my husband they are the best of friends the rest of the time. Please help us if you have any suggestions. We will keep him even with the bad behavior but would like to be able to take him places with us and not leave him at home because of his behavior.We thought of taking him to a training class but he is too agressive to other dogs no matter how big they are. HELP!!!!!!!

tenderfoot
July 20th, 2005, 04:31 PM
I do not judge my friends by how nice they are - everyone should be nice. I judge them when they are mean/rude etc - that often shows their true colors. A person can be a great and generous friend but if they lie and steal and cheat then all the good in the world isn't worth it.
I say this because everyone who calls us tells us how great their dog is - "it's just that he .... (fill in the blank)". This little guy needs some serious attitude adjustments - no news to you.
Dog behaviorists are truely glorified trainers. Any trainer worth his salt is a behaviorist and visa versa. It's like comparing a parenting expert to a family therapist - they need to have the same skills and understanding.
The first thing I would do is put him on the leash in the house and make him work for every nice thing that happens in his life. No 'lovey dovey' for a few weeks until you see some changes. He is to be corrected for every 'poor' choice that he makes and rewarded for every time he gets through a situation without making a bad choice. This requires that you set him up for learning. If he gets snotty when someone crosses between him and his favorite person then set him up. Put him on the leash and work him for 10 minutes then send him to his bed and have someone walk between him and his favorite person. Be ready to correct every whisker out of place, and then relax and reward when he responds with good manners. You need to repeat, repeat and repeat. This is about creating a new dynamic for him. Right now he is calling the shots in what he does and when - so when he wants to go after someone he does and by the time you are aware of it he is in full adrenalin rush and it's hard to stop him. I can picture his exact attitude (just worked a Jack Russel this morning with this attitude) and it is transformable, but through clear boundaries and consistency. He has not earned one iota of freedom until this behavior changes.
I would also work the 'Love & Trust roll" on him. This teaches him to trust you and to not have attitude when you are handling him.

Lucky Rescue
July 20th, 2005, 05:57 PM
6lb Yorkies or 60lb Airedales - terriers are terriers and they all think they're big!

Dog aggression is no reason not to take him to obedience class. He needs to learn that you're in charge, and that he must behave no matter what is around him. I took my 70lb pit bull to classes and she knew she better behave!

We tried the alpha boot camp , but he still thinks he is the boss.
How long did you try this for? Lots of people try something for a short time, then if it doesn't work, try something else. This does not resolve the problem and often makes the dog worse, since not only is he aggressive, but confused as well.

You must be calm, consistant and never give in. Anyone else living in the home must do the same. Your dog needs to learn that although you are kind and fair, he is NEVER going to win with you. This does not mean yelling or repeating commands 10 times and then giving up.;)

I do not suggest using shocks or any other painful or punitive methods on a dog like this.

cathym
July 23rd, 2005, 06:35 AM
Thank you so much for your answers. You get so much advice from everyone that it's hard to know where to start. I guess my best bet at this point is as you said try obedience classes. We have a very reputable breeder of German Shepards in our area who also offers obedience, maybe this is the best place for Chipper as he thinks like a big dog. It's hard to remember that six lbs of ferocious is like sixty lbs of ferocious so we definitly need to change our thoughts on this. Again thank you for the advice it is very appreciated.

twinmommy
July 23rd, 2005, 10:45 PM
If you have gotten to the point of having tried everything, in addition to the great advice given to you by Tenderfoot and Lucky, I would desocialize her for a couple days. This was a great turnaround point for us, it seems like our dog knew from that point on that things were going to change. It is a real "turbo start" into NILIF-land, if you know what I mean. ;)

Put the dog in a room that is big enough for you to leave her there for a while. She gets her food, her water and her walks, but NO ATTENTION besides her basic needs. This will be harder for YOU than for her--at least it was for me.

After about 2 days of this, let her back into your 'pack" and NOW start your NILIF, your alpha boot camp, or whatever you are using as a training method.

Good luck, this really worked for us!! :thumbs up