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Puppy attacked....more than once

November 4th, 2005, 08:13 PM
I have a beagle pup about 1 year old or so. She is a rescue and we have had her for about 3 mo. now. And in that three months, she has attempted to attack my boyfriend and I, her owners, a total of almost 10 times, unprovoked.

The first attack, I was attempting to groom her and she was not letting me and behaving rather badly. We had only had her for a few weeks at that time. I did get a little out of hand with her, possibly a little aggresive when trying to get her to hold still, for example I may have backed her into a corner and pushed her to sit. She got a little nasty and I yelled at her then backed off. Then I sat down on the ground and started petting her. She lightly stood up on my shoulders, gave me a weird look and proceeded to bite me 3 times in the face viciously. It was almost stitches caliber and I still have the scar. Not knowing her past, I vowed to work with her and keep her.

I backed up from any agression and started training her immediately. The next episode we were in my kitchen playing happily and she did the stand on my shoulders again (which she does do regularly) and I was petting her lovingly and she went to bite my face again for no known reason. The bite was not as bad as the first one, but it did draw blood.

One night I came home late and she ran to me. I picked her up like a baby (which she usually loves) and she got vicious and attacked my ear, drawing blood.

Another time, it was morning and she was laying on her back and I was scratching her stomach and she just got vicious and attempted to bite me several times. I said taylor taylor what are you doing, why are you like this and then I walked away and gave her space. She came up to me 5 minutes later like nothing ever happened.

After that, she had an ear infection and we were attempting to put drops in her ears. She did give a few warning growls, but then attacked my boyfriend in the chest, tearing his shirt, drawing blood, and scarring him. This was the first time she ever acted that way with him. We understood that she was a rescue and was scared and though we were hurting her, so we just tried to reconcile and build trust with her again.

Now, in the past few days, she has attempted to attack my boyfriend 3 times. Each time, we think, it looks like she is protecting me. We are a loving couple, so there is no aggresion between us and she should have no reason to be afraid or angry.

She is a great pup in general, very friendly to other people and kids all the time (although we have been much more cautious with strangers). She loves strangers and other animals. The only people I have ever seen her attack is us. We are growing more and more nervous and untrusting of her.

I really want to build trust and respect with her and my boyfriend really wants to work this out too. We love her so much, we are just becoming really nervous about her unpredictable, unprovoked behaivor. Anyone have any ideas or suggestions? Please help us ......

November 4th, 2005, 08:19 PM
For one thing, I'd stop picking her up completely. A few of the incidents seem to occur when she is in a dominant position to you. No sofas, no bending down to greet her, etc.

For the boyfriend, I'd start by not having him do anything invasive to the doggy. Maybe the doggy was severely mistreated by a man doing sort of medical procedures or something.

Do you know anything at all about her past?

November 4th, 2005, 08:34 PM
I agree with what Prin said. Knowing a bit about her past would help.

Beagles are generally very sweet and loving dogs. They are not known for being aggressive. But, they are dogs and do follow the pack order. Your beagle may be dominant and could be showing you that she is in charge. She may have also been abused in the past so she will have trust issues.

I would suggest that you consult with a trainer who has experience working with dogs that have been abused and that show aggressiveness. You are going to have to gain her trust and show her that you don't want to hurt her but at the same time you are going to have to let her know that both you and your boyfriend are in charge, not her.

In the meantime, don't allow her to put you in a position that gives her the impression that she is dominant.

November 4th, 2005, 08:38 PM
All excellent advice. I would just like to point out that presently, this dog should not be around any children whatsoever. You are putting them at risk and setting the dog up to be destroyed if Dog forbid a child makes an error playing.

Lucky Rescue
November 4th, 2005, 08:41 PM
The first thing you need to do is to keep this dog away from anyone - children in particular, unless you want to face a lawsuit and maybe losing everything you own. There is a near zero tolerance for dog bites these days. Many dogs who never lifted a lip to anyone are being killed in fact.

We understood that she was a rescue and was scared and though we were hurting her

And what is the reason for all the other attacks? You say they are unprovoked. It's possible this dog has a neurological problem, or maybe even a seizure disorder. It could be genetic from bad breeding.

I would opt for a full physical examination without delay.

Don't assume all aggressive biters were abused. This dog doesn't sound fearful to me, and this aggression is probably the reason she was dumped in the first place. Her owners preferred to palm this off on some kind and unsuspecting person to deal with.

If you want to keep her, you'll need to ensure the safety of people around you.

November 4th, 2005, 09:55 PM
Thank you all for your advice. She is not around children very much, there are children in our complex that like to pet her and she runs up to them with her tail wagging. They pet her and play with her and she loves it. I watch her very closely and keep a short leash just in case, but they all love her and she loves the attention.

All I know about her past is that she was tied to a fence in the middle of the summer with no water in a non residential area. She was chipped and it was traced back to a pet store. The vet I had tried to reach her "owner" and the person said that our pup was in the back yard and got away. They never called a shelter or did a search, and she was found tied with a leash and collar and no tags. The lady had no interest in having the dog back (and I had no interest in giving her up). She also seems to have a fear of fences and gates or small enclosed spaces. We are slowly working on crate training her, but she is scared to death of an enclosed crate. Right now we have the crate topless and she will lay in it that way.

Does anyone know what may build trust with her? The "trust roll" makes her very uncomfortable and makes her trust us less. I do try to practice it with her regularly, but she is very uncomfortable when my boyfriend does it. She can only do it for a minute or so and she tries to bite her way out of it.

I know she is a very dominate dog and we have worked with her on that. She has been only on a leash in the house. We were trying to ween her off of it, so we have let her walk around the house with the leash when we are supervising her. She has backed down quite a bit since we got her, but she is still a very dominate dog. Is letting her lay on my chest when I am on my back a dominate move? Do I not let her "hug" me? Do I only pet her when I am elevated above her?

Thank you all for helping me to work with her. Most people would not understand and just say to get rid of her or put her down. I just love her too much, and I know there is a great dog underneath that just needs to be nutured.

November 4th, 2005, 11:13 PM
Anything that puts your face either at the same level or below hers puts her in a dominant position. So yes, lying on your back with her on your chest makes her above you.

"Trust roll"? I assume that's an alpha roll and you never do that to a dog who doesn't trust you. NEVER. That's the best way to get a bite or a rampage... You can't give the signal that the doggy is above you (by being at or higher than face level) and then all of a sudden alpha roll. That's so confusing for the dog. I suggest that at least until you have this biting thing under control, no physical punishments at all.

And I agree with not letting this dog near kids. You say you and your man were bitten to blood- kids have much, much more delicate skin and before you are able to pull the dog away with the leash, the dog can do considerable damage to a kid's face. You say yourself that this dog is unpredictable, so why would you take that chance? She might wag one minute and attack the next and you will be held responsible and your dog will probably be put down. Don't take that chance.

Please see a trainer. This dog needs to be taught who is boss in more gentle ways.

November 5th, 2005, 09:57 PM
Thank you all for your advice. I will be consulting a trusted trainer on Monday to see what he has to say about some ways to work with her. She really is the apple of our eyes. I just find it strange still, that she does not do this with any strangers and just with her "bosses". I wonder if that has anything to do with it?

Also, the first few times with me, she was going through a false pregnancy and I thought she was just protecting her stomach. Now it seems she is being protective with me.

November 5th, 2005, 10:33 PM
Please try to be logical and pragmatic about this dog although I understand you love her. Definitely get a vet workup and a some good advice from a trainer.

If there is a serious neurological or mental problem it may be in everyone's best interest to let this one go. :sad:

Good Luck

November 5th, 2005, 10:34 PM
The first thing you need to do is to keep this dog away from anyone - children in particular, unless you want to face a lawsuit and maybe losing everything you own.

that's great advice :thumbs up

November 6th, 2005, 10:13 AM
Hi, your dog has never displayed this behavior with strangers does not mean that she will never display it. Kids are so unpredictable that any of their movements may trigger the aggressive behavior. Please keep her away from all never know.
I heard of a test that some breeders have done on their puppies to see if their dogs may have aggressive behaviors or other problems that may come up in the future. I don't know what this test is called, but i am sure someone on this board must of heard about it. Anyway, can this be done on your dog? And can it show neurological problems?

November 6th, 2005, 11:14 AM
I would also just like to ask you to please keep this dog away from children. It really could happen in a matter of a split second, and it's not fair to take the risk. Not only can a child get bit in the face and get scars etc., but the kid may become really fearful of dogs since a bite could come completely out of the blue. I know that I myself would have a very difficult time being responsible for that.

Lucky Rescue
November 6th, 2005, 11:33 AM
According to you, this dog has attacked, or attempted to attack you and your bf 10 times in 3 months. She has drawn blood and scarred your face.

This dog is dangerous and unpredictable. The fact that she is a beagle doesn't change anything, nor do the reasons for why she does this. Until you have her assessed by an experienced behaviorist, you need to muzzle her if she's out in public. Children often run up to cute dogs and the results could be disasterous.

Also, the first few times with me, she was going through a false pregnancy and I thought she was just protecting her stomach.

I hope you've had her spayed since. You do not want this dog having a litter.