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Unknown dogbite behaviour

January 30th, 2004, 10:33 PM
My bf and I recently adopted a dog in October 2003. She's 6years old (Doberman/German Shepard) and has been known at the shelter home and by its previous owner as a very friendly dog.
We don't think she's been interacting much with strangers and other dogs. She plays well with other dogs and when their owners are around. At night she barks at everyone who enters the park.

Last night I was petting her in her bed and kissing her on the head nicely and she started to duck her head low ( sort of in "hunting position" for squirrels) and her eyes and head froze in that position and she snapped her teeth at my hand. I moved my hand when I saw she was going to bite me. Im really confused why she's been doing this. Is it cause shes jelous and thinks my bf is all to herself? She did this to me last week.

January 30th, 2004, 11:50 PM
Not all dogs like to have their "space" invaded. While my rottweiler doesn't mind a quick smooch on the head, my beagle mix isn't fond of this gesture.

Since this dog is new to you, I would recommend an obedience class for the three of you. You and your bf will learn to read her body language better and she will learn what is expected of her. You and your bf will be on the same page, so to speak, as far as commands given and responses expected. It will also give her a chance to be around other people and dogs in a controlled environment.

Lucky Rescue
January 31st, 2004, 12:15 AM
One thing I've learned is that "previous owners' LIE. You really have no way of knowing why they dumped this dog, or if she has ever bitten anyone.

My last dog was adopted by us when he was 5. He was a large and dominant male. He would snarl and snap at us if we told him to do something he didn't want to do, or touched him in ways he didn't like. It took quite a long time to make him understand that he didn't need to defend himself, and also that WE were in charge. We did this not through any harsh methods, but through training and attitude.

Your dog is a 6 yr old mix of two guarding breeds who can be dominant, pushy and/or aggressive.

One quick tip - If you are letting her on the furniture, stop. I would take this dog to a trainer or behaviorist for an evaluation.

In the meantime, here is my favorite article on dealing with dominant dogs, or dogs who have been allowed to be in charge of the household.

It has excellent advice, but you must be consistant, and your b/f must be too!
Alpha Boot Camp (

January 31st, 2004, 01:10 AM
I agree with the two LR's!

You really don't know this dogs history and yes people LIE!

Some dogs love cuddles and kisses while others rather just a pat now and then and leave them alone.

I find however the larger the breed the larger the bite and more pushy they can be (but the little ones can be just as bad).

If your dog has these two mixes, of GSD and Dobie you'd better get some obedience work in asap. As LR said these breeds are known to be pushy in getting their own way and will test you to see who is the Alpha or dominant one.

I'm not an expert in Dobies but I've read a lot and have friends who have them, and they are notorious for trying to dominate you if they think they can.

Well meaning gestures of letting the dog have the run of the house and all over furniture only gives them the opinion that 'they're king of the castle' so to speak.

They (dogs) look to us for leadership and if they aren't getting it they take it themselves and usually it ends up in mischief.

I'll tell a short story of an aquaintance who had a doberman. The family had and dad weren't getting along too well. Dad was the Alpha of the pack and mom had little to do with the dog. They had a small child who the dog adored and loved.

Mom and dad had an argument and they decided to go their separate ways. Dad didn't have any place to take the dog with him right away so he left the dog behind with mom.

Well the dog wasn't stupid and saw this as a golden opportunity.

The dog NEVER bothered her as long as her husband was around but sensed now that things were different.

While she was in the kitchen he cornered her, sat growling and snarling at her...wouldn't let her out. She stay there for hours! Every move she made he got more and more aggitated. She couldn't move a muscle. HE did NOT take his eyes off of her.

The small child eventually managed to reach her father at a relatives home where she told him to come home because the doggie wouldn't let mommie out of the kitchen.

As soon as the dog heard the keys turn in the lock and his MASTERS he trotted to greet him and then play with the kid. GO FIGURE!

Don't let this happen to you!

Remember the two breeds your dog is mixed with are very very intelligent! You have to outsmart them! ;)

Good luck and read the article that LRescue posted it's great, I love it!