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Our dog Foxy's sudden aggression towards her father (my boyfriend)

September 1st, 2010, 04:33 PM
Hi, I really hope that someone may please help us! My boyfriend (Howard) and I adopted a small terrior mix (Foxy) from the shelter about two years ago. From the begining, it had been obvious that she had likely been a victim of abuse. She was very timid towards men but had gradually grown very close and laid back towards Howard. But recently she has become more and more aggressive towards him on certain occasions. I am guessing it is an attempt to "protect" me.
I usually let her sleep with me and when he comes into the bed later at night she literally tries to attack him. Also, we were out of town for a few weeks and Howard's (female) assistant stayed at our home to dog sit. Now when he takes Foxy to the office she will only sit by the assistant and will be aggressive to Howard if goes near her.
Also, anytime howard walks out the front door she always barks at him.
Any help or advice would be so much appreciated. Thank you!!

Dog Dancer
September 1st, 2010, 05:11 PM
First of all welcome to the board and thank you for rescuing Foxy.

Your first issue if Foxy is attacking Howard at bedtime is that she should no longer be allowed on the bed. Period. Give her a bed of her own next to your bed and that's where she sleeps. If she jumps up you put her down on her bed and tell her to stay. She doesn't come up with you or Howard on the bed. Don't let her on when you're there as she will see his coming in as a bad thing if that's when you take her away. She's just not allowed on the bed anymore. She has claimed it as hers and placed herself too high in the pack.

Foxy needs to be dependent on Howard for as much as possible. She needs to associate him with all good things. Howard should take her outside for play time, Howard should feed her all meals and treats, Howard should reward her with lap time on the couch. Search this site for NILF - Nothing in Life is Free. Foxy needs to sit on command before she gets a cookie (from Howard). She needs to sit or down before she gets her dinner (from Howard). She needs to sit or down before she is "invited" onto the couch - note invited - she does not get to claim anything so long as she has an attitude.

I think with a few adjustments to her routine to make Howard more involved in her daily routine will help greatly in having her respect him again. But Foxy is taking her position in the pack too highly and needs to be gently knocked down a peg or two. Good luck to you, I'm sure you can work this out with her. Just be consistant.

September 1st, 2010, 07:37 PM
Thank you so much for the input : )

Dog Dancer
September 2nd, 2010, 10:09 AM
Jenna, I hope some of the advice works. Howard and you have probably let her get away with too much in trying to get her to trust you so it has confused her as to her place in the family. She'll figure it out if you lead her the right way with lots of love. :thumbs up