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Old March 24th, 2010, 05:30 PM
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Kateryna Kateryna is offline
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Agression-6 y.o. Maltese...Giving up :(

Hi,

I don't know what to do anymore. I got my Maltese 6 years ago when my mother passed away. I used him as a security blanket. Then I got married. Now we had twins (8 months old).

My dog:

- Never ever let anyone come inside my house because he attacks (I lost half of my friends because if this)
- Bites my husband by his toes; territorial with him (ex. will not let him go to the couch; will not move away and stands his ground)
- Marks my house
- Barks at and attempts to fight with any dog the we pass during walks (I always have to change sidewalks)
- Aggressive towards passing people during walks. Bit my neighbors fingers.
- Aggressive and predatory towards my crawling twins; has a "hyena" behavior of obsessing and walking in circles if I am holding babies on the floor.
- Bites and growls at me if I attempt to clean or brush him
- Has to be sedated for grooming

He is currently separated by baby gates. Only allowed in kitchen, breakfast area and family room.
My twins have to be separated playing in the family room. This is not a life for a dog. Also bad fir my babies who don't have access to my whole house and this cannot continue for long since they will be walking soon and I cannot keep them segregated.

I already spent over $1,000 on various trainers. My sister tried adopting him and he bit her son.

Please tell me what you think (I would appreciate brutal honesty!), I am heartbroken because I love him so much but this cannot continue. I feel trapped. No one can come to my house and I never have guests. I know it's my fault and I feel terrible but I hope this can be fixed somehow or maybe it is too late at 6 years old...

Is he hopeless?

Last edited by Kateryna; March 24th, 2010 at 06:59 PM.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 06:33 PM
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Winston Winston is offline
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Wow I am so sorry you feel like giving up. I just have to say forst off and for most people will be honest here and perhaps you may or may not like what various people think. Having said that please have open mind and consider everything before you make any decsions.

You have brought up some points that cannot be dealt with over night and there are many. I have some questions for you.

What did the trainers say about the situation?

What did they reccomend you to do?

Has this always been the way your dog has behaved? when did it change?

Does your dog get exercise other than the area you have him seperated in?

How is your dog around other dogs?

What situation caused your dog to bite? how was it dealt with?

Are you the Alpha in the house? How do you discipline the dog when he is misbehaving?

Do you think your dog respects you?

I could probably ask you quite a few more questions but lets start there!

I hope that myself and the rest of the members here can help you out as there are some wonderful here with a ton of knowledge!

Cheers

Cindy
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Old March 24th, 2010, 07:23 PM
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Kateryna Kateryna is offline
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Hi Cindy,

Thank you so much for your response.

You and everyone else reading: Please be as honest as you can. I don't want you sugar-coating and I can handle different views, that's why I am asking for help. I already know I am the only one to blame for this.

You have brought up some points that cannot be dealt with over night and there are many. I have some questions for you.

What did the trainers say about the situation?

We were kicked out of "group" training and deemed "hopeless" since Tinker (my dog) would not stop barking even when sprayed with water by trainer. This was when he was only 2. I also tried Bark Busters and they said he is trainable, but after 2-3 months of following their routine, it does not work.

What did they recommend you to do?
Separate myself from him; Use laundry room as a crate and leave him there when I am not around. Say loud "Baaaahhhh" noise to correct him. Some said to spray water. Some said to use quick nudge on the back.


Has this always been the way your dog has behaved? When did it change?
He was ok as a puppy when I got him in October I tried to socialize him. He almost got bitten by a dog off the leash. Then winter came and he pretty much stayed at home with my grieving father until May so 7 months. I did not walk him either because he was super tiny and there was a lot of snow.

Once he was 1 year old, he started barking at people coming to my house or stranger touching him.

It got really bad now because I have two infants and can't spend any time with him. He marks everything. Barks. Tries to attack my babies through the gate.


Does your dog get exercise other than the area you have him separated in?

During summer (May-October) he gets walked about 3-4 times a week. During winter, he used to play in the basement (we have huge running area) and I would run & play fetch there with him to a point that he was so tired he could not catch his breath and would go lie down.


How is your dog around other dogs?
Cannot come even close to them. He initiates a fight, barks and tries to bite. I am scared so I never even try anymore.


What situation caused your dog to bite? How was it dealt with?

Not sure really. He was never abused or dealt with harshly. On the contrary, he used to be the king of the house and was very dominant. He will bite if he is close to anyone but me. He bit me a couple of times when I tried to pull him on a leash away from a stranger. He seems "psychotic" at times, like he is possessed.


Are you the Alpha in the house? How do you discipline the dog when he is misbehaving?
I tried to be "Alpha" but I am not sure I am one. He used to get corrected by firm "NO". He usually could not care less for it. Later I started doing the "Alpha" thing recommended by Bark Busters and did loud "Baaah" and a small pillow throw on the floor near him (not at him) as to imitate dog snap.
When on the leash, I tried holing him close, but he pulls and pulls and even with persistence and many walks, he still pulls. If I try to say no, or pull him back, it's as if he is in another universe where I don't exist.

Do you think your dog respects you?
I really don't know. He does always come if I call, with a tail crunched under which in my understanding is a sign of submission. He also extends his paw (which is so adorable) as if to say "I give up" when called. He can go pee on command.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 07:44 PM
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babymomma babymomma is offline
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I would suggest finding a behaviourist that uses Positive reinforcement.

Stay as far away from barkbusters as possible. They really have no Idea what they are doing. They use terrible "techniques" and try to supress the issues instead of actually dealing with them.

I would like to send you a personal message but you need more posts before I can do that.


OMG, they seriously recommended you throw a pillow at him (No fault of your own. I just seriously despise barkbusters)
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Old March 24th, 2010, 07:45 PM
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luckypenny luckypenny is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babymomma View Post
I would suggest finding a behaviourist that uses Positive reinforcement.
My thoughts exactly.

Kateryna, have you ever had anyone teach you to teach your dog what to do rather than what not to do? I think that's why the training you've attempted didn't work, if anything, it may have made the issues worse. It's my belief that you're not supposed to scare your dog into doing, or not doing, something. You have to teach it calmly and with respect. Think about how you teach your children something new...I bet you're gentle and let them know when you're pleased...which will improve the chances of them repeating the behaviors. As they grow up, if someone huge looms over them threateningly, punishes them, and forces them to do something they haven't been taught how to, you can bet some serious issues are going to arise. The same concept can be applied to dogs and any animals.

Would you be willing to try a different, more gentler approach to training? Would your husband be on board? I can promise that it won't work overnight but, I can also promise that you'll see some positive results as long as you make the best effort and are consistent, patient, and realistic in your expectations. You may never have the "perfect" dog, but you can adjust your lives painlessly, in turn, sparing your dog's life and ensuring your children's safety.

I don't recommend classes. It will force your dog into an overwhelming environment that he is not ready for. You need an experienced behaviorist specializing in aggression that can teach you both the theoretical and practical elements for you and your dog to communicate appropriately with each other.

If you decide to commit to this, we can help you find someone able to work with you.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 07:51 PM
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babymomma babymomma is offline
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I think you should work on NILIF training (nothing in life is free)

And try ambilical training. (Dog is tied to you're waste and has to go where you go at all times and it helps you keep on eye on him)...

ALSO, if you can get your hands on a copy of the book "click to calm".. that would be a HUGE help.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 08:05 PM
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LavenderRott LavenderRott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kateryna View Post
On the contrary, he used to be the king of the house and was very dominant.
You hit the nail right on the head!! As a pup, he was allowed to be the boss since nobody else wanted the job. The problem with that is, besides all of the problems that you are having now, is that your dog doesn't know HOW to be the boss. So, he barks at things that stress him out and snaps at people who push him too far.

Yes. You need to find a behaviourist who uses positive reinforcement.

In the meantime, Nothing In Life Is Free is a good place to start. There are also a few other things you need to do.

This dog stays on the floor. Sitting on your lap and being on the furniture are priviledges that must be earned. Until the snapping and biting stop, he hasn't earned it.

EVERYONE in your household has to be on the same page with anything you do. It will do you no good at all to work with this dog during the day only to have your husband (or whoever) come home, give the dog treats, let him on the furniture, etc.

This dog has a bite history. There is absolutely no way around that fact and to ignore it is irresponsible. While I know that a majority of people here will disagree with me, the fact of the matter is that if you rehome this dog and it bites someone - you can be held liable. If you can not work this out - with professional help - then you need to put this dog to sleep.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 09:00 PM
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babymomma babymomma is offline
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Originally Posted by LavenderRott View Post
While I know that a majority of people here will disagree with me, the fact of the matter is that if you rehome this dog and it bites someone - you can be held liable. If you can not work this out - with professional help - then you need to put this dog to sleep.
I agree 100% with you LR..
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Old March 24th, 2010, 10:42 PM
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Stinkycat Stinkycat is offline
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I think what you need to do is, show him he is a DOG not a human, he has no special privileges - No couch or anything that is spoiling him. YOU are alpha, if he is somewhere, you go over there and take his spot by physically walking through him (may want to wear shoes).

Walking - Try the umbilical method - running left -right-back -forth quickly so that HE has to look to YOU to see where you're going, he has to follow. Do not let him walk infront of you, this is a privilege he has to earn.

When he's being aggressive with dogs, hold him close to you and make your hand into a "claw" and touch him on his side by his shoulder blade and give a little pinch (this is to imitate a alpha dog biting him, saying "I don't like what you're doing, stop it). Once he looks at you, tell him to sit or place him into a sit position, if he starts to become aggressive again, do this again. If it doesn't work after a couple tries, take the other dog and your dog in separate hands and keep them on short leash and walk them together, one on one side the other on the other side so they can't touch each other and can't sniff each other, walking is very natural for dogs and when they walk thats all they think of is going forward, they don't think of who's beside them.

Try Cesar Millan - his methods are amazing and work GREAT on my dog and alot of dogs I know. Plus if you think about it, his method makes the most sense and its not violent.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 07:56 PM
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BusterBoo BusterBoo is offline
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can't add anything to what has already been suggested, but hope you can find some help for you and your furbabe

Don't give up please...
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