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Old March 4th, 2011, 06:24 PM
PrettyVacant PrettyVacant is offline
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Dog bites when we try to move him

Hello,

I have a 8 month old Jack Russell Terrier from a very good breeder. This is my fourth Jack, so I am very familier with the breed and their needs. He is very friendly and happy and well behaved in most situations. He is wonderful around other dogs and does not show any dominance agression to them. He is well trained and gets a lot of exercise and is not home alone very often.

There is is just one situation where we are having a problem-when he's lying on our laps or in the bed if we try to move him (whether he's awake or sleeping) he snaps at us, he growls and lately he has started biting. At first he would do it more as a warning-but lately he's been biting where it hurts.

I know that this is a dominance issue-I know that he should not be in the bed. I know I should invite him up on my lap. I do know a lot of things I should do with him and I do a lot of things to deter him from being dominant. The thing is, I have never had a dog do this. I want to have him sleep on the bed or on our laps. We have started doing the Cesar "shhhh" sound and tapping him on the neck the way his mother would to correct him when he gets too agressive...it does seem to get his attention...I don't know maybe I need to really be the strong dominant one around him and really keep him in check. I just wondered if anyone had any insite besides what I have already read about dominance on the web.
Thanks
J
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  #2  
Old March 4th, 2011, 06:38 PM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Hello and welcome.
What your dog is exhibiting according to what you write (unfortunately I cannot see it) is resource guarding.
Please remember that every dog is different and respond in different ways. Your dog may not respond to Caeser's way (though I do find him good in many ways), and therefore you may have to resort to other measures.
Please do not take offense to anything I say.
First thing is that you must discipline yourself and others. Everyone must be consistant.
For now, until this situation is rectified..do not let him on his own free will be on your bed, couch or any other human comfy area. If you want him there..then you invite him but do not let him have free reign.
Before inviting him, put a leash on him so that you have the leash and you are not using your hands to physically move him...use the leash.
When you invite him use the command you use (example: Up). Once he is up and not comfy, use the command 'down'. Have the leash in your hand and do not be on that bed or couch. If he does not respond, say down, and use the leash to bring him down. Then praise.
Do this exercise several times...but not over kill.
Try and make this a game. Try praising him with his favorite toy if he does not respond to praise. This is his reward.
You need to reclaim your bed and whatever else he is taking over.

Others here may have other ideas. Go with what you are comfortable with. Some find my way harsh. I do not believe at all in ignoring the bad...and only praising the good. He must learn to respect your space.
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Old March 4th, 2011, 11:37 PM
reanne reanne is offline
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Do you do other things with him where you are controlling the resources as well? Such as sit-stay-release before feeding, same before going through doorways, etc? This may also help if you don't do that already.

My boy used to be the same when he was sleeping or resting and needed to be moved (well only growling, eh didn't snap, good thing because he is a big boy!). I started by making sure I got his attention before trying to move him so I could make sure that his growl wasn't just because he was startled. We also worked on the "off" command, and not just with furniture. We even did it out at the park and stuff. I used treats for his reward since he is highly food motivated, especially back then since he was young and starving. He is not allowed on furniture without permission, and after working on it he got to the point where he would look at me for permission to come on furniture, and "off" is no problem at all. We did the same as suggested above only I didn't use the leash as I wasn't worried about him biting me. Good luck!
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Old March 5th, 2011, 07:08 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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Just want to say I agree with all in the above posts but I'd be even stronger with him. I would NOT invite him up at all for a long time. Months. Maybe a year. I'm not against dogs on furniture, laps and beds but my take is that it should be a privilege granted by you.

My own dog is allowed on my bed by invitation but he has never growled or snapped or bitten at me. Your dog has. Therefore I would make it absolutely clear to him that his place is on the floor by not inviting him up till he has that concept clearly established in his little JR mind. Big mind actually, they are very smart dogs.

I also feel that you don't need to be very tender when moving him. Unless he has a disability or you have very high furniture I would simply and quickly dump him off with my word, which for me is FEET (on the floor). I would be firm and quick. JR are athletic and excel at agility. He should be able to be handle this without injury, except maybe injury to his exalted sense of his own worth.

I know this is not what you want to hear. It's tough being a parent, to dog or human.

I like the games idea at the beginning of training a young pup but for me, not in a case like yours. My ideas, give a think on it. Good luck.
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Old March 5th, 2011, 07:14 AM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longblades View Post
I like the games idea at the beginning of training a young pup but for me, not in a case like yours. My ideas, give a think on it. Good luck.
I agree with your post on all of the above but want to pick your brain about this qoute: (please do not take offence....)
As this dogs bites in an 'non excited state' but actually appears to associate the 'picking up' (therefore prepared mentally)..then why not change the state to a playful state so that he/she has no idea that the handler is reconditioning the dog during the process?

Your thoughts?
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Old March 5th, 2011, 10:09 AM
Longblades Longblades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BenMax View Post
I agree with your post on all of the above but want to pick your brain about this qoute: (please do not take offence....)
As this dogs bites in an 'non excited state' but actually appears to associate the 'picking up' (therefore prepared mentally)..then why not change the state to a playful state so that he/she has no idea that the handler is reconditioning the dog during the process?

Your thoughts?
The reason I would hesitate to do the games with this dog is it seems to me he might need a good solid split between what is allowed and what is Not and allowing only sometimes, by invitation or by game, might be confusing. I do believe in making the less fun commands like DOWN and OFF and STAY as upbeat as they can be and I would do it eventually with this dog, just not right away.

No offense taken, it's good to discuss different interpretations and methods.
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Old March 5th, 2011, 11:06 AM
BenMax BenMax is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longblades View Post
The reason I would hesitate to do the games with this dog is it seems to me he might need a good solid split between what is allowed and what is Not and allowing only sometimes, by invitation or by game, might be confusing. I do believe in making the less fun commands like DOWN and OFF and STAY as upbeat as they can be and I would do it eventually with this dog, just not right away.

No offense taken, it's good to discuss different interpretations and methods.
.. Understoood..and point very well taken infact.
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Old March 5th, 2011, 11:39 AM
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Sylvie Sylvie is offline
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Everyone has given you good solid advice.

In answer to your thoughts yes you do have to become the strong dominant one. You are on the right track and should start to see positive results. Do not give up, our babies are worth it.
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  #9  
Old March 10th, 2011, 09:42 AM
im_nomad im_nomad is offline
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I'm with Longblades. I have a very headstrong dominant dog who will snap if cornered. I felt guilty when I first moved her in here with me and as such started to let her up on my bed which is where she used to sleep in her early years until she got a bit too big for her britches (and peed on my sister's bed). That lasted about two weeks. One night, I tried to move her with a nudge and she took a good swipe at my arm and it hurt. She was firmly tossed off the bed with the sheet *pop* onto the floor and some loud correction (this was a few years ago, I can't remember - she wasn't a puppy at the time in any event). It was enough to startle her and put her in her place. She spent the remainder of that night sitting out in the hallway staring at me / looking guilty (she had beds in the house elsewhere to sleep). The next night, like clockwork, when I told her "time to go to bed", she simply walked to her own pillow bed on the floor in my bedroom and went to sleep.

And I never let her up on the bed again, save for one night when the power had been gone and I was concerned about her getting cold. She gets up on the couch occasionally, when invited.

I'm just an amateur here, but I think some dogs can have looser boundaries allowed than others. Unfortunately with a dominant dog, they are the give an inch they'll take a mile types. I have friends who have their dogs on the beds with no problems, but with my dog it translates into other negative behaviors even outside sleep and bottom line is, I'm not about to risk having a chunk taken out of my arm because I have the nerve to roll over in bed. I still see flashes of it when I try to move her when she doesn't want or if I have to try and get hold of her for meds or grooming. She is one headstrong little bugger ! (and has gotten more stubborn with age...)
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