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Thread: Aggressive Dog

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    San Antonio, TX, USA
    Posts
    2

    Aggressive Dog

    We have a dog that is pretty nice 95% of the time. She gets a little wild and jumps on people, etc. The problem is that every once in a great while she becomes unpredictably aggressive. She has bitten me several times,usually with very little warning. In her defense, the times she has bitten me she thought i was taking food away from her. Sometimes though, we will try to pet her and she will bear her teeth. We think she may have attacked our kitten a week ago because the kitten went into her crate. Is there any way to prevent this aggressive behavior? We no longer trust her around the cats and we worry about her around children.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    San Diego, Ca USA
    Posts
    11
    I recommend taking her to a trainer/behaviorist. Maybe your vet or groomer can recommend someone. If the behavior is new or sudden, could she be sick? Maybe the vet can help.
    It sounds like this is territory agression, not fear agression, so you might be able to have fix the problem by asserting your "alpha" role in the family pack. If she growls and bares her teeth at you over a meal, that is a dominance challenge. www.doggiedoor.com has some good behavior advice for correcting agression without negative reinforcement.
    Meanwhile, take precautions to keep her away from the kitten and kids who might get hurt suddenly.
    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    7
    This does sounds like an underlying medical problem, and possibly the dog is suffering from pain. Sometimes it takes detailed blood tests, and even X-rays of the hips/spin, eye tests etc to ascertain what type of condition is causing this type of aggression.

    Although I think one of the other respondents was dead right in saying the dog could be ill, I do not agree with their additional comment that the food incident is a sign of dominance and asserting the alpha position. Food bowl guarding can be treated by placing a little kibble in the bowl and then adding more, and more and more until the meal has been consumed so that the dog thinks "I like it when people are near my food bowl".. However, please be aware that snapping around food bowls can again have medical causes, e.g food allergies can trigger this type of behaviour, so can problems like liver disease, or even systemic portal shunt in the terrier type breeds. So please do have you veterinary check this dog out THOROUGHLY! Also it is best to see a veterinary behavioural specialist, or a properly qualified behaviourist for something like this as opposed to a dog trainer who has chosen to call themselves a behaviourist because it is the in thing to do. Beware 'cause there are plenty of those out there.

    Fransetter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Westminster, MA, USA
    Posts
    2,313
    Hey my basset hound Daisy, who is one now, was rather agressive as a puppy. She was biting people... well mainly only me, but at other times, my sisters or parents. My mom said if she bit anyone out of the family we would have to give her up, so we got her a 'personal trainer' He suggested using an object my family isvery glad we used - a penny bottle. It's simply a plastic soda bottle filled with maybe 15 pennies. When Daisy bit, we would slam the bottle very loudly. She hated the sound and quickly learned that biting would give her that consequence! The only thing you need to do is make sure your dog doesn't think of it as a toy, as my friend tried this with her agressive dog but left it lying around too often and the dog began playing with it and thought of it as a toy. So try the penny bottle, it's great! My Daisy is an angel now!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    west mifflin pa
    Posts
    35
    My mutt Rock came from a shelter and while he showed no aggression towards people he was aggressive towards strange dogs(he got along ok with the rest of my pack)-especially when on lead. I took him for a private session with a behaviorist for an evaluation and suggestions-then followed up with her group classed geared towards "problem" dogs. It was money well spent.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    1,533
    I have four dogs...however, only one acts rather aggressively. She doesn't literally bite me, however she would make this growling sound and baring of teeth whenever I take away something dirty that she took away. Another strange thing is that she is perfectly normal whenever a visitor is in the house, but when the visitor is about to leave, she would bite them slightly... HOW COME?!? IS MY DOG ILL???

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    1,533
    I have four dogs...however, only one acts rather aggressively. She doesn't literally bite me, however she would make this growling sound and baring of teeth whenever I take away something dirty that she took away. Another strange thing is that she is perfectly normal whenever a visitor is in the house, but when the visitor is about to leave, she would bite them slightly... HOW COME?!? IS MY DOG ILL???

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