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Thread: My New Dogs Aggressive, sometimes scary behavior.

  1. #1

    My New Dogs Aggressive, sometimes scary behavior.

    We have had this dog for less than a week now.

    Basically, in my area there are a lot of stray dogs running all over the place, anyways, one decided to make my front porch his new shelter while the storms passed over a few days ago. Anyways....I had decided to keep him. Obviously I am uncertain of his age, and breed, although he appears to be young as he is very hyper and wants to play all the time. As for his breed, I am unsure, although his head does resemble that of a pitbull, his body most certainly does not.

    Anyways, his behavior can sometimes get a bit scarry, he isnt a huge dog, I would say a medium sized dog. If I am paying attention to him, petting him, and playing with him, he is fine, but it is the times that I am doing something else and unable to have my attention directed at him, he starts to nip at my feet and hands, I have been Yelling NO! and holding his mouth shut for a few seconds every time he does it, is that at all effective? if not what would be a better method?

    Also, another time he can get real aggressive is when I feed him, he will even growl sometimes if I step near him while he eats, if I am handing him a piece of food from my hand, he will in a violent way snap it out of my hand, I am assuming where ever it is he came from he had to fight for his food or something, any ideas on how I could make him a little more relaxed and not so aggressive about food and the people around him while he eats?

    -Kyle

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Holding his mouth shut when he snaps is only effective when you want him to snap at you more. It's going to frustrate him and the behavior will worsen instead of better. NO! is not a good choice of words either. He wants attention, and he doesn't care if its yelling or cooing. IGNORE HIM. No talking, no touching, no looking. As soon as he behaves properly quietly give him soothing attention.


    As for the food, not surprised. If he had to fight for food, then thats what he thinks thats just something to do at mealtime, regardless where he's living and how free-flowing the food is. he hasn't figured out he no longer has to do so.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    If you're going to keep this dog, get him to a vet for a full check up and vaccinations especially the Rabies vaccination! Also I'd get him scheduled with a dog behavior specialist before something really bad happens with the aggressive behavior.

    Good luck.

    RIP Dusty July 2007 RIP Sabrina June 2011 RIP Jack 2013

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    indianapolis,indiana usa
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    The first thing you should do is schedule an Vet office visit for the Doc
    to check him over. The next thing is start training lessons as soon after as
    you can. it helps build a bond with your dog & you'll also be able to better
    judge his personality. Best of luck to you.
    I've Been Boo'd

    I've been Frosted






    Men, it has been well said, think in herds. It will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one."
    Charles Mackay, Scottish journalist, circa 1841

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Northern California
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    Agreed. First thing to do is to bring him to the vet and get a completely clean bill of health. Certain behavior problems can be exacerbated by health maladies.

    Second, he does sound young and he needs to learn what is and isn't okay to mouth. Obviously, he's a mouthy little guy. Most young dogs are. The way to fix that is to give and take away attention according to his behavior. If he's sitting nicely and calm, go ahead and pet him. If he's nipping you, turn your back and walk away. Completely remove yourself from the situation. Continue this and your pup will stop biting. Grabbing him by the mouth does *nothing* positive.

    Third, he is a resource guarder. Are you new to dogs? If so, I would recommend getting in touch with a behaviorist to work on the guarding. Resource guarding is fairly dangerous if you're a novice to dogs, and it can certainly escalate to full-blown aggression. Good luck!

    By the way, in the meantime, initiate Nothing In Life Is Free: http://www.k9deb.com/nilif.htm

  6. #6

    Exclamation porch puppy

    i would try using the cesar millan train methods to help you show to him that this is your house and you will not put up with naughty behavior it is much like being the leader of a dog pack would treat him if he acted out. i have forun that this is very help ful but also take him to the vet and get him shots and get him nutered i have found that in aggressive dogs if thay are spayed or nutered most of the time it will calm them

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by keeppitsalive
    i would try using the cesar millan train methods to help you show to him that this is your house and you will not put up with naughty behavior it is much like being the leader of a dog pack would treat him if he acted out. i have forun that this is very help ful but also take him to the vet and get him shots and get him nutered i have found that in aggressive dogs if thay are spayed or nutered most of the time it will calm them
    Cesar is not a dog trainer..I like him..but this is not the kind of advice this person needs at the moment. Someone is going to end up being bit. Neutering is not going to do anything at this point..but its a good idea anyways.

    To the original poster..I strongly suggest contacting a trainer and a behaviorist.
    Last edited by Danegirl2208; 01-24-2008 at 04:33 PM.

  8. #8

    Exclamation Feeding idea >>>

    Quote Originally Posted by LordSpoon

    Also, another time he can get real aggressive is when I feed him,
    he will even growl sometimes if I step near him while he eats,
    if I am handing him a piece of food from my hand,
    he will in a violent way snap it out of my hand ...
    -Kyle
    HI, Kyle ~
    I've had a few Rescues that were either food "grabbers" or "snappers" ...
    and I found a somewhat easy fix to use at mealtimes >>>

    Bring Fido's allotted meal to a desk or table in one bowl, sit yourself down,
    and call Fido over for "dinner".

    Now "serve" Fido ONE Nugget of his krunchies at a time in a separate bowl which
    you hold low enough that he can *SEE* there's only ONE krunchie in there.
    Keep 'em coming as he grabs them out of the "serving bowl" (watch your fingers!) ---
    In time, he'll start to slow down and be less violent in his "snatching".
    You might have to withdraw the "serving bowl" each time you drop a refill piece in it -
    my Dear ole Bowser wised up that my OTHER hand had better access to the food - he'd grab out of my refill hand when I wasn't paying attention.

    In time, as he becomes more gentle in taking the food - begin to offer pieces in your fingers -
    so he associates your HAND with a good thing (food).

    Happy New Dog!

    /s/ Phred
    /s/ Cinder, Smokey & Heidi

    R.I.P. ~ Boots, Bowser, Sherman, & Snoopy

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    144
    I'm with Cinder&Smokey (& others) on this. The dog has to be gently shown that everything is not a fight. That cooperation brings joy.

    The dogs I work with are often over a hundred to 150 pounds, about as big as sheep or small horses.

    What works best is not treating an individual problem like a spot treatment. You are not trying to fix a single misbehavior issue... what you really want to do is set the tempo for the rest of the dog's life by teaching and rewarding self control.

    One of the best ways to do this and gives much success with problem dogs and rescues that I know about, is safe to use and can be used with shy dogs or aggressive or simply hyper, manipulative dogs, is to use NILIF principles. It is the acronym for "Nothing In Life Is Free".

    I encourage people to do a web search on NILIF, read several pages on it and then formulate a way to get the entire family involved in teaching the dog self control via NILIF.

    The dog then learns that "Hey, this person and their entire family are not slavelike petting machines!", "they are not treat vending machines!"... "so if I sit quietly and pay attention, I will earn what I want". Baby steps. Consistency, respecting the dog too... and even the biggest clumsiest lug of a dog learns to respect his people and defer to them better.

    Edit to add, yep (agree with the others) bring the dog in to the vet too, get shots up to date, and discuss scheduling a neutering or getting info on where to get discount neuters. Some locales will neuter pitbull types for FREE.
    Semavi Lady Visit the blog!


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