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Old 11-16-2009, 02:46 PM   #1
pennycantu
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My dog tried to eat my husband!

this is a long story lol! it's not funny though, it's kind of scarey actually. I have had 2 dogs for the past year. I decided to add a 3rd b/c both dogs are small and i wanted a large dog to run and bike with. We added, Bella, the most lovable goofy chocolate lab you've ever met. 3 weeks after bella arives, my father in law goes into ICU and has been there for several weeks. He's septic, has pneumonia, torn asophagus etc. He's bad off. His dog, full grown, 6yr old boxer/pitt mix Princess was always a "mean" dog on the surface but when we would go around, she would melt. she was only agressive toward strangers and that was because she was incharge, not my father in law. (he's not all together there, he has the mind of a 12yr old but was deamed able to live alone) Princess stayed several days alone by herself in the house, but began to get lonely. We've had her for about 3 1/2 weeks. I have a 5 yr old daughter. I know how to be alpha in my house. I know how to feed, enter and exit first, ignore them, MY dogs know I"M in charge not them. Princess came to me about 25lbs overweight. She was always used to having her food out all day and when the bowl was empty, she just got more put in. I put a stop to that and put her on the same regimen as my dogs, once a day except for the pup she gets twice aday. if they don't eat right away, the food is taken away until the next day. this has helped me a temendous deal in my house since starting it. Same principle applied to Princess. She's lost weight, gotten exercise for the first time in her life and looks great. she even gets along with my dogs beautifully. Guissepe, my italian greyhound, loves to make her chase him and he's way to fast for her to have a hope but it's still fun to watch. Bella gets on her nerves, she's a pup and wants to jump on her and Princess bares her teeth and snaps but it's nothing more than just showing her that she's not in the mood to play. On to bigger issues. Last week, my daughter and I were playing high five over princess' head, she barked so i thought she was maybe sensitive to the noise so we stopped. well i guess that was a bad idea beings she apparently gave me an order and i listened. a few days later, my daughter was in the kitchen with me as i was cleaning up after a party, i threw an empty box of aluminum foil at her and it fell in the garbage after biffing her lol! she picked it up like a baseball bat and came after me. Princess jumped in snarling and snapping at her and ready to charge. I ran to get my daughter from in front of the dog and told princess "NO". We've sometimes invited princess to lounge with us on the furniture but only when she's invited. she's not allowed to just jump up. well the other night, she did and my husband did not like that. she jumped or stepped up on the couch next to me. i told her no, he told her no and she didn't listen. he got up, reached over me and went to grab her collar and pull her off, well she darn near took his hand off in the process. she barked, snarled, growled and went for the bite. she moved his hand and called his brother quick to say that if she did bite any of us, he'd put a bullet in her....of course i'd never let that happen unless she went after my daughter. I don't want it to come to that though. I've had sooo much success training my own dogs, i try to do a good deed by not letting this one go to the kennel and give her some interaction and exercise and she's attacked my family or tried to. i know that each time, it was a warning. I've been through behavioral classes for my other dogs and know the signs and some of the language our dogs speak to us. I can read my 3 like a book, i'm doing everything the same. My dogs aren't house trained fully so they don't get run of the house. Princess is a welcome guest though because she's never been kenneled for extensive periods of time, and she's usually very well behaved. Where am I going wrong?
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:15 PM   #2
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First, I am NOT a trainer or behaivourist ... and without seeing this first hand I cant be sure wants going on! I HAVE been around dogs most of my life and I have seen this played out several times, But I still suggest you involve a trainer or behaivourist to get a clear picture of whats going on.

In my experance, when a dog is placed in a new home, it is usually a little overwhelmed and unsure of what is going on. The responses that the dog is showing sounds to me like "fear" NOT aggression.

START OVER!!! Work to build mutual trust and respect. This is known as "bonding" and it doesn't happen overnight. In most cases it can take 14-45 days. The more time you take, the faster it will happen. Remember, If the dog doesn't trust you, it will never feel comfortable with you. You need to become the dog's trusted friend, not it's commander.

Build a trusting bond by going for long walks, by playing with toys, hand feeding, and sharing your space. Spend the first 24 hrs at her level and do what ever she wants to do. I even go so far as to put my sleeping bag on the floor and hang out there for the 1st 24 hours.

Once the bond is established, you can then become a "leader" and set rules and boundries.

I hope this helps, feel free to post or PM me any question you may have. We're all in this together!!!
- Michael -



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Old 11-16-2009, 07:08 PM   #3
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she knows us from going to my father in law's house frequently so we aren't strangers. the problem is with my hub and little girl. the dog listens to me for the most part and knows i'm not afraid of her. i don't care about getting bitten. i know she was beaten as a pup but my behaviorist said that dogs don't carry those type things with them like humans do. once they've established a stable relationship like she had with my father in law, they move on from that. she is snapping at my husband and daughter anytime i'm involved it seems. if he were to walk over to her and take her by the collar, she wouldn't bark. it's like she's owning me. everytime the agression comes out, it's when i'm there. when someone is reaching for me, over me or coming toward me. this has happened at her real home too. the gardener was mad at my father in law because he (the gardener) didn't show up for work, or call so we got someone else to come take care of the yard, he was getting in my face and we were at each other when princess came out and stood between us and backed him down. she should have eaten him lol! there have been other instances where she would growl at my father in law's house at my husband if he leaned down to kiss me or something. i think it's territorial and she's protecting me. i can't be 100% sure though. i know that i feel completely safe with her myself and that if someone broke into my house well, i wouldn't need a weapon to defend myself. i just don't know what else to do. the behaviorist discourages anything that would put me on the dogs level. she says we are supposed to assert ourselves as master from the beginning not as an equal and then master. i don't know lol!
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:54 PM   #4
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hi.

like betterdog4u i am not a trainer or behaviourist but have a whole load of experience with dogs of all sorts. in the main most dogs will sort themselves out when introduced into a pack without too much fuss...the dominant one will assert its authority and that will pretty much be that apart from the odd scuffle now and again. this seems to be fairly much what is happening in your case as the puppy is tolerated really well etc.

on the other hand the human hierachy is under question.

i would suggest muzzling the dog for everyones safety and doing some intense one on one work with her to establish your authority and then getting hubby to repeat the exercise so that he is established as number two in command.

not an easy situation but perseverance and repetition is essential in any training. remember the dog has just experienced a traumatic change of environment but even so....as we all know dogs live in the now....so she should have moved on by now...positive reinforcement and lots of praise for all the good things she does and ignore (as safely as you can) all the unwanted behaviour.

and NEVER, EVER, grab a dog's collar to move them....ALWAYS use a positive, gentle but assertive tone to get the dog "OFF" wherever they shouldnt be reinforced by a pointing finger.

if in doubt...get professional help before this situation worsens

best of luck with this..let us know how you go


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Old 11-16-2009, 09:34 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by pennycantu View Post
she knows us from going to my father in law's house frequently so we aren't strangers. the problem is with my hub and little girl. the dog listens to me for the most part and knows i'm not afraid of her. i don't care about getting bitten. i know she was beaten as a pup but my behaviorist said that dogs don't carry those type things with them like humans do. once they've established a stable relationship like she had with my father in law, they move on from that. she is snapping at my husband and daughter anytime i'm involved it seems. if he were to walk over to her and take her by the collar, she wouldn't bark. it's like she's owning me. everytime the agression comes out, it's when i'm there. when someone is reaching for me, over me or coming toward me. this has happened at her real home too. the gardener was mad at my father in law because he (the gardener) didn't show up for work, or call so we got someone else to come take care of the yard, he was getting in my face and we were at each other when princess came out and stood between us and backed him down. she should have eaten him lol! there have been other instances where she would growl at my father in law's house at my husband if he leaned down to kiss me or something. i think it's territorial and she's protecting me. i can't be 100% sure though. i know that i feel completely safe with her myself and that if someone broke into my house well, i wouldn't need a weapon to defend myself. i just don't know what else to do. the behaviorist discourages anything that would put me on the dogs level. she says we are supposed to assert ourselves as master from the beginning not as an equal and then master. i don't know lol!
If the dog is fine around you, and if it doesnt happen when you are out of the room then i would also say it's a case of resourse guarding.

In this case you need to have your husband and child become "equals" with you in the dog's eyes. With you present, (but off to the side) have them take control of the walk and do the feeding. Have them do some basic training with the dog too. This will raise the dog's respect level and show the dog that they are just as important as you are.

Next spend A LOT of time socializing her. With her on a leash, have 2-3 ppl she doensnt know (one at a time over the course of several days) approch her Step by Step walking backward or slightly sideways. If the dog reacts, have them stop or back away slightly until the dog calms. When it is calm, reward it. Then proceed. When they can finally stand beside you, have them squat down in front of her about 12" out of reach. Make sure that turn sideways and make sure they dont talk or give eye contact to the dog. When she approchs calmly, have them drop a treat next to them. In a short time they should be able to give her treats with no problems. Repeat this with as many ppl as you can find! When she does this correctly and stays calm, make sure you give her tons of praise so she knows what you want.

As for the "you shouldnt be seen as an equal" thing; I agree. You dont have to be an equal ... and you still need to show leadership, but great leaders also relate to thier followers and connect (bond) with them. This whole "You have to firm and controling every minute of the day so the dog doesnt take over" thing, went out in the 80's.

Example: MY dogs have always been my best friends FIRST. And in the past 35 years I have never had one dog second guess me or try to take over my house. They listen to me, obey my commands, and are more than willing to do what ever I ask of them. That's because we are friends, and thats what friends do. They trust me, respect me, and listen to me.

Dont get me wrong, I always show them strong and fair leadership. I set strick rules and boundries. They know what they are because I inforce them at ALL times. But they gladly follow them out of respect for me.
- Michael -



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Old 11-17-2009, 02:33 AM   #6
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As for the "you shouldnt be seen as an equal" thing; I agree. You dont have to be an equal ... and you still need to show leadership, but great leaders also relate to thier followers and connect (bond) with them. This whole "You have to firm and controling every minute of the day so the dog doesnt take over" thing, went out in the 80's.



this is hilarious because her wardrobe and hair looks like she's stuck in the 80's. it made me chuckle lol! i'm going to work on that socializing issue. hopefully someone who can devote more time to her can take her b/c my father in law won't get out of the hospital any time soon. I wish we could keep her but she has dominated my time and my 3 furbabies have no time except just here and there. Bella the newest needs my attention and i don't have the time to spend training her so she's kenneled inside and let out during the day. i want her to be a house dog but i haven't had the time to devote to her. it's sad really. i don't know how to own this many dogs.
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:48 AM   #7
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this is hilarious because her wardrobe and hair looks like she's stuck in the 80's. it made me chuckle lol! i'm going to work on that socializing issue. hopefully someone who can devote more time to her can take her b/c my father in law won't get out of the hospital any time soon. I wish we could keep her but she has dominated my time and my 3 furbabies have no time except just here and there. Bella the newest needs my attention and i don't have the time to spend training her so she's kenneled inside and let out during the day. i want her to be a house dog but i haven't had the time to devote to her. it's sad really. i don't know how to own this many dogs.
I applaud you for taking her on. I really think socializing and confidence building will help a ton. If you dont have the time, maybe you can find a rescue or a foster for her!
- Michael -



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Old 11-17-2009, 08:28 PM   #8
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We are actually trying to see if one of the other family members can take her. I hate to bounce her all over creation though. We can't be her permanent home. I don't know how people with mulitple dogs all in the house can do it.
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Old 12-09-2009, 08:36 PM   #9
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yikes..that's no good. glad no one got hurt too bad with any of these incidents...i think speaking with a trainer would be beneficial...good luck! and i hope she gets better and realized that she is not not allowed to bite her family.
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