My 7 year old is a nervous wreck and bites

This is a forum for bonding with your fellow Dogsters about the traits, quirks and idiosyncrasies of your favorite breed. Please remember that there are absolutely no animal sales or requests for studding or breeding allowed on our sites. All posts and interactions should be in the spirit of Dogster's Community Guidelines and should be fun, friendly and informational. Enjoy!


Member Since
Barked: Sun Oct 14, '12 9:16am PST 
Here's the situation. About three months ago I adopted a 7 year old rat terrier who had been rescued to a no kill shelter in NYC. She came from the ACC, New York's public (kill) shelter. She still had her death row collar on. My house is a shelter too (unofficial). There are 8 other dogs and 25 cats in the house, also lizards, amphibians, and rodents.
I knew that she would take time to calm down, but it appears that the time has made her dominant with the cats and terrified of the dogs (I really don't know what is troubling her). She has never been able to be collared, and can not be picked-up. Now she can't even be touched. I am afraid that she is miserable, scared, and getting very snappy. This morning she bit me hard and I have been bleeding, on and off, for about 4 hours. This indicates that the bite was deep.
More importantly, it indicates that she is deeply troubled. I know nothing of her history. If you touch her hindquarters you'll be bitten. She is getting trampled by the big dogs, but appears to want to play.
What can I do for her? Help!