|Barked: Mon Jun 4, '12 6:06pm PST |
|I second the behaviorist suggestion.
Also, while I know it's water under the bridge, said and done, etc, stories like yours are why I NEVER recommend "sending a dog away" or "board 'n' train" or whatever trainers call it when they take your dog for days or weeks and promise to bring him back a changed animal. Like previously mentioned, often the dog doesn't transfer their learning and respect to a person other than the trainer, but a far worse problem (in my eyes) is that the combo of no oversight (you're not there to see what they do to your dog) and pressure to produce visible results (in the form of a meek, obedient dog) lead to serious abuse.
I have heard of many dogs coming back from "training" very subdued and obedient due to the punishment inflicted on them. They're confused, don't know what they're doing wrong, afraid to put a paw wrong and therefore are very inhibited in behavior. This could look like a "mellow" dog to someone who doesn't know better. As time goes on, the inhibition wears off, but trust issues linger, leading to fear aggression. I would seriously, seriously, question the judgement of a trainer who recommended sending away an 11-week old puppy for excessive play-biting (I am assuming it was play-bites, not serious aggressive bites) because this is a very formative age for a puppy- what he learned then probably shaped his whole outlook after that. Maybe he learned that people are scary, and it turned him into a fear-biter, when he thinks he can get away with it (on small, weak people, like children.)
But some good news... (if you want to take it that way.) If it really was bad experiences that made him this way, he may be fixable if he has the right kind of NEW experiences to override them. Find a licensed veterinary behaviorist that includes you in the rehab process, and you may still be able to turn him around.
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