GO!

SERIOUS question

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Sadie Bug

I'm too cute for- words
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 11, '08 7:53pm PST 
Hi all. This is Sadie Bug's Grammy here. We have a BIG problem at our house and we don't know what to do about it so I decided to ask you humans how you would advise us to handle this.

Sadie's mom, Maddie, is the sweetest little girl BUT she bites anyone who comes into our home. She will back up and growl and growl and then she very quickly sprints over to the person, nips them and retreats. Last weekend we were gone and had someone come to the house to sit with the dogs 24/7 while we were gone. It was someone the dogs know, who is here often and we thought Maddie would be fine with her because we had some alone time outside the house with her and Maddie prior to us leaving. BUT when she unlocked the front door and walked into the house Maddie grabbed hold of her leg and didn't let go; Brenda had to kick her off. Maddie left a big bruise on her leg with four bite marks (two were only surface, and two were puncture wounds).
Thank God Brenda is a good friend or she could cause us a lot of trouble and we might even have to have Maddie put down. We don't want to do that, but we don't know what to do.
When we have visitors we keep Maddie in the garage, but she barks the entire time anyone is here (she's got great hearing and as long as she can hear someone different she barks). We've also muzzled her, but I hate doing that so that's why we now put her in the garage.
Our vet says that Maddie bites out of fear; it's like she's saying "I'm gonna get you before you get me." but we still can't let her do it. HOW do we let her know that she's safe? Can anyone give us some advise on what to do? Please.
You can e-mail me at family_farm@embarqmail.com with any suggestions. THANK YOU.

Tammy
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Chipper

That's MR.- Momma's Boy to- you!
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 11, '08 7:58pm PST 
It sounds like you need to call in some professional help. With a biting dog, it is almost impossible to cure on-line. Can you find a behaviorist near you to come in and help you?
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Baloo RN CGN

Dog of all- trades
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 11, '08 8:02pm PST 
There are many others who have way more experience in rehabilitating biters, so I'll let them address that. I just wanted to let you know that Maddie should probably be spayed, as a dog with temperament issues really shouldn't be bred. wink
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Sadie Bug

I'm too cute for- words
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 11, '08 8:06pm PST 
Maddie was five months old when she came into heat the first time and we had her spay scheduled already for the following month BUT our cocker got to her one time for less than 10 minutes and that's how Sadie came to be.
Sadie is THE sweetest little puppy in the world. She wouldn't bite anyone. We also have Maddie's twin sister, Miley, who is also an amazingly sweet dog.
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Sadie Bug

I'm too cute for- words
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 11, '08 8:09pm PST 
Behavior therapists in our area?? I don't know of any. I do plan to phone a vet here in town who I especially respect to see IF he knows of anyone who might be able to help. Today I talked to a woman who supposedly does behavior therapy on dogs but she wants to do it at her house. We DO NOT have a problem with Maddie when we take her to public places. We can go to PetCo and put her in the cart and walk around till the sun goes down and she's absolutely fine with anyone who walks by and talks to her or pets her. It's only at our house where she weirds out.
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Chipper

That's MR.- Momma's Boy to- you!
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 11, '08 8:20pm PST 
P-mail my friend Asher. His mom has some good websites that list out certified behaviorists and you can search for some in your area.

Also, come join our group: DAA: Dogsters with Aggression, Anonymous. It is a very supportive group of Dogsters who are working through all kinds of aggression, reactivity and resource guarding.

If she is perfectly fine outside of the house, but has issues inside, I would think she could possibly be resource guarding. Pick up a copy of "The Culture Clash" and "Mine!" by Jean Donaldson while you are looking for a behaviorist. Both are great books.

Rehabilitating a dog is a lot of work, but it is worth every second. Chipper has taught me so much through our journey together. It is possible for you to live peacefully with both your dogs and "strangers" in your home. We will be here to support you through your journey if you choose to share it with us. hughughug
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Molly

Let's play!
 
 
Barked: Sat Oct 11, '08 8:27pm PST 
It sounds like it might be a combination of fear and territoriality. If she is fine outside the house and from your description it sounds like a fear biting issue. She sees someone invading her territory and does the fear biting thing to bluff them out.

Like said above this kind of rehab will take a professional and some time for her to get over this. If a behaviorist isn't available locally then you might want to look for a good trainer that has experience with aggressive dogs. A behaviorist is more knowledgeable (has a degree in animal behavior) but a good trainer can do the job also if they have a lot of experience with aggressive dogs.

Large pet store chain trainers are somewhat hit and miss. Some are very good and others aren't and still others I wouldn't let within a mile of a dog so get references and talk to the trainer at length before you commit to a lot of training. Also if you have doubts about a particular trainer follow your gut instinct and keep searching for one who you like.
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Trigger

*Blackdog*
 
 
Barked: Sun Oct 12, '08 8:59am PST 
I second the behaviorist idea, but wanted to add, if you do call your vet take what they say with a grain of salt. Most don't have the first clue when it comes to rehabbing a biter. Many will tell you the only option is euthanizing the dog for the safety of your family and the public because there is no way to fix a dog that's bitten someone. I hope your vet is not like that but in case they are, know that is absolutely NOT your only option.
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Dantes

I have my own- reasons.
 
 
Barked: Sun Oct 12, '08 10:33am PST 
I'd like to add that you should also rule out any medical reason!
It probably isn't, but it's better to know for sure!=))
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Leila

Little puppygirl
 
 
Barked: Sun Oct 12, '08 10:45am PST 
I would highly discourage asking your vet. Vet's are not educated about behavior. It's the same as you taking your kid to a pediatrician for psychological issues - you wouldn't.
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