He bit me and drew blood - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-12-2010, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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He bit me and drew blood

We've had the puppy for a few weeks, and he is still pretty young. Just FYI.

Today we were out shopping, so he was in his play pen. As soon as we got home I took him out for potty, as always, and brought him in the house. He was playing really rough with the kids and our other dog, so I thought it would be a good idea to get him involved with something a little more constructive, so we played tug of war with one of his rope toys. He was playing really nicely, so I got a treat and gave it to him, and I petted him and was going to tell him he's a good boy when he growled and snapped at me. Not playing, but aggressive. So I picked him up to put him in his pen and he bit me on my hand. It was hard enough to make it bleed pretty freely, and I ended up having to put a band aid on it. I still put him in his pen.

What do I do? He's never been aggressive before (well, not like this), in fact he's always been as sweet as pie. Lately he's getting more rough and tumble, and playing a bit rough with our older dog as well. What is the correct way to handle aggression? He is a sensitive little fellow, and seems to get sad when we tell him no, so I just put him in his playpen when he potties on the floor or behaves inappropriately. I feel like this is my fault somehow, like we must not be doing something right. He's really snatchy with treats, and when I give him one he kind of attacks to get it. I've gotten to where I just throw them on the ground for him.

He seems to have a very sweet, lovely personality, and I want to keep it that way. Any tips?
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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-12-2010, 01:59 PM
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Hi Matilda. When it comes to biting, I would always recommend getting a professional to come in. To try and analize things without being there ,is inappropriate. These things do not get better with time ,if they are not worked on. . Playing rough with anyone ,is not good. And there is nothing wrong with playing tug, so long as you have rules. But please take this seriously and get some help. Do not punish aggression, it only makes things worse.

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Last edited by davetgabby; 09-12-2010 at 02:04 PM.
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-12-2010, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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Even in a puppy so young? I'm at a loss, really. We have a 9 year old German Shepherd who never even growled at us, or the kids. We've had this little fellow for a few weeks, and I have my first dog bite. Is it possible he's just little and testing boundaries and got carried away?
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-12-2010, 02:09 PM
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I will give you my 2 cents but I'm sure there are others that will give you better training tips. When you got him out of the pen he probably needed to have a good run to work off some of the energy. Several times a day if you will toss a ball or play "I'm gonna catch you" and run toward him, then away, he will be more inclined to play once inside with a different energy level. A tired dog is a good dog.

I don't play tug of war as I think it can lead to aggression in some dogs. I think it's fine to play it with other dogs though. If you do play...never let him win...you are the boss. When Cicero tries to tug is when I teach the "drop it" and the second he lets go I say 'good boy'. He knows now if he tries to pull, my hand doesn't budge an inch and 'drop it' works as he wants me to toss the toy again.

I don't use the pen or crate for when he does something wrong because I want him to like those places. I ignore the bad - turn my back and walk away. I praise and act excited with everything he does good. Dogs will soon learn what gets them attention...or gets them ignored...and they will want to please. Unless you 'catch' him in the act of peeing, it does no good to scold him or put him in the pen - just ignore him and clean it up - and watch more closely or leash him to you.

I believe in the NILIF (Nothing in life is free) training. They should "sit" to get their food, water, treat, etc. Just stand still and hold his food bowl up and say "sit" one time. He may wiggle and jump around you, but be a tree, and he will finally sit down and look at you. The second he does, say "good boy" and put his bowl in front of him. He will learn quicker than you think, I believe. Then it will be easier with treats, toy, ect.

Hope this helps a little bit. Also, a puppy class at PetSmart would be a good thing to have someone work with you on basics.


Cicero trained Dale & Ronnie
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-12-2010, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matilda View Post
Even in a puppy so young? I'm at a loss, really. We have a 9 year old German Shepherd who never even growled at us, or the kids. We've had this little fellow for a few weeks, and I have my first dog bite. Is it possible he's just little and testing boundaries and got carried away?
Your other dog has no bearing on what this guy will be like. How old is he exactly. ? Dogs do not test boundaries, they act out of aggression for a reason. And the vast majority of aggression is fear based. Was he socialized with other dogs ie. puppy classes. The reason I ask ,is that the most important reason for puppy classes,is to teach bite inhibition.http://www.dogstardaily.com/training...ite-inhibition Don't worry about him playing aggressive with your GSD. I'm sure it will be a learning lesson for him ,if he gets inappropriate with him.

Dave and Molly
Ian Dunbar was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from I.P.D.T.A. Here's a picture of me accepting the award on his behalf.
Member of IAABC ,International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants , Member of Pet Professional Guild

Last edited by davetgabby; 09-12-2010 at 05:07 PM.
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-12-2010, 02:16 PM
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I'm not sure what the correct way to handle it is, but as you say you have children in your house I would take this very, VERY seriously. Call a professional ASAP. An aggressive dog, even a small one, is nothing to mess around with.
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-12-2010, 02:22 PM
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This sounds to me it may be protecting his food/treat type of aggression, if this all happened over the treat, if you were petting him while he was eating and he reacted to you touching him by growling/snapping to protect his food, that is not too terribly uncommon with puppies to try to protect their food.

I do think that it isn't a good idea to play aggressively with puppies, of course they love it, but accidents can happen, like him biting one of the kids on accident while he's trying to bite to toy.

I agree with Dave that you may want to consider some trainer help with the food aggression. When Gucci was a puppy, I would often go pet her and touch her while she was eating so she learned to trust me, but if he is already biting you, you may want some guidance on how to do this without anyone else getting bit.

You have to stop this aggression/food thing as quick as you can, he is still just a baby and I"m sure it can be done. Hopefully, you'll get some great ideas and tactics together to train him to not be so overly protective of the food/treats.

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-12-2010, 02:22 PM
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Hi Matilda, here is a good article by Nichole Wilde on aggression. http://www.dogstardaily.com/blogs/ge...rip-aggression

Dave and Molly
Ian Dunbar was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from I.P.D.T.A. Here's a picture of me accepting the award on his behalf.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-12-2010, 02:34 PM
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Here are some threads that might be of help to read, there are more too if you want to go search in the 'tips and training' section, here's a few of them:



http://www.havaneseforum.com/showthr...=growling+food

http://www.havaneseforum.com/showthr...=growling+food

http://www.havaneseforum.com/showthr...=growling+food

Kara
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 09-12-2010, 05:46 PM
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Snarky dogs and food.... I am a failure there. Nessie is meeting with a trainer tomorrow. She is my 3 yr. old Aussie.

There has always been a little bit of guarding issues with food. But I thought I solved it. Making her wait, handfeeding, etc. I avoided situations which would cause the scary snark attack. People food is a HUGE trigger. One nibble and her brain is gone. Big family gatherings uspet her sense of order - so I give her plenty of quiet time away from the crowd.

Nessie is very submissive. Shows belly to everybody - people or dogs. We were at the park and she went snarky on a porteguese water dog TWICE. warning growls, lunging, foam flying. Two weeks later, Nessie did it again to a yellow lab at the vet's office. What the h*ck!!? I am at a loss. Did she feel threatened? Scared? What? At home, whenever she snarked-out, she ran for her bed and laid there until the foul mood passed and we acknowledged her. But this is different!

We are doing a private lesson with the trainer. She told me to bring everything that I thought is a trigger. I need the training so I know what to do. Right now, my reaction is total mortification. What did I do to make her evil?

Well, If you want, I will tell you what the trainer says to me tomorrow but I suggest you meet with a trainer. My trainer offered me the option of meeting her at the training place or she would come to my home. Since Nessie wigged outside the home with strange dogs, I am going there. You may want a trainer to come to your house and watch the family interaction.

TTFN,
Pam

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