Help! My dog bites

Robbd001

New member
Joined
Dec 17, 2020
Hello I am writing for some help and advice. My dog died died over the summer at the age of 13 we her since she was a puppy. My youngest would cry often missing the dog. After a few months we got a new dog. He was a recuse and was 9 months old. He is a chihuahua/ Italian greyhound mix. He is adorable energetic and a lot of the time playful and sweet. He has learned many commands. We took him to 6 weeks of group training and he did well. He did bark a lot it’s gotten better. He also likes to take papers and shoes. As annoying as those things could be we have been able to work through them and the barking is getting better.
The big issue I am worried a out is about 4 weeks ago he started biting. He has bit me, my sons 18 and 22, my 9 year old daughter and then last week he bit my wife. Now she’s extra afraid of him. She won’t pet him. Etc.
I have tried to look at what could be causing it. Sometime he may have a snack or treat near. Other times it is out of nowhere. For example he is laying on the couch and someone sitting next to him tries to pet him and he snaps and bites. It is usually with no growling beforehand.
Sometimes someone is getting up from the couch and their hand goes near him and not on him and he bites.
When he bit my wife he was on a chair and she went next to him and he jumped up and bit her and drew blood. Yesterday my son was sitting next to him. The dog was curled up next to him but awake, my son went to pet him and he bit him and drew blood. He growled and cried afterwards.
Today I was working on computer on the couch he was next me I went to pet him and he bit me and then growled afterwards and cried.
He had been to the vet 4 times and is not sick. I’m not sure what to do. I feel very sad. My family is not enjoying having him and I don’t want everyone to be afraid to even interact with him. It’s like Jeckell and Hyde. He can be great but the biting often for no reason worries me.
I need help and advice what can I do?
 

linda2147

Active member
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Location
New Hampshire
put a muzzle on him. the dog is unstable and probably can never be trusted. Everytime he growls or snaps put the muzzle on him, he's not stupid and will associate the behavior with the punishment, punishment being muzzled. Good luck with that, he is a problem for sure
 

mechi2

Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2013
Location
Canada
What he needs is to be shown that he is at the bottom of the stack not the top. That means he does not sit where the family sits, no sofa, no chair, no bed. He should have his own place on the floor.
 

Tilly TV

New member
Joined
Jan 10, 2021
Early on Tilly had a similar issue. It would seem out of no where she would suddenly bite when someone just tried to pet her. I found out that she is easily startled. Her ears are her touch point. If she is sleeping and I accidently brush her ear, she will immediately awake and growl. So now when people come to pet her I tell them to avoid her ears and there are no problems. I think the short answers you are getting are not quite satisfying to me. You need to understand what is triggering the bite reaction. Sit down with the dog and try to get him to react. Try different things to see what triggers him. Once you understand (its up to you, your dog can't talk to you) what his triggers are, you can work on them. The biting is not random. Something triggers it and you need to figure it out. Then get the dogs attention and work on making him comfortable with the trigger by combining it with the things he likes. Plus make everyone in the family aware of what you are attempting and get them to come up with a family plan to overcome this situation. Don't put all the blame on the dog. Sometimes when a new behavior shows up, it can because by some traumatic happened to the dog. You may have not realized it at the time but did he get accidentally kicked, which hurt him. These can make rescue dogs be reminded of a similar bad thing that happened before you rescued them. Your report of a growl and crying, tells me that he was startled reacted and felt remorse. He is not doing it intentionally, he is not a bad dog, don't let anyone convince you of that.

When I first got Tilly she was always excited to go outside to pee, but never barked. Then one night we had a run in with a skunk in the driveway. Ever since then when she goes out after dark she started barking to warn of any scary animals. So I started to lead her around showed her things were safe and got a flashlight for our night excursions and she is barking less and not disturbing the neighbors in my apt.

A muzzle is a good idea while learning what the problem is. If your child all of a sudden just started acting out, would you put the blame on him/her? Of course not, your dog should get the same respect. This is has worked for me, I hope it helps.
 
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Tilly TV

New member
Joined
Jan 10, 2021
One other thing. As we all know, dogs are incredible empaths. If you are always walking around on pins and needles and worried about getting bit, your dog will pick that up. That it why it is important to get to the bottom of the issue as soon as possible, before that behavior get ingrained into you and your family.
 

mechi2

Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2013
Location
Canada
As much as we like to attach human attributes to dogs, dogs do not feel remorse. The problem described by the op indicates a dog acting like the leader of the pack and is trying to put everyone in their "place" when they "invade" its space. The way to deal with this is to teach the dog that he is not "top dog". This can be done by things like making him wait for permission before he can go eat and not letting him to be first such as in going out the door. Allowing dominant dogs to sit where you sit only re-enforces that they can "boss" you around.
 


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