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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
hi there, I'm maybe's older sis.
my sister adopted a chow mix like I did. her mother was in the rescue center but the father wasn't. apparently the guy who brought the dog had taken her from his friend who was abusing her and never knew the dog was pregnant.
anyway, my sister's dog looks like a lab/chow but mine looks greatly like a pit/chow.
but the real difference is the puppy's temperament.

this was my first puppy and the rescue center warned me that chows can be tough for first time owners.
my father convinced me that maybe since she's a mix, whatever else she was might balance things out and it might not be so hard to train her.
he wasn't exactly wrong, but not really right either. the dog never eliminates in the house, is perfectly fine in her kennel, and really has no separation problems.

I've had the pup for almost 3 months and she's like a completely different dog now.
at first her behavior was great. if she nipped too hard during play and you told her to stop, she would. she never bit when you took anything away from her. baths were easy, walks were exceptional, and she never barked out of aggression. she was well socialized and wonderful with strangers. we NEVER struck her or harmed her in any way. our training tools were treats, a normal collar, and a leash.

but something went wrong. she still doesn't eliminate in the house, still is good in her kennel... why is she so aggressive now? I take her on walks and she follows me biting the backs of my legs, usually drawing blood and when I tell her to stop and let go she won't. then when I try to get her to let go, she goes for my hands and arms. all while barking and growling.

she never used to be like this! and that's just one example. we can't take her around children because she has already bitten my niece. we can't even take her around other people and their dogs. one woman in our neighborhood was bitten while she was picking up her puppy when playtime got a little too rough.

my sister even told me, when we first got the dog, she would pet her and she would lick her hands and seemed to have a very good temperament. now she can't even pet her or play with her without her barking, growling and biting her. at first it was like play bites, but now its to the point where she holds on and draws blood. also when she tries to pet her when she's facing the other way, she barks and turns right around, greeting her with her teeth.

I just don't know what to do.
we've been in obedience classes and she did great. but now since we've started them again, she's been terrible.
we adopted her when she was 10 weeks old and she was the last of her litter left.

someone please help. I know people can train dogs to be great, but I'm not sure I'm up to the challenge here, and I don't want my dog to suffer because of my inability. it was foolish of me to let my dad convince me into doing this. I understand that. I really don't want criticism. what I want is some advice.
should I try to train her again? should I give her back to the shelter? should I have her put down?

I don't want to euthanize her. I really don't. I just want to find a way to fix this for HER so that SHE doesn't have to suffer.
I don't want another accident to happen.

also with the woman who was bitten, she luckily just wanted to see records of rabies vacinations and she just left it at that.
 

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I don't think breed has anything to do with this. If your implying that because your dog may have pit in her that that is the reason for her new aggression, you are mistaken.

This sounds like you need to contact a behaviorist.
 

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I'm not sure how old the pups are but it sounds as if you've reached the teenage stage of life when that sweet pup seems to turn into a monster who's forgotten anything it knew. This is normal. A behaviorist or trainer could help you as could a good obedience training class where you'll learn how to train your dog.

The dog needs to definitely be on a NILIF program along with daily obedience training. But, as already stated, this has nothing to do with the breed or breed mix.
 

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I'll have to politely disagree with skelaki, I don't think this is normal behaviour due to hitting a certain age. Lots of puppies can turn into headaches but that should be more minor stuff, not biting people and children. If you find your self pulling out papers to prove vaccinations so as to avoid further trouble from your dog biting people, your in hot water.

You do need the professional trainer that skelaki mentioned though, and your entire house will have to be commited to following through with the instructions of any program.
 

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I'll have to politely disagree with skelaki, I don't think this is normal behaviour due to hitting a certain age. Lots of puppies can turn into headaches but that should be more minor stuff, not biting people and children. If you find your self pulling out papers to prove vaccinations so as to avoid further trouble from your dog biting people, your in hot water.

Not being there to see the exact circumstances it's difficult to know whether this is "normal" behavior or not, which is why they need an on site professional evaluation. But what often occurs is that the owner thinks certain behaviors are cute in a puppy and allows or encourages those behaviors, which, when they escalate (as they often do) as the dog matures into the adolescent stage, caused unintended consequences. Just consider how many toy dogs end up being nasty little tyrants because of lack of leadership, training and discipline.

You do need the professional trainer that skelaki mentioned though, and your entire house will have to be commited to following through with the instructions of any program.
I agree, it's absolutely vital that everyone be on board.
One thing I did forget to mention is that the dog should be taken to the vet for a complete examination including blood sugar analysis and a complete 6-panel thyroid test just in case there might be a medical component to the problem.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
took her to the vet this morning.
there's nothing wrong with her health wise.

she reccomended giving up the puppy if we can't make the commitment to her.
and the breed thing was just a fact I was stating so you at least knew what she was. its not even remotely my main concern.

I'd be really sad to see her go, but even sadder to see her hurt more people and scare people.
 

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This sounds more like an attention getting method/wanting to play than aggression but, you need qualified help....either from your obedience instructor or a behaviorist (your instructor should be able to recommend someone) to evaluate exactly what's going on.

If it really is just wanting to play/grabbing attention....you might want to fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I talked to the vet again later (she had an appointment and we couldn't talk enough earlier) and she said it's a bad sign.
we've never had dogs before. I'm afraid that on my part I don't have what it takes to train this dog.
I'm pretty much constantly in tears over the issue.
my oldest sister is upset because she thinks I should keep the puppy no matter what.
I'm afraid I'd risk my sister never talking to me again if I gave the dog back to the shelter.
it's a no-kill shelter, so I'm not afraid of her being euthanized instead of being adopted.
my younger sister says I should do what's best for the dog... I just don't know! training would be best, but what if I'm just too scared to take control when she's in a real situation?
 

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a good swat on that sensitive nose and a firm NO won't hurt that puppy a bit! YOu can also get a fog horn and when he does it use the fog horn. 1 that will distract him and 2 he will not like the sound and everytime he bite he will hear that and associate the bitting as a negative because he won't want to hear that sound. Now people will be looking at you perhaps odd walking down the street tooting a fog horn, but it will work. Or you can also try a shock collar!
 

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a good swat on that sensitive nose and a firm NO won't hurt that puppy a bit!

Yes it will. Abusers always make the same stupid, irrational statements...s/he had it coming...s/he deserved it and "it didn't really hurt". This is not training....call it by it's proper name.
 

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Yes it will. Abusers always make the same stupid, irrational statements...s/he had it coming...s/he deserved it and "it didn't really hurt". This is not training....call it by it's proper name.
I am by far an animal abuser! That is YOUR oppinion, but I also believe a swat when necessary isn't going to hurt a thing. To call csomeone an abuser just cause I swat my dog ONLY when needed does NOT make me an animal abuser! I raise the big dogs that EVERYONE assumes are the ferocious dogs that should all not be here! Sorry but my animals are all spoiled rotten, eat better than myself, but if they are biting to cause damage to me or drawl blood, there needs to be a line that I will NOT allow them to cross
 

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The fact that the dog is drawing blood from the legs and then going after the arms and hands indicates something more serious to me. You say you've ruled out physical health issues. That basically leaves only behavioral issues. Without seeing the exact situation, it's difficulst to tell exactly what is going on. You definitely need to consult with a behaviorist though. Having a dog like this around is a huge liability.
 

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I strongly urge you to contact a qualified behaviorist before making any other decision about this puppy's future:

http://www.iaabc.org

http://www.animalbehavior.org

a good swat on that sensitive nose and a firm NO won't hurt that puppy a bit! YOu can also get a fog horn and when he does it use the fog horn. 1 that will distract him and 2 he will not like the sound and everytime he bite he will hear that and associate the bitting as a negative because he won't want to hear that sound. Now people will be looking at you perhaps odd walking down the street tooting a fog horn, but it will work. Or you can also try a shock collar!
This is truly dangerous advice. Attempting to fight aggression with aggression is really not a good idea. In an attempt to scare a dog into behaving, you may end up causing the dog to escalate it's aggression, or break down and become fearful and possibly more reactive towards it's owner and others.
 

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Do you even hear yourself? I only SWAT her when needed???? Same thing the guy says to the police? Geez!
 

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Do NOT swat the dog. You can escalate the aggression. Get a behaviorist.
 

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Do NOT swat the dog. You can escalate the aggression. Get a behaviorist.
I agree. i've seen someone swatting their dog, which only made him even more agressive. Swatting an agressive dog is like fighting back and wil only make the dog bite more.
 

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Yes, definitely get an evaluation from either a qualiified behaviorist (see pamperedpups links) or a trainer experienced in dealing with aggression (i.e. police k9 trainer or schutzhund trainer).

Did the vet do a full 6-panel thyroid test?

Don't give up yet! The fqct is that, if the dog is returned to the shelter labeled with aggression problems, it will most likey be put down even if it is a "no-kill" shelter. They could have hugh liability problems if they re-adopted the dog out or if it even bit someone at the shelter.
 

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if the dog doesn't have behavioural problems and is trying to nip at you what could be the cause then? my puppy is only 5 weeks (weaning him ourselves) and she is always biting my toes and growling at me when i walk by. i know she's just playing but she bit my mom the other day and it drew blood already! when she goes in for a kiss sometime she'll bite my chin and i don't know what to do other than say a firm "no". that or i yelp a little. i read in a puppy book i own that yelping when they bite you will make them understand they are hurting you.

i agree with those who suggest seeing a behaviourist. i hope you are able to keep her but you must do what is best for the dog, and that is seek help. good luck. :)
 

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if the dog doesn't have behavioural problems and is trying to nip at you what could be the cause then? my puppy is only 5 weeks (weaning him ourselves) and she is always biting my toes and growling at me when i walk by. i know she's just playing but she bit my mom the other day and it drew blood already! when she goes in for a kiss sometime she'll bite my chin and i don't know what to do other than say a firm "no". that or i yelp a little. i read in a puppy book i own that yelping when they bite you will make them understand they are hurting you.

i agree with those who suggest seeing a behaviourist. i hope you are able to keep her but you must do what is best for the dog, and that is seek help. good luck. :)
Puppies will try to bite because that's how they play. If the puppy is adopted too young (before 8-10 weeks old), they will not have learned bite inhibition (not biting hard enough to hurt). It is up to the owners to teach the puppy appropriate behavior.
 

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a good swat on that sensitive nose and a firm NO won't hurt that puppy a bit!
From my experience, physical discipline usually escalates the problem.. this is a small dog no?

If it is, the squirt gun method, connected with a calm yet strong verbal command might be in order... Never hurts to try it anyways. Either your dog will respond to it by immediately by backing down and stopping, or it may just not be effective with it.

i read in a puppy book i own that yelping when they bite you will make them understand they are hurting you.
This is completely true. A dog doesn't understand "no" or "stop" when they are biting you, but a socialized puppy know from playing with other dogs that a YELP means, "hey your being too rough".... A true yelp is needed from the owner, not an "ouch", or a "gah".
 
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