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Tonight I was bitten. It was bed time for the dog, a 3 year old beagle/hound mix. I've known him for just over a year and have taken over partial ownership about half way through last year. I was trying to get him up to take him out to the laundry room, which he knows is his sleeping area. I'm wary of him at nights when he gets dozy as he's had a bite at my girlfriend (ripped her upper nose) and had a go at my hand previously in two different night time events.

He didn't want to move, since he knew it was bed time but we got him off the couch after a minute of calling where he looked like he was just going to lie back down on the floor by it. I went for his collar and he growled, bared his teeth, then started snapping and agressively snarling when I started pulling him. I lost the plot a bit and pinned him against the wall before putting my weight down on him to submit him. Even then he still wouldn't come along easily.

I know I made the wrong call by getting physical with the dog. I just worry that although I can handle it okay, others can't and I just can't have a dog that bites when it doesn't want to do something and I also can't have him refusing to respond to commands because he knows he can bare his teeth and the problem human will go away.

He's a cool dog, relaxed a lot of the time. He's calmed down a lot in the last year, even started coming back when we call him off leash (under completely controlled circumstances, no distractions) when it's convenient. He really needs to be properly controlled though and that is what I'm going to do.

I've been doing a bit of research recently and have been booted into gear by his little go at me tonight. He's displaying a lot of the dominant dog traits at this site http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/articles/dominatebehaviorsdogs.htm
I think the best way to start this would be getting him to walk properly. I've been working on it recently by keeping him on a short leash with a choker chain and giving him quick tugs when he pulls on the lead but it really is tough being persistant. He certainly is.

Has anyone got any advice for dealing with temperamental dogs? He's a big boy, about 35kg or 78 pounds and muscly for that weight. I really don't want to tangle with him again, or worse, have him attack anyone else.

Thank you.
 

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Since I am an aversive trainer I'm not gonna give training advice but to hopefully help with bedtime program a 4 ft thin nylon cord with dog snap (leather they like to chew) and a Martingale collar adjusted properly so he cannot slip out of it (I don't like chokes, prefer Prong collars for regular training) this is just an in home device that you attach to dog and he drags it through home etc. You can make lead smaller if you want as it's just to give you a handle to take dog to laundry room or elsewhere in home to prevent hand bites etc. Reaching for a lead is much easier than reaching for a snarling dog's collar. Any hardware/farm supply store will sell different sized cords and dog snaps. Sometimes a dog will also chew at the nylon cord but not near as much as leather.
 

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The only aggressive dog I ever had was taken back to the guard dog training facility where I was purchasing it because it tried to bite ME! I cannot give any insight to this ... but I do not have much faith in the site you listed. If I were to pay attention to what that list says ... every one of my dogs are aggressive. Lol! :) I would IMO not pay attention to that article. This is the best advice I can currently give. :)

Someone more qualified to help with your questions will be along I am sure. Good Luck! :)
 

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First off, please ditch anything you've read off of dogbreedinfo.com. That site is a joke at best. Instead I would check out Dog Star Daily - http://www.dogstardaily.com and possibly pick up these books - Brenda Aloff's Aggression in Dogs, The Culture Clash by Jean Donaldson and The Other End of the Leash by Patricia McConnell. It sounds like you've answered a lot of your own questions. Don't get physical with the dog - it's obviously not working. Instead of forcing the dog to do what you want, why not try to get him to do it willingly. Have you tried looking for a trainer/behaviorist in your area? Getting someone in your home to see the behavior first hand is going to be your best bet at showing you how to properly change this behavior.
 

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I have a dog that was human aggressive. Let me tell you from first hand experience, correcting the dog physically, including with leash tugs is probably going to do more harm than good. It's when I stopped the corrections and alpha/dominant nonsense that my dog started to improve.

Your dog needs to learn boundaries and doing that in a non-confrontational way like wvasko suggested with the nylon cord drag lead is a great way to safely keep him off of the couch. Yes, I said KEEP him off the couch because it's a lot easier to prevent a situation where bad behavior can happen than to react when that situation arises. When he sees that snarling, growling, and biting isn't going to allow him where he wants to be, but it's also not going to turn you into a maniac that tries to kill him, he'll eventually realize that listening to you is what's best for him. Solidify this by giving him a great treat, something he usually doesn't get like cheese or meat when he finally stops trying to get on the couch without struggle (and it will happen, just be patient.)

I think a good trainer or behaviorist who has experience with resource guarding (which is essentially what he's doing.. guarding something that he feels he is entitled to) and aggression towards humans would be immensely helpful in breaking his bad habits. They can show you effective and gentle ways to teach the dog to obey you and have good manners like walking on the leash, polite greetings in the house, not going on furniture, etc. Good luck!
 

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Please get a behaviorist and stop reading dogbreedinfo. That dominance stuff is bunk. Outdated, unscientific, proven to be fantasy bunk. Please read something by Ian Dunbar instead.

Secondly, I wouldn't want to be near you, either. I know you're trying your best, but if coming when called earned me a body slam, I'd stay as far away from you as possible. Beagles and hounds in general have selective hearing. They obey when they want to and ignore when they don't. Aggression and violence won't help at all. Fortunately, beagles are highly food motivated. They love food, all food, all the time. This makes them perfect candidates for clicker training and other methods of positive reinforcement.

Don't ever push a growling dog. That's how you get bit. I don't blame the dog in this situation, you were asking to be bitten.

Definitely get a behaviorist, one that doesn't subscribe to dominance nonsense. They can help your dog, and more importantly, you.
 

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your dog needs to learn boundaries and doing that in a non-confrontational way like wvasko suggested with the nylon cord drag lead is a great way to safely keep him off of the couch. Yes, I said KEEP him off the couch because it's a lot easier to prevent a situation where bad behavior can happen than to react when that situation arises.
The nylon cord is for protection of owner and for protection of dog, sometimes when people get bit all reasoning/temper etc flies out the window and 1st reaction to action is to hurt what is hurting you. When used to get dog off couch it's not used as a correction device it's used as a tow truck winch, just slowly pulling dog off couch, no jerking etc. Sometimes I reply and don't go far enough cause I just think poster knows what I'm thinking when replying. The choke collar on a dog or a man would almost immediately cause a fight/flight reaction from either one. I guarantee if a person walks up to one of their friends and starts choking them bad things could happen so that action should be avoided. I'm just sayin'...
 

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Thank you for the replies, it is very helpful. I had no idea the information I was working under was wrong. There just seems to be so much out there that's wrong. I've also taken advice from pig dog handlers and farm dog owners since that's been a lot of my dog contact growing up.

@wvasko
I'll definitely look into those collars you're talking about. The Martingale one looks handy, since he tends to slip regular collars a bit when he digs his heels in. The prong collar does look more humane than the choke collars too. A few feet of nylon won't bother him too much dragging around either.
Yeah, I lost the plot when he attacked me, I'm not feeling great about it either.

@Abbylynn
I'm sorry to hear that. I thought that list was a little on the 'general nature of dogs' side too. I'm glad that's been debunked as false.

@BoxMeIn21
Thanks for the reading material, I've just had a poke around that site and it looks very informative. I'll try kerb the behaviour myself (properly) before I try a behaviourist just for money reasons but I'll definitely keep that option on the cards, thank you.

@Lindbert
I'll knock off all of the physical corrections and replace with rewarding good behaviour and I'll definitely try my best to keep him out of those situations.

@Amaryllis
Yes, my behaviour needs changing as much as the dogs. I do need to get some more appealing treats though. We actually have problems getting him to eat sometimes, he just won't. I don't think theres enough Beagle in him where that's concerned. I've got a pet shop visit planned so I'll look for something more meaty.
Yeah, in refection I don't know why I pushed him like I did. I was tired and sick of his stubbornness. I just wanted to go to bed and didn't bother with how he felt about it. Got a nice big swollen hand and maybe a broken bone somewhere in there to remind me now :p


Thanks for all the advice. I'm going to start reading and working with the dog and hopefully soon I'll have an obedient dog.
 

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My favorite dog is the 'growly' one. Growls if I rub her belly and Growls if I stop...

No doubt in my mind that she is telling me she loves me. :wave:
 

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Dogs are frustrating. That's true. They can work your last nerve. Just remember, though, a dog doesn't understand right from wrong, nor do they engage in bad behavior purposefully. So anytime you feel like you're past your last nerve, step away. Stop interacting with the dog and just take a minute to breathe. Don't come back to the dog until you're calm again.
 

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. I do need to get some more appealing treats though. We actually have problems getting him to eat sometimes, he just won't. I don't think theres enough Beagle in him where that's concerned. I've got a pet shop visit planned so I'll look for something more meaty.
Try these cheap and easy options...
Cut a hot dog lengthwise into 4 sections and then cut shortways into tiny pieces. Each treat should be the size of say, a pencil eraser

Take some leftover chicken or cook a plain chicken thigh and shred it. Dry on a cookie sheet at about 250 degrees until crispy. Store in a baggie in the fridge and it will last for a few weeks. Use a shred at a time.

I would not let him on the couch for now and I would practice calling him away from wherever he is and treating him when he comes to your call. Call him from different places so he will get the idea that even if he is comfortable that coming to you is better.

Never leave a chain or prong collar on when the dog is not being actively walked on a leash. A martingale collar (properly adjusted) can be left on like a regular collar.

Look for a good trainer that has experience with problem dogs (resource guarders, human aggression etc) as opposed to just a trainer that can teach an average puppy or dog the basic manners of life. Then get training.
 

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My first dog always got really aggressive whenever you approached his bed area :( I think he was resource guarding his bed, but particularly if he was tired and wanted to be left alone, he would growl and even try to bite. I would definitely try a positive approach - get an amazing treat that he would go NUTS for, and just keep working on recalls with him all around the house. When he's not that tired, take him to the bed, have him lie down, and then call him back to you and reward heavily when he does get up and goes to you. He needs to see that coming to you when called (even if it means getting off the bed) means he gets the awesome treat, and eventually will be able to go back to bed. Having a leash on at all times could help to get him off the furniture without endangering yourself, but be careful not to yank at it, or hurt him anyway with it, which can be easy when you're frustrated/angry. Just use it to reinforce your command, and then reward him heavily when he does get off the bed/off the couch, etc.

Do this for anything and everyone he lies on - couch, bed, sofa, chair, doorway, etc.

I hope this helps :( If it's getting worse, or the aggression remains, I would definitely call a professional to diagnose what's going on and provide a sound solution.
 

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To expand on what Chubby said, if your dog is resource guarding a spot, like a seat on the couch, get a treat he loves, walk by the spot just outside of the area he will growl in, and toss him some treats. Do that a couple times a day for a week. Try getting a little closer and tossing treats. This may take a while, but the point is to convince him that you being close to his spot is a good thing that leads to treats. Eventually, you want to get to the point where you can be right there in the spot with him without him feeling the need to warn you away.
 

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I agree that site linked is pretty much a joke.

Dogs are opportunists. Simply put the dog repeats this behavior because that behavior has been successful in the past. Doing what he does has gotten him what he wanted, a reward for that behavior in his mind, a positive outcome for him.

Anything you do that removes that success from the behavior will get rid of it really, though physical methods can work, they can also make it worse before it gets better (extinction burst) and/or get you bitten, or have the dog stop biting only you but still bite anyone else that tries to get him off the sofa.

You have to get the dog to the point that he no longer is conditioned to expect that behavior to result in success and a reward for him.

I think Chubby had the right idea, the key to me is to never ever allow that behavior to ever succeed again. If he never gains anything from the behavior, it will eventually stop. If he gets a great positive outcome for minding you, a treat, praise whatever, then that behavior will become conditioned instead.
 
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