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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
When me and my husband first moved in together he asked about his dog coming to move in with us. I already had other animals in the home.

When she first moved in with us, she would not listen to me and even snapped at me when I tried to force her to do something. My husband yelled at her for snapping at me and she has never done it again. She listens very well to my husband and is very eager to please him. Over the three years that she has lived with us she has adjusted well to live with me and now listens to me. She has never again had another agressive incident towards me.

However, over the years we have noticed that she does not like strangers (expecially females) telling her what to do. She barked at my sister-in-law once for forcing her out of her lap. She did not really growl or snap at her but barked. I yelled at her and she jumped down and has been fine with my sister-in-law since. My sister-in-law has often watched her while we are on vacation and now listens to her.

She is an very affectionate and lovable dog for the most part. Like previously said she is eager to please her family members. She will often greet visitors to our house and shower them with affection and kisses. However, she is very territorial and if a stranger comes up in the yard depending on the situation she can be very intimidating. Once some strange men pulled in the driveway while I was home alone. She was outside and ran circles around their car and they were fearful to get out. I went outside to see what they wanted and they reported they wanted to know if they could cut my grass for money. The gentlemen made me nervous and I was very thankful that they were fearful of Lulu.

Our neighbors have come over to our house and brought in packages and the dog will bark at the door. However, once the neighbors say her name and come in she is always fine with them. Our neighbors son who was a late teenager use to come into our yard often and not speak to her. She would follow him barking at his heels. Once he pet her she was satisified and would go on about her business.

We decided since she was very protective and territorial that we would post beware of the dog signs on our doors and at the end of the driveway.

Additionally our neighbors have a male lab mix who visits daily and gets along wonderfully with our animals. She does well with other animals and never displays aggression.

Our neighbors have two children who come over frequently. The younger one often comes in the house unannounced and the dog of course goes running to the door barking. We asked her to knock so we could make sure the dog does not get alarmed she is coming in and we can assist her with coming in the house. Once she realizes it is our neighbor coming in she of couse is excited and loves all over her. Since the neigbor has a very docile lab mix at home she hovers over our dogs. We have never had any problems in all the times she has come over to our house.

However, yesterday our dog had just got back from the vet from being spayed and extremely drowsy and in pain. We asked the neighbor's daughter to not mess with her because she was sick and we refused to let the neighbor's go in to the house to play as we normally do. The neighbor stayed for a little while and then went home. This evening I was asleep on the couch and the neighbor came over again. According to my husband, she was playing with the dog's ears and he asked her to leave the dog alone. She continued and the dog growled, which is not normaly behavior for her and again told her to leave her alone. She continued and the dog snapped at her and nipped her face. She did not break the skin but left a bruise. My husband promptly took her home and explained to her parent's what happened. The parent's being dog owner's and knowing that dog had just been spayed were not angry. Her father said "well hopefully she learned a lesson". My husband said it was evident after the dog snapped and the neigbor started crying that she knew she had done something bad.

I am looking for suggestions on what we should do. I trully believe under normal circumstances she would have never bitten the neighbor but because she was in pain, that is what prompted this. I just want to make sure that something like this does not happen again. Any suggestions would be appreciated. We are also thinking about having children and am just concerned now since this incident occurred. I feel confident in knowing that if we had a child she would be protective of the child and not be agressive. I realize that all dog's have the potential to bite and that children must be taught how to interact with animals and be supervised with them.

Sorry it was so long but I just wanted to show the history of the dog.
 

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It was a perfectly normal reaction. The dog just got back from the vet, was spayed, probably in pain and still drowsy. That Kid was told not to mess with the dog, didn't listen, got warned by the dog and the dog nipped. Thankfully the parents of the kid have a bit more dog sense than others. I wouldn't worry too much about it.

What I would do is to enforce certain rules that they can't just come over like that. If they don't follow the rules, they must leave.
 

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I would start locking the door so the kids can't just 'come in' and you can monitor when they are in and around the dogs to supervise them. Just in case. It wouldn't be a bad idea to get a trainer in to work with you on how to work with the dogs and retrain some of their habits (mainly Lulu's nipping/fearfulness) but if you're good at managing things and can start keeping the doors locked it's likely just the dog was in pain.
 

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When Lulu first moved in with us, she would not listen to me and even snapped at me when I tried to force her to do something. My husband yelled at her for snapping at me and she has never done it again. She listens very well to my husband and is very eager to please him. Over the three years that Lulu has lived with us she has adjusted well to live with me and now listens to me. She has never again had another agressive incident towards me.

However, over the years we have noticed that she does not like strangers (expecially females) telling her what to do. She barked at my sister-in-law once for forcing her out of her lap. She did not really growl or snap at her but barked. I yelled at her and she jumped down and has been fine with my sister-in-law since. My sister-in-law has often watched her while we are on vacation and now listens to her.
This gives me a bit of a headache. What do you force her to do?
Yelling, Forcing... sounds like a compulsion based relationship. Maybe that is the reason why she doesn't like females since she associates bad things with females.
 

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Simple solution?

Lock the doors. Neighbor kids coming in unannounced? But, I realize everyone is different and perhaps such is the relationship with your neighbors or just how people are wherever you may live. In any case, you mentioned having asked her previously to begin knocking, so I'd say stressing that and perhaps making a point of it or even speaking to her parents about it would be the place to start.

That out of the way, given the situation, it's definitely not out of the norm. You're typically forwarned after such that the animal will be drowsy for so many hours, may be easily irritated, etc etc etc. Perhaps some work with a trainer or just some studying up on some ways to help, you could possibly work on her territorial ways to a degree. And again, as others have already said, be glad you have understanding neighbors because it definitely doesn't sound like an aggression-related incident by any means.
 

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I just want to make sure that something like this does not happen again.
Easy: TELL, don't ask, children ABSOLUTELY NOT to mess with her while she's recovering from a major surgery, likely still disoriented and groggy from anesthesia, and possibly in pain. To quote wvasko, this seems like a no-brainer. She deserves to recover in peace for crying out loud.
 

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Lock your door and supervise any interaction with kids. You/DH failed the dog by protecting her from the kid after surgery. She never should have been allowed to be close enough to the dog to even touch the ears, much less get bitten. It's time to be an adult and enforce rules/behavior of kids and visitors in your home.

And stop "forcing" the dog to do things. Train her instead...commands like "off", "Come" "sit" etc. Use positive training methods. Forcing a dog to do anything is asking to be bitten. The fact that you haven't been, attests to the dog's good nature.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
This gives me a bit of a headache. What do you force her to do?
Yelling, Forcing... sounds like a compulsion based relationship. Maybe that is the reason why she doesn't like females since she associates bad things with females.
First of all my animals are far from abused in anyway (verbally or physically). As a dog owner there are times you must get your dog to do things (go out, drop something they should not have, get down from furniture, not jump on people, ect.) Lulu was owned by my husband and taken care of by males her entire life prior to moving in with us. It is not that she has every had a negative experience with a female, she simply prior to moving in with us had never been around femaies. We use positive reinforcement and keep a stash of dog treats handy for that purpose.

As previously stated in my original message this is a dog who is eager to please her owner. She only needs to be spoken to firmly to get your point across. I am sorry if my choice of using the word "yell" led you to believe that she was not being treated appropriately. Furthermore, I was not the one who even said anything to her when she snapped at me. My husband came and addressed it since it was his dog and she listens to him. I simply walked away since she obviously did not want me messing with her. I walked away to prevent the dog from biting me.

As I have developed a relationship with Lulu, she is not at all fearful of me or anyone else. She is simply a dog, who although friendly, takes sometime to develop a relationship with people. When she first moved in when my husband was not home she would sit in the yard and wait for him staring at the driveway. Overtime she developed a relationship with me and now stays inside with me when he is not home. She waits for me to get home from work everyday.

I simply posted this seeking advice on how to prevent something like this from happening again.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thanks you to those who responded. I was extremely upset over the whole situation. Noone wants to see there dog bite someone. I was very nervous. Thank you for all the support.

I was asleep when this incident occurred. I really did not appreciate some of the comments with regards to being an "adult" and the ones placing blame. That is not why I posted this. I posted this to in an attempt to get positive feedback to insure that this would not happen again. As with all things that are posted it is difficult to put all the details in it. Our neighbors daughter does knock now. This was an accident that my husband attempt to resolve and things just happened fast.

I have been a dog owner for a longtime and I have never had something like this happen before. All the dogs I have had in my lifetime have been house broken, crate trained, know how to sit, and know what basic commands are.
 

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Your dog needs closer supervision. And when you yell at a dog for growling or barking, sometimes you stop the dog's behavior, but you can also leave a dog who has no warning signals that they are uncomfortable in a situation. Then they are left with no options other than a snap. A good trainer who uses positive motivation could help you understand her triggers. Then you could help her out of situations which overwhelm her. That said, I have a very well socialized and social dog. The only time she ever snapped at anyone was when I took her to work with me after she was spayed because I didn't want her at home alone. A co-worker's child came over to visit her. Alice air snapped at her. (did not make contact)I was shocked because it was so out of character for this dog. In November I was in the hospital with major surgery and anesthesia. And was out of my head for about three days.
 
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