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Discussion Starter #1
I fostered a dog and have had him for about a month. He is generally a really good dog. For some reason while someone is petting him, he will randomly snip and growl at the person petting him, even though he went to them. Its difficult because he is a sweet looking dog so people are not expecting it. He even bites people randomly who he knows and has been around several times.

Any tips on how to break this habit? I am hoping it will just go away with time. But he is starting to get a bad reputation :/
 

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That's not just going to go away on its own. Contact the rescue. He needs a behaviorist. You certainly can't adopt out a dog that bites at random.
 

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I agree with Amaryllis, that is your first responsibility.

While you are waiting, you can try some intervening tactics:
1. Teach Bite Inhibition: see The sticky: The Bite Stops Here.
2. Use some socialization techniques and expose the dog to more people, with reduced petting interaction, except treats.
 

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Oh, okay. Sorry, i know some rescues and shelters will try to save dogs that bite, thus making the whole system look bad and dooming dogs like Kabota, so im a bit sensitive about it. Well, first, call a behaviorist. While you're waiting, don't let people pet the dog, no matter how the dog begs for it.

Um, you can try counter conditioning and desensitization, but biting makes me nervous, especially in a dog that's apparently been trained not to growl first. Just don't involve anyone you can't absolutely trust in it. Look up kikopup on YouTube.
 

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Also, we're sure this is biting and not playing or sharking? Kabota had obviously never played with a human before I got him, because he was had no bite inhibition. I'm sure his nips would be fine to another dog covered in fur, but it hurt my furless hands. Training bite inhibition in an adult dog isn't that hard. Kabota picked up that he got no treats if he sharked in about 5 minutes. Of course, he lives for food.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
He will not bite me (and he never has). I can tell in certain situations he gets very still and nervous if I pet him while he is eating, or chewing on a bone for example. If anyone else were to touch him while he is doing this he would growl and try to bite them. Sometimes when I play with him he will playfully soft bite my hand but there is never a growl associated with it. The weird thing is that he doesn't always lash out when people pet him. It seems like a protective/defensive type reaction when it does happen. He has drawn blood a couple of times...which makes me very uncomfortable and nervous as an owner because I never know what he will do with people he doesn't know. But I will look into a behaviorist, and will caution people to not pet him.
 

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I would try counter conditioning and desensitization, BAT as stated above!

As with all shelter dogs i would start from the beginig reguardles of there age. Start by associating all humans with good things here come a human treat. Let humans drop treats as they pass by. Then after time you feed constently with dog at your side while human is peting when there finished stop feeding "proper greeting training". Doall this in steps till your dog is comfortable around humans. Doing this for weeks should associate humans with gret things.

Also as stated above teach bite inhibition especially if you say he soft mouths you. Start at dogs hardest bit and scream yelp stop play or whatever triggered it and no attention, also over weeks bring down the bite to a sofftest bite by yelping at different levels ETC hardest,hard , soft then bring it to no teeth at all or leave it at sift so you can always remind dog to have a soft bite on human skin.

With food and bones "resource guarding" trade with something of greater value, add something of greater value to food bowl. drop it in or add it in depenfding on where dog is at with guarding.....

My advise is to pick up a few good reading materials and reaad about these things. because left alone your dog will get worse without a benevolent leader......Aslo look up NILIF "nothing in life is free" Please also start some obedience and let the dog work for everything that is good for the dog ETC...sit for food, sit for treats, sit to go outside.....

Hope this helps and makes sense...there is a lot you can do for this dog to buid a great bond with....By the way do you notice any emotion of fear in your dog at anytime? is he leash reactive "lunge or bark at humans dogs"?


PS:and please no harsh corrections they will not work it will only ruin or relationship and surpress the behavior not fix it........
 

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He will not bite me (and he never has). I can tell in certain situations he gets very still and nervous if I pet him while he is eating, or chewing on a bone for example. If anyone else were to touch him while he is doing this he would growl and try to bite them. .
It sounds like one of the things you need to work on is resource guarding too. A good book is "Mine" by Jean Donaldson
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the advice! I have tried the treat tactic/working for everything and it seems to be working. He seems much calmer around humans, but that could simply be him getting more used to his surroundings. Either way this was very helpful. Thank you. As far as bite inhibition goes, I don't think it will work because he doesn't bite hard enough to warrant any sort of yelling...it is a VERY soft chew when he does.
 

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Yes socializing and training is life long keep at it. if you see improvements already it'll only get better! Remember setbacks are just normal part of learning so if your dog regresses just keep going forward it's normal. With bite that's where you want it if it gets harder you yelp ,during the Years or if you yelp now on soft bite it'll teach no teeth on human. It's up to you I keep it at soft so I can always teach easier during dogs life !owners choice.

Great job good luck
 
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