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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there! I adopted a 5 year old hound mix (Rhodesian ridgeback/mountain cur) a few weeks ago. He is very sweet, loves attention, but almost demands attention by pawing and head nudging. The main issue though is that he occasionally nips my boyfriend. He does not growl or bite with any force. He also has lightly mouthed/nipped me when he wants something (attention/anxious about me leaving/food). The times he nips my boyfriend scare me though because he’ll ask him for attention, then turn and make a snapping noise with his mouth or lightly nip if my boyfriend pets him in certain ways or spots. One time he laid by my boyfriend’s feet, my boyfriend started petting him with his socked foot, and he nipped his foot. He also nipped when my boyfriend laid his hand on his paw. None of the times caused any pain but still. He doesn’t really do this to me (however I don’t pet him as playfully or pat/massage the way my boyfriend does which I have told him to stop doing). I don’t understand why he asks him for attention over and over, won’t move from him, but then does this. Seems if he didn’t like it he should just walk/back away or at least stop asking for attention? Or even growl? Is he playing in some weird way? I don’t want the behavior to escalate and my boyfriend is stubborn about doing things his way. He has never been bitten by a dog and I have. So the whole situation when they’re together has me on edge. His vet records are pretty alarming. He was rescued from a rural shelter, and I saw something about metal on his x-ray which I read could be a bullet remnant? He also is heartworm (getting treatment) positive and had a tapeworm when rescued. On the vet records it said he was tender on his stomach, and one time they “couldn’t get temperature due to temperament.” Was he aggressive with the vet? Kind of wish the shelter would have explained more of this to me. He’s almost so calm and has such a serious face (doesn’t pant a lot) that it’s hard to tell if he’s being playful or aggressive sometimes! He has never growled at a person or dog (except occasionally if he sees something suspicious out the window). He also is fine with my friends and family who come over/we visit, and with strangers we meet (though a little shy at first meeting). Any help would be appreciated. Sorry for the length :)
 

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Some dogs do nip or mouth asking for attention, or in play. It is inappropriate, but I wouldn't be surprised since this sounds like a dog who hasn't spent much time inside with a family.

I obviously can't see what's actually going on, but I too have a significant other who likes to "play rough" with the dog. The dog does not generally play this way with me, however. They will "wrestle", with the dog mouthing, boxing with his paws, growling, air snapping, barking, rolling around, and looking stupid, really. I know it's play and good fun for the dog because he keeps coming back for more, his body is loose and wiggly, he rolls over and shows his belly (mostly because he wants belly rubs), he might get excited and have a zoomie, and will grab a toy and offer it if he can find one close by. If you're not sure of your dog's body language, it might be best for you to consult a professional.

That being said, I would have a serious discussion with your boyfriend about his refusal to heed your wishes when it comes to your dog. He's not being stubborn, he's being inconsiderate, dismissive, and, quite frankly, a massive butthole.

Many dogs don't appreciate having their temp taken...and if he was already tender or in pain he likely did not appreciate the intrusion. The vet wisely decided to let this procedure go. If you feel vet visits may be stressful for your dog, it never hurts to muzzle train him. Look up the Muzzle Up project. This protects everybody...the dog from having a bite record, and the vet from getting bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the reply! Yeah I was a little frustrated when I wrote that lol. My boyfriend is a little more understanding when I explain things to him, but the only dogs he’s ever had have been golden retrievers from puppies who were all goofballs, very touch tolerant and didn’t care about anything. He’s never had a rescue and I have to explain we don’t know exactly what this dog has been through. I think he has the mindset that he needs to be alpha/pack leader by not always backing down because of nips, etc., which I’ve seen from other men in my life. He’s not used to dogs who need to be left alone when sleeping or they’ve just had enough. He means well, he’s just getting some education from me, as our family dog was a rescue with other issues (not that purebreds or Goldens don’t have issues!), and I’ve dealt with being attacked and know the body language better. My dog actually does really seem to like him but I feel like he knows I have a different relationship with this person than others because he gets more of my attention, we sit close, etc. and he sometimes seems either protective or jealous. All in all I’m very fortunate as I know things could be much worse! Hope the nipping/turning stops and the behavior of my boyfriend leading up to it! 🙄
 

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You know I've fostered a lot of puppies and rescues, and I mean 20 years of sometimes 20 dogs at a time LOL This was mainly because we had a quarantine area of the farm where I could keep dogs newly out of tshelters, till they were vetted and healthy. And I was often asked to go to sheltes and pick 10-20 dogs for a rescue. One thing I've noticed, is dogs will stop in shock if you give a high yip like they hurt you when they nip at you. Then, don't laugh, just get up and leave, or CALMLY crate them and walk away. If you do this each time they are too rough, they stop quickly. You don't have to be gone outside the room for long. A few minutes is long enough. If it's a puppy and not aggressive but too mouthy, I sometimes substitute a toy to chew on to teach them what is appropriate to chew. But if they hurt, I yip a high loud noise they never hear otherwise and walk out of the room. Then when you see them again, treat them calmly and normally., like nothing happened. Mother dogs do the same. You'll see a discipline growl, then they walk away. This is one reason we like pups to stay 8-10 weeks with the mother, because she teaches them correct behavior. But you can mimic it and get good results. Another good noise to learn with dogs is a loud "AAAT AAT" sound. I can have 8 dogs in a play group and one is getting too wound up and irritating another. If I give a strong "AAT", I swear the only dog that will look at me is the one causing the problem. It sure appears they KNOW they are behaving badly LMBO
 
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