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a little history - me and my wife have a small male Silky Terrier who ever since very young age showed signs of dominance aggression. he had bit my wife quite a few times ( me-never he knows I'm the Alpha dog ), not really hard but broke skin at least twice. we fixed him and sent him to obedience school and they did a remarkable job training him and us, so after the school( it was in 2007) we had just a few incidents, nothing serious, some growling and the likes, and ZERO problems from February of 2008 until last week.
so here is the situation - for the last few days before the day in question we were using a new brand of mouth wash-it has very strong mint scent. my wife noticed that when she asks the dog for a good night kiss ( lick on the face ) he turns around and even walks away. so that day I'm on the couch, watching TV and the dog is laying by my feet, just a perfect family:) my wife comes out of the bathroom, she had her teeth brushed and mouth washed. she comes towards us and asks the dog for a kiss, she bends all over him for that kiss, but the dog just walked away, no problems here. so my wife sits right next to me on the couch and we cuddle. 2 seconds later the dog jumps on the couch ( he does that sometimes , just comes to lick our faces and be a part of the pack) and brutally attacks my wife right for the mouth!!! he bit her twice on the lips and when we tried to put him away he bit her finger and didn't let go, just brutally chewed on it like 5 times......and when i say a brutal attack, i mean a real brutal - all out, do or die, take no prisoners attack....

CAN ANYBODY EXPLAIN WHY DID IT HAPPEN????was he trying to protect me, his top dog , from that horrible stink called mouth wash????? I'm not sure that this is the case, the trainer that worked with him has no explanation either....so if you have any idea, please share. he is on a very strict obedience regime - dog crate, walks, sit ,lay ,down , lay 24/7 and the only reason he is till with us is we love him so much and want to give him one more chance. but we need to figure out the reason for that attack.
 

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It could have something to do with a new, unfamiliar scent but it sounds to me as if the dog has absolutely no respect for your wife and considers her beneath him in your family "pack."

I would do at least the following:

1. Consult with a professional trainer or behaviorist who is experienced in dealing with aggression (get references).

2. On the off chance that there's an underlying medical condition contributing to the problem, I'd have a complete vet exam done including bloodwork particularly for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and a full 6-panel thyroid test. These are not done unless requested.

3. I'd put him on a strict NILIF (nothing in life is free) program (see sticky or Google "alpha dog boot camp" without the quotes).

4. If I was your wife I'd be working with him daily on obedience training to build the bond and also to help establish her leadership.

If you are willing to set and consistently enforce some rules and are willing to put in the time, this is in all probability fixable. But no more spoiling the dog (I know you have, Silkies are just so cute, most people do spoil them). He may be small, but he's all terrier.
 

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It could have something to do with a new, unfamiliar scent but it sounds to me as if the dog has absolutely no respect for your wife and considers her beneath him in your family "pack."

I would do at least the following:

1. Consult with a professional trainer or behaviorist who is experienced in dealing with aggression (get references).

2. On the off chance that there's an underlying medical condition contributing to the problem, I'd have a complete vet exam done including bloodwork particularly for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and a full 6-panel thyroid test. These are not done unless requested.

3. I'd put him on a strict NILIF (nothing in life is free) program (see sticky or Google "alpha dog boot camp" without the quotes).

4. If I was your wife I'd be working with him daily on obedience training to build the bond and also to help establish her leadership.

If you are willing to set and consistently enforce some rules and are willing to put in the time, this is in all probability fixable. But no more spoiling the dog (I know you have, Silkies are just so cute, most people do spoil them). He may be small, but he's all terrier.
Good post
Just 1 addition, lay off the kissy face stuff and if you really think there's a chance of mouthwash problems you try her mouthwash and she switches to different brand. I doubt that's problem but strange things happen. I prefer the "dog gets me once dog's stupid, dog gets me twice I'm stupid" no kissy face.
 

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Sounds like there's something in this mouthwash that he really doesn't like. Remember that their noses are incredibly more powerful than ours. Personally, I'd stop using the mouth wash.
 

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Face bites are kill bites.

I am sorry, but if this were my dog, it would be euth'd immediately.

Also, FWIW, it is foolish to initiate kissy face contact with almost any dog, but a dog who has bitten before and has D/A issues is just really not the thing to do.

I am so sorry your wife was injured, and I hope she is feeling better soon.
 

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Face bites are kill bites.

I am sorry, but if this were my dog, it would be euth'd immediately.

Also, FWIW, it is foolish to initiate kissy face contact with almost any dog, but a dog who has bitten before and has D/A issues is just really not the thing to do.

I am so sorry your wife was injured, and I hope she is feeling better soon.
What is a Kill bite?....do you mean the dog was out to kill...or that if a dog bite a persons face its time to kill the dog?
 

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face bites are kill bites.

I am sorry, but if this were my dog, it would be euth'd immediately.

Also, fwiw, it is foolish to initiate kissy face contact with almost any dog, but a dog who has bitten before and has d/a issues is just really not the thing to do.

I am so sorry your wife was injured, and i hope she is feeling better soon.

ditto!!!!!


I mean honestly, if a dog has a history of aggression OF ANY KIND and steps have been taken to to remediate and haven't worked (thye haven't or the dog wouldn't have bitten again) honestly it sounds more to me like dog shut down for a period of time and has now exploded, this happens, the dog is DANGEROUS no matter the breed. Seriously, ask yourself what you would have done if dog had been say 50 lbs (the size of the average Bully breed) or larger.


 

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It sounds to me like there is alot going on here.

1. Consult with a professional trainer or behaviorist who is experienced in dealing with aggression (get references).
If you were going to keep the dog, this is what I would do right this second! This situation needs to be evaluated by a professional that knows what they are doing.

Face bites are kill bites.
I took this as a dog that bites in the face is intending to kill what it's biting. I could be very wrong, but that is how I took it. If this were a dog in my house, I would have it put down also.
 

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I have to agree with Redyre and Carla--there are far too many non-aggressive dogs in the world who do not have homes to put up with that kind of aggression for long. With all due respect to the people who have discussed retraining and NILIF and the rest of it, in my opinion the time for those things has passed. Dogs typically escalate behavior; rarely do they back off. Now that the dog has bitten the woman's face and has gotten away with it, there is no telling when the behavior will be repeated or if it will become worse.

The OP has known from puppyhood that this dog was aggressive. A behaviorist probably would have been a better choice than an obedience trainer, but at least he and his wife recognized a problem and tried to deal with it. Unfortunately, in the desire to believe that everything was fixed, the OP and his wife missed some cues ("some growling and the likes") and the behavior was allowed to continue and to escalate.

My advice, sad to say, would be to put the dog down. Terriers are already high prey drive dogs; now that the OP's wife has been added to the list of acceptable prey, I don't think I'd trust that dog with her again.
 

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I agree, if this was my dog, he's be put down.

That dog's issues should have been dealt with a long time ago by a BEHAVIORIST not a trainer. A Behaviorist specializes in changed a dogs behavior and figuring out what and why it does what it does. A trainer TRAINS a dog tricks. http://www.animalbehavior.org/ABSAppliedBehavior/caab-directory There are more then just this list. If you list your state, I might be able to find one locally for you. They are EXPENSIVE. I was lucky and found one for my dog for only $100 a session. Most of them are $300 to $600 a session BUT by the time they leave you KNOW what the issue is, if not they normally come back free.

A complete work up as suggested by skelaki is also a MUST. There might be something medically wrong.

Personally though. Any dog that attacked my family (I agree attacking the face is big business) would be put down.
 

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I personally would not be so quick to euthanize without an assessment, both physically and behaviourally of the dog by a veterinary behaviourist, someone who can look at the test results and the behaviour as a whole. Full blood workup, training history (including methods used), and a full behaviour history are needed to determine the "Why".

I'm not saying that euth is not an option if it is determined that there is nothing physically wrong or that the problem cannot be modified, but I think that determining if you are dealing with an issue that CAN be worked with through medical or beh. mod. and you are willing to try it, you should.

I think your instincts that the mouthwash has something to do with it are probably correct, but the attack is STILL not acceptable. I do find it strange that you have had no incidents since over a year ago and suddenly a full out attack. This sounds medical to me, possibly seizure based...smells, sounds, lights etc can cause seizures and seizures can be varied in their symptoms..they are not always the typical activity that we imagine with epilepsy...Rage syndrome in dogs is also thought to be seizure based and in many cases, treating with anticonvulsant medication can resolve the behaviour.

I am so sorry your wife had to experience this. I hope she will be alright. Whatever you decide, you have my support.
 

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Cracker, the attack did not come out of nowhere. The dog has growled, among other things, for a year. These things were all cues that something was wrong, but the owners missed those cues. I wouldn't be surprised to learn if the other things--other than growling--were giving the wife a hard eye, lifted lips, and marking behavior.

If the owners wish to spend the money looking for a physical reason upon which to hang the bite, that's fine with me. Personally, I think that the money would be better spent going into a new pet (one that wasn't a terrier, maybe). The dog has had aggression from puppyhood, so I doubt that all the physical tests in the world would reveal anything new.
 

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It sounds to me like there is alot going on here.



I took this as a dog that bites in the face is intending to kill what it's biting. I could be very wrong, but that is how I took it. If this were a dog in my house, I would have it put down also.
I have to disagree then .....IMO a face bite is not always an indication the dog is intending to kill.....A lot of face bites happen because that is the closest part of the body....(not saying that is what happened in this case.)

I don't feel qualified to give advice on whether or not to put down this dog....but I would be very concerned and would not want this dog in my home.....Drastic action is definitely needed ASAP
 

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What I mean is when a dog bites the face or the head area, it intends to take out its victim. It is a dog who is intending to do grievous harm.

Cracker, then I suggest you contact the OP immediately and go get the dog.

I for one would not have this dog in my home. He has a predictable pattern of dominant aggressive behavior with the wife, including not just this one vicious attack, but numerous others previously.

I stand by my statement. This dog would not have seen another sunrise if he belonged to me.
 

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A face bite is a kill bite??? Hold on, let me stop laughing for a minute to respond.

It would be pretty stupid for any predator to intentionally go after the bitey portion of any prey or animal it's intending to engage in a fight. The throat and belly, sure...those are the areas they tend to go after b/c they are vulnerable areas if intending to cause serious harm or death. Going after the mouth or head of another animal is an invitation to be bitten in return. Makes no sense.

Y'all are awfully quick to want to kill this dog based on one person's version of what happened. Yikes. Based solely on the first post, this sounds like a dog who needs owners who are better leaders and better at setting boundaries....and evaluating dog behavior. They may not be willing to do it and to rehome a dog with this unfortunate bite history would be pretty difficult, so euth'ing the dog may be their only option. Sad to say. If it were my dog and there were no organic reason for aggression, I'd fix the dog rather than kill it and put the responsibility for the dog's behavior where it lies...with me. The person who raised and trained the dog.
 

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and ZERO problems from February of 2008 until last week.
This latest attack was after more than a year of "no issues". I'm not saying his history is perfect, nor am I saying it's fixable. I just know that "I" would want to know, before the final solution, that I am not dealing with a physical issue.

so if you have any idea, please share. he is on a very strict obedience regime - dog crate, walks, sit ,lay ,down , lay 24/7 and the only reason he is till with us is we love him so much and want to give him one more chance. but we need to figure out the reason for that attack.
Redyre..I was simply doing as the OP requested and giving suggestions. There is no need to growl at me. I understand your opinion and simply offered my own. The OP can determine what works or doesn't for this situation, and I support whatever decision the OP makes, the same as I would if you were asking the same question.
 

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I really don't have any ideas why, but this sounds like something that's been building for a while. For my own peace of mind I would have a vet work up done, and if nothing was found I would euthanize the dog. There is always the option of a veterinary behaviorist, but I'm not sure I could invest that much, financially and emotionally, in a dog that had already viciously attacked me.

I really don't have any ideas why, but this sounds like something that's been building for a while. For my own peace of mind I would have a vet work up done, and if nothing was found I would euthanize the dog. There is always the option of a veterinary behaviorist, but I'm not sure I could invest that much, financially and emotionally, in a dog that had already viciously attacked me or a family member.
 

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First thing I would do is a complete vet work up, blood work for thyroid, a full tick panel, check kidney and liver function. Then I would make decisions from there.
 

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All this talk of killing this dog is really putting me off in this specific situation. I just joined recently but I have had a few dogs given to be because they had total control over their owners, but spent the rest of their lives with me (a very strong dominant person) in total peace and harmony without incident. With work mind you. Lots of work. My biggest challenged is really my new beagle who is the opposite. lol

My personal answer would be the dog is evaluated by professionals, again to rule out anything like a medical problem etc, the WIFE and dog go through obedience, the WIFE is in total control of the dog including his food, water, and life. Take this dog out and tire it out every single day. Your wife should provide super long daily exercise and mentally engaging games. Stop with the high pitched kissy face since this dog is known to have problems. Stop allowing this dog to jump on your couch and lick your face. It's not showing love, it's showing you who is the boss IMHO. If dog is still aggressive, then I mean sure you can look at the fact it may need to be put down or moved. (My own dog experience is with one rott, german shepherds, many jack russells, and I am now into my first adventure with a Beagle! My grandmother has always had rescued strayed pits, and a few pit mutts who I grew up around since I lived with her...ain't no dog telling THAT Italian lady what to do LOL)

Sorry, no personal offense to anyone at ALL. OP can take advice as he picks and chooses so I just wanted to offer up my own thoughts. I am also not a bleeding heart and know when its time to put animals down.
 
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