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Recent Biting Behaviour


TessaHelen
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Hi Everyone,

My boyfriend and I are lost and need some advice.

Today Lunar bite me for real today, and it also included a friend visiting, so I am really shaken and troubled.

Background: I have only had obedient Labradors and Collies in my life, and I was brought up never to strike but just a Tap on the nose for bad behaviour. My boyfriend on the other hand does strike. Which has led to Lunar loves playing with him and behaves out of fear. Lunar loves me (she is my dog, I exercise her, cuddle her and I'm the one she runs to if scared or in pain) However, from an early age with all my wild camping, and trips away, it's a lot of just me and her time. And any visitors into our area she is cautious about, albeit our camping site or home. Normal discipline: if she does something naughty straight to her bed for time out.

Now let the story begin:

2 weeks ago she was having fun in the bath and I asked her to get out. She did not respond. I asked her again in my angry teacher voice. Nothing, went to pick her up and she growled and snarled. In the end I physically grabbed her out of bath. All done.

Last Friday cooking chips, one falls on floor, I went to pick it up and she bit me. Shocked, surprised I did hit her back, and as soon as I said bed she took herself there knowing full well she did wrong.

Today, friend came round to visit. Normal growling and resultant banishing from room. However, boyfriend gave her a bone just before he leaves. 1 hr into visit she comes in places bone on floor and lunges for my friend sitting at the table. I get up to shout no and hit her, she wets herself and leaps onto the sofa.

Needless to say, friend leaves. I ask her to come off the sofa, go to pick up bone and she snaps and growls at me. I try again, and this time she manages to bite me and refuses to get off.

Boyfriend comes home, gets her off physically, I say bed and off she goes, tail between her legs.

20 minutes later, I am writing this shaking from adrenaline and she is all over me for cuddles.

So, I need desperate advice: how do I make her accept visitors when it's just me and her? And what response should I give when she refuses to act and takes an aggressive approach?

Thanks,

Tessa

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Oh dear, this is not pleasant to read  :(

 

Firstly, never ever tap the dog on the nose (even gently ) and never ever hit the dog. This is about as opposite as possible to good training. All this will do is create a fearful and aggressive dog. Please stop it immediately.

 

I am going to suggest you get a trainer to help you with your dog. I am sure that people here will help you if you demonstrate a willingness to accept certain responsibilities in raising a dog.

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I thought as much, this is where 2 parents are parenting from a different hymn book.

My entire childhood and my previous dogs not once did I hit them. And never have with Lunar in all her 9 months, until these last 2 occasions, my bad reaction to a fearful situation.

It's the boyfriend I'm worried about, has his behaviour led to this situation? Can we still fix this?. After today he even agrees, that if I show him ways to stop her he will back off completely. Unfortunately his upbringing with animals is completely different to mine :-(

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Okay...

 

I see that your puppy is around 9 months of age (2 weeks ago you mentioned she was 7 months old?) The people around you need to understand that a husky is really like no other breed of dog, they do take quite a bit more training than the more biddable breeds like a Lab. 

 

I am a firm believer that positive reinforcement training is the only way to go. Please look up some info on this - Dr Ian Dunbar has some good info feely available but there are many other good resources.

 

Right now your dog is fearful, and  understandably, that fearfulness seems to be manifesting into some aggressive behaviours. I am not 100% sure it is outright aggression as many of the things that you have attempted to correct may not actually have been aggression but other responses based on fear, mouthing, not wanting to be picked up etc etc

 

For example, grabbing the chip that fell, would be 'resource guarding' this is a common behaviour that can be worked on, but I won't go into it right now. Please look up the term and you should get a lot of information.

 

The main piece of advice I am going to offer is; mightily reward good behaviour, for example, sit, drop, toileting outside. Even for just lying down being calm. Try and ignore (where possible) unwanted behaviours. 

 

Keep a light lead on her, and take to a time-out for bad behaviours, perhaps say "Uh uh time-out" in a firm but not shouting voice. Leave for perhaps 10 seconds in time out, bring her back out, if a repeated 'offence' happens, repeat the timeout for 20 seconds, etc etc. 

 

Please consider this; your dog is not trying to dominate you, she is still a baby and I would assume that you would never slap a baby in the face.

 

Your dog needs to learn what it is you want and it is up to you to show the way, this is difficult and takes time, dedication and great patience. Right now she has learnt fear from her living environment and soon she will learn to not show her fear by growling, and then you will have a dog that can strike out without warning and cause serious harm.

 

...and finally if you don't think the people around you can control the urges to slap the dog, then you must re-home her immediately. Please consider a good professional trainer/ behaviourist as they will not only help your dog but will also help you in the process.

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