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Biting owners

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by christopher lee, Sep 16, 2019.


  1. christopher lee

    christopher lee PetForums Newbie

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    Hi, we have rehomed a 3yrs old Romanian street dog, it's a border collie mix, he settled in very well and we've now had him 7 months, he has always mouthed alot during play but recently he has started biting us, he has bitten while having his paws dried after a walk, he's bitten while checking a sore he had on his back and also while being brushed and checked for fleas.
    He does bite to hurt and has drawn blood.
    I'm not sure what action to take as we have never had a dog that bites.
     
  2. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    He has probably been giving signals that he was unhappy with being handled which have been missed and he has escalated his behaviour, sadly.

    Does he growl before biting?

    Growling usually precedes a bite and is a form of communication that the dog is potentially close to biting if pushed.

    I can’t load it but google “ladder of aggression in dogs” - a useful chart showing the signals dogs give of being anxious/unhappy about certain things.

    Growl is number 11 and bite is 12 with lots of subtle signals beforehand, usually.

    Our responses to these signals usually dictate how the dog reacts. Correctly, and the the dog can learn to relax and tolerate, even be happy.

    Incorrectly, and it can exacerbate the issue.

    Street dogs have often had very negative associations with humans.

    I would suggest a vet referral to a good behaviourist (often covered by insurance) who uses positive, reward based methods who can assess the dog and how he is handled/reacts etc. and guide you through changing his perception/reaction.

    Also look at kikopup, positively.com and thecanineconsultants.co.uk for insight and tips, etc.
     
    lullabydream and kimthecat like this.
  3. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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  4. Lurcherlad

    Lurcherlad PetForums VIP

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    kimthecat likes this.
  5. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

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    o

    This. The growl is an important communication from your dog and should be respected.

    Dogs give a series of signals that they are unhappy, but unfortunately most people don't recognise them because they can be quite subtle. To begin with there is often wide eyes, lip licking and yawning. There is also muscular tension in the body. Then the ones we sometimes do see - growl, snarl, nip then bite. If the early signals are not seen (or, in the dog's view, ignored) he won't bother with them because us stupid humans pay no attention anyway; so he may go straight to the bite. So it's important never to ignore the early signals. As a friend says, she would rather be told verbally to sod off than be smacked in the face with no apparent warning. It's possible his warnings have not been heeded in his previous home and this is why he now bites so readily. For husbandry tasks, look on YouTube for the bucket game - it allows your dog to communicate with you that he has had enough.

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