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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Toby is only 10 weeks. he was found wandering the streets at about 5 or 6 weeks and we got him from the shelter 2 weeks ago. he can be a great dog, but he's getting very aggressive! He growls, pulls back his lips and even bites. he's already 18lbs so we're looking at dog that's going to be bigish. we have never had a dog with issues like this at all. he trys to bit when you leash him, get near his dish, take his toys, etc.

My biggest problem is my kids. I have 2 small children and he's already bitten each. and not like nibbles or playful bites thinking its play time. he's growled and bitten (left marks but no punctures). what should i do with this dog!? can we fix him? or should i take him to the shelter so he can find a family without kids who can handle him? I'm not use to giving up on animals and I'm so lost!

he doesn't eat until after us, he goes through dogs after everyone else, he backs down when you make eye contact... I don't get it!
 

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Toby is only 10 weeks. he was found wandering the streets at about 5 or 6 weeks and we got him from the shelter 2 weeks ago. he can be a great dog, but he's getting very aggressive! He growls, pulls back his lips and even bites. he's already 18lbs so we're looking at dog that's going to be bigish. we have never had a dog with issues like this at all. he trys to bit when you leash him, get near his dish, take his toys, etc.

My biggest problem is my kids. I have 2 small children and he's already bitten each. and not like nibbles or playful bites thinking its play time. he's growled and bitten (left marks but no punctures). what should i do with this dog!? can we fix him? or should i take him to the shelter so he can find a family without kids who can handle him? I'm not use to giving up on animals and I'm so lost!

he doesn't eat until after us, he goes through dogs after everyone else, he backs down when you make eye contact... I don't get it!
If he was found wandering the streets at 5/6 weeks old that may be a lot of his problems. Pups between birth and in the early days go through a lot of stages of Critical developement. He deffinately by the sounds of it hasnt had a good start and missed out on a lot of these critical stages.

I notice you say he backs down from eye contact, staring eyeballing etc is very unerving to a lot of dogs and is a way they threaten each other. I also notice that you say he growls and pulls faces a lot and he growls when you get near his food, take his toys and try to put a leash on him. It sounds possibly more that his behaviour is defensive and not classic agression everyone thinks of usually, its known as fear agression, dogs do it when they are stressed, anxious and afraid it can be a protective measure. They can also be actually taught to resource guard which is what he is likely doing. Out of fear his food toys an posessions are going to be taken, especially with his dubious start and lack of socialisation and proper upbringing. It can start in the litter when the weaker smaller pups may be bullied and pushed out at feeding time etc. Many people too think that diving in and taking toys away, standing over them when eating and removing food bowls will "teach" a dog to give up things, it can work the opposite, making them fearful it will be taken so in turn they learn to protect and guard their resources instead. Growling is a way of saying they are not comfortable with a situation, ignore that they will face pull, ignore that they will air snap, ignore that they will them go to nipping or biting out of uncertainty and fearfullness. Staring him down is likely seen as threatening and intimidating making him more anxious and stressed.

To explain a pups early developement these are stages where they learn things. They should be handled early on not long after birth for example. Canine socialisation is between 3/7 weeks when they learn from mum and littermates during this period ongoing handling should occur. Rough handling can have bad effects.

Attraction is 5/7 weeks, pups begin to notice other things and starts to form attractions to humans again rough and threatening sounds and gestures can ruin their prospective of people.

Human sociaisation is 7/12 weeks they start to form brain waves of an adult and have the capacity to process thoughts and experiences.

Fear impact is 8/11 weeks nature give them a pre-progammed fearfullness to stop them as they are still defenceless getting into situations they cant handle. Bad experiences can cause problems at this stage and give them negative associations. They go through another fear of the unknown period too between 6/14 months when sights sounds and situations freak them again but it passes after a while.

This may help you as regards to socialisation its called the Puppy Plan and at the end of the breeders early care givers section and the new owners section there is a download and socialisation plan.
The Puppy Plan

To retrain him from resource guarding his toys and food is usually best to make positive associations with you being around them and teach him to give them up willingly and stop him feeling he has to protect them.

When he has his food bowl, stand a good distance away that he doesnt growl or show any other signs of protecting the food from. It may be at the far end of the kitchen with you in/just outside the doorway. If he growls your too close so retreat to a distance he is comfortable with and doesnt growl. You then throw slowly and gently high value treats in his direction so they land by his bowl. Cheese, chicken, hotdogs, sausages, anything liver based ost dogs adore. Do this for a few sessions fro the safe distance, when he is happy with this, take a small step nearer and repeat that for a few sessions, when he is OK with that another small step nearer and so on. If he growls retreat to the distance he was previously OK with and then start again the next time. Eventually as he realises you about means more stuff not less and he doesnt have to protect his food from you, you should eventually be able to stand by his bowl and drop treats, and finally even hand feed him then put into his bowl the extra goodies. With any anxiety based behaviours you can only work at one pace his as he gains trust it will take as long as it takes, but with time and patience usually pays off.

Same when he has toys, start the same thing from a distance throwing treats he is confortable with getting nearer and nearer as he relaxes and isnt bothered over time. You need to start at first with toys that are lesser value to him, ones he likes but is not obsessive over, and use treats that are more rewarding and highly prized. Eventually you should be able to work up too, actually being there next to him, and offering a treat, as he drops the toy in favour of the treat, say drop as he is doing it and give the treat instead this will also gradually teach him the drop command.

With the lead he could well have never been on a lead, he may even have bad associations with one if he has been hit or threatened with one, some dont like the intitially feeling of having a lead on. Take it in stages put the lead on the floor, and encourage him to investigate and sniff at it, praising and giving treats when he does, when he is ok with that, pick it up and show it to him slowly and gently, if he sniffs it and comes up to investigate it, gentle praise and treats. Then work towards attaching the lead, use a short very lightweigh one at first indoors, praising and treating him as you attach it and he doesnt show any bad behaviour. Then just let him wander around with it praising and treating for calm behaviour when he is calm. Then hold the end of the lead, again praising him and treating for cal behaviour and when he doesnt react. Then try gently leading him with it, teaching him to get used to it around the house and garden, prasing and treating for not reacting and walking nicely on it. Then try walks outside.

I would also do 2/3 10/15 minute sessions a day in the garden training, using praise and treats when he gets it right, teaching him the basics of sit, wait, stay come etc. This will build his confidence and should make him realise that following commands is rewarding and make him more likely to want to do as asked. It should also develope a bond and trust. You can then later when he is not so possesive of toys add play to the sessions as well. Dont know how old the kids are but once he is calmer and non reactive and if it all goes according to plan and you have him trained they can be present or even take part in the training too. Ultimately the whole family needs to do the same things and have control. Once training has started you can use it in everyday like getting him to sit and wait if he wants anything or before you give him anything. I would also consider taking him to training and socialisation classes as well, when he is a little better in general.

Pups usually need periods of rest as well as activity, they can become hyper over excited and tired which is usually when unwanted behaviour will surface and they tend to get even more mouthy and nippy, Give him periods of wind down activity during the day, with things like chews and kongs and leave him to wind down and rest. If you are worried about him being posessive then maybe leave it for awhile until you see improvement with the training.

Youu need to teach the kids too that when he is in his area, he isnt to be bothered and left alone. Kids and dogs can also hype each other up which is another time when biting nipping over the top behaviour can happen. The kids need to be taught too that if he does growl then they just walk away and leave him while you are re-training and always tell you and deffinately dont get near him when eating and when he has toys and deffinately dont take them away.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
we tried with him for a little while longer, talked to the vet, the behaviorists at the shelter, all that. but he ended up biting my sons hand and causing it to bleed. then a few days later I brought him home from a walk and he was growling and trying to bite us for no apprent reason (kids were in bed thankfully). the very next day when i told him no and gently went to move him down from the table where he was stealing human food, he started snarling, growing, snapping and lunging. I had to hold the back of his collar so he couldn't go for my, or my daughters faces. I put him in his kennel because he would NOT calm down. I let him back out and 10 minuets after I let him back out he started again when I tried to take my daughters toy from him. seeing him lunge at my daughters face was the final straw. If i hadn't been right there to grab his collar... so sadly we had to say goodbye to Toby. they'll find him a home with no small children, and someone who's experienced with dealing with dogs with issues.
I feel so horrible for giving up on him, but I don't know what else I could have done! he seemed like the things we were doing were helping for a while, then it's like something snapped. I'm so sad he has to go through finding another home again, and I feel like I failed him, but It seemed just too risky to keep him with all this.

thank you for your pervious advice, I hope someone like you gets him, who can work with him and help him to be the amazing dog I know he can be.
 

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Toby is only 10 weeks. he was found wandering the streets at about 5 or 6 weeks and we got him from the shelter 2 weeks ago. he can be a great dog, but he's getting very aggressive! He growls, pulls back his lips and even bites. he's already 18lbs so we're looking at dog that's going to be bigish. we have never had a dog with issues like this at all. he trys to bit when you leash him, get near his dish, take his toys, etc.

My biggest problem is my kids. I have 2 small children and he's already bitten each. and not like nibbles or playful bites thinking its play time. he's growled and bitten (left marks but no punctures). what should i do with this dog!? can we fix him? or should i take him to the shelter so he can find a family without kids who can handle him? I'm not use to giving up on animals and I'm so lost!

he doesn't eat until after us, he goes through dogs after everyone else, he backs down when you make eye contact... I don't get it!
Does the shelter have a resident behaviourist who can help you?

I would advise seeking advice there first.

In the interim.

Here are some resources from reputable and qualified trainers and behaviourists on biting.

Here are some articles on this subject by qualified, reputable trainers and behaviourists

The Bite Stops Here by Dr Ian Dunbar

http://cleverdogcompany.com/tl_files/factsheets/Puppy biting.pdf

http://www.apbc.org.uk/system/files...t_1_Puppies_-_Mouthing_and_biting_low_res.pdf

Puppy Play Biting Leads to Marks on Hands and Arms | Animal Behavior and Medicine Blog | Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS

http://www.deesdogs.com/documents/teachingbiteinhibition.pdf

http://www.apdt.co.uk/documents/Playbiting_000.pdf

DVD
Your Clever Dog: Puppy biting, chewing and over-excitability with children
Sarah Whitehead
All puppies bite! They come with a set of needlesharp teeth that a shark would be proud of. This behaviour is perfectly normal, but needs to be prevented in order for the dog to become a calm and social member of the family.
This DVD is specially designed to show you exactly what you need to do to reduce and then stop your puppy from biting and mouthing using only kind and fair methods, and the secrets that top dog trainers know.
This DVD also covers the essentials for making sure that your ‘puppy chewing machine flexes his teeth on all the right things, and leaves your shoes, the kids’ toys and your furniture alone.

Sarah Whitehead also gives advice on puppies and children, and how to ensure they grow up happily together.
Including:
• Why biting is an integral part of your puppy’s development
• How to control your puppy’s biting
• How to keep kids safe with your puppy
• How to play with your puppy to help control biting
The pack contains: A clicker, tab handle, training manual, instructional DVD, 55 mins approx running time including Bonus trick, Bonus Training Session, Intro to Clicker Training, Q & A with Sarah

Dogtrain.co.uk

For resource guarding

http://www.apdt.co.uk/documents/Preventresouceguarding.pdf
http://www.deesdogs.com/documents/resourceguardingandfoodgame.pdf
Resource Guarding « Ahimsa Dog Blog
ClickerSolutions Training Articles -- Help for Object Guarding
Treatment of Food Aggression in Dogs is About Finesse, Not Force | Animal Behavior and Medicine Blog | Dr. Sophia Yin, DVM, MS
 

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:( sorry to read you had to give him up, but if it's of any comfort to you, I wouldn't have a dog that unpredictable in a house with children!

If eiither of my two go like that, as much as I'll hate it, they'll have to go, as my son's safety has to come first.

Please don't feel you have failed him. You have put your child's safety first, and to me, that is more important!
 
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