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Suddenly biting at age four

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Mary-Louise, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. Mary-Louise

    Mary-Louise PetForums Newbie

    Jul 24, 2009
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    HELP! We have Frankie, a four year old rescused Redbone Coonhound who has just this year decided to start biting people. He has gotten the postman (not uncommon, I suppose), someone on a bicycle (not every bicycle excites him, so it's totally random), the window washer, and the man who mows the lawn. It will not be long before someone sues us. He is normally sweet, but when the doorbell rings, or a stranger enters the house, he does get into a bit of a frenzy. We have another dog who sometimes begins the process by barking at anything unusual, then Frankie comes to the rescue. First barking, then biting. Any suggestions? He is not the brightest dog, but is willing.
  2. bichonsrus

    bichonsrus PetForums Senior

    May 16, 2009
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    Oh bless he sounds really sweet, apart from the biting thing lol. I do find with my dogs, on there own they are totally different dogs, when all together they form an alliance lol, if one barks the others bark etc . You need to de sensatise (sorry i cant spell) the situation. When you see a situation that may arrise or has just arisen you need a distraction tecnique to break the cycle of search and destroy lol. Clicker training, dropping a bottle of stones to distract, lots of different ways, i use Ceaser Milan's tecnique of makeing a shhhoooosh noise very loud and quick, it works like a dream, but you must keep it up. Hope this is of some use, im sure there are lots of other suggestions that people will make on here too so keep checking back on this thread, good luck!
  3. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

    Nov 23, 2008
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    Hi. Welcome to the forum. I have had trouble with one of my dogs biting. Fortunately it has only been in the house, so it is easier to control.

    Dogs bite for a variety of reasons.

    1) Fear - in your case the dog has developed a fear of people
    2) It has become dominant and therefore is trying to protect itself/the home/it's pack (family) members

    If it is fear, then you need to ensure people give him space and ignore him so that it gives him access to see that people are not a threat (I can give more advice if this is the reason)

    However, I would suspect, that it is the latter of the two and he is being dominant and trying to protect or control the situation. The simple reason a dog gets dominant is because the pack leader (owner) is not providing enough leadership and therefore the dog feels the need to take over.

    Look at your house rules: does the dog do pretty much as he wants i.e goes on sofas/beds, demands fuss when he wants it, looks out of the window barking at strangers, is he under control on walks or does he lead the way? What is feeding time like, calm and under control?

    Dogs are pack animals and tend to stick together, so if one barks then the other will prob follow.

    I had this problem with one of my rescue's, Max. It started about 9 months after I got him and Lilly. I didn;t know much about dogs and they pretty much had the run of the house. Cut a long story short, if people entered the house they would get bitten. I consulted a behaviourist and it turned out that because I was not seen as the leader in my dogs eyes, Max had taken the position. I had all the signs I described above for dominance. I re-took this position and I have worked hard to maintain it.

    Obviously I am not there to see what you are like with your dogs and their reaction. You just have to be honest with yourself. Do your dogs see you as the boss or are you too much of a dog lover?

    Pending on the answer you give ref fear or dominance, depends on the advice I would give.

    Please note, I am not a professional, just a dog owner who has had loads of problems. A behaviourist should be consulted, but there are lots of things you can try along side that.

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