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Re: biting masters

Posted by:  Marie Evans
Posted on:  November 06, 2001 at 20:45:43

In Reply to: biting masters
Posted by:  Elizabeth Southard
Posted on:  November 06, 2001 at 12:41:42


: Jackson is nearly seven years old. We got him when he was 8 weeks old from a reputable breeder. He was the pick of the litter, in fact. He is not neuterd now but he is sceduled to be neutered this week. 99% of the time he is a sheer joy. The other one percent is the real problem. He has bitten me and my husband numerous times, most recenty (my husband in April, me last week) we required medical attention. Last week while he was resting between my feet in the recliner watching TV, I started coughing, he raised up his head to look at me and I said "It's okay buddy" and reached to pet the back of his neck and he viciously bit my thumb (it's pretty bad). My husband and I scolded him and made him go outside for about 3 hours. We did not hit or beat him. He is an indoor/outdoor dog, has a fenced in yard, I take him for hikes 2-3 times per week and walk him every day. I know we have spoiled him, lavishing him with love and attention. However, his aggressive biting (which occurs without warning) when he is sitting with us and/or being petted, removing burrs from his fur or trying to apply any ointment, etc. is breaking my heart, I am afraid I cannot trust him not to bite a guest, other person, or us, etc. and I don't know what to do. We love him so much but I am afraid of him now, and I cannot put up with this vicious biting although I can't stand the thought of letting him go. How can I change this surprise attack sydrome?

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Hi Elizabeth,

The first thing I would do is to have your vet give Jackson a good check-up while he is in to be neutered. You want to rule out any type of physical problem that might be contributing to this behavior. Have your vet check for epilepsy. Sometimes it manifests itself in bizarre behavior like Jackson is displaying. Instead of seizures the dog bites instead.

After that and the neutering is done (it will take several months for the male hormones to dissipate) I would seriously think about signing yourself and Jackson into a reputable obedience school.

It is never too late to take a dog to school. I just brought a 5 year old terrier to basic obedience and he did great. It makes such a difference in your relationship with your dog.

You need to be able to give Jackson commands and he needs to know he must obey them and the best way to do that is school.

Your trainer should be able to help you with some of these issues. They will probably tell you to keep Jackson off the furniture until he can behave himself. It's called tough love. You don't have to be mean but you need to be firm.

Please look into the above suggestions.