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Re: biting at roomate

Posted by:  Marie Evans
Posted on:  November 13, 2002 at 14:58:50

In Reply to: biting at roomate
Category:   Behavior Problems
Posted by:  Amy
Posted on:  November 12, 2002 at 12:23:45

Question:

: I have a 7 month old male JRT named Wylie who my future husband and I are training ourselves. He is doing very well and when strangers are around he is slowly but surely learning to behave and listens to us. However, he will not listen to our commands when my roomate is in the room. He jumps on her, nips at her, and her room is the only place in the house that he still defecates. I have taught her all of his commands, but he does not react when she gives them. Is there a reason he is only like this to her? Please help me.


Response:

Hi Amy,

It sounds like it could be a dominance problem. Wylie sees himself above your roommate in the pack order.

Sounds like time for a little attitude adjustment. Make sure Wylie does not use the furniture or sleep in a human bed. Make Wylie work for everything and make sure your roommate does the bulk of the work with him.

Have her feed him, take him out, keep him blocked off from her room so he has no chance of soiling there.

She needs to reinforce the commands given to Wylie. Every time she gives a command and he doesn't respond, it teaches him that he does not have to listen to her. She has 3 seconds to reinforce her command after giving one, and she should never issue a command she cannot reinforce. If he has to wear a leash for awhile during this time, fine. She can make a leash correction when he doesn't respond to her commands.

Much of this will be in her ballpark to deal with although you and your fiance will also have to make sure to reinforce your commands. Just because your roommate is around is no excuse for Wylie to not listen to you.

Remember, every time you give a command and let the dog not respond, you are teaching him that you only "mean it" some of the time or whenever he feels like it. Not a good thing!

I am going to provide a link for you to read about aggression and although not everything in there will fit your situation, there are tips you can use regarding the "no free lunch" Wylie is going to need.

Regards,
Marie

Dealing w/ Aggression FAQ