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Re: Aggression, Behaviorists and degrees of Success

Posted by:  Marie Evans
Posted on:  November 27, 2002 at 10:42:09

In Reply to: Aggression, Behaviorists and degrees of Success
Category:   Aggression
Posted by:  Amy Vogt
Posted on:  November 26, 2002 at 13:26:30

Question:

: I recently adopted a JRT from the JR Rescue. Biggins is estimated to be 2 yrs old and is a recently neutered male that was found roaming in Manhattan. He was rescued from the SPCA and then spent a month in a kennel and a month at the rescuer's home. She was very careful to not let him imprint on her. Biggins is a very sweet, affectionate, smart and a mellow dog. He definitely thinks he's the dominant dog. We knew he had food aggression problems and we're willing to work with that. However, he's bitten both of us and a friend in the face.
:
: I'd like to hear from other JRT owners that have faced similar problems and what kind of success or failure they had when working with a Veterinary Behaviorist. I love the little guy and hate to think of the alternatives. I'm curious if it is better for us to wok with a Veterinary Behaviorist or a trainer with a renowned reputation.

: This site has been a wonderful resource and would like to hear how other owner's have been able to work through their aggression/biting issues.

: Thanks!
: Amy Vogt


Response:

Hi Amy,

On behalf of all of us here, we thank you for taking Biggins into your home and heart.

I am sorry to hear that you are dealing with a very bad problem, this is one of those problems that needs to be dealt with professionally as you well know.

My guess is that you are going to need to work with both. A certified behaviorist should come to your home and spend time with you and Biggins and anyone else that deals with Biggins. They will observe the family dynamics and will then diagnose what type of aggression you are dealing with (which is very helpful because there are different types and they need different approaches). The behaviorist will write up a plan of action for you to take, might even suggest some drug therapy, and should be there to assist you whenever the needs arises. More than likely they will tell you to get Biggins into obedience training and that's when a trainer comes into play.

Good trainers are good at what they do and that is to train you to train your dog. Many have a basic understanding of canine behavior, but a good behaviorist will have a doctorate in animal behavior and will be credentialed.

Your vet should be able to refer you to a behaviorist and possibly a trainer.

Until then please exercise extreme care when dealing with Biggins and don't put your face anywhere near him that will give him the opportunity to bite you again. Some dogs just don't like having anyone or anything right up in their face. They see it as a sign of aggression.

Regards,
Marie