Frustrated about being bit

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Bamachick's picture
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Joined: 2011-08-13

Hello.
I have read many of the other posts and I cannot tell if my case is the norm. My rescue dog was advertised as a 4 month old Min Pin mix. She was 9 lbs. Three and a half months later she is over 40 lbs and just lost many of her baby teeth. Obviously, a dobie mix who was younger than we thought (she was only in the shelter 3 weeks, turned in as a stray).
We have been working on biting since it began, but she doesn't seem to respond to anything..yelping, spraying with water bottle, newspaper swat. Her biting is not constant and she can be very sweet. But when she does bite its rough - my hands and arms are covered with bruises. We have attended 5 obediance classes (3 more to go) but she rarely acts up there the way she does at home. Her aggression seems to always be towards me, rarely my husband. Will she grow out of this? Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you

Q Tip's picture
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Joined: 2009-03-22

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Hi Bamachick, kudos to you for taking a rescue dog. What is her name? :)

 I'm no expert but I guess this needs to be stopped before she starts drawing blood huh?  Do you think she does it from excitement? are you playing with her at the time and when she does get rough with you do you offer her an alternative like a toy or a kong? Im sure that somebody will have some sound advice for you. ((hugs))

Bamachick's picture
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Joined: 2011-08-13

Thanks for the reply. Bailey seems to get rowdy when corrected on the leash or when she is told no about something. She understand "no" but wants things her way.  Any type of physical correction only fires her up and it escalates.  The trainer at obediance class said to put her in the down position and stand on the leash until she calms down. That would be fine except she's biting legs and ankles instead of hands. We've also tried mini time-outs in her crate but she lays down in the floor to avoid going in. She is very smart, strong-willed and determined.

Q Tip's picture
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Lovely name and she is a gorgeous looking minx :) i had the odd problem with Q when he was younger which were mainly alpha type problems but the lovely people on this site put me right. Dobies are very smart as you say...you have to be smarter even if it means going back to the beginning again by making sure you are the one that is first in doing everything. Thinking of the biting however would a haltie trainer work better maybe?

jeshykai's picture
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Sounds to me like you might want to have a private trainer come to your house and evaluate her and your household.  Sometimes there are things we do not see ourselves, but an outside perspective, will help.

The tantrum level of her when you are on the leash still going to bite you makes me think it is far more aggressive than your normal dog that hasn't learned bite inhibition.  Her nips may one day draw blood as Q had pointed out.

It may be that she doesn't value you as a person above her in the household.  What are some of the things you are doing with her on the daily basis?  Does she get exercised daily?  The saying a "tired dog is a good dog" is generally true, though you still need obedience in there too for mental stimulation and overall control of your dog.

I'd really look into private training on this one.  At her age, it may only get worse.  Best of luck.

Welcome Bamachick and here's my 2 cents worth,

The difference between a shelter and a rescue is a rescue will work with a dog and evaluate his/her demeaner before releasing the dog. A shelter will have minimal interaction with the dog. 3 weeks is hardly enough time to see any problems, IMO. Another thing is, and this is with either shelter or rescue, is you usually don't know how the dog was treated before it was adopted out. Being they thought it was a min-pin kinda tells me that, although well intentioned, they had little experience in dog evaluating. It's a pretty good leap from min-pin to doberman mix.

As Jeshykai said, find professional help but in the mean time there are things you can do to let Baily know your the boss (alpha).

Never give food without Baily having to do something for it. Even as little as a sit. (food=food, treats, bones even toys) At feeding time, make her sit and stay, then put her food down.

Never walk around Baily, walk through her. Make her move out of your way. Even if she's laying on the floor sleeping, go out of your way to wake her up and walk through her. Don't let her know your comming just do it. Don't be mean, just walk like she's not there.

In Baily's case, never allow her on the furniture. Furniture is the primo spot, only alpha gets the primo spots. If she gets up on the sofa, grab her collar and pull her down with "OFF" when she makes it to the the floor, "attagirl".

And never let her back you down. If you back away, she wins and she will grow more emboldened with every victory.

And on the flip side, reward for good behavior. Everytime she's sweet, does something right, attagirls, pats on the head work.

Find a good trainer. She's still young, somewhere in there you have a good dog.

Bamachick's picture
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Joined: 2011-08-13

Thanks for the guidance and support.  We try to make Bailey work for her food, toys and attention, even if it just sitting down.  We try to give her lots of exercise, walks and fetching the ball, but the heat here in AL has been brutal this summer. 

The good news is this week Bailey got an attitude adjustment at obediance training.  Although, I was somewhat resistant to the prong collar, she immediately was a different dog at the end of my leash.  Obeying commands, not running a muck, etc.  She didn't have the bad reaction to it like the red hound in the class.  Poor thing was rolling around on the ground just a howling.

Looking forward to more improvements. I know there is an awesome dog in her.

charlenecm's picture
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Joined: 2011-05-09

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First I would like to say she is quite a pretty gal!! I have to agree with jeshykai and gunslinger on this one.  She sounds like she definately has "status" issues as to who is the alpha in the house and one-on-one training would help tremendously.  She is still young and this is really the time to help her learn what is accepted and what is not.  An eight week training session may not be enough for her.  Find a private trainer if you can afford it.  My trainer states in his contract 12 weeks of training for a set fee, however, if you are working your dog (they can tell) as instructed and not getting the results, you can continue until your dog is at the place you expect him to be.  My trainer says as long as you work your dog you can come as long as you like.  There is an individual in our class who had an extremely "red zone" dog, paid the same as everyone else does, and has been bringing her now extremely obedient and social GSD for over 6 months.  However, if you don't do your part in training your dog...you are out at 12 weeks.  I do not know if most private trainers do this but it is worth looking into.  Good luck. 

Bamachick's picture
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Joined: 2011-08-13

Private lessons started today.  The trainer is very certain Bailey will come around to respecting me.  Mom and dad will have to make some changes as well.  Nothing good in life comes easy.  Thanks again for the suggestions and support. 

von Cosack Dobermann (not verified)
von Cosack Dobermann's picture

Look up NILF and Boundries & Limitations!! Google these titles under dog training these are the basic reactions we need to employ with dog that have issues weither big or small. This dog has no respect for you. The dog is ok with your husband and trainer (by the way why can't your trainer help) but not with you. The prong hopefully will get her attention and you'll be able to teach her what you want. These OB type classes are ok to learn OB and get some socialization but most of the trainers are instructors not dog trainers. You need a real dog trainer who can put the dog in line immediately. Then you have a blueprint to follow along with the correct mind set your lacking. Your dog simply doesn't take you seriously. So Mom     ............get serious, OK!!  go get em! Von

Kaisesr's picture
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Joined: 2011-07-08

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Kaiser is great at home.  He was slow to stop nipping drove me crazy. When we went to obedience class he would turn on me on the leash jumping and nipping because he wanted to go play with other dogs.  He is getting much better.  But I have spent a lot of time with him correcting this.  He is coming around.  Repetition and consistentcy....  I brought a toy, it is made of fire hose and everytime he got nippy, I shove it in his mouth.  It distracted him enough for me to get him back on track.  He responded to no at home but not school.    I agree you need a good trainer.  He is doing awesome now.