View Full Version : Dylan bit another dog!

11th April 2010, 11:05 PM
Dylan is quite a nervous dog and doesn't like any dog other than Bailey. He is also a bit wary of people that he doesn't know. We were down at my cousins tonight and she has a lhasa apso who is about 18 months old. At first Dylan would growl at her whenever we were down but we have been going down regularly and although he is never entirely comfortable with her he has been doing a lot better. Tonight however when I went to pick the little dog up Dylan started barking and bit her paw! :eek: It didn't hurt her at all and she didn't even yelp but I was still really shocked. So my question is how worried should I be about this sort of behaviour and is there anything I can do to stop it happening again? It's so weird because he's such a little darling with us and I just know that he would never dare snap at us or Bailey like that.

12th April 2010, 12:32 AM
I'd suggest doing a basic rewards-based obedience class -- right now it sounds like he is really only socialised to one dog which is not good for him and can grow into a more serious problem. Dogs need to meet lots and lots of other dogs and people, regularly, or they can easily become very defensive and reactive to other dogs. Work with a trainer to make sure he learns to comfortaby meet other dogs in a class setting then you will need to work to make sure he is meeting other dogs in normal settings each week too :). It is easy for owners to accidentally encourage dogs to be shy and remain defensive or nervous around other dogs too so you want to make sure you know how to manage him and work with him in a way that doesn't make him think this is the right behaviour :). Not sure how old Dylan is but if an adolescent this is not unusual behaviour and just needs to be constructively addressed. :thmbsup: Also: he may have gone for the other dog because you picked her up right in front of him -- he sounds in that case like he's probably resource guarding (you) which is also something that really needs a trainer's advice because it can gradually turn into nipping a child for example who comes close to you, which could then put Dylan at serious risk. However be absolutely sure not to get a class where they advocate punishment or 'demoting' the dog etc as this kind of approach very typically makes such problems worse.

See: http://dogstardaily.com/training/fighting

12th April 2010, 11:25 AM
Thanks Karlin. Dylan will be 3 in December so I don't think it can be put down to him being an adolescent. He gets plenty of treats when he is around the other dog (Lexie) and he is usually fine but if Lexie starts to bark or get too playful with Bailey he will bark at her and chase her away! We have no problem with Bailey in this regard (she even likes cats!) so I think it must just be down to Dylans personality.