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Claire 03-26-2011 11:40 PM

I'm afraid she has to go
Oh, I spent the night crying. But my new doggie has for some reason taken against my husband. After two weeks of near-perfect behavior, she's started trying to bite his face any time he gets it within biting distance (she's only 15 lbs, but can really jump). I've talked to everyone I know, and my mom came closest, given all the symptoms, that she thinks she's defending me (she only does it from 3-4 p.m., and only when I'm at home. I help out with some elderly friends a couple days a week during that period, and hubby says she never bugs him at all during that time, and in the mornings, when I let her out of the crate, she jumps up on the bed (I'm and early riser, he isn't) and just gently sleeps with him after a lick or two. But long about 3, she attacks him and I cannot figure out why. But it cannot go on like this. My husband is not one of those dog teasers, not mean. It's just when he lies down on the couch to watch a movie, she attacks him ... specifically, his face. I guess she's going to have to go, but my heart is breaking. I don't know why this started.

LPBeier 03-26-2011 11:45 PM

Have you tried puppy training? Some of the bigger pet supply chains offer classes right in their stores (We have PetCetera up here). Another idea is to contact your vet and have them check her out. Sometimes a vet will give the first visit free if you haven't already gone for shots, etc. I really hope that things can work out for you and your puppy, but husbands are a little more important!

taxlady 03-26-2011 11:47 PM

How about talking to a good dog trainer?

I feel for you. I would hate for you to have to give her up.

Claire 03-26-2011 11:57 PM

Yes, I'm looking at both those options. My main concern is that at 8 mos old, she might be more adoptable than at an older age (my husband wants to wait until September). A friend who always sends her (huge; the latest is a mastif) dogs to obedience training quoted me a price of $600. Huh? not gonna happen. Yes, we did get a coupon from Petco so maybe I'll price them. I've tried everything I've known and researched, that is to say, no tug-of-war games. Our last two dogs loved to lick my husband's face, and he let them do it, but I trained them to stop by saying "no kisses". So I told him he just couldn't let Rosebud lick his face at all. That broke his heart, but he took it to heart and started saying "stop" or "sit" or "no" or "Down", which works most of the time. Then she goes and bites him (for any other thing shes very, very obedient. He can literally feed this little chow hound, tell her to sit and stay down while he doles it, and she will. But at 3 or 4 p.m., when he is sitting (lying actually) on the couch, she attacks him.

DaveSoMD 03-27-2011 06:45 AM

Is it a mean "bite" or a play "bite"? She might be trying to initiate play with him. OR Do you let her on the sofa where he is laying down? Could she be upset because he is in her spot?

Silversage 03-27-2011 07:34 AM


Originally Posted by DaveSoMD (Post 983605)
Is it a mean "bite" or a play "bite"? She might be trying to initiate play with him. OR Do you let her on the sofa where he is laying down? Could she be upset because he is in her spot?

Dave may have hit on the problem.

We found a real simple solution to many puppy behavior problems. It sounds silly; some friends have said it's mean; but it doesn't hurt the dog one bit. What it does accomplish is is stops the behavior right in its tracks.

Buy a bunch of cheap squirt guns and keep them handy all over the house. As soon as the pup starts, grab the nearest gun and give her a good squirt, preferably in the face, while speaking a firm "NO". They don't like it - but it doesn't hurt them. Be careful to never use the guns as a toy or squirt them in any kind of playful game; they will not learn if you do. After a few times, you don't even have to use the gun - just picking it up does the trick.

Andy M. 03-27-2011 09:32 AM

Hubby has to let the puppy know he's the top dog (the ALPHA DOG) in the house. He has to assert his position so the dog learns its place. I'm not talking about hitting the dog or anything like that. If he plays with the dog, play has to end with hubby holding the dog down and not letting him up for a minute. Make the pup wait until you all go through a door before you let him go through.

If there is something you want to make an issue of with the dog, be firm and consistent so it knows where you stand and that he can't get away with it.

Alix 03-27-2011 10:48 AM

Everyone has some wonderful ideas for you Claire. I highly recommend you read Cesar Milan's books. They don't call him the Dog Whisperer for nothing.

For what its worth, I find that Interrupt, Correct and Redirect work wonders. If the issue is with your husband, then he needs to be the one to implement the training. If she is getting violent or trying to bite him he needs to immediately Interrupt that behavior with a firm "No" (Correct) and a physical reminder like a poke to her ribs or a tap. Ideally, if you can Interrupt just a moment BEFORE the behaviour occurs this works best. Then give her a chew toy and tell her that "Name" is her toy. That's the Redirect portion.

It would also be helpful if your DH were to take her for a walk everyday and be firm with her training then. It will help her figure out that HE is boss and she needs to mind her place.

pacanis 03-27-2011 01:31 PM

There's a book some people I know have used to break unwanted behavior in their dog that came on suddenly, territorial behavior like what you are describing, I believe it is called Breaking Bad Habits in Dogs. I know nothing about the book except it has worked for some people who decided to correct the problem themselves rather than geting rid of their pet.
And BTW, your dog is not defending you unless your husband lying on the couch is posing a threat to you. I don't recall you saying where you are during these attacks on your husband. Only that you are home, so I don't think you're being threatened. Maybe if he is talking in a loud voice and waving his arms... maybe, but not if he is just lying there.

From your earlier posts and what you have said in this one, your dog has become quite comfortable in its new setting and has advanced its position in your "pack". It now rules the roost.

AnnieDrews 03-27-2011 02:00 PM

Claire-I hope you can find a solution to the problem with the dog. Sounds like you really love her. I think it would be worth a talk with your vet. There are certainly dog obedience classes that don't cost $600....I would have a problem putting out that kind of money, too. Good luck!!

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