Chocolate lab keeps trying to bite my dh

(15 Posts)
doglover Sat 16-Feb-13 19:33:39

We've had our (rescue) lab for nearly 2 years but the relationship between him and my dh is currently at rock bottom. If my husband tries to reprimand him, the dog will attempt to bite - scary sad . We got another dog in Nov (have 3 labs) and can only wonder if this change of circumstance is adding to the breakdown of male/male relationship? We've always had a very harmonious home and this sudden aggression is really upsetting the whole family. Having 2dds, though, I'm scared stiff that the dog may turn on them if they tell him off for any misdemeanour. Please help .............

poachedeggs Sat 16-Feb-13 19:40:36

Ok, why is your DH reprimanding him? He needs to stop or of course he'll get bitten!

Yes the change in circumstances may well be implicated, it sounds like your dog is very stressed. You need to arrange for an urgent consultation with a behaviour counsellor (Google the APBC site and look for one locally, this way you know they use modern methods and are appropriately knowledgeable). Your pet insurance is likely to cover the costs.

You will need to put in work to rectify this, nobody will be able to fix it instantly for you and beware anyone who says otherwise.

No punishments or verbal reprimands - this is vital to avoid injuries. Probably all to do with your husband's methods of interacting with the dog and nothing to do with his gender. Good luck.

poachedeggs Sat 16-Feb-13 19:41:50

And obviously your children should never be allowed to reprimand him, never.

doglover Sat 16-Feb-13 19:59:16

Thanks, PE, that's really helpful. The dog has started to become obsessed with the dustbins, kitchen bins, cutlery - anything food-related, really. (We're used to labs and their food obsession, obviously!!) and this drives dh mad. We're used to putting all food away etc but the dog is now able to scavenge from the most unlikely places.
My dh does get very angry - shouting and screaming - which upsets us all. I understand his frustration but can not talk rationally to him about the situation - I think he sees it as a personal affront. I feel desperately upst and will look at your link.

D0oinMeCleanin Sat 16-Feb-13 20:00:41

reprimand how?

i am a firm believer in 100% positive training, that's not to say that my dogs never get punished, they do, but the punishment is normally removal of attention/play or physically removing the dog from the source of fun until they are calm.

even my most reactive dog/foster dog never feels pushed to snap by this method and i have generally well behaved dogs, although atm the terrier is going crackers due to lack of exercise and reduced training/playtimes sad

D0oinMeCleanin Sat 16-Feb-13 20:04:07

i wouldnt punish for that. i would train the dog that not scavenging is better/more effective than scavenging. there is a way to do this but it involves a long explanation and my typing is not that great atm. kikopup on youtube probably has some pointers.

doglover Sat 16-Feb-13 20:07:52

My dh attempts to remove any items that the dog has got - I know, I know - and will shout and smack. If the dog sneaks onto our bed, there is a snarling match between them - and the attempted biting. The dog is sent to his bed - not allowed in the lounge etc.
I have tried telling dh that nearly all his interaction with the dog appears to be rather negative ( he doesn't tend to talk/play/cuddle) much with him but this doesn't go down very well and we just seem to spiral again into arguments.

doglover Sat 16-Feb-13 20:10:02

Thank you, DMC. I will look at your lin

doglover Sat 16-Feb-13 20:10:11

*link

poachedeggs Sat 16-Feb-13 20:19:49

Your dog has a big problem, and you're married to it.

Your DH won't get the best out of anyone or anything behaving like that.

doglover Sat 16-Feb-13 20:25:26

Gosh. When I see this written down, it sounds so terrible. There's some truth in what you're saying, PE. I need to try to train them both!!

poachedeggs Sat 16-Feb-13 20:38:09

Is he interested in science? Would facts change his views? Pamela Dennison's book "Idiots' Guide to Positive Dog Training" covers the theory and evidence for why dogs behave as they do, without getting too heavy on details.

Alternatively "Don't Shoot The Dog" is excellent.

doglover Sat 16-Feb-13 20:45:31

Yes, he is. These texts sound like the sort of thing that he'd pay attention to. Many thanks, PE. smile

SpicyPear Sat 16-Feb-13 21:50:30

I second some reading if that will get the message through to your DH. He is scaring your dog and causing him stress. His snapping, which is what I take attempted bite to mean, is because he feels forced to protect himself from verbal and physical aggression. He doesn't understand that scavenging food is wrong, so to him it's random threatening behaviour from your DH, particularly if he does it when the scavenging is discovered and not while it is taking place. Your DH is expecting human levels of understanding from the dog and it is extremely unfair on him.

doglover Sat 16-Feb-13 21:55:39

Yes, I quite agree, SP. I have literally just ordered the 'Idiots Guide' so will look forward to reading that. I need to give some thought about how to get dh to read it - he'll take it as criticsm whereas I want us to view it as achieving a better understanding of dog behaviour.

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