Help, JrT just bitten DH

(20 Posts)
OrlandaFuriosa Mon 09-May-16 23:40:55

our much loved JRT, 4, castrated, has just become v aggressive to strangers, postmen, delivery men, v territorial.

Worst if all, he was stripped today ( he is wire haired, hadn't been done for a long time) and bit DH twice when he came to pick him up. He's never done this being stripped before. He adores DH. But he is top dog, in the household , certainly over DH who us in mental breakdown atm.

He's always barked at strangers, and done pretend bites to us, not strangers, ie opening his mouth wide at us, but not really snapping. He's not a nippy dog either, save v occasionally with us in play.

We love him to bits and he is highly affectionate, good ( outstanding )with small children, though obv never unsupervised, and anything other than horses or cows.

I'd obv prefer to be able to train him out of this rather than pts.

What do I do?

bakeoffcake Mon 09-May-16 23:46:43

The first thing I'd think is that he's in pain from being "stripped". Does that mean clipped?
Maybe he's been cut somewhere?

Our Jack Russell absolutely hates being picked up and always has, she'll jump onto your knee but will not be picked up without grumbling.

I'm not sure what you an do about him being being agressive generally with strangers, but he certainly needs to learn that he isn't 'top dog' you and your dh should be that.

Hopefully someone will be along with some practical advice.

Dontlaugh Mon 09-May-16 23:52:25

I know I'll be followed by those with much better advice, but any dog who thinks he's "top dog" as you say needs to learn he's not.
If my own dog did a fraction of what your dog did, I'd be signing up with the local dog trainer or rehoming.
I feel for you that your dp is ill, that is hard,

PovertyPain Mon 09-May-16 23:54:03

It sounds like he's been hurt or frightened during grooming. I have a wee Yorkie that used to bite all round him when he got groomed. You wouldn't be able to get near him. He was like this with the previous owners and we experienced it when he first came to us. Turns out he has really bad arthritis. Being groomed was leaving him in pain.

The groomers have to hold the dog's leg to trim it and maybe he has pulled back or they've stretched it and hurt him. Don't panic yet. See how he is over the next couple if days, but also keep him away from kids and strangers, just in case.

I am very sorry to read about your DH. I hope things improve for both of you soon. flowers

OrlandaFuriosa Mon 09-May-16 23:59:02

Thanks, no, not clipped, hair pulled out ( it comes out quite easily). But it may have been traumatic after so long. DH said he was beside himself, hysterical.

He spent the afternoon quivering next to me on the bed, as he does when there is a thunderstorm or fireworks, heart racing, burrowing, needing a protective nest made for him and snuggled under the back of my neck ( I was wah). It took a long time to get him to calm down.

He loves being carried like baby Jesus, iswim, or like a baby. He is the most affèctionate JRT I have ever come across.

OrlandaFuriosa Tue 10-May-16 00:09:23

Useful about the yorkie.

I agree about top dog, and he isn't with DS and me, and when I retire shortly he won't be. But DH can't say boo to a goose, esp atm.

Think I will have to do the training thing again. Don't want to rehome if at all possible.

He was beautifully behaved with me in the park this am, even came away from the delicious fox poo that three others were rolling in...

ScrotesOnFire Tue 10-May-16 02:42:00

Pretend bites sounds a lot like warning snaps.
Which is really quite serious imo, it's a very strong, aggressive warning and to now have bitten twice sounds like an escalation of those warnings, like he's now gone to the next level as his warnings haven't worked.

If you want to keep him you need a proper, good, APBC behaviourist in and quick before he does someone some real damage.
He sounds extremely anxious and the aggressiveness to strangers, territorial aggression is an accident just waiting to happen frankly.

KoalaDownUnder Tue 10-May-16 03:00:13

See your vet and ask for a referral to a good behaviourist.

I'm sorry this has happened, but I don't think that it has to be 'end of the line'. It sounds as if he was very frightened/in pain.

MyDobbygotgivenasock Tue 10-May-16 04:22:02

Please avoid any implementation of anything remotely like dominance or pack theory and please don't punish him as that may force him to bite so badly you may feel you have no choice but to put him down. It is all discredited nonsense and actively harmful and dangerous with reactive dogs.

This is not to diagnose over the Internet but his behaviour is fearful and anxious, if your Dh is having MH problems then this may be exacerbating insecurity or anxiety for your dog. Lack of consistency can be difficult for any dog but a real trigger for anxious reactive dogs. From what you've said he has been exhibiting behaviours that indicate his unhappiness for a while longer than you have believed there was a problem and these are escalating. His reaction today was extreme.
He doesn't need to be PTS for this but you do need to get him fully health checked by your vet and then get referred to a behaviourist, not a dog trainer which is an unprotected title, who will have the appropriate knowledge and skills to help. An Apbc member will require your vet to sign off before assessment to ensure a behaviour rather than health problem.

As an owner of reactive dogs, who has MH issues herself I definitely say it's doable (depending on his assessment). Mine are now bombproof. But if he's already got to the point of extreme stress reactions, fear aggression and biting it's no longer a case of nipping things in the bud and avoiding a problem with a positive trainer but a family wide plan to solve a problem with a behaviour expert. I hope you're all in an easier place soon flowers

KoalaDownUnder Tue 10-May-16 06:19:56

Great advice from MyDobby

Wyldfyre Tue 10-May-16 08:06:40

What MyDobby said.
Sadly too many people subscribe to the pack theory, "top dog" and dominance - despite the fact our understanding of the canine brain has moved on - and it causes more problems than it solves.
Get yourself a good force-free trainer - and good luck

georgedawes Tue 10-May-16 08:11:20

Good advice above, the top dog stuff could do more harm than good.

PovertyPain Tue 10-May-16 12:28:22

I'm glad your wee dog has settled down OP, but I have to say, I've never heard of plucking, unless it's just the ears. My groomer doesn't agree with ear plucking as it can be very distressful for the dog. The hair is easy to pluck from your head, but you would find it quite painful if someone kept doing it, wouldn't you? I would look around for a groomer that trims the inner ears, as I think it sounds like it was horrific for your poor dogs. I don't agree with the top dog theory and I have my own pet sitting business. I think it can make a dog fearful and, in time, aggressive. I've had some awfully behaved dogs come to stay but find out that I can work out the triggers and work with then to calm them. I have one sleeping in the same, very small, bed as her pal and she was a horror when she first started here. She's a wee dote now. Btw I'm in no way a qualified dog trainer, I just love dogs and finding out what makes them tick.

As a previous poster said, he's probably affected by your husband's illness and that's not his or your husband's fault. It's just an example of how wonderfully connected to us our dogs become.

MothershipG Tue 10-May-16 12:41:32

Can I also say, don't get him stripped again. Why did the groomer continue if he was hysterical? My schnauzer tolerated it but was miserable so we just get her clipped now, no big deal. Please don't force him to endure an unnecessary procedure that takes him an afternoon to recover from.

And get a behaviourist in for the other issues.

OrlandaFuriosa Tue 10-May-16 22:16:12

I'm going to ring the stripper. I even wondered if he was clipped because he hates mechanical noises close to.

I don't know what it's like with schnauzers but with wire haired jacks, if you clip you remove their weatherproofness. Their hair is thin and soft underneath, thick on the top. It's brilliant: it insulates as well as weatherproofs, they also shed less, in theory, and dirt just drops off them. But it's really hot in summer. He's fine with me grooming and removing, as long as he gets love and appreciation before and after. But I've never stripped him completely myself.

He's been pretty normal today, though in need of quite a few cuddles. I've just taken him out for a walk. He told me off when I wasn't getting out of the front door fast enough for him but accepted that he is not allowed to bark at big black dogs, one of his pet hates. And that we were not going to chase the cat, nor follow the potential fox sighting.

Thank you for being there. We love him to bits.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Wed 11-May-16 12:49:10

Hmm, it does sound as though he might have had a bad experience with the groomer. What did they say?

OrlandaFuriosa Thu 12-May-16 21:40:49

Groomer said he was as good as gold and just delighted to see DH. Didn't think he bit Dh at all..

Seeing vet nurse tomorrow am for health check, and she has recommended behaviourist, using for her own dog.

Oh my...still, need to sort out ddog, as he hates people in fluorescent clothing. Now if he hated people in stripy shirts carrying bags marked SWAG I wouldn't mind...

OrlandaFuriosa Fri 13-May-16 13:53:03

Been to vet, nothing wrong save slight raised temperature and anal glands needed cleaning out. He behaved like an angel save for the anal gland episode, even when she stuck a thermometer up him. And I think I'd not be happy if someone squeezed my anal glands..

Have contacted the behaviourist.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Sat 14-May-16 09:58:15

Hmm. Still something amiss there somewhere. Hope you get to the bottom of it.

OrlandaFuriosa Sat 14-May-16 11:27:15

Yup, agree. No response from behaviourist yet.

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