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How can I stop dog snapping?

(13 Posts)
HoHoBrandyButter Tue 01-Jan-13 01:39:14

I posted about this recently but wondered if any of you had advice for what we can do til I can get the behaviourist out if DH lets me as he thinks it's pointless

5yr old rescue rottie, had her six months, beautiful and soft with us, and most of the time with others, but has a tendency to warning snap at people when she's had enough of stroking her. She doesn't make contact, but that's not really the point! She immediately goes back to them for more fuss which seems a bit odd.

We've identified a warning signs - arching back - and also know now that she has hip dysplasia, so the back end is a no-no. We ask people (visitors, family etc) to ignore her and not stroke her but DH's family in particular ignore this warning which really pees me off. She's never shown unprompted aggression - in fact this doesn't seem aggressive, just like she's telling them to get off her. She's never done it to me or DH.

Is there anything I can do in the immediate future to deter her?

TwoFacedCows Tue 01-Jan-13 01:56:20

sellotape? grin

sorry, I have no idea. it sounds like she snaps when she has had enough of fuss, but then knows she shouldn't snap, so the immediate after fuss is her way of showing 'sorry-I-was-naughty-submissive-behaviour? - does she do it in a tail down, hurried way?

I met a staff who i was stroking and she suddenly went to nip my hand, her owner told her off and she then sort of snuggled down against my legs looking for fuss again. - i read it as 'sorry-i-was-naughty' type thing.

could she be snapping as she feels people are about to stop fussing her? and nips as if to say don't stop? that would also explain the going back for a fuss?

Aquelven Tue 01-Jan-13 16:16:03

You could try yelping, as if she's hurt you.
It works with puppies as they're used to backing off when litter mates yelp to say that hurt!

Varya Tue 01-Jan-13 16:20:17

I would use a muzzle for my Dobe if he showed signs of doing this. We keep the dogs away from children as a matter of course. Too many ghastly attacks on kids to take any chances. Been bitten countless times by other dogs one of which would not let go of my hand and was hanging off my raised hands with it's teeth embedded in the flesh. It's just not worth taking chances.

morethanyoubargainfor Tue 01-Jan-13 16:22:19

It sounds to me like she has been told off for growling, most dogs give a warning usually in the form of a growl. If you tell a dog off for Growling then they can go straight to the snap and or bite as th learn that they are told offfor growling, if that makes sense. Do you know much about her history? As far as visitors stroking goes, I. Think you have to be really firm and make sure they don't do it. Is there any particular spot sehe doesn't ice being touched? Is she gender specific, only men or women or does she treat them all the same? How old is she?

Cuebill Tue 01-Jan-13 16:59:24

Just stop people from stroking her. Who knows why but she finds this difficult and stressful so I would give her some space. Stand up for her - if you don't then she will continue to snap.

PartridgeInASpicyPearTree Tue 01-Jan-13 17:19:20

You need to get assertive about stopping the petting. It didn't come that easily to me but I'm now a tiger dogmum! If I see signs of discomfort in Spicydog or over-excitement in Spicypup people get asked politely to leave them alone. If they continue they get told not so politely to stop!

HoHoBrandyButter Tue 01-Jan-13 18:30:36

Morethan I did wonder that. She never has shown any sign of aggression towards us but then I don't do stupid things like assume I can put my face right up to hers. My family generally heeds the no-touch rule but DH's family have ignored it, which really annoys me as it does when they give her food bits without checking with me first.

I always muzzle her around small children. The difficult thing is she's generally a sociable, soppy thing and goes up to people for fuss regularly. It's as though she forgets she doesn't like it..! I thought perhaps getting people to stroke her for a short amount of time then giving her a treat might help. She didn't do it for a good couple of months after we got her, and people eg my brother that she was fine with for days last time she saw him, she's snapped at when she saw him recently (he was stroking her gently under the chin).

I will be more assertive in asking people not to stroke her but I do want to cure it if I can.

morethanyoubargainfor Tue 01-Jan-13 18:32:39

Have you checked for dental problems? Is it always under the chin she doesn't like?

morethanyoubargainfor Tue 01-Jan-13 18:33:29

A tip for being assertive, don't ask just tell. Please don't stroke her as you are likely to be bitten should work.

Cuebill Tue 01-Jan-13 18:37:26

By taking away the stress eg less people stroking her, she will relax, feel more confident and then you may find she is less likely to snap.

Certainly the first thing to try for a few months.

HoHoBrandyButter Tue 01-Jan-13 20:12:06

She's snapped when being stroked under the chin, on the head, on her back near her hips, and on her foot. Apart from the hips, because they're likely to be hurting her due to the dysplasia, we can't see a pattern. Both men and women.

She bizarrely went berserk at an elderly lab we drove past (it was being walked) but hasn't shown any aggression towards other dogs except to defend herself on the two occasions younger dogs have started playfully nipping her.

CocoNutter Wed 02-Jan-13 14:39:52

Right... we reckon it might be protective. She growled at someone who came to post a letter through PIL's dorr today (we're staying with them). She's now fine with PIL and SIL, though not BIL - presumably as she hasn't seen him as much. It seems to take her a long time to trust anyone. Any ideas for how to cure her of this?

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