Puppy has just really gone for ds :((137 Posts)
We were out playing in the snow, ds had his hood up and was covered in snow, pup (8month old JRT) really took exception to this, seem absolutely terrified of ds and started barking and growling with his tail between his legs. I put him back on the lead and made a fuss of him, and we started to walk towards home. When ds got close, pup flew at ds, snarling and teeth gnashing. I have no doubt that if he wasn't on the lead, he would've made contact
We've had issues with him reacting to strange dogs in this way, but, on advice of a trainer, I've been slowly getting closer and closer to new dogs, whilst treating him constantly, and we seem to be making headway. Generally, he does the snarly snappy thing for a few minutes, then wants to play, but he's never shown any aggression towards a person before, let alone ds and it's really unnerved me.
He's a very, very fearful, timid dog. He's scared of traffic, bikes, horses, loud noises etc, and it know this aggression stemmed from fear, as I don't think he recognised ds and it scared him, but I'm terrified that the next time it will be a strange child and I don't even want to think about that.
I'm going to get a muzzle tomorrow and try and get him used to that, and will book an appointment with the vets to see if I can get a referral to a behaviourist, but is there anything else I can do in the meantime? I'm not worried about him going for ds in the house as he loves him to bits and I really think he just didn't know it was him, but I don't want that situation to ever occur again. I'm really shocked and sad at the minute
Get rid. Sorry but if it does bite your child, how will you feel? Or another child? See if kennels can rehome him with no children and time to acclimatise to other dogs. Have had to do similar before.
Jack russels are nasty snappy biting dogs at the best of times
Not worth the risk if it has shown these traits already
He is still a pup. I'd take him to a dog trainer and see what they say. Our pup was like this with off the lead dogs he didn't know if they crowded him when he was on the lead. He never grew out of it. He wasn't like this with people though. Still, he is just a pup so I would seek professional advice before abandoning him.
Muzzle isn't going to work, you're just using it as a preventative rather than addressing the problems - the pup can't wear a muzzle all of the time so it's pointless.
I wouldn't get rid of the dog, but I would definitely be seeking professional advice. People get animals then give up at the first hurdle (I'm not saying you're doing this btw, just that people do)
I'm not a fan of terrier type dogs with kids but I'm sure this can be resolved, I hope so for yours and the dogs sake. Good luck!
Ds is 8. I know a muzzle won't stop the problem but it will stop him from it being able to happen to a random kid in the street, which is my main concern at the minute. He's never shown any aggression to anything other the dogs before, and he's a lively, sweet natured, calm dog in the house, but very stressy when outside.. Being as not taking him out isn't an option, I need a way of protecting people from him when I'm out whilst I start trying to sort the problem out.
...I put him back on the lead and made a fuss of him...
Sorry, OP. This was the absolute worst thing to have done, following highly undesirable behaviour.
It's good that you recognise the fear type he's displaying but your immediate response should always be to show displeasure for a dangerous behaviour.
Fussing him (no matter his fear level) is exactly the right way to reinforce the aggression as 'good' and so, he continued.
I've had terriers since childhood (among many other breeds), so I am far from a terrier hater but I feel impelled to state that a dog who attacks out of fear, is a very dangerous dog indeed.
A good (positive method), registered behaviourist, will be able to teach you how to raise your dogs confidence levels, in a way which won't also encourage negative behaviours. I would seek one out as a matter of urgency.
With a fearful dog, you may find that muzzling exacerbates fearful behaviour. Take the time to properly, gently and slowly muzzle train or keep him segregated from your DC, until such time as a behaviourist gives him the 'OK'.
*that you recognise the aggression type (fear), not the fear type!
I made a fuss of him as in reassuring him that it was all ok, and he seemed to settle and started walking normally. The trainer I worked with on improving his reactivity to dogs told me never to show displeasure or annoyance with him, as he's nervous anyway and that won't help.
I'm going to ring the vets on Monday and book an appointment; I need to take big dog anyway for something else, so can kill two birds with one stone. My insurance covers behavioural issues, so should be able to get referred.
So you're not worried about your own child?!
Where has she even insinuated that?
I think it's quite clear from the fact she's posting at all shows she's worried about her child!
Of course I'm worried about my own child!!! It's 11pm on Boxing Day, and short of chucking the dog out in the snow, there's not a huge amount I can do right now, other than planning to contact the vets, plan to see a behaviourist and plan to get a muzzle. Ds is in bed so I don't think the threat right now is huge...
It doesn't sound as though your trainers work has been successful?
Showing displeasure can be as simple as removing and ignoring. Scary tactics or displaying annoyance would indeed be stupid. Reinforcing an attack by 'fussing' is equally so.
You're welcome to disbelieve me but my 7 month terrier has no issues whatsoever. Maybe my experience has helped hone her into a well rounded individual (as are my other three dogs) maybe not but the chances are that it is so.
Please seek the help of a registered behaviourist, who is capable of helping you and your dog properly and successfully, before it is too late.
Christ people on mumsnet honestly. I think you have done all you can for now, you seem like a responsible owner and a loving mother, no real advice but I wish you good luck.
I put him back on the lead and made a fuss of him, and we started to walk towards home. When ds got close, pup flew at ds, snarling and teeth gnashing.
He repeated the behaviour at least in part because you reinforced it as desirable on the first occasion.
How come the dog didn't recognised the child?
Sorry if it is a silly question but don't dogs have an amazing sense of smell? Sure he can recognises you child's unique smell regardless of what he is wearing?
When I was a child, we had a dog like yours, very highly strung and nervous of any loud noises. Once there was a very loud sound from outside the house ( from a digger working in the road ) and the dog attacked me and bit me badly on the leg.
I am going to seek the help of a registered behaviourist as I stated in my OP, but need to see the vet first for a referral. The original trainers work has been very successful where dogs are concerned but this is the first time we've had an issue with human aggression so I'm at a bit of a loss. I don't disbelieve you in the slightest; I'm just going on what I've been told by a trainer who is far more qualified than me! Obviously, if this continues, I will have no qualms in getting rid of the dog as ds is actually more important to me than any animal.
I have no idea how he didn't recognise him but he seemed to not realise it was him until he took him hood down and spoke to him, then he was fine.
How come the dog didn't recognised the child?
Mine don't have a clue who I am if I'm wearing a mask, and it really scares them. You'd think they'd know because they're clever dogs but nope.
Probably a mix of the snow, the excitement of xmas etc. your problem is that you have a nervous dog and you need to work on this. talk to your vet and maybe invest in a dap collar.
If you have a good vet, they will often refer you to a behaviourist. Obviously all behaviourist are different, some different than others and have different methods, but if your vet is good, they can advise you on finding a good behaviourist. For now I think you will just need to keep the dog supervised in the house just to be on the safe side and keep him on the lead when out.
First off it is common for adolescent dogs to go through several fear stages on the way to maturity. A good behaviourist will be able to help. In the meantime, keep on lead and do not allow strangers to approach and supervise all interactions with DS very carefully
I agree to an extent with RemNunc..... Fearful dogs who are fussed over tend towards thinking the following: I am scared and my owner is now acting weird and fussing over me. The object of their fear has therefore been confirmed by my owner as suspicious and I was right to be wary.....I am now even more scared of this thing and will remember it as scary. Next time I see it/something similar I will be scared and will probably escalate my behaviour to remove the threat
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