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DDog tried to bite. Rehome or PTS?

(170 Posts)
TetleysSurpassesYorkshireTea Fri 07-Dec-18 11:21:06

Hi, I have a 10 month old Maltese-Westie cross.

Today, after his bath, I tried to remove some dirt from his face and he tried to bite me. He is normally very placid after a bath, and I had him wrapped in a towel having a cuddle. He had let me wash his face in the bath, but as soon as he saw my hand approach his eye, he tried to bite. He has tried to do the same thing before in similar circumstances, when being groomed.

DDog does have a history of nipping ankles and hands, and we have redirected to toys or said a firm "no". We have also gently pushed him away or distracted by getting him to sit and calm down.

I do feel DDog's behaviour is deteriorating. We have contacted the Behaviourist, based at the vet, about the nipping and have followed her advice, but DDog still tries to attack feet and hands, often in an attempt to play, and despite our best efforts.

DDog has also become very barky. Again the Behaviourist advised us how to deal with this, which I thought was going pretty well, but he has now started barking and growling at people just passing the house.

It sounds silly, as he is only a Maltese, but his nips really hurt.

I have an 8 year old daughter who cannot cope with th1r barking or nipping due to Aspergers. I am worried that the dog will try to bite her when she pushes him away from licking her fave etc.

It seems as if in the past few weeks, the behviour has deteriorated more.

Does anyone have any advice re what the best thing to do in this circumstances?

We were looling at rehoming anyway due to the barking and its adverse affects on my daughter. I have contacted Maltese Rescue and have arranged for the lady to call me back.

Do I try to rehome or PTS? Any advice would be great.

steppemum Fri 07-Dec-18 11:27:42

he is 10 months old?
I am not an expert, but I am wondering if some of this is really puppy stuff, and your expectation are too high?

I guess unless you were there it is hard to tell the difference between nips, play etc and genuine attack bite.

RatherBeRiding Fri 07-Dec-18 11:28:45

Please try to rehome - it doesn't sound like anything an experienced owner couldn't overcome with the time and patience to put in - at 10 months he is still a puppy and a lot of this sounds like puppyish behaviour.

FWIW - my rather elderly JRx dislikes being groomed and a LOT of snarling ensues and I have no doubt an attempted bite could follow if I wasn't careful especially around the areas he finds most annoying.

I don't mean to imply that you're not an experienced or patient owner, but you have a young child and it's best if the dog and child are not potentially put in a situation that could end in disaster.

There's nothing you've described that sounds as though the dog should be PTS - some dogs are really sensitive/defensive about their faces being handled. As he is still so young this is almost certainly something that can be overcome with the correct training.

Hope it all works out for you.

OliviaBenson Fri 07-Dec-18 11:30:17

FFS, he's a 10 month puppy and you are talking about PTS? What the hell did you expect?

He's young, much of the behaviour sounds like mouthing which is normal.

What did your behaviourist advise you do exactly? How long have you been trying for?

DogInATent Fri 07-Dec-18 11:37:19

Rehome, it's best for him as your situation is clearly unsuitable.

TillyMint81 Fri 07-Dec-18 11:43:00

I'd suggest having him restrained in a towel made him feel threatened? What's a cuddle to you won't be seen the same way to a dog whose fight or flight instincts kick in.

TetleysSurpassesYorkshireTea Fri 07-Dec-18 11:45:08

@OliviaBenson - well aren't you a helpful, positive, delight?

The fact that I am asking for advice means that clearly I do care and am looking for a way forward.

I was led to think, by other posts I have read on here and elsewhere, that dogs who attempt to bite should be either rehomed or PTS.

Pardon me for having the audacity to check. I presumed that is what this sub is for?

TheLittlestLightOnTheTree Fri 07-Dec-18 11:47:24

where have you heard that PTS would be an option??

FloatingthroughSpace Fri 07-Dec-18 11:51:06

When I was a kid we had a border collie cross. As a big puppy he would "herd" us and nip our ankles. He never bit down hard. He grew up into the most fabulous, loyal, trustworthy dog who would have laid down his life rather than see any of us threatened or hurt (chased away a set of burglars once). Puppies can nip.
In your situation if DD can't handle the dog, rehoming sounds best.

TetleysSurpassesYorkshireTea Fri 07-Dec-18 11:51:59

And thank you to everyone else for pointing out that it can be resolved by training and that I don't need to panic.

We are first time dog owners and, despite all the reading up we did, didn't expect that our DDog would try to bite. Everything else, I can work with.

I guess it is hard to know what to fully expect unless you are an experienced owner. I feel bad now for even thinking of having him PTS (but very glad we won't have to as he is adorable, and just needs a decent owner who DOES know what they are doing).

I wonder how people who have never had a dog become experienced?

Jaguar2017 Fri 07-Dec-18 11:54:46

The dog barks & bites! Sounds like a bundle of fun. Rehome it a.s.a.p.

TetleysSurpassesYorkshireTea Fri 07-Dec-18 11:59:56

We will definitely be trying to rehome via the Breed specific rescue. My DD's diagnosis occured after we had got DDog. We did not realise she would have issues with him.beforehand. Neither did she. If we had, we would not have taken him on.

The Behaviourist suggested distraction, ignoring bad behaviours and rewarding good ones. Which we were already doing anyway TBH.

Abra1de Fri 07-Dec-18 12:01:07

My Terrier took a long time to learn about not nipping, and we are experienced owners of the breed. You just have to consistent about growling a NO BITING at them and immediately putting them away somewhere quiet as soon as they do it.

She eventually got it. Took her longer than our other dogs but she is now very gentle and loving. I have noticed that if we ‘razz’ her up too much she can start to mouth our fingers and that is a sign that we need to calm down and remind her about no biting. She wants to be with us and have our attention and acquiesces.

adaline Fri 07-Dec-18 12:01:47

He's a puppy, and at 10 months they're heading into adolescence. Their behaviour deteriorates for a while and then, if you're persistent and put the training in, they come out the other side as a well-adjusted adult dog.

I would imagine he felt vulnerable wrapped in a towel (and therefore unable to escape) with you going towards his face like that, and bit out of fear or uncertainty. That doesn't mean he's aggressive or that he needs to be PTS - puppies bite and nip, it's well within the spectrum of normal, however frustrating and painful it might be at the time! I would imagine if the dirt was near his eye, that he didn't see you approach his face and it scared/startled him, perhaps?

Wait it out. At about 18 months they start to calm down - maybe sooner in your case as he's a smaller breed. Just be persistent and keep going with the training and the positive reinforcement. Mine is a lot more stubborn now than he ever was as a puppy but I just persist even if I'm really pissed off with being ignored again!

AgathaF Fri 07-Dec-18 12:01:57

Please rehome but go through either the breeder or a breed specific rescue if possible, legitimate dog rescue if not. Please, please don't try to sell the dog on, or give away, through gumtree or FB etc. The dog will probably fall into the wrong hands and end up being in a puppy farm or used as fight bait.

If you can't deal with the training or puppy stage, and are worried about your child's safety, then rehome is really the kindest option.

SlowNorris Fri 07-Dec-18 12:02:03

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

DanielCraigsUnderpants Fri 07-Dec-18 12:02:23

Your dog is still essentially a puppy. And they nip, chew, etc. They bark too. At 10 months, they are going through adolescence and like any teenager will test the boundaries.

I work for a behaviourist and am a dog trainer. Nothing you have said falls out of the realms of normal. Puppies are hard work. We have to put that work in.

PTS is not appropriate or justified. It sounds as though the dog isn't right for you and your family. There are a number of dog rescue centres out there. Please take the time to rehome your puppy responsibly.

Costacoffeeplease Fri 07-Dec-18 12:08:11

PTS? Really hmm

Re home the poor thing responsibly ASAP, hopefully to much better owners - and don’t get another pet that will become too much trouble once they’re no longer little and cute

DeepDarkWoods Fri 07-Dec-18 12:09:04

This makes me so sad. Our dog went through a terrible faze of nipping. We were covered in bruises. He soon grew out of it and he has been the gentlest boy. All the love and adventures we would have missed out on if we had given up. Maybe just give him a little longer.

DeepDarkWoods Fri 07-Dec-18 12:12:34

Could you get your daughter more involved and help create a bond by getting her to teach him some tricks?

adaline Fri 07-Dec-18 12:16:59

I think some people are being a bit harsh - lots of the literature says puppies will stop nipping and biting at around 6 months old - it can be a bit of a shock when it goes on quite a bit longer than that!

And yes, a puppy nipping with needle teeth is sore but not as sore as teenage nipping - at 10 months they have adult teeth and much stronger jaws. Mine has caught me a couple of times while playing tug and it bloody hurts!

I read all the books on puppy adolescence and such and most of them said puppy nipping would stop when the adult teeth had grown in - at 8 months old at the latest, but often earlier. I've read threads on here where people claim their puppy hasn't nipped or bitten anyone since it was 4 months old. Reading those things over and over again can lead you to believe that your dog is aggressive or that there's something wrong with it if they still nip at 7/8/9/10 months old.

I have a beagle and they're a nippy breed anyway, but I still didn't expect the bitey stage to last as long as it did. I then joined a few Beagle groups and was relieved to find it was totally normal. Doesn't make it less painful but is a bit more reassuring!

OhLemons Fri 07-Dec-18 12:18:48

What training are you doing with the dog? When we got ours we had a trainer come to the house and do a few one to one sessions with us.

It was really useful and helped us to understand our dog better.

It is quite normal for dogs to go through an adolescence, if you google it you will find lots of info.

IMO it is way too soon to be thinking of rehoming and whoever suggested PTS is nuts.

Have any of you bonded with the dog? Your post doesn't read as though you have.

MabelBee Fri 07-Dec-18 12:24:02

Have you heard of Dogs For Good? They run courses for family dogs in households with autistic children. We found it so useful and they provide ongoing support after the course managing any issues which may come up. There are lots of things they can teach you to promote the bond between your child and puppy and also acclimatising your puppy to an autistic home environment.

www.dogsforgood.org/how-we-help/family-dog/our-workshops/

The attempted bite may have been an air snap, which means you missed other body language beforehand showing the puppy's discomfort. This can be subtle and hard to spot. It may be worth asking your behaviourist about yawning, licking lips, a freeze, panting, stiff tail wagging. There are lots more.

selavy Fri 07-Dec-18 12:26:28

OP you need to rehome this dog as you clearly don’t understand what it’s like to have a puppy. I can’t believe that anyone would ever consider putting a 10 month old dog to sleep because he TRIED to bite them. Young dogs are constantly learning and you need to give this dog to someone who is willing to teach them right from wrong and not have this type of reaction to something to trivial.
I honestly question why some people get dogs if they have absolutely no understanding of how animals behave.

MagicRoundabout1951 Fri 07-Dec-18 12:53:26

It seems you're caught between a rock and a hard place - your concern for your daughter's safety and your puppy's future. I'm a first time dog owner too but didn't have to worry about a child's safety and my puppy stopped nipping at a few months. You obviously care enough to have seen a behaviourist. Dog training classes help but don't work overnight and it's best if the whole family goes. My opinion, for what it's worth, is that rehoming through the original breeder or a breed rescue sounds a good idea. Sometimes things don't work out but you deal with them responsibly and find the best solution for your puppy and your DD.

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