Dog has bitten two times now...what can we do?

(37 Posts)
onestepat Wed 10-Jun-20 08:52:09

We rescued a dog from the kennels a year ago and he has bitten twice now and tried a few times.
All food related.
The first time I had put some chicken on a plate for him,I noticed some had fallen on the floor so I went to put it back on the plate and he bit me.
The second time yesterday my dad went to give him some chicken,he put it down(where he was lying ) his other hand was close and he bit the other hand.
The other time he tried to bite me was when I went too close to my dad and nudged his arm (I think the dog thought I was going to hit my dad)
What can we do ?

OP’s posts: |
midnightstar66 Wed 10-Jun-20 08:55:02

Stop feeding him completely apart for in his bowl, and have him in another room while you prepare it. Let him in once it's on the floor. Teach 'leave it' incase anything falls on the floor. I'm not sure what you can do re the last issue,might be worth contacting a behaviourist.

onestepat Wed 10-Jun-20 08:57:13

He immediately realised he had done wrong.
Went over to my dad and started trying to lick him and sat next to him.
We thought we had turned a corner with him.

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LuluBellaBlue Wed 10-Jun-20 08:57:58

I’d be straight onto local behaviourist, like yesterday to get this behaviour under control before it gets worse and you may have no choice in what happens to him.
Poor love may well see food as his only survival as you don’t know his past.

Mrsjayy Wed 10-Jun-20 08:58:29

Stop hand feeding him Chicken is obviously high value to him just put it in his bowl and walk away don't be faffing about him when he is eating.

SausageSimon Wed 10-Jun-20 08:58:54

An experienced dog trainer/behaviourist is what you need OP, worth every penny and will teach you so much about your dog

onestepat Wed 10-Jun-20 08:59:19

@LuluBellaBlue he's had a terrible past.
Was abused by his last owners.
He was found tied up in a park.
Covered in urine burns /cigarette burns.
He was underweight,ribs showing.

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TakemetoGreeceplease Wed 10-Jun-20 09:01:55

Pay for a consultation with a qualified clinical behaviourist. Your vet should be able to recommend one, indeed you'll need a referral as an actual behaviourist (rather than someone who just calls themselves one, it's not a protected title) will want to rule out the possibility of any medical causes first.

Mrsjayy Wed 10-Jun-20 09:02:16

We have a 9 year old rescue it is always on going you can never trust a biter you have to learn to manage it. A robust LEAVE IT is our saviour we have also seen a behaviourist, but I would stop hand feeding him chicken right away

2020canfuckoff Wed 10-Jun-20 09:05:05

Poor dog. I dont know if he is beyond fixing. Id be careful leaving him around children.

Bubbletrouble43 Wed 10-Jun-20 09:10:26

Can I just say Thankyou for rescuing and loving this dog. Agree with pp get an expert in, and it's lovely of you to make such an effort with him despite his issues.

SierraHotel Wed 10-Jun-20 09:12:05

@onestepat what a horrendous background your dog has had, ours is a rescue too with a similar story. I've got no advice but I know you'll get good advice here. Thank you for giving him a second chance at life.

Crocky Wed 10-Jun-20 09:14:45

There is a training thing that I’ve seen for the food guarding. Unhelpfully I can’t remember where I’ve seen it but a trainer should be able to help. I’m not going to be able to describe it well but you use a few bowls in a room. Drop food in a bowl, move away quickly, drop food in the next bowl. Over time you work to not having to move away. It’s to do with the dog learning that they can trust you not to take the food.

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Wed 10-Jun-20 09:16:38

The two chicken-related incidents sound a lot like resource guarding. It's a perfectly rational behaviour in many ways - if someone tried to take something from you that you regarded as valuable - be it a nice slice of cake or your mobile phone, you'd be doing something about it too. This is likely to be heightened in a dog that has been previously left seriously hungry, and so will attach more value to food. Obviously, however, it's an undesirable behaviour.

To manage the behaviour, I'd be putting the dog's food in the bowl and then leaving well alone until the dog has finished eating and has gone off to do something else. If chicken falls on the floor, leave it, the dog will find it anyway!

The standard advice for preventing resource guarding from becoming an issue would be to add more food to the dog's bowl whenever you approach it, so that the dog sees your approach as being a good thing. However, that may be bit high risk for a dog that already has issues around food.

The other time he tried to bite me was when I went too close to my dad and nudged his arm (I think the dog thought I was going to hit my dad)
He immediately realised he had done wrong.
Went over to my dad and started trying to lick him and sat next to him.

So it sounds as if the dog thought there was going to be aggression (perhaps he's witnessed domestic violence in the past?) and got a bit confused. He did, however, stop himself from actually biting (no real pressure applied?) and then realised his error.

It's harder to know what to do about this one, but I would take comfort from the fact that the dog didn't properly bite, realised his error and then displayed some bonding type behaviours. It may just be part of the healing process your dog is going through, finally realising he's safe now.

I agree with others that you'd benefit from a session with a behaviourist - look for someone CCAB or APBC accredited. You'll need a referral via your vet, which is normal, as they have to rule out physical causes first (e.g. pain is a common cause of grumpy, snappy dogs).

PlanDeRaccordement Wed 10-Jun-20 09:17:54

It’s a reflex that a dog which has been starved will develop. They can’t help it. I agree, do not hand feed and when you’ve put food down, leave it to the dog. Don’t be reaching for food or near the dogs head when he’s eating. After a year, you might be able to pat him on the back when he’s eating in reassurance. But you have to wait until the dog knows your home is his forever home and he’s relaxed and secure. You’ll know this by his day to day behaviour. So I agree talk to a behaviourist they will come and watch the dog and educate you on how a relaxed and secure dogs body language looks like.
Also, if you have any preteen children do not ever leave them alone with the dog. You didn’t mention children, but I thought I should mention that.

AvocadosBeforeMortgages Wed 10-Jun-20 09:19:15

Poor dog. I dont know if he is beyond fixing. Id be careful leaving him around children.

It's incredibly rare for any dog to be beyond fixing, and the OP's dog certainly doesn't sound like he falls into that category. He may never be temperamentally bombproof (most dogs aren't anyway, regardless of background), but I'm sure he will be a perfectly nice dog for the OP and her dad.

Regardless of behaviour issues, NO dog should be left unsupervised with children.

Mrsjayy Wed 10-Jun-20 09:19:34

We had a veterinarian behaviourist she was amazing and we had supportive aftercare too.

JoeExoticsPrinceAlbert Wed 10-Jun-20 09:26:03

I saw your other thread, did your dad go to A&E this morning? And I agree that the best thing to do would be get a behaviourist in. Hope you and your dad are OK too 💐

userxx Wed 10-Jun-20 09:30:05

We've had a food reactive rescue dog in the past. Food was always placed in her bowl and she was left along when eating,

Wolfiefan Wed 10-Jun-20 09:35:14

I hope your dad is ok. I saw that thread.
Definitely a really good behaviourist. I agree with the food issue sounding like resource guarding.
Dog training advice and support on FB could point you to a behaviourist in your area. You need a good one and it’s not a properly regulated business.
High value food and fear of violence are clearly triggers. Can you put the food down somewhere safe (when the dog is elsewhere), then let the dog approach the food and leave. Shut the door or pen or whatever. Make sure the dog feels secure?
Good luck.

Mrsjayy Wed 10-Jun-20 09:49:51

That's the thing isn't it they need to feel secure feeding nice food seems a lovely kind gesture but it can cause anxiety in dogs they are complex creatures.

vanillandhoney Wed 10-Jun-20 09:53:46

He's resource guarding and the only way to solve it is to get the help of an accredited behaviourist - please don't try anything you read online. Dogs are complex and someone could inadvertently cause more harm than good.

Glitterb Wed 10-Jun-20 10:04:45

You have done a lovely thing giving him a home, OP.

I would be inclined to speak to a behaviour specialist, just because of his past etc. Food can be such a trigger for dogs like this and personally I would hate to make it worse!

Wolfiefan Wed 10-Jun-20 10:11:28

Mine have high value stuff in the garden! I put it out there then come in and let them out! They don’t hide it though or mess about. They eat it and come in when they’re done.
Puppy is crate trained. She has her food in a pen. It’s her safe space. So I put the food in and then get out the way and let her in to eat. She comes out then I remove the bowl once she’s out the room. (Wouldn’t work if you’re dog isn’t happy with a crate!)
If someone gave me my favourite meal and tried to take it back then I can’t guarantee I would just sit there and let them. blush And if the dog has maybe gone without food in the past due to prior abuse? You can see why it would guard it.
Your vet may also be able to suggest a behaviourist.

onestepat Wed 10-Jun-20 10:38:11

Dads at a&e now
Just waiting for him now
We love the dog to bits as well

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