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Hi all,

Am new to the board, and hoping for answers. This spring my Mom dog of 14 years passed. She's never not had a dog in her nearly 70 years, but did not want to take on a new responsibility and outlive him. We all tried to convince her to get a new fur friend, telling her we'd take it in if that did happen, but she wouldn't. One day a neighbor brought her a 7 mo. male Chi belonging to a son or grandson, he was unwanted by them, underweight, spending most of his time in a crate, not house broken, etc. Mom took it on a "trial" basis. She fell fast and decided to keep him. At 1st he was nice, just a normal playful pup. He played with and kissed and liked everyone who went to their house.

About a month later I heard he had for no reason, attacked my Sis's beau. I couldn't imagine, animals love the guy. In the following weeks he attacked my niece, her beau, my aunt, my uncle, my husband, me, and even my stepdad who lives there, when he went to kiss Mom goodbye before work. By "attacked", I mean, full out, for no reason, kind of a growling, screaming, barking combination vocalization; while he runs as fast as he can at the target person, upon arrival, biting whatever he can of their person multiple times. (Usually their calf). Twice when Mom collected him while doing so to someone, he bit her, but I think that's the only time he's bitten her.

Any ideas why this is going on? My husband and myself have worked with animal rescue groups as volunteers, we've had lots of pet dogs of our own as well as fostered plenty, we've never seen this before, but are starting to hear it is a "breed trait". (?) Why? Is there anything that can be done to train him otherwise? He's less likely to do that outdoors, (although it does happen outdoors), but if anyone goes into the house and he's not been put in a separate room with the door closed, they are fair game. What's odd is sometimes outdoors he will let you pet him, solicit being petted, then all of a sudden he'll go nuts and bite the same person he like a minute ago.

Poor Mom keeps wanting to "socialize" him, (although I think the window for that closed before she got him, at least in a tradition sense). So she tries to get the next unsuspecting victim, haha, to "come inside". We have all gotten to where we all hang out in the garage with the smokers, because no one wants to go inside and be bitten. But she keeps trying, and people keep making the mistake of going in the house without asking if he's loose, and then of course they get attacked. Once she was carrying him around in the garage, he was fine with me letting me pet him, we went inside, she went to put him in the master suite, he got out the door when she set him down and came full blast, vocalization and all bitting the heck out of me. I finally held up my tennis shoe to give him that for a target to bite rather than my leg, and that did work until she could collect him.

Sad part is, it's getting to where no one wants to go over there, including me. They're real social fun people, it's sad they can't have company. If they need to go out of town, I don't know who is going to dog sit, :). Mom is thinking of taking him to Pet's Mart for obedience classes, I'm thinking that is going to be a real disaster. He's very dog aggressive as well.

Help?
 

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...but are starting to hear it is a "breed trait". (?) Why? Is there anything that can be done to train him otherwise? He's less likely to do that outdoors, (although it does happen outdoors), but if anyone goes into the house and he's not been put in a separate room with the door closed, they are fair game. What's odd is sometimes outdoors he will let you pet him, solicit being petted, then all of a sudden he'll go nuts and bite the same person he like a minute ago.

Poor Mom keeps wanting to "socialize" him, (although I think the window for that closed before she got him, at least in a tradition sense). So she tries to get the next unsuspecting victim, haha, to "come inside"....



Help?[/QUOTE]


That kind of behavior is not a breed trait... It is from poor socialization. He definitely needs more socialization, and I am sure exercise would benefit. I can speak from experience that exercise helps with behavior issues- both of my dogs were fairly shy, but once I started walking them on a daily basis their behavior greatly improved.

I don't have experience with dogs biting people, but I would say that your mom's dog needs more opportunities to meet new people. Take him for walks and have random strangers feed him treats, let people in the house feed him treats, etc. I would refrain from carrying him anywhere as it makes them feel like they need to "guard" the person holding them.

I am sure someone else on here will chime in that has more experience with very under-socialized dogs.
 

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One of the big things with dogs is to ignore them. My chi is kind of the same. He is not friendly to new people. The more someone tries to talk to him or look at him, the worse he is. We took him to a pet store the other night, reluctantly on my behalf because of his attitude. The girl on the register said how cute he was, and I said yeah, but don't try to approach him or he'll bite. She asked if she could give him a treat, I was nervous. She squatted down, looked up at me with the treat in her hand for him to take, and he just took it and stood there and ate it!! She said the key is not to look at him, not to acknowledge him.

That may be worth a try. The next time you go to your mom's. don't look at him, just toss him a treat without looking at him. See what happens!

Good luck.
 

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Good Idea!

Hi Angel,

Thanks for the tip! I was wondering HOW in the world to socialize him, since him being in reach of someone = instant biting. Tossing a treat while he's on a leash might be a good start.

I just don't get it, it's a very social home with lots of varieties of people, friends, family, and neighbors. At 1st he was having a blast getting attention from every one. He was so sweet and fun. Do you think he think he's protecting the house? The folks are dog savvy, so good leaders, he shouldn't be getting signals that he needs to step up and be the "pack leader". Mom keeps questioning me what I think she should do, (people tease me about being a dog whisperer), but I just don't have an answer. He bites everyone, and I'm afraid one time someone will end up with an infected bite, require medical attention, and land them in a sad situation. My friend's German Shepherd bit someone, when they went to the Dr. they were turned in, the dog was collected by animal control and eventually euthanized. I'm afraid to suggest more up close and personal contact with people to her. I did wonder if having people interact with him while being held by her would send mixed signals, but she's suggested it, and those of us brave enough to try it have done just fine. He allows people to pet him while being held by her, but if she puts him down on the ground it's all over. All out attack. He goes after other dogs too, so far they've just looked at him in confusion. Am afraid one day a big dog will go to "correct" the behavior which might not be good with his small size.
 

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Sounds like fear biting to me. Poor thing doesn't understand what's going on. Someone needs to start taking him for walks, spending time, giving him treats, etc. He'll come around with a little patience. Would love to see pic of this baby.
 

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I know it's poor form, but I couldn't help smile at the vision of an entire family being held to ransom by a tiny, feisty dog.

Besides all the other suggestions that need to be implemented ASAP, if he were mine I would outfit every single visitor with (a) a pressure pump small water bottle that provides a constant stream with the push of a button and (b) a super cheap umbrella that can be deployed instantly via spring action & used as a shield but NOT to jab at him with, just held in front of one's legs.

Additionally, I would invite a bunch of friends over and keep him in the room on a long leash wound in. The 2nd he barked, snapped, growled or screamed I'd squirt him. As he starts to realise this behaviour isn't going to get him anywhere, I would give him a little more lead and repeat step (a) then as he got better & better he would have as much lead that would allow him to get just in front of people's feet, but not enough that he would actually reach them with his teeth. At this point all visitors give him a treat, a few kind words etcc. Step by little step, he'll come around - this could be accomplished in one single sitting or maybe a couple and so long as those water bottles are visible to him, he won't go menties again imo & ime.
 

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Have you considered a muzzle just to protect yourself both physically and legally when visitors are over? Not for it to wear all the time, just during visits from others, when his behavior seems to be at its worst.

My Lhasa used to turn and snap during grooming. It was the only time we muzzled her but it worked, her demeanor changed to sulking once it was on. When I removed it she was given a reward, soon she didn't fight having it put on and just sat and sulked.


Sent from my iPhone using PG Free
 

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Typing on mY phone sorry if there are a lot of mistakes

Sounds like my dog. I've been training her for a couple of months now with a trainer thAt specializes in fearful and Aggressive dogs, it's pretty much fear biting and feelings the need go protsct your mom.'Your mom shoulder avoid carrying him as much as possible to avoid him trying to guard her and so he can gain confidence and not be so fearful all the time and trying to lash out by biting. If people come over have theme meet you outside. Put the dog in sit position at the door ans tell him to wait so he can calm down then your mom cab greet the guest outside while he folowws behind. Have the guest throw treats tat him as calmly as possible. If there dog Trieste to bite DO NOT PICK HIM UP. Say no And run Into the house and close the door leaving him outside. Don't come out until he is calm for five seconds. Being separated from mommy is a better punishment and more effective than yelling hitting or a spray bottle. If your mom or the guest show any fear anxiety or being frantic that's adding to him wanting to bite. My dog is off leash during this but it sounds like your dog might need to be on leash. Just throw the leash on the ground when you run away and yell no.

My dog improved with this on just the first session but your dog sounds a little different because she won't bits just bark and lunge DO I don't know hoW effective this will be for him. If you have questions posSe ask. I would have been way more specific if I was on a computer
 

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Hi all,
Thanks for your replies, some good suggestions. Woodard, I do think it is a fear based aggression. Assielass, no that wasn't poor form. I've laughed my butt off at that same thought too! Guess it's just not knowing how to handle it, not understanding the root of it. I've worked around guard dogs, even a pair of wolves that didn't unnerve me. OK, the male wolf was kind of scary. But, if you understood, and played by the rules, he was fine. Ha-the Chi has his own game going, and isn't sharing the rule book with anyone. :) Mom did get my aunt and uncle to sit down on the floor before he came in the room, and play his toys and ignore him. He went up to see what they were doing and didn't bite or vocalize. As soon as they stood up though, he went into the same old routine, freaking out and biting their leggies. Is he scared he'll be stepped on? Or is our shear size the issue? Same with other dogs, there is one small neighbor dog he's OK with. But he freaks out at 2 different big dogs who visit, they're nice docile dogs. He stand underneath them and bites them while vocalizing, while they look down mystified, like "what in the world are you doing?".
 

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Google NILIF (Nothing in life is free) It is basically a program where the dog has to do something for you in order to get what it wants, it establishes pack order in the home and it sounds like that is something that needs to be done in this situation.
 

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I agree with AussieLass. squirt him. It can also be genetic/hereditary. There is a reason the first owner got rid of him, and Im sure his biting was why. As soon as he got comfy in his new home, his real self came out.
I know an elderly lady that had a chi terrier or something just like that, he even bit her quite a bit and the vet tried to get her to get rid of the thing. He finally died. some dogs are just plain MEAN.
If it were my dog, I would just crate him when company was comin. If he was biting me, thats a whole nother ball game. I would NOT put up with that behavior from a tiny dog.

pam in TX
 

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Thanks for NILIF Yoshismom. Just Googled it and sent it to Mom. Wish we understood the cause of this change in him. Maybe it is that he is being "babied" too much? I know she knows how to train a dog to be respectful. But, I have seen new families try to "make up" for the previous abuse/neglect of a newly adopted pet. I mean, I understand, how pathetic, and they do need to understand you're not going to hurt them and that they will be provided for. But they can go overboard with attention, treats, toys. Seems like most dogs are just happy to have a new home and accept these things with grace, a few get the idea they are the Alfa, the humans are beneath them, and they don't need to mind. Maybe he was kept with the litter too long and he IS the Alfa male. Ughh, pjknust, I'd had that thought. Have seen a "honeymoon" period with foster dogs, where they seem OK with the rules, visitors, other dogs, ...at first. And you're right, after they get used to the new home they start trying to ladder climb, usually with the other pets 1st, sometimes with a "less valuable" care giver. Demanding to be petted, jumping other dogs for a prized place by the window or toy, trying to beat a lower ranking human out of a chair, etc. Since there's no other dogs in the house we're not getting any clues there. He goes sooooo bizzerk when he does that though, it does almost look like he's scared out of his tiny little mind. Would there be a distinguishing body language with this breed that would help determine which it is? IE how the head, tail, ears or body are being held during the time of the disturbance? Thanks!
 

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I speak as a 74 year old guy, with a 70 year old wife and a chi less than two years of age. As mom inevitably becomes afflicted by aging and health issues, there is a considerable probability that you will 'inherit' responsibility for this dog. I sincerely hope that training results in his becoming much more civilized. I can assure you that Ruth and I are very concerned that our son take over Simcha should we ever become incapable of doing so.

This dog is yours in concept, as much as it is your mother's. I wish you well, and I am sure the behavior problems will be solvable with a little concerted effort.
 
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