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Rebecca
Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 14072
Experience:  Veterinarian for more than 30 years
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my partner has a rescue dog. when she got him he bit her. she

Customer Question

my partner has a rescue dog. when she got him he bit her. she was told by the dog home that she should put him down, she decided too keep him. I have been with her for four years during which time he has bitten me five times. This last event has lead me to feel that I have had enough and want to leave my partner. IS THE DOGS BEHAVIOUR ACCEPTABLE ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
Rebecca :

Hello,

Rebecca :

I am sorry to hear you have been bitten by this dog.

Rebecca :

My name is***** am a veterinarian, and will do my best to help.

Rebecca :

I do not think biting is acceptable, in any dog. Maybe only in dogs that are trained for attack and police work, but those dogs are highly trained, and would not bite people they live with.

Rebecca :

Biting is very difficult behavior to change, but dogs can be trained. If this has been going on for 4 years, it will take some real work, with a trained behavior specialist, to untrain him.

Rebecca :

The first step is putting a basket muzzle on him at all times, except when he is eating, so he can't bite anyone else.

Rebecca :

Next, I would try to think of the circumstances surrounding the times he has bitten, to try to get a diagnosis of why he bites.

Customer:

I am not a dog person and have had to accept that he is part of my partners life however I find he is always treated as no one in the house and me number two. I was just holding him trying to tell him not to jump on the seats in the front from, whilst doing this he snarled at me and then bit me.....I have friends who have had dogs for many years who have told me that they would not accept a dog who bites

Rebecca :

The only way to get him to stop biting, is to realize it is a problem, and to want to change it.

Rebecca :

I would not live with a dog that bites.

Customer:

I think he feels threatened by me plus my girlfriend wants to let him behave one way I don't i.e. he is getting mixed messages

Rebecca :

Yes, mixed messages will not train him to be better. If he is confused, that just makes him unsettled, uncertain of what is expected, and more likely to bite.

Rebecca :

If she is not committed to training him to stop biting, then this behavior will not get better.

Customer:

A good example is that when we are together he is not allowed on the furniture but as soon as we leave the house he is, plus when I am out she encourages him onto the seats to sit with her. He is a ***** ***** and I have spent many hours and talking to people about the best way to train a Jack yet she still behaves like this dog is her little baby

Rebecca :

Terriers are naturally bold.

Rebecca :

Sitting up on furniture gives him a "position of power", makes him think that he may have high social standing in the "pack" he lives with.

Rebecca :

Allowing an aggressive or dominant dog to sit up on furniture is the first thing I tell people to stop doing, but you have to be 100% consistent.

Rebecca :

Both people in the house have to be consistent with each other, and with the dog.

Rebecca :

He will quickly learn how to manipulate the situation if there is not 100% on both your parts to change him.

Customer:

Yes I am aware of that fact through my reading yet she is not willing to get this into her head, I am convinced one day he will bite her as he growls at her continuously in my presence, although he has bitten me he appears to favour me as the leader of the pack. Maybe my only option is to stop doing all the dog , walks, feeding him and taking him to the vet. Maybe I should just withdraw ?

Rebecca :

If you withdraw, do not feed him or walk him or play with him or pet him, then you at least will not get bitten again.

Rebecca :

He should be made to get off the couch, before you sit on it.

Customer:

Thank you for your advice

Rebecca :

You are welcome. Good luck with him. Let me know if I can help with or answer anything else.

Customer:

I feel I have very little options left to me

Rebecca :

If you do interact with him, it should only be you calling him to you, and having him obey a command like Sit or Down, for a treat.

Rebecca :

So he learns that he can only interact with you on your terms only.

Rebecca :

Let me know if I can help with or answer anything else.

Rebecca :

I will be following up, to see how you and he are doing.

Rebecca :

Let me know if I can be of further help, or if you are completely satisfied with my answer.

Rebecca :

If you are not, please keep asking questions!

Rebecca :

If you are, kindly consider rating my answer, but only if all your questions have been answered.

Customer:

yes i am pleased with your answers. The question is what do I do next, my partner has accused me of be cruel to this animal and I feel that is so far from the truth. I reacted when he bit me and that I feel is a natural reaction

Rebecca :

If you are the one being bitten, it sounds like you are the victim of cruelty, to me!

Rebecca :

Biting is completely unacceptable.

Rebecca :

If I lived with a dog like this, he would wear a basket muzzle. He would not be allowed on furniture. He would only be fed, when he "earned" food by showing obedience to a command like Wait, Sit, Stay, Come, Down, etc. You can even give dogs treats through a basket muzzle.

Rebecca :

He would not be allowed to think he "owns" anything. No food left out, ever ( water out, of course). No toys unless I bring them out and start the play, then put away when I am through playing.

Rebecca :

It is called "nothing in life is free". He has to be retrained to be a dog, with the lowest social standing of anyone in the household. This is not cruel at all; dogs like to know where their place is, like to know what is expect of them.

Customer:

I agree, I have put many hours into training him, he respects my commands but does not so much my partner, he use to run off on walks and does not now, he use to role but does not now.....

Rebecca :

You really should work with an experienced veterinary behavior expert.

Rebecca :

Let me know what else I can answer. I am here, until you close the chat by rating me and my answer.

Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 14072
Experience: Veterinarian for more than 30 years
Rebecca and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the great rating.

Rebecca

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