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Rebecca
Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 15388
Experience:  Veterinarian for more than 30 years
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I rescued little dog 4months ago Chihuahua/***** ***** Terrier.

Customer Question

I rescued little dog 4months ago Chihuahua/***** ***** Terrier. She is an great joy to me in almost all respects except one.
She has bitten both myself and my ten yr old grandson when we go to pick up chews but not toys.
Have tried giving bone or chew saying ta and giving her a treat has had mixed results.
When she picks anything up in the park there is no chance of taking it away.
There is no chance of sending her back, but I'm worried for my g/son
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Rebecca replied 3 years ago.
Hello,
I am sorry to hear about your problem with Chloe, and worried as well.
My name is***** am a veterinarian, and will do my best to help.
Dogs that bite, especially ones that bite children, are a serious problem. With training, they can improve, but they need training, and the best training would be with an expert in this problem.
The place to start with this and any behavior problem is with basic obedience: learning to sit, stay, down, off, come, drop it, leave it on command. With a dog that thinks she "owns" things and thinks she has the right to bite someone else who tried to take it, Leave It and Drop It are very important commands to learn.
So getting her into basic obedience, and practicing it 3 to 4 times a day for at least 5 to 10 minutes is where I would start. It is very hard to describe teaching Leave It and Drop It; you need to be shown by a trainer.
If a puppy has to learn "bite inhibition": When to bite hard is OK (like a toy or a bone) and when it is not OK (another dog or person). This is something they have to learn early, usually by 6 to 12 months of age, or then they will never have it. If she is 4 months, you need to get started right away. If she does not learn bite inhibition in the next few months, this problem will get worse, and she will be dangerous to children all her life.
I am sure you were looking for a quick and easy answer! But behavior problems are usually harder to treat than physical problems like infections or parasites! The only cure for a behavior problem is training, training, training.
I would get her in an obedience class right away. I would start the practice of never leaving toys or chews or even bits of paper around for her to "own". When she gets a chew, or a treat, or any food, or a toy, she only gets it by earning it by obeying a command.
If you say Sit and have a treat or chew in your hand, and she does not sit, the reward gets put away, out of sight. Even every bite of food she gets should be earned, and given by hand. No food in a bowl for her to own, and eat whenever she wants! She must learn it all comes from a person, and has to be earned.
Getting a good fitting basket muzzle would be a good idea for her training sessions.
I am sorry she did not learn some of these skills earlier; a puppy needs to start learning these basic skills like bite inhibition and obedience early and her first owner must not have done this important early training. It is not too late, she is only 4 months, but she needs to get started soon.
I sure wish I had one quick tip that would turn her into a dog that does not bite; I wish my job was that easy!
These are my first thoughts and recommendations; please let me know what else I can answer, or help with.
Rebecca
Rebecca and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Rebecca

Chloe is 1yr old and in every respect is very obedient. But on this point

only , does she have a problem. I take on board what you are saying,

I've noticed the longer I've had her the more protective of me she's getting. Obviously she has that sort of nature.

Trying to find a training school in the vicinity, but price is an issue as I am a pensioner. But I will do my best.

***** *****

Expert:  Rebecca replied 3 years ago.
Pat,
How is it going with Chloe?

Rebecca
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Hi Rebecca doing my best. She is totally food orientated, she is a scavenger when we're out, so am using this to try training. But once she has something you have no chance even when offered treats in exchange.


 


I think that time, and patience will be the thing.


 


pat

Expert:  Rebecca replied 3 years ago.
Pat,
Thanks for the update. Time, patience, and consistency is the basis of dog training. If she is food motivated, that will help.