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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19270
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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Recently me and my partner were arguing. During the argument

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Recently me and my partner were arguing. During the argument our family dog was barking and jumping up on my partner. Eventually the dog bit them, hard enough to draw blood. It caused a large amount of bruising and a single small puncture wound. Since the incident our dog has shown no other aggression at all. She has always had an excellent temperament. Should I be concerned as we have a 5 year old son.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 3 years ago.

Jane Lefler :

Hi JaCustomer,

Jane Lefler :

I'm having problems with the system and prefer to use the question/answer format rather than chat. I do see that you are no longer on line.

Jane Lefler :

Let me introduce myself. My name is Jane. I have been working professionally with animals especially dogs in both health and behavioral issues for over 18 years. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

Jane Lefler :

In order to supply you with the best information, I do need to ask for some additional information. Once I receive your answer, it will likely take me about 30-45 minutes to type up your response. I hope you can be patient.

Jane Lefler :

How old is your dog?

Jane Lefler :

What breed is your dog?

Jane Lefler :

Where was your partner bit?

Jane Lefler :

Was there any violence by your partner during the argument?

Jane Lefler :

What training has your dog had beforenow?

Jane Lefler :

Is she spayed?

Jane Lefler :

Who spends the most time with the dog?

Jane Lefler :

I'm going to try and exit chat. It may ask you to rate my question. If it does, please do not rate the question. Please respond to my request for more information instead and I will try and get back to you as soon as possible. Once I have supplied an answer for you, then you can rate my answer.

Customer:

Thanks for response.

Customer:

Bella is a year old. Is a rottweiller labrador cross. Partner was bit on the upper arm. Partner put her hand on my chest, no violence though. Bella has basic training, sit, stay. Bella is spayed. I spent the most time with her. Walking, playing etc. Bella spends time with my partner when I work though and there relationship has always seemed good.

Jane Lefler :

Thanks for the additional information. It certainly seems like Bella was just protecting you. If you have ever seen a dog fight where multiple dogs are around, other members of the pack will help the "top" dog reprimand the other dog. It sounds like a similar situation (from the dog's perspective). She sees your partner as an equal or lower ranking member to herself and thus she was able to reprimand her. Of course, she was also helping you protect yourself. Your voices were probably higher pitched than normal and loud and that can make a dog very anxious and excitable which can also lead to bites. Let me go into the solutions.

Jane Lefler :

You should definitely start extensive training with her and it would be best if your partner does training with her as well. Before you get into class, let me give you a site that is great at helping you train your dog. Do not do the schutzhund parts of training though.


Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.


http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html

Jane Lefler :

Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.
http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm

Jane Lefler :

You will also need to have your son work with the dog as well. He is old enough to tell her sit and stay, etc. I've found using tasty vienna sausage slice or raw liver slivers are considered high value treats to dogs and they will obey quickly for these treats.

Jane Lefler :

Each time they obey a command it makes the dog a little more submissive which is why obedience training works so well.

Jane Lefler :

Now you do have to be sure that your son knows the proper way to treat a dog. There is a great site on this very subject.

Jane Lefler :

Dogs that are dominant may tolerate small children but as a child matures they may start reprimanding the child for perceived bad behavior like tugging on their fur, taking food or a toy away from them. So it is best to teach both the dog and your son now. Definitely teach your son not to put his face up in the dog's face and to never tease her. She is also not totally mature either and will settle down more and be less excitable.

Jane Lefler :

You do have the option of getting her a basket style muzzle for use when your son is around her or other kids are around to be on the safe side. Definitely be sure she has a crate and feed her inside the crate. Be sure your son knows that if she goes to her crate, he is not to follow her and not to bother her if she is in her crate. That is her place to go where she will not be bothered by anyone.

Jane Lefler :

I've raised rottweilers around 5 children over the past 20 years with no problems, though I have had clients with schutzhund dogs who would need to put their dogs away before reprimanding their own children. The dogs would prevent them from physically reprimanding the kids. This has been about 20 years ago when spanking was not as frowned upon as it is today.

Jane Lefler :

I would get started on training immediately. Does what I've said make sense to you?

Jane Lefler :

I'm not sure if you can read my response, so let me try to go to q/a format again.

Jane Lefler :

Now you should rate if you find my answer helpful.

Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19270
Experience: Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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