How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19756
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
2361900
Type Your Dog Training Question Here...
Jane Lefler is online now

Hi there my name is ***** ***** I'm disabled and iv got English

Resolved Question:

Hi there my name is ***** ***** I'm disabled and iv got English bull cross and she is 13 years old and is as friendly as anything and iv got west Highland terrier who is now 2 she had really broader and when I got her at 10 weeks she was very ill and I paid so much for her illness and she is aggressive to our family including kids when on or coming on session but I have babyed her a bit as a puppy due to her being ill and she's bit snappy I'm thinking of getting her spayed but not sure when she was last on session can you please help me of how to carm her down to be friendly as when of session she can sweetest dog ever please can you give advice to me please thank you
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
Hi JaCustomer,
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.
.
Getting her spayed will help prevent behavioral changes due to the hormonal shifts associated with the heat cycle. Your vet can spay her even if in heat but most prefer to wait until the vulva is no longer swollen.
As for correcting her behavior, you first need to be sure there is no medical cause. There are some medical conditions that can cause sudden aggression and those may be a factor. Unfortunately, these would not be able to be ruled out without testing.
http://www.petplace.com/dogs/medical-causes-of-aggression-in-dogs/page1.aspx
http://www.apdt.com/veterinary/assets/pdf/Dodman_MA10.pdf
It sounds like your dog may be having issues with dominance aggression. Many dominant dogs are described as well behaved and sweet until you try to get them to do something they do not want to do, and then they reprimand you either with a growl or bite if you don't heed the growl. Things like taking away something they want, making them move when they don't want to, waking them up, etc can cause them to reprimand (bite) you. Dogs tend to be more aggressive when in heat so you may be able to correct this pretty quickly. She is only 2 though and most dogs start displaying this behavior around 18 months or so.
Dogs that are allowed on furniture (even if put on the furniture) tend to feel that since they are elevated to your level or higher if on your lap, they mentally feel elevated as well in the pack order and thus are the boss. Keeping them on the floor can help lower them mentally back to a submissive position in the pack. So the first thing is to not allow her higher that the humans or even on the same level. I Attach a leash and use it to remove her from the furniture. Give a correction in the form of a quick tug and firm "NO" when she attempts to get on and a treat when she starts not trying to get on the furniture. Thus you are providing negative reinforcement for the getting on the furniture and positive reinforcement for the desired behavior (not attempting to get on the furniture).
There are other ways to regain the dominant position in the house as well. The best way is to start obedience training. While a formal training class is great, you can start obedience training without a formal class. The following site is helpful for teaching you how to train your dog. 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
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
http://www.cairnrescue.com/docs/NILIF.pdf
I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how well your dog does with training. Dogs like knowing what is expected of them and they love the little paper thin slices of hotdogs that I use for treats while training. Give this a try and see how it works for you.
Be sure to use the leash to make her obey you. If she growls give a short tug to get her attention and a firm "NO" to let her know, you are not going to allow her aggression. If she is sleeping, give a little tug to let her know that someone is there so she isn't startled when being woken up. .
In addition, if the situation is not improving using the techniques I describe, you may have to consult a professional behaviorist. You can usually find a behaviorist by asking your Vet for a recommendation or you may be able to find one using the following site.
http://www.apdt.co.uk/dog-owners/local-dog-trainers
I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .
.
Jane Lefler and other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you