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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19770
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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there I have a smalllucas terrier 18 months old .

Resolved Question:

Hi there I have a smalllucas terrier 18 months old . For most of the time he Iis fantastic and loving but if you tell him off or sometimes if he thinks you are going to tell him off he grows and snares at you. He has never bitten anyone as yet but afraid he may do . We really love th dog and would hate for him to go . We have tried ignoring the behavior and tried putting him out the room so he is aware we are not happy but to no avail . When we let him back in the room he is his loving self again as Long as he isn't told off for anything . It's not as if it happens 3 or 4 times a day but it is a little worrying, I au me its the alpha me syndrome .
any advice would be welcomed,
kevin
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
Kevin,
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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.
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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.
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Is he neutered?
Has he had any obedience training?
Do you allow him on furniture and the bed?
How often is he walked?
Can you describe a few instances in detail of his snarling?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jane

no he isn't neutered.

He has had dog obedience classes and they went well

he is not allowed on the bed but does on occasion go on a settee

he is walked min. Twice a day , long walks

mainly if you tell him to stop doing something or if he assumes your going to tell him to stop doing something neither of which he is housed at badly just a come on or no .

Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 2 years ago.
JaCustomer,
It sounds like he is just a dominant little dog. I actually get lots of these cases. Some people will have their little dogs go through an obedience class but don't follow through on keeping up with practice usually because they feel it is easier just to pick up a dog or move it since they are little.
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. So you might want to do that.
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 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 (gorowl at or bite) you.
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 him higher that the humans or even on the same level. Attach a leash and use it to remove him from the furniture. Give a correction in the form of a quick tug and firm "NO" when he attempts to get on and a treat when he 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).
Start back up obedience training. The following site is helpful at 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
This works because each time a dog obeys a command whether they do it for a treat of not, they become a little more submissive to one giving the commands. You will also want to keep a leash on him at all times initially to grab if he should disobey. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how well your dog does with additional ongoing 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 him obey you. If he growls give a short tug to get his attention and a firm "NO" to let him know, you are not going to allow his aggression. If he is sleeping, give a little tug to let him know that someone is there so he isn't startled when being woken up. .
In addition, if the situation is not improving using the techniques on the previous website, 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.com
These methods usually go a long way toward correcting the behavior you are seeing. Also get him neutered. That will help him be more submissive as well.
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 .
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