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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 20171
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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I have a two year old rescue male neutered dog that I've had

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I have a two year old rescue male neutered dog that I've had for about 8 months. He's likely a kelpie mix. He was very shy when I first got him and through lots of patience and taking him everywhere with me he's 90 percent better.
I don't have a lot of people over at the house, and he can get growly when people are there and shy (especially with men ) but he has never bitten. Last night the guy I'm dating came over. At my request I asked him to ignore my dog and not give him too much attention. Twice when he was walking across the room my dog bit him on the butt. No warning, no growling, seemingly out of nowhere. Not sure what to do?
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.
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.
How much obedience training have you done with him?
Has he bitten anyone else?
Is your boyfriend willing to work with your dog?
How big is your dog?
Is he aggressive toward people outside of the home?
What have you tried so far besides asking your boyfriend to ignore him?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I haven't done too much training with him yet. I've been mostly concentrating on getting him over his shyness and not putting too much pressure on him.

He has never bitten anyone else... that's why it surprised me so much

Yes, he is willing to work with him. This is a very new relationship and my dog (Dutch) had never met him before yesterday

30 lbs or so

I've never seen signs of aggression outside the home (shyness, yes, but never growling, etc)

This is the first time this had happened, but the way I dealt with it was to correct him with a choke collar and say NO! loudly and put him in the other room.

thanks for the additional information. It is helpful. Your dog needs discipline. It is great that you have gotten him a little more socialized by takin ghim outside, but he is still torn between territorial aggression and fear aggression. He likely doesn't react outside of the house that way because it isn't his "territory" but he does consider the home "HIS". However, he doesn't feel quite confident enough to challenge visitors head on so he sneaks up behind them and nips in the hopes of scaring them off. NOt good behavior.
so the first step is lots of obedience training. 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.
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.
Have your new boyfriend help with training when he is there and also have him reward your dog with tasty treats like hot dog slivers when your dog is acting in the right manner. Reprimanding with the short tug to the collar and firm NO is a good way of correcting but be sure your voice is pitched LOW like a mans to simulate a growl. You are the boss and he needs to know that.
The obedience training will help him immensely. Right now he feels he has to protect the home and you since he is the boss. Once you are the boss, it will take the pressure off of him to protect the home and you. He will also know that you will protect him so he doesn't have to worry about protecting himself either. You can also use the commands to have him sit in one place in the room while your visitors are there.
One command that you should not forget is a release command. When you teach the sit and down command be sure to give a release command when they are allowed to move again. If you don't do this, the dog feels they make the decision on when to stop sitting and it defeats the purpose of teaching them to the command to keep them in one place.
It is going to take some time but most owners find that they see improvement from their dogs in just a couple of weeks. You might also purchase a basket style muzzle and have him wear it when your boyfriend is over until he has some training done.
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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