Client's Dog Suddenly Trying to Bite Me?

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Client's Dog Suddenly Trying to Bite Me?

This is a discussion on Client's Dog Suddenly Trying to Bite Me? within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hello Dog Lovers, I have a question about aggressive and annoying dog behavior that I hope someone can answer. I am a caregiver and have ...

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Old 03-27-2018, 11:32 AM
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Client's Dog Suddenly Trying to Bite Me?

Hello Dog Lovers,

I have a question about aggressive and annoying dog behavior that I hope someone can answer. I am a caregiver and have been working for a particular client for 9 months. They have a 6-year-old blue heeler/mix dog who is not particularly well-behaved.

Just to give an idea...

The dog has had no training, has never been to the vet, has never had its nails trimmed, is severely overweight, stinks and needs a bath badly, and is so spoiled it scares me. I must feed my client, and the dog is relentless about getting between me and my client when I feed him. He will even jump up on my client, who is in a wheelchair, and lick food off his lap. I don't think it's good or sanitary that the dog is licking the client's lap. It disgusts me. The client is so concerned with the dog when he is eating, that he will spit food on the floor for the dog to eat, and will even sometimes refuse to eat because he knows the dog will get the leftovers. Also, the dog frequently gets between me and my client when I am trying to walk the client with a gait belt. He frantically weaves in and around our legs, and up and down the wheelchair ramp while we are walking. I have been worried that the dog will trip one of us when we are walking. The client and his wife do not seem to be bothered by any of these behaviors and seem even to think it's cute. It makes me furious!

In the last few days, things have gotten worse. On one day, I went to pet the dog goodbye and he snapped at me. The next day, when I went to leave, the dog was standing several feet from me. When I picked up my purse and keys, the dog charged at me, growling. On the first day, my client's wife made excuses: you must have startled the dog when you went to pet him. On the second day, she did the same, telling me: you must have moved too quickly.

I have recently moved from an apartment where I lived with no pets, to a house that I share with two roommates. The homeowner has four dogs. Might smelling like strange dogs have something to do with the dog's sudden aggressive behavior? I don't know what to do.

Now, when I go to my client's house, or when I come home, I am being smelled relentlessly by all of the dogs. This smelling goes on for minutes at a time, to the point where the dogs follow me around smelling me until I either move a leg or arm quickly to scare the dog(s) away so that they will leave me alone, or, put myself in a room in which they cannot enter. This entire situation is making me crazy.

Any help will be much appreciated!!
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Old 03-27-2018, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Syntax View Post
Hello Dog Lovers,

I have a question about aggressive and annoying dog behavior that I hope someone can answer. I am a caregiver and have been working for a particular client for 9 months. They have a 6-year-old blue heeler/mix dog who is not particularly well-behaved.

Just to give an idea...

The dog has had no training, has never been to the vet, has never had its nails trimmed, is severely overweight, stinks and needs a bath badly, and is so spoiled it scares me. I must feed my client, and the dog is relentless about getting between me and my client when I feed him. He will even jump up on my client, who is in a wheelchair, and lick food off his lap. I don't think it's good or sanitary that the dog is licking the client's lap. It disgusts me. The client is so concerned with the dog when he is eating, that he will spit food on the floor for the dog to eat, and will even sometimes refuse to eat because he knows the dog will get the leftovers. Also, the dog frequently gets between me and my client when I am trying to walk the client with a gait belt. He frantically weaves in and around our legs, and up and down the wheelchair ramp while we are walking. I have been worried that the dog will trip one of us when we are walking. The client and his wife do not seem to be bothered by any of these behaviors and seem even to think it's cute. It makes me furious!

In the last few days, things have gotten worse. On one day, I went to pet the dog goodbye and he snapped at me. The next day, when I went to leave, the dog was standing several feet from me. When I picked up my purse and keys, the dog charged at me, growling. On the first day, my client's wife made excuses: you must have startled the dog when you went to pet him. On the second day, she did the same, telling me: you must have moved too quickly.

I have recently moved from an apartment where I lived with no pets, to a house that I share with two roommates. The homeowner has four dogs. Might smelling like strange dogs have something to do with the dog's sudden aggressive behavior? I don't know what to do.

Now, when I go to my client's house, or when I come home, I am being smelled relentlessly by all of the dogs. This smelling goes on for minutes at a time, to the point where the dogs follow me around smelling me until I either move a leg or arm quickly to scare the dog(s) away so that they will leave me alone, or, put myself in a room in which they cannot enter. This entire situation is making me crazy.

Any help will be much appreciated!!
Hi

It could certainly be the smell of other dogs that is affecting your client's dog, but it could also be some other smell. For example: 30 odd years ago, when perms were the fashion, The smell of perming solution when I came back from the hairdresser would drive my usually very easy-going dogs wild and they would attack me. Have you started wearing a new perfume? When my son was a teenager he liked a certain aftershave for a while and it made me really agitated for some reason. I didn't realise what was causing it until my friend said she had the same problem with her son's aftershave. Just an idea.

But it does sound as though it is connected to dog smell. Maybe you could spray yourself with something very pungent between going from one house to another, something the dogs are not likely to be interested in, although I don't know what. That's all I can think of.

Lynsey
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Old 03-27-2018, 08:03 PM
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Hello Dog Lovers,


In the last few days, things have gotten worse. On one day, I went to pet the dog goodbye and he snapped at me. The next day, when I went to leave, the dog was standing several feet from me. When I picked up my purse and keys, the dog charged at me, growling.!!
Can't say much about the other parts of your post but this part reeks of a typical "angry leaver" dog.

There is an old adage of sorts which suggests a dog of a certain temperament and genetics/purpose might allow a stranger into the owner's house but will challenge the stranger when they decide to leave and hold them at bay. I could see a heeler being this way due to their nature. My current GSD needs to be placed in a commanded down/stay when most people exit my house because of behavior which surprised me, somewhat similar to what you cited. It is easily managed via obedience assuming the handler cares enough, which unfortunately in your case doesn't seem to be an option.

Overall, if it were me, I'd bring some small dog treats and create an association that you/your scent obliges the dog's appreciable food drive and maintain a calm and friendly disposition the entire time, maybe tossing a few treats on the floor as you leave.
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Old 03-28-2018, 09:36 AM
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Well ACDs are notorious for a) Guarding their property and b) Being extremely devoted and protective of their person.

I would try to ignore the dog as much as possible, toss treats to associate good things, when you leave, toss a handful down so you can leave without being accosted.

Training would seriously help this dog, but it sounds like your clients have no interest in doing that, so it is kind of a moot point. I would mention your fear of having the dog trip your client, and hopefully they can keep the dog out of the way while you do that, otherwise, I think you're kind of hooped.
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