HELP! Dog biting my boyfriend

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HELP! Dog biting my boyfriend

This is a discussion on HELP! Dog biting my boyfriend within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hey guys, So I adopted a 4.5 year old dog from the shelter about 2 months ago and she was wonderful for those two months. ...

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Old 07-24-2019, 02:09 PM
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HELP! Dog biting my boyfriend

Hey guys,

So I adopted a 4.5 year old dog from the shelter about 2 months ago and she was wonderful for those two months. I recently moved into my new apartment less than a week ago and since we have moved my dog has bit my boyfriend twice. I am lost and do not know what to do because she liked him before the move and has constantly been around since we have gotten her.

Please help me!!
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Old 07-24-2019, 04:08 PM
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There are two things that would probably be relevant right now.

First is that dogs don't suddenly bite (most of the time). There is almost always a number of signs (body language) that precedes the escalation. Look for the dog using avoidance signals like turning away or looking away, "whale eye" (google that), generally stiffening or backing away, head down position, lip licking (flicking), yawning, etc. You will be able to find examples and videos on the internet showing you this.

The good news is that your boy friend can learn to avoid getting bitten if he learns to "read" the dog and stop whatever it is that he's doing before the escalation happens.

The second thing to note is that the dog is having to adjust to a move. Dogs can easily feel anxious in such situations and he probably just needs time to settle in. There's a good chance that he's giving you "leave me alone" signals because of this. You can help him relax more quickly by playing with him in his new house and taking long walks with him in the new neighbourhood, using the kong to reward him for being in a calm mood, etc.
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Old 07-24-2019, 04:34 PM
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This is a question for an in person trainer. Until then do not allow access to your boyfriend and be careful about yourself.
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Old 07-25-2019, 12:59 AM
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Totally agree with @dogslife!
+ not much info provided about the incidents like what you were doing, what your boyfriend were doing, where your dog was and what was she doing before the incident, how did she look like and behaved like around your boyfriend shortly before it happened. How did she behave after.. As @dogslife mentioned, you probably missed a lot of signs of discomfort... All dogs behaviors have a reason. It does not excuse the dog - we live in human world, not a dog world. But there is something that triggers the dog to act certain way. So knowing the trigger, you can avoid the problem.
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Old 07-25-2019, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooklyn View Post
Totally agree with @dogslife!
+ not much info provided about the incidents like what you were doing, what your boyfriend were doing, where your dog was and what was she doing before the incident, how did she look like and behaved like around your boyfriend shortly before it happened. How did she behave after.. As @dogslife mentioned, you probably missed a lot of signs of discomfort... All dogs behaviors have a reason. It does not excuse the dog - we live in human world, not a dog world. But there is something that triggers the dog to act certain way. So knowing the trigger, you can avoid the problem.
I don't want to suggest that this should be taken lightly. The "escalation" after ignoring "leave me alone" body language is usually very predictable and in a well socialized dog will end with (after having ignored all the other signs)

- growl
- snarl
- snap
- nip (a light bite doing no damage)
and ONLY then... bite...

growl should be pretty clear. It's a low guttural vocalization.

snarl is more intense but is basically a growl on steroids. It's more noise and will usually involve showing some tooth

snap is like a bite but they "bite" *around* you not *on* you. Having a dog "snap" at your hand can be startling but there are two things to understand about the "snap". (1) it's nothing more than a shot across the bow and (2) if the dog snaps it MEANT to snap. Dogs simply don't miss if they want to bite. A snap is NEVER a bite that missed..... their reflexes are WAY faster than yours and they don't miss!

nip is a bite that dogs use to "correct" each other. It's a bite but it's not intended to do any damage. You *may* get a scratch from it but a nip is a "correction" not an attack.

a bite *hurts*... If you've ever really been bitten then you know what I mean. It bleeds, there is torn flesh, open skin, pain and damage. Once you have driven a dog to the point that it bites you WILL NOT confuse this with any other form of communication. You will be hurt, bleeding, in pain and often you will need medical attention. THAT is a bite.

So having said that, I'm curious when we put it in these terms what the OP meant when she said "bite". @katlynbrooke could you give us more information?
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