My dog attacked my Father in law

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My dog attacked my Father in law

This is a discussion on My dog attacked my Father in law within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I have a 2-3 yo white chihuahua/papillon/pomeranian rescue who we've had for 10 weeks. He's been struggling with separation anxiety and we've have been training ...

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Old 10-09-2017, 12:24 PM
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My dog attacked my Father in law

I have a 2-3 yo white chihuahua/papillon/pomeranian rescue who we've had for 10 weeks. He's been struggling with separation anxiety and we've have been training that. He's very sweet which is why I have been trying my best to work with him. He loves to just roll on his back and get belly rubs. I had a baby shower recently with tons of kids and friends and he interacted very well, allowing many people to touch him and pick him up. My husband and I went away this past weekend and left him with my in-laws. We only came back to out he bit my father in law's lip, and both hands. Apparently, he was let out in the yard and the gardener was mowing the lawn. My dog appeared to anxiety and was running around and my FIL gave chase. He was able to scoop him up, however my dog immediately bit his lip and both hands. His lip has a slight flap. We have never experienced this side of him. I am attributing it to likely being in a frightening situation, mower, and worse, being chased. But he has now displayed aggressive behavior and my husband is very upset. 1. his father is hurt, which I entirely understand 2. the dog bites and we are expecting. At this point, I'm not sure what to do. We are expecting and there is always a fear that the child will get hurt. When do I consider this not a right fit? I mean he did great at the baby shower with so many hands in his face. I never would have expected this and I'm just at a loss.
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Old 10-09-2017, 02:08 PM
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I'm not experienced with the type of dog youre talking about.....
But I wouldnt label him aggressive just yet.
He just switched homes 2 months ago, and was left at a new place for the weekend. He had a gardener running a lawn mower and then was chased down and grabbed. It is entirely possible the little guy was just really really worked up at the time and just bit.....
I've kept large aggressive working/guarding breeds my whole life.
Sometimes when a dog is really riled up, even in training on a leash, a very energetic worked up dog can and do bite the person working with them. It happens.
It doesnt necessarily mean the dog is aggressive.
If this is the only time this has happened if it were me I wouldnt be overly concerned.....
But if y'all have a baby on the way you need to do what makes you comfortable. There is no shame in rehoming a dog you're not comfortable with around a baby....the baby comes first
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Old 10-09-2017, 07:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RescueLoki View Post
I have a 2-3 yo white chihuahua/papillon/pomeranian rescue who we've had for 10 weeks. He's been struggling with separation anxiety and we've have been training that. He's very sweet which is why I have been trying my best to work with him. He loves to just roll on his back and get belly rubs. I had a baby shower recently with tons of kids and friends and he interacted very well, allowing many people to touch him and pick him up. My husband and I went away this past weekend and left him with my in-laws. We only came back to out he bit my father in law's lip, and both hands. Apparently, he was let out in the yard and the gardener was mowing the lawn. My dog appeared to anxiety and was running around and my FIL gave chase. He was able to scoop him up, however my dog immediately bit his lip and both hands. His lip has a slight flap. We have never experienced this side of him. I am attributing it to likely being in a frightening situation, mower, and worse, being chased. But he has now displayed aggressive behavior and my husband is very upset. 1. his father is hurt, which I entirely understand 2. the dog bites and we are expecting. At this point, I'm not sure what to do. We are expecting and there is always a fear that the child will get hurt. When do I consider this not a right fit? I mean he did great at the baby shower with so many hands in his face. I never would have expected this and I'm just at a loss.
Congratulations on the baby!

Given that there's a baby coming you might want to contact a certified behaviorist to access your boy and give you an honest opinion on what his true personality may be, I'm willing to bet that y'all do not really know what it may be. You need to make sure that the behaviorist is certified you can search here https://iaabc.org/consultants to find one.

I think that he may have been incredibly overwhelmed during the shower. He was picked up by strangers, but did he want to be picked up? Such behavior, before I got him, is one of the reasons why my dog lunges and barks at strangers, he's afraid that they'll do something he does not like. Thing it that the dog will allow it because they are too overwhelmed to react, but often display signs that say please do not do that. That would be doubly true in a new home, now surrounded by strangers, and overwhelmed. I will say I could be completely off base, I was not there, and did not see how your boy was reacting to the situation. He could be a social butterfly that thrives on attention from humans, I know some dogs who are like that

When he bit your father in law, if he was terrified of the lawnmower and running in fear of his life, then was chased and caught by your father in law, he likely bit because he was scared out of his mind and it was a completely, panic induced, beyond his control, reflex reaction. Even the most docile, laid back, sweet tempered, dog imaginable could bite in a similar situation, and it would not be his or her fault. It is not aggression, but it is a knee jerk reaction. Think about it this way, you are walking through a dark, quiet, empty, parking garage, and hear foot steps close behind you so you get out your taser and walk quicker. The foot steps speed up and draw closer, you are now really afraid and start running. The foot steps catch up, your terrified. Someone grabs your arm so you swing around and taze the person. Opps! You've just tazed your deaf, mute, friend! That's what happened with your dog.

Has he ever displayed aggression besides that one time? Is he timid? How does he do around young children?
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Old 10-09-2017, 07:09 PM
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I agree with the previous post, but would add that you need to be very careful to avoid allowing him to be in situations that he finds frightening. You have only had him for ten weeks, and you really don't know what experiences he has had in his past, but it certainly takes a lot longer then 10 weeks for him to feel safe and secure. I would have to add that its not difficult to imagine that a clattering lawn mower, and a stranger chasing him and scooping him up could be a terrifying experience for him.
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Old 10-09-2017, 07:19 PM
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Sthelena makes some good points. When a dog is ramped up as you described, bites happen. Going forward, you know now when your dog is over threshold, your dog will bite. Your babyshower never put your dog in that mode and I'm guessing with your new baby on the way, you will manage the situation to keep your dog in the proper mode to provide complete safety for all involved.
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Old 10-10-2017, 06:52 AM
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Thank you!
"Has he ever displayed aggression besides that one time? Is he timid? How does he do around young children?"
Loki is like a rag doll. He is very submissive, constantly rolling over onto his belly to be pet. His biggest issue prior to this is the whining when we leave which we have worked on.
He is not timid around children and the only time I saw him scared was when my niece chased him around pom poms, but he handled it very well at that time. He let 4 kids pet him at once and he rolls over on his belly easily.

I spoke with my behaviorist who believes that it was situational as well. She is willing to take him on in a board and train program (she usually trains service dogs) and she believes that she would be able to assess him better. However, my husband doesn't want to "dump" any more money. I feel like he's done and scared especially since his father is hurt. I spoke with the trainer provided by the rescue and she said she wouldn't fault me for returning him as now that he has reached a point of biting due to fear, his threshold may be lower.
I'm so torn as he is so sweet otherwise and I know he's trying. But putting a baby at risk would also be reckless...
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Old 10-10-2017, 02:40 PM
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@rain said it better than I did. Completely agree with everything said there. It really sounds like a sweet dog who was just overwhelmed.....
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Old 10-11-2017, 11:13 AM
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I too believe he was simply overwhelmed and way over stimulated by the noise from the lawnmower and being chased by a stranger, at least to him. It was a one time event, get a trainer involved for a professional opinion.
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