My dog bit me

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My dog bit me

This is a discussion on My dog bit me within the Dog Training and Behavior forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; Hi I adopted a border collie rescue a few months back. He is approximately 8 years old and almost blind. However he manages very well ...

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Old 09-05-2017, 05:04 AM
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My dog bit me

Hi
I adopted a border collie rescue a few months back. He is approximately 8 years old and almost blind. However he manages very well and is very affectionate and playful. Plus he is very well behaved and responsive. But there have been 3 incidents now. In the early weeks there was a hint of a growl when I was giving him a last minute stroke at night so I knew to be cautious. I started giving him a treat so that he would associate his bed time with 'good times' and that was fine then one night he bit the hand that had been holding the treat. With his sight issues I wasn't sure whether this was an accident - ie he had been going for a treat. A couple of months went by with some very limited late night interaction from me with no problems. So I got careless I guess. I touched his paw to shift him to a more comfortable position and wham... Teeth sunk into hand Just a single bite, no warning, no snarling or growling...
Clearly I don't know if there are underlying issues from his past. It's so strange when the rest of the time he is so 'huggy' and likes a lot of contact.
Any suggestions?

Last edited by pineapple; 09-05-2017 at 05:06 AM.
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Old 09-05-2017, 05:24 AM
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Some dogs doesn't like to be touched in some parts of their bodies, specially when they're resting.
Also, maybe because he's blind he could have had a scare. I remember that once someone told me not to bother a dog when he's resting, never.

I think that you're doing the right thing using treats to make the bed time more nice for him, now you could also use treats while touching very softly some parts of his body to get him used to this.
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Old 09-05-2017, 07:57 AM
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I think that blindness is one of the cause that makes your dog to feel a bit scared and maybe that is the reason why he is getting irritated at the same time. Since, you are saying that he was very playful earlier. Old age could be the reason why your dog is behaving like this. I would say, that you should be giving him some more love and affection that would also be helping him to get back to the state of normal once again.
I hope this could help you.
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Old 09-05-2017, 08:39 AM
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Thanks folks. He had only just got on his bed and wasn't settled at that point so I wouldn't have thought I was disturbing him. The strange thing is that during the day he is very affectionate and has no issues with physical contact. At night he comes upstairs with me - he sleeps in the same room so is not left alone. But as soon as he is on his bed, it is like a wariness comes over him. Maybe something bad happened to him in his old life. This is why I started with the bedtime treats. Following the incident I sat on the floor alongside him and he shuffled towards me to snuggle up and lay his head on my leg as if to say 'sorry'.
Anyway this was a fairly serious (and painful) bite which has needed treatment. I need to try and get to the bottom of it. it. Plus I was wondering whether some night time meds or herbal support might help.
I could have the vet check him over I suppose. But he recently passed a full work up with flying colours (apart from the vision).

Last edited by pineapple; 09-05-2017 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 09-05-2017, 08:40 AM
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You've probably already done this but what I have done with my dogs over the years is develop verbal cues for examining the dog physically. Whether it's their underside, inside of mouth, eyes, ears, paws etc., my dogs are given a verbal cue to understand what is going to happen next and they get some rewarding of course for staying calm during the process. I can only imagine how it certainly could be more startling to a dog which is almost blind and no indication is given to the dog especially a nervy dog. Also, if your dog is settled in for the evening, there might be some guarding of "his" sleeping spot which would just heighten the dog's undesired reaction when touched. I wonder if these incidents you described happened in the same place of the house or areas your dog has potentially claimed ??
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Old 09-05-2017, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DriveDog View Post
You've probably already done this but what I have done with my dogs over the years is develop verbal cues for examining the dog physically. Whether it's their underside, inside of mouth, eyes, ears, paws etc., my dogs are given a verbal cue to understand what is going to happen next and they get some rewarding of course for staying calm during the process. I can only imagine how it certainly could be more startling to a dog which is almost blind and no indication is given to the dog especially a nervy dog. Also, if your dog is settled in for the evening, there might be some guarding of "his" sleeping spot which would just heighten the dog's undesired reaction when touched. I wonder if these incidents you described happened in the same place of the house or areas your dog has potentially claimed ??
Thanks I will try that. Yes this has only happened in his night time sleeping spot. He only spends time there at night. He has a bed downstairs too but will only go on it in the evening.
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Old 09-05-2017, 09:01 PM
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Question maybe...

How bright is the illumination when he's in / on his bed?

Could be that if the light is *dim*, or "dim-mer" than downstairs, whatever residual vision he usually still has, is gone entirely - making him anxious & defensive.

???...

- t

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Old 09-06-2017, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by leashedForLife View Post
How bright is the illumination when he's in / on his bed?

Could be that if the light is *dim*, or "dim-mer" than downstairs, whatever residual vision he usually still has, is gone entirely - making him anxious & defensive.

Cheers. I tend to have lamplight on in the evening downstairs so it is not a whole lot different. There again the interaction we have downstairs in the evening tends to be food or fun or walk - his favourite things. So just in case this is part of the issue, I have started with the full light on when we first go up. I also have a night light on a timer for after I have switched off the bedside light.
Today I started feeding him in that spot and I also put down an old bathrobe with my scent. I'm cutting down his evening protein and looking at some herbal support.
After all that has kicked in I'll look at some desensitization exercises if necessary. Not sure what else I can do!
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