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I was taking my 50lb Plott Hound out on a walk today when she just went crazy. We usually go to the local post office before turning around, and on the way there, she was perfectly fine. She was even being better behaved than usual. But on the way back, I stopped to put my gloves on, and she just goes absolutely insane. She kept biting at my hands until I got both of my gloves off. After she got my gloves off, she started biting at my sleeves and my arms on my coat, until she finally tore that off. Since it was chilly, I had another jacket on underneath there, and she just tore that off. After that, she just went after my arms and my hands (thankfully not forcing me to strip all the way), occasionally going back to start chewing on the articles of clothing she got off me. I had to wrestle her all the way back home, and I locked her up. I have bite marks, scratch marks, and bruises all the way down my shoulders to my hands.

I really don't know what set her off. We've only had her for around a month, and she's been a decently well-behaved dog-- she's still kind of a puppy, only around a year old. We don't know what owners had her before us; the shelter we got her from got her from a kill shelter the day before we adopted her. She has never been aggressive; she can get a little rough at playtime, but only as much to be expected from a dog.

Does anyone have any advice on how to handle this?
 

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Oh god. That really sucks, I hope the bites aren't too bad and you heal quickly.

Some hounds really do poorly with other dogs. If there was a dog nearby, she may have redirected to you. Or any other trigger-she may have redirected her frustrations at you. This is super dangerous (obviously) and I would start muzzle training her immediately and only bring her out in public with the muzzle. You don't want a child to be around if she goes nuts.

Another cause could just be some gesture you did-she may have had a history of neglect, but more likely is that this is a genetic issue (they tend to arise around a year to two of age). It could be that she just wasn't socialized to the extent she needed, and a combination of that and genetics has led her to be fearful of people-even caretakers.

Another cause could be medical-maybe she stepped on a nail, or is starting to be in pain from something. A vet visit should rule this out for you. See a veterinary behaviourist (vet that specializes in behaviour, this is a separate degree) and get their consult and opinion. As a warning, they may suggest euthanasia-this is a really extreme reaction. Since it's been only a month, you may want to consider if you have the time and energy for a dog with special needs. You need to be able to enjoy your home and dog too.

There was also likely a warning. You may not have recognized it. Or the dog may have been punished for giving a warning in the past-for example, being yelled at if they growled. Your dog only has a limited way of communicating with you and if they feel uncomfortable growling then they have no way of telling you when they're about to bite. Or, the warning could just be to fast for you to catch.

Either way....this is going to be a LONG battle ahead of you. You may not be able to have guests over, or go for walks with her long term. I'm so sorry :(
 

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I still can't really figure out what triggered her reaction. This is the first time she's done anything like this, in all the times we've had her; she's well-socialized with other dogs, and before she went crazy, on the same walk she saw a few neighbors and she didn't have any problem. We've had guests over, and she's been perfectly friendly. She was being really well-behaved on the walk. It was just on the way back, I stopped to put my gloves on, and for some reason she just tried her hardest to get the gloves off me. It took a bit for me to understand that she wanted the gloves, but even after I took them off she went after my coat. Before she went nuts, there weren't any dogs (or any other animals) around, or any people, and I don't think she stepped on anything that might have hurt her. If she did, then she didn't react to it. I didn't see any warning, either. She didn't growl, even when she was biting at me. I can't figure out if maybe she thought that the clothes were a toy or something to play with; even if she did, she bit at my bare skin a good few times.

I don't know what kind of family she had before the Humane Society got her. I don't think that she was abused or neglected. She seemed well-fed, and she was always perfectly fine around people and other dogs. She even seemed like she was decently well trained before the old family gave her up.
 

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It sounds like the gloves may have set her off. Maybe she was too excited, over stimulated. I couldn't say why though. It also takes a few months for rescue dogs to settle in to their homes and show their personality. I'd take her to the vet and have her checked out, have the thyroid checked. If that is off it can cause behavioral problems. Work with teaching her 'leave it', with all types of items in all kinds of places. Hounds can be stubborn at times, so it might take some work.
 
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BTW I didn't jump right to euthanasia as an option because I think it's necessary right now, but it's way better to prepare for that possibility in advance.

A lot of behavioural issues don't come up right away with new dogs, and this is an age in particular where genetic behavioural issues will crop up. It may not have anything to do with her previous home, though there are things they could have done to help if they had known (the average home doesn't have this type of knowledge or experience). Likewise, there are things you can do to make this better once you figure out the trigger but it may be genetic and you may not be able to effectively manage it. It's nobody's fault-it just happens sometimes.

Since the only thing you can think of to set her off is the gloves, try bringing the gloves out at home in a safe environment. Have someone restrain her (on leash) and stand far enough away that they have time to stop her from biting you while you put on/take off the gloves.

Read up on calming signals. If she offers these or any signs of aggression at that in your home specifically, move on to counter conditioning. Essentially you show the glove, and treats rain from the sky. Break. No gloves, no treats. Bring them back and treats rain again. Short bursts and foremost BE SAFE. I hope this helps a bit to find your starting point.
 

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Willoughby,

Are you able to bring in a behaviorist to observe your dog and work with you? At this point, I think you need to have someone who understands canine behavior determine what is going on and what is the best course of action for you to take.
 
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