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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my dog is a very, very nice dog if he knows the person. He is very friendly and loving but if for example I tie him outside a store while I go in quick and someone tries to pet him he will either show his teeth or try to bite the person, only when a stranger tries to pet him. He usually doesn't really bites but gives a warning sign but today he bit someone, I don't know if the person tried to pet him (people should ask the owner in the first place). I found him on the streets and I think maybe he was abused when little and that's probably why he is like that to strangers. What can I do to keep him from being like that?
 

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Well sometimes the 'obvious' needs to be stated because it wasn't considered in the fist place. Obviously.

Your dog bit someone today, right? Did he break skin?

If so, we are not able to give behavioral/training advice on the forum and would recommend that you seek the help of a licensed behaviorist.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well sometimes the 'obvious' needs to be stated because it wasn't considered in the fist place. Obviously.

Your dog bit someone today, right? Did he break skin?

If so, we are not able to give behavioral/training advice on the forum and would recommend that you seek the help of a licensed behaviorist.
He did not break skin. It was more of a warning sign like he always does. It's always when people try to pet him and I'm it there.
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So then I'll refer back to the obvious... Stop putting your dog in those situations and tying him up outside stores. You're setting him up to fail.

Any real, solid behavioral modification involves you and your dog. Together. Under close, careful supervision.

Even if you do make progress, he's already shown the propensity to bite strangers when left to his own devices and he can't be trusted left alone in those situations anymore.
 

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It's really not a fixable problem, more of a manageable. To even begin to fix it you'll first have to quit tying him up outside of stores while you run in, like Beretw said that is setting him up for failure. You do realize that if he does bite someone he can be confiscated and PTS, that you'll be responsible for the person's medical bills, and that if it's a child that's bitten you're likely to be sued? If you simply refuse to quit taking him, at the very least muzzle him after you tie him up.

Your dog, for whatever reason, does not like strangers touching him, that's completely normal a lot of dogs do not. From his perspective he cannot get away from the annoying people so he goes on the defensive to protect himself.

I don't think you are going to be able to make him like strangers petting him, especially while he's feeling vulnerable from being tied up. Do you like random strangers coming up to you hugging you?
 

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I agree with not so much fixable- mostly just manageable. No one should ever leave a dog unattended tied out at a store, im sorry but that is begging for trouble.
It is dangerous... if he bites someone he can be destroyed. For his own sake please do not put him in situations like that ever again.
 

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I would recommend finding and working with someone through ccpdt.org or iaabc.org.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the better explanation beretw and Rain. I can understand better now that that's part of his personal a little (not liking strangers petting him) and I have to respect that and not putting in those situations. It's going to be sad but I'm not going to take him out as much since he haven't shown many signs of getting better. He has gotten better in the past year but obviously not good enough to trust him being alone for a few minutes.

Is there anyone that has a similar issue? I would like to hear from people with similar issues and see what have they done to make some good progress with their dog.
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The thing to realize is that your dog feels very vulnerable when he is tied up because he cannot escape and when a stranger touches him he is now even more afraid. That is why he bites... Because he feels it is his only option to protect his safety.

The best thing of course is not to leave him tied up. It is actually really dangerous for a dog to be left tied. Lots of bad things can happen from another dog attacking him to children taunting him to him biting people who approach. (Neither of my current dogs would be safe to leave tied up with people and dogs going by... They would be very scared.)

The best thing is for you to monitor all interactions he has with strangers, so that you can coach people to be gentle and offer treats to him so that your dog has more positive associations with people.

If the only time he does these problematic behaviors is when he is tied and you are not there, then this is a very manageable issue. ;)
 
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Most dogs really shouldn't be left tied up.

I have zero experience with this and my dog but I've seen a dog rip the bike rack it was tied to out (it was bolted to cement and had chunks of cement flying behind it), and run into a busy road causing a few (minor, luckily) collisions and a very freaked out set of pedestrians. The owner was only gone for a second but it's really better to be safe than sorry. You wouldn't want that to happen either :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the better explanation beretw and Rain. I have to understand that that's part of his personality and I'm not going to put him in those situations. He has done better in the past year but obviously not good enough.

Is anyone experiencing similar problems with their dogs? What have you done to work on it besides what's already mentioned above?
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Thank you Tess for your help also. That is the only time he gets like that so I will monitor him better. When I'm with him he's better and people pet him and I talk to people about always asking first before putting a dog.

Kwenami that's not the issue with my dog at all. Besides the getting skittish when tied up he's a great dog and not destructive at all.
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My boy Shadow didn't like strangers petting him while he was on leash, but he was selective about it and I never did figure out what it was about a person that would set him off, so I just requested people not pet him. What made it even harder to predict is that he'd look like he wanted to be petted, he'd be wagging his tail, gently panting, ears set fine, looking like he was friendly, but then as the person bent down to pet him he'd change in a flash, he'd lay his ears back, snarl, and snap at the person. After a couple times of his doing that I just requested people not pet him.

As long as I can take the dog out in public without him barking, snarling, and growling at people as they go by I'm happy with him. Random strangers don't need to be petting my dog.

If all you want is for him to be O.K. with people passing by him while he is on leash this sticky will help you http://www.dogforum.com/dog-behavior/reactivity-leash-aggression-barrier-frustration-12538/ , but I'm really not sure how to get a dog that's uncomfortable with strangers petting him to accept it. I never felt the need to get Shadow to accept it, so never really looked into it. Like I said, I prefer that random strangers leave my dog alone.
 
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The problem isn't being destructive-I doubt the owners thought their dog was destructive. He was sitting nicely too, until a car scared him and came too close. He probably couldn't find a way out, and biting wasn't doing the trick so he put all his force into running away and that ended up being the result. Same sort of issue, just escalated.
 

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So my dog is a very, very nice dog if he knows the person. He is very friendly and loving but if for example I tie him outside a store while I go in quick and someone tries to pet him he will either show his teeth or try to bite the person, only when a stranger tries to pet him. He usually doesn't really bites but gives a warning sign but today he bit someone, I don't know if the person tried to pet him (people should ask the owner in the first place). I found him on the streets and I think maybe he was abused when little and that's probably why he is like that to strangers. What can I do to keep him from being like that?
I'm sorry you're having this problem. I can't help as I'm not experienced enough to offer advice on this, but I did want to add one thing: I don't think you can expect people to ask you whether they can pet him. Certainly people where I live just assume you can pet any dog; children especially can't be expected to assume a dog may bite and leave it alone, as many of them will be used to dogs that they can pet and won't realise that some dogs don't like it. I think it's the owner's responsibility to not have their dog left alone in public if he's known to bite in that situation.
 

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My dog HATES being petted by strangers, and is not even thrilled if I pet him. He will react if a stranger reaches out and pets him. Which is a real problem, especially with young kids, as they assume he is a puppy and really want to pet him. There are LOTS of dogs that do not like being petted by strangers--for instance, most of the dogs described here as reactive would definitely not like it. Tying your dog up makes it extremely vulnerable and he knows it.

--He is tied up so there is barrier frustration from not being allowed to flee.
--You are not there to provide moral support and help him determine friend from foe.
--You are not there, he is in a strange place, and doesn't know when you are returning.
--Strange people are walking by his space, and trying to physically interact with him.

Not a lot of dogs are going to be able to handle this time after time without reacting in some way. Once he has learned that aggressive behavior will drive off strangers, that behavior will continue to escalate, and that is not a good thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
My boy Shadow didn't like strangers petting him while he was on leash, but he was selective about it and I never did figure out what it was about a person that would set him off, so I just requested people not pet him. What made it even harder to predict is that he'd look like he wanted to be petted, he'd be wagging his tail, gently panting, ears set fine, looking like he was friendly, but then as the person bent down to pet him he'd change in a flash, he'd lay his ears back, snarl, and snap at the person. After a couple times of his doing that I just requested people not pet him.

As long as I can take the dog out in public without him barking, snarling, and growling at people as they go by I'm happy with him. Random strangers don't need to be petting my dog.

If all you want is for him to be O.K. with people passing by him while he is on leash this sticky will help you http://www.dogforum.com/dog-behavior/reactivity-leash-aggression-barrier-frustration-12538/ , but I'm really not sure how to get a dog that's uncomfortable with strangers petting him to accept it. I never felt the need to get Shadow to accept it, so never really looked into it. Like I said, I prefer that random strangers leave my dog alone.
I don't really care for people petting my dog, I prefer if strangers did not pet him. The thing is that he shows a warning sign that he does not want to be pet but so many people ignore that. Thanks for the help. I will keep working with him and if I really have to tie him up (which I only do for 5 minutes the most) I will use the muzzle on him until he does better.

P.S. I don't expect people to ask before petting, I just wish they did and I talk to people about it because people need to understand also that just because they like dogs and there's a dog on their path that does not mean they can pet him. Another example is giving treats to dogs without asking, that a thing that I Hate because lots of dogs have certain allergies to certain foods included in treats.
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