Dog Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My 4 year old poodle mix who weighs less than 15 pounds is extremely aggressive. I am talking about you can not put his collar on, he will not let you bathe him, scold him, pet him, he doesn't let you clean the house as soon as he sees a broom or mop or anything he gets really aggressive and tries to bite, we don't like having him in the rooms because he smells so bad since we can't even bathe him nothing he will bite until you BLEED. He only let's you touch him when he WANTS to be touched. His behavior is really out of control, i am loosing it, i am desperate i do not know what to do anymore, my grandmother has someone from the pharmacy that comes to the house to bring her prescriptions and he bit him already, he doesn't listen, once someone knocks on the door that is it you can not get near him, or tell him to back off, he will bite your arm off. He is THAT aggressive i am not exaggerating it is so bad, he has bit everyone in our household. Scolding him, or using a newspaper or anything makes it even WORSE.

I am desperate, no one will bathe him because he is so bad, he does not let us put a muzzle on him he won't let anyone near him. His aggression is getting worse and worse, please help any advice will be highly appreciated i am desperate we have tried for so long to fix this issue but his aggression is already hurting everyone around and its just becoming dangerous, our last option is to give him in and none of us want to but its just becoming a dangerous situation, i worry when we are not home he might bite my grandmother.

Its so bad that yesterday one of the bedroom doors moved sowly and it touched slightly on him on the side as he was exiting the room, he got so mad and started his growling and aggression again we tried calming him down and he bit my mom. Like it has becoming an ongoing issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
290 Posts
If he has been scolded or physically punished for doing bad things up until this point, that could be a major contribution. Dogs who are corrected using averse methods (even something "mild" like a water spritzer) are more prone to becoming aggressive later on. Tack on that he's a small dog, and it's likely that this is fear aggression.

At this point, if it is really that bad, I would consult an animal behaviorist and/or a positive reinforcement trainer. It sounds almost like this is out of your direct control now. And if another person outside of your household is bitten (to draw blood) your dog may have to be eithanized. I'm sure you don't want that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,188 Posts
Has he always been like this or is this a new behavior. How long have you had him?

I hate to say it, mainly because it's not helpful but small poodle mixes are just mean ****ers. I've been bitten by a few over the years.

I was talking to the groomer on wednesday day and he said he won't accept new mini or toy poodles and mixes as clients because other than 1 pitbull all of the bites he's had in a 25 year career have come from them and he'd rather loose the business than keep getting chewed on.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,240 Posts
I really only see 2 options. The first one being an animal behaviorist who specializes in aggressive dogs. That's going to cost, and if that is not an option as far as pocketbook or availability, I think the dog needs to be euthanized before it causes excessive damage to someone. Even at 15 lbs the dog can do major damage to someone if they are bitten right, not to mention the liability your family faces if the dog bites someone and that person decides to sue.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tickle

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,188 Posts
In all seriousness

Don't kill the dog. I can't believe that was even suggested.

What have you tried so far in the way of training? How much exercise does the dog get? Does he get walked outside regularly?

When I read this originally
He only let's you touch him when he WANTS to be touched
it made me think that perhaps you manhandle him a little, not in a bad way just overly physical. Do you (or did you before he became aggressive) pick up and take him to other places, put him in his crate etc?

This is actually somewhat common with small dogs that they don't enjoy being manipulated and come to associate being touched with helplessness and scary situations rather than comfort.

If that's the case, what you need to do is change that association, when he lets you touch him make sure its always a happy experience with tender touches and treats. For now, don't ever try to pick him up to make him do something he might not want to do, lead him with a leash as if he weren't 15lbs.

The more details you provide the more people here can help you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,885 Posts
Contact a CPDT ASAP. The #1 thing people do that worsens aggression is ignore it, or try to take the cheap route and fix it themselves without the counsel of an experienced trainer.

This is not something that you can just discipline out of a dog. This is not something that he will get over on his own. He needs, for all intents and purposes, a doggy "therapy" plan, laid out by a certified trainer and followed diligently by the whole family.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,022 Posts
Dogs bite because they're scared. Dogs don't feel hatred or spite, this dog is scared and shut down, and the only way it knows how to handle those feelings is by lashing out.

Contact an animal behaviorist ASAP, one that uses positive reinforcement. Stop hitting your dog with a newspaper. That is a terrible way to deal with this as your dog is already terrified. Adding pain and more fear to that mix is cruel.

If you can't deal with this or afford the trainer then find someone who can and rehome the dog responsibly.

If I may ask though, was this dog aggressive before you got them?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,039 Posts
Honestly I don't think it's possible to rehome this dog responsibly. I agree with the above poster - you either need to commit to a veterinary behaviorist or very well educated trainer specializing in aggressive dogs, or euthanize him if that isn't an option.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
876 Posts
There is a chance that the dog has an underlying medical illness, mental or otherwise, that is causing this, not simply a training or fear-aggression from being swatted/scolded issue. Consider also a trip to the vet for a thorough examination. They'll get a muzzle on your poodle, or sedate him for the duration.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,652 Posts
find a professional behaviourist to look at him.
when using the muzzle, get him used slowly and carefuly to it and reward a lot.
find something he likes a lot to reward him.
if you've got the feeling that he's scared, make your self small and as less intimidating as possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
thank you everyone for your responses, as terrible as i may feel there is no way i can find it inside me to euthanize my dog, i had him since he was a puppy and despise it all we love him so much. I have tried calling anyone nearby trainer wise but all they do is mild training nothing serious like this. I do not know where to look for a behaviorist in my area. I am sure they will charge so much money, i have no money at the moment as i am a broke college student and work part time to make ends meet until i finish. However, someone at work mentioned to me that i should try those vibrating behavior collars, not the shock ones the ones that send a vibration. Will this work? Has anyone heard about them or try them?

My dog ever since he was a puppy he showed signs of aggression and during the years it just got worse and worse. We tried everything, he just has a very nasty attitude. He is EXTREMELY smart, for instance before he got this bad i used to take him to the doggy park and one day he got something from the park some sort of rash or something and i had to take him to the vet which he required antibiotics to take at home (really bad idea). What we would do to make him take his pills was to cover them in peanut butter, one day he saw me with the pill in my hand and covered it in peanut butter and he literally got so mad he started his growling and wouldn't take it got mad went into his crate and was snapping at everyone.

Believe me we tried everything about positive reinforcement, etc nothing works. Do you think one of those collars would work?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Has he always been like this or is this a new behavior. How long have you had him?

I hate to say it, mainly because it's not helpful but small poodle mixes are just mean ****ers. I've been bitten by a few over the years.

I was talking to the groomer on wednesday day and he said he won't accept new mini or toy poodles and mixes as clients because other than 1 pitbull all of the bites he's had in a 25 year career have come from them and he'd rather loose the business than keep getting chewed on.
I believe it, i have never seen such an angry dog

also, those who asked about exercise, i can't put a collar on him he won't let me without trying to bite my hand off. So we just let him run around in the backyard since we have a huge backyard. Besides i don't feel comfortable letting taking him out anywhere, he is too aggressive and i fear he will bite someone its just not safe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,712 Posts
No, that collar will make things worse. He is a tiny, frightened dog, the last thing he needs is more to be afraid of.

1) he needs to go to the vet. That smell may be an infection. He could be in hideous pain.

2) you need to truly use and embrace positive training. No swatting, no collars, no nothing at all. This dog gets treats, treats and more treats and that's it.

3) if you cannot do 1 and 2, contact a poodle rescue. He's a 15 lb dog, not a monster. I can't believe people in this thread are jumping to euthing a 15 lb dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,039 Posts
This dog bit someone because a door bumped him.

Honestly I can't believe people are suggesting rehoming this dog, I think it's a completely irresponsible passing of the buck. "Here, someone else, get bitten severely trying to do absolutely anything with this dog while mentally sound dogs languish in shelters!" :thumbsup:


ETA: If you think a 15# dog cannot do some serious damage, go get bitten by a 15# dog.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,885 Posts
No, a vibrating collar will not work. If resolving aggression in dogs was really as simple as pressing button, you can imagine the millions of dogs that people would not get rid of, due to aggression and unmanageable behavior. We'd only need 1/5 of the animal shelters we have currently. If a special collar was really all it took to handle aggression, every dog trainer in the country would be living on welfare.

Please look through these articles:
https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/living-small-dogs
https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/aggression-dogs
https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/dogs-who-are-sensitive-handling

As you can see, your dog seems to be extremely uncomfortable with being handled in any way. This is not his fault, it may have a genetic component, but it is definitely worsened every time it happens. Each time you do something that he is afraid of (touching his collar, for instance) in spite of his growling, you are sending the message to him, "Using your words won't work. If you want to feel safe, you'll have to fight me off because I am going to just keep reaching for/grabbing/handling you until you give me a good enough reason to back off."

Imagine things from your point of view:

You have a phobia of being touched, and nobody seems to realize this. So when someone reaches out for you while you are riding the bus you say "Please don't touch me!". They ignore you and keep reaching for you. "Are you deaf?" You say as they grab at your shirt, "I told you to back off!" They continue to snatch at your clothes as you try to get away from them. Everyone around you stares, but does nothing to come to your rescue. You have no idea what is wrong with any of them. "Look, you better leave me alone," you shout at the person, "I know self defense!" They finally catch your shirt and hold it tight, trying to pick you up. You kick and bite them. People stand up and drag you from the stranger, pinning you against the wall.

"What do you think you're doing?!" someone shouts.

"I'm pressing charges for assault!" You hear the stranger say.

The driver pulls the bus over and gets out of his seat. "What's going on, here?" He yells. Somebody comes forward from the crowd.
"I saw the whole thing go down... This guy was just trying to touch the person sitting next to him, nothing serious, just on the clothes. And all of a sudden that person just goes ballistic, punching and biting and kicking him! For no reason at all... they just totally lost it! Completely out of the blue. What a nasty, messed-up person!"
Sounds a little unreasonable, doesn't it? Sure its weird to not want to be touched but hey, warnings were given and ignored. If this was your life, you probably wouldn't leave the house without a taser and some pepper spray. Doubtless, you'd become quite a defensive person, too.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,911 Posts
I agree the collar is very unlikely to work. Also, trust me that you haven't tried everything as far as positive reinforcement goes. ;)

If this were my dog, fist order of business would be a thorough vet exam in particular looking for causes of pain or conditions that make physical contact painful. Also eyes, ears, and teeth checked! I might even have him sedated and clipped, bathed, toenails trimmed... anything grooming wise that needs done asap. If unable to groom poodles, they often mat. Matting can be incredibly painful and even result in infection under the mats...

I would also be searching the sites listed for vet behaviorists, behaviorists, and trainers in this thread. Bare minimum get a consult to find out what their take is and how they woild recommend moving forward.
http://www.dogforum.com/training-behavior-stickies/finding-trainer-behavior-consultant-behaviorist-113946/
But Honestly with the level of aggression you are seeing you likely need a professional to assess your dog, create a behavior modification and training plan (you are going to be doing lots of counter conditioning to start), and lead you through the process.

In the meantime, I would really work at finding ways to manage him so that he doesn't have the chance to bite anyone again. So closed doors, exercise pens, baby gates, etc. especially blocking access to areas the delivery person and other guests are going to be.

If up for a little training, first thing I might do would be to work on training him to touch his nose to a target stick. This can be done 100% hands free and I would encourage you to do so. No forcing him to train with you. Completely his choice. And treats can be dropped rather than fed from hand if need be.
You can use a wooden towel, fly swatter, spoon, and all sorts of other household items rather than buy a target stick. Also, feel free to use a special word or sound (yes, yep, nice, tongue click, etc.) rather than a clicker.

If a dog loses interest, I normally raise the stick up, wait for them to look at me/show interest in training with me, and then lower it back down.

The reason I would start here while going the vet and searching for a training professional is that after your dog understands to touch and follow the stick, you'll have a hands free way to move him around the house when needed. It will also help him ''learn how to learn'' and start building a bit of trust in interacting with you. ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
876 Posts
If he's been like this from 'go', he may need some doggy psychiatry medicine too. Sometimes dogs are just damaged in the mind, wired wrong, just like people can be. I know. I had one, and no amount of training would have ever, ever helped.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,901 Posts
It could be fear, pain, or your dog could just be a grouch. Some dogs just can be nasty.

However, counter-conditioning can be helpful regardless. Check out this video:http://drsophiayin.com/videos/entry/counter-conditioning_a_dog_to_blowing_in_face

Since there's so many things that make your dog upset, it could take awhile. I agree, any sort of aversive is problematic - it makes fear worse and can make a grumpy dog even more unhappy. Everything needs to be super positive, fun, and rewarding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,712 Posts
After 4 years of no grooming, i wouldn't be surprised if there are maggots under the fur. Bumped by a door could be slammed by a door. We don't know. So maybe back off on killing the dog, huh?
 
  • Like
Reactions: cos

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,039 Posts
After 4 years of no grooming, i wouldn't be surprised if there are maggots under the fur. Bumped by a door could be slammed by a door. We don't know. So maybe back off on killing the dog, huh?
You missed the part where I said either consult a veterinary behaviorist or trainer OR euthanize the dog. I think you also missed the part where the dog has essentially always been like this to some degree and escalated over time. It is not normal to bite in response to basically every attempt to interact with the dog. We'd all like it to be something physical but IME the vast majority of the time it's not.

I've seen too many of these really fearful dog bounce from home to home because people think every dog is savable, getting worse and more fearful at every step until finally someone either gets hurt really badly or someone takes some responsibility. Hopefully this dog won't be that dog, either because a medical problem is found or the OP finds some really good help. But my opinion stands that it would be very irresponsible to rehome this dog.
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top