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|04-14-2011, 10:53 AM||#1|
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Council Bluffs IA USA
HELP! My Smokie is ATTACKING ME!
Recently Smokie has done a big about face. Whenever someone knocks on the door - he attacks us. I mean seriously - biting, draws blood attacks. I do not know why, what happened to make him begin doing this, I have no answers. The rest of the time he is fine.
After this began, we purchased a Pet Zoom Sonic Trainer, for several reasons. Living in town, we have to walk him, and even with a harness he wants to walk us. (Smokie is most certainly an Alpha Male) The Pet Zoom trainer works really well. After only a few times of using it on a walk, I can now give him his full 20 ft of leash and he no longer pulls on me, if I tell him to wait or stop he does, it made all the difference in the world on our walks.
Today the UPS man knocked on the door and dropped the package and left. All that kept me from getting only one bite was the Sonic Trainer. That and a pillow between us. He came clear across the room to attack me. Finally I got him calmed down and told him come on, lets open the door and see who is there....but it took a lot of hitting that button on the Sonic Trainer and several attempts to push him back from me with the pillow. He did get me on the knee, though. Yesterday it was my right arm. Today's was a small bite mark, like a big scratch, but yesterday he left puncture wounds.
He knows he is doing something bad. He is currently hiding under the bed and won't come out, and when he does come out - to apologize - he will lick my wounds. And if he makes me cry, he licks my tears.....he is not a vicious dog at all. What do I do...put up a sign that says, do not knock, just yell????? LOL! Maybe get one of those cheap easy to install doorbells and add the sign do not knock. I don't know...I know I can't stand to be bit much more. And its not just me he bites, he will bite my husband too.
I am at my wits end. I do not know what to do about this anymore. He never did this until a few months ago. I know when it was winter, there were times we left him home alone since it was just too cold to take him with us. I thought maybe during one of those times of being home something may have scared him, but it can even be my neighbor who he just dearly loves - if she talks to me through the screen instead of coming in, he freaks out.
Help me please. I do not know what to do. I do not want to get rid of him. We found Smokie when he was about 7-8 months old and was needing to be rehomed. I had just had to put down my lab I'd had for 11 years, and I cannot bear to lose Smokie.
I know he needs to be neutered, but we do not have the money, as I feel that would calm him down a lot. I've looked for free clinics, but there are none that I have found. I cannot take getting bit much more. The only thing that doesn't worry me is I know his shots are up to date. We can pass kids on the street and he doesn't bite them, the only time he offers to bite it when someone knocks on the door. I need help. Please. What do I do??????
|04-14-2011, 11:27 AM||#2|
YT 500 Club Member
Join Date: Mar 2011
Hmm, ok, I'll give you bits of advise here, but my one main thing I'm recommending to you is to look into Cesar Millan's books (Amazon.com has good prices on them). I've read them all and his phylosophy on dog behavior is invaluable to me.
Just really quick too, as far as his nuetering, if you can't find a free service, it's much easier to find a "discount" spay/neuter service. If you lived close to me I'd know exactly where to tell you to contact, but maybe try contacting your local ASPCA and ask them if they can direct you. Nuetering won't solve all your problems, but it will help some and you definatly want to do it for the other reasons - pet population (you never know, if he ever God forbid got loose or something) and it helps prevent testicular cancer etc.
Ok, first - even though he's being good for you on the 20 ft. leash, I'd still spent a majority of your walk making him heal. It will teach him that you are the "leader" not him.
As far as your problem with the door, it sounds really severe and I know you can't afford a trainer (since you're not able to neuter him) but that would be my first and formost advice since he seems to have gotten to that "red zone" with this situation.
Practicing alot is what I would do. Take him for a very long walk, till he's tired then get him to be relaxed in the house. Have a friend or even another member of your household go outside and knock, BUT don't give him that chance to come running to you biting. Stand in between him and the door and FIRMLY say "NO" when he barks. Hold your ground no matter what, don't let him to that door. Block him from biting your legs if you have to with a pillow or whatever. Hold your "alpha" position there until he backs down. You'll have to repeat this as much as necessary till he gets the point.
I don't want to keep going with too much because I really think you'd get alot more out of reading Cesar's books than I can type here and this case is serious since he's inflicting harm to people.
It's probably likely that, like you said, at some point someone scared him when you weren't home since you said this just started, or it could be that he's trying to show dominance, but sounds more like anxiety causing the agression and he's redirecting that fear-agression towards you instead of the door or who's behind it.
My #1 rule when I get a dog is right off the bat, they KNOW that I (and my husband and son) am alpha in any situation (I follow all of Cesar's rules and do alot of socializing to differnt people, places, noises and situations). Sounds like (from what you've posted) you really need to establish this on a basic level before you'll have any real success with the door knocking problem. Even if a dog gets really afraid of something, if they look to you as their "leader" and you are calm and uneffected, they will follow that responce.
Good luck, keep me posted
Jenn, mom to: Dayton , Alice ,Darla, Miya , Summer & Chooch
|04-16-2011, 05:23 AM||#3|
Ringo (1) and Lucy too!
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: On the Edge of Glory
There is a form of training called NILF ~ which is a very gentle way of reinforcing who is leader in the house. It has certainly worked with our dominant Westie.
However, this sounds like more of a fear response than simply attacking. It happens only when the doorbell rings or someone knocks at the door?
First of all, he should not be allowed anywhere near the door area. That space is YOURS and you can claim it by physically blocking him from entering the area with your body and stance. If all this is fear-based, try consulting with your Vet or pay for one session with a trainer. One session would not be all that expensive. (At least it wasn't for us).
Neutering is definitely in order.
Mommy to Lucy, Ringo, and Matthew
|04-16-2011, 11:40 AM||#4|
♥ Love My Tibbe! ♥
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: D/FW, Texas
Many trainers don't recommend letting your dog walk or pull ahead of you if he is not really well balanced and of a submissive and not dominant nature. Books I've read and TV shows I've watched advise that while you are still training him in your leadership, keep him even with your body during walks or slightly behind you and on a rather short but loose leash, only tightened briefly when you stop if the dog forges ahead, letting it go slack as soon as the dog stops pulling. They also say to precede him through doors, down the hall, etc., until he gets the point and the biting and dominance/aggression, etc., is all behind him. Once he learns you are the leader in the household and he's no longer fearful or dominant/aggressive, you can resort to whatever you prefer. Keep your training even-keeled, patient and rewarding for the dog and he will not only respond well, he will enjoy it so much! Good luck to you and welcome to YT!
Jeanie and Tibbe
One must do the best one can. You may get some marks for a very imperfect answer: you will certainly get none for leaving the question alone. C. S. Lewis
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