While searching the internet for "2 weeks after Neuter. my black lab is attacking me," I found your website and information on why dogs attack.
I called one of your staff members today and told her my plight, she didn't know the answer so she guided me to your email address.
Of all the websites I've searched, and all the phone calls I've made, some how, I've been lured to your site.
Anyway, here is my story:
2 weeks ago, I went to the local humane Society to find a dog. I found a black lab/Shepard mix, with no real information only that he is 2 years old, has his shots, is an "escape artist" needs a large yard and needs to be neutered and that he was found wondering the local streets and that no one has come to claim him in 1 month of his stay.
OK, not much info, but he's beautiful, I take him out of his pen, visit with him each day for a few hours, I love him, ready to sign the papers.
Murphy is what we name him, put it on his tag on his collar and begin to purchase $500.00 worth of food and supplies. My yard is a few acres of beautiful botanical like gardens, koi ponds, etc. Already he's found to be basically Trick trained, he can "Sit" "give Paw" "lay down" and "roll over" on command, clearly someone trick trained this dog, well.
Well, I realize after 1 day of ownership, that he has killed one of the neighbor rabbits... How you ask? He jumped the mutual fence and got to the rabbit cage.
The next weekend, we built a stronger and taller fence.
1 week in, he's destroyed $5,000.00 worth of landscaping, killed Koi and 8 more rabbits, has began to run loose into neighbors yards.
2 weeks in, he's destroyed a total of $10,000.00 of prize roses, trees, landscaping and has taken down one of the fences. Not too mention, he's now attacking me whenever I go to try and take him for a walk, or bring him his food, or toss about a toy. He lunges at my clothing, tugs at my flesh and then clamps down on my wrists to the point of drawing blood.
I can't punish a dog, but last night, I held him down and smacked his butt and said "NO!", he lunged up and bit me in the face, teeth showing....
Needless to say, everyone around me is begging me to take him back to the pound. Have I already bonded with him, after only 2 weeks? Well kind of. But, this dog needs to be "Put Down!" as my neighbor of the dead rabbits, puts it.
I'm at a loss, Do I keep him, and purchase expensive training with a trainer, let him do what he wants to my property, risk loosing a body part when I want to give him love, or take him back to the humane society and tell them... This is no Black Lab/Shepard Mix, more like Black Lab Pit bull or worse....
[Sorry for the detailed story... ]
The problem is that this dog isn't being shown any leadership whatsoever. Taking a known escape artist straight from a shelter and turning him loose in a big yard is basically giving him permission to do what he pleases. Dogs chase and kill small animals, it's a genetic thing and they need to be taught what the rules are. If you can't supervise the dog, he should be in a secure escape proof kennel or crate. When he's with you he should be on a leash at all times, no exceptions.
When you held this dog down and smacked him he was merely defending himself, I really don't blame him for biting. From his point of view, you were attacking him. He sees you as a subordinate, which is why you can't control him. You have basically given him complete freedom to do what he wants and now you either need to take back control (which will likely be very uncomfortable for both of you at first) or you should return him to the shelter. His behavior will likely get worse the longer you let it go unchecked. There are no quick or easy fixes here, it will require you completely restructuring his life and being consistent.
Owners of dogs like yours underestimate the genetic power of "PACK DRIVE." Pack structure is not something new and it is not optional, and if you don’t provide the structure and leadership a dog NEEDS then he or she will behave as canines have for thousands of years and will structure your family and household their own way. Your dog is simply being a dog, a dog that needs some guidance and rules. If you want to fix a problem like this you can but it takes some work.
I would start by running your dog through our groundwork program and the video that picks up where the article leaves off; Pack Structure for the Family Pet. Here is a DVD that I would recommend titled Dealing with Dominant and Aggressive Dogs. If you go to the link on this DVD you can read about what it covers. You will also see a detailed outline of what’s in the video.
We also have a number of eBooks, which include topics that may help you.
For future questions, you might benefit from learning to use our SEARCH function, which is located in the top left corner of every page of the website. If you type in your key words or question it will find you articles, Q & A’s, free streaming video and links to threads on our discussion forum. Our website has over 16,000 pages and it’s very likely you’ll find the information you are looking for. I hope this helps.