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Leerburg's Q&A database has 3324 entries from multiple categories.

 

Categories: Fear Aggression

Q. When my dog gets scared, he bites. We've trained him, but we can't make up for his first two years of abuse. What if we removed some/all of his teeth?
We rescued a 2+ yearod abused lab/chow mix. He was not neutered or trained. After 3 years, he is both, and we've tried to make up for the lack of socialization. However, he still -- very rarely -- bites. He's fine and then something scares him and there he goes. I know we can't make up for his first two years of abuse. And I know the conventional wisdom is to put him to sleep. I wonder, though -- what if we removed some/all of his teeth? I imagine it's expensive, but I don't see why it's not an alternative. Please advise! Thanks.

Linda

A. How about offering the dog better structure and leadership? There is NO way I would ever suggest removing a dog's teeth unless it was for a medically sound reason.

Get the dog a properly sized muzzle if you are worried about accidental bites, we have directions on how to measure the dog for a muzzle on this page.

Do some big changes in how you live with him so he can relax and not be reactive.

Dogs like yours need predictable routine and to know they are safe. If he isn't crate trained, that's the place to start. Show him you are in control of things and that you won't let anything hurt or scare him.

Start with our groundwork program and Pack Structure for the Family Pet DVD.

Fearful dogs don't want to bite, they just feel they have no other options. Control situations where he may be put on the spot. Give him a safe place to be in your home and don't let strangers get in his space.

I would also recommend this 3 part video series on fear periods in dogs, it explains how to condition the dog to things that make it nervous.

Cindy Rhodes
  
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