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Do you have a dog training or equipment question?
Leerburg's Q&A database has 3321 entries from multiple categories.

 

Categories: Dog Bites , Puppy Biting/Chewing

Q. We have a 3 1/2 month old rat terrier mix. While it seems we have broken her of her
We have a 3 1/2 month old rat terrier mix. While it seems we have broken her of her "mouthing" biting she is aggressively biting more frequently. When she has been aggressive with me (growling, etc) I have taken her by the scruff and told her "No" or "Settle down" in a very stern voice. We have 4 kids ages 4-11 and she has bitten each of them several times and in an aggressive way at least once. Sometimes they have "deserved it" because they were bothering her at inappropriate times but just now she bit my 4 year old while he was petting her. He was gentle as I witnessed the whole thing. I got a hold of her to tell her no and she bit my finger enough to draw blood. This is the first time she has lashed out at me. Earlier tonight she was calm on my lap and when my 6 year old daughter petted her she bit her also. When she has gone to the vet he has commented how sweet and social she is. She goes to the bus stop and has not bitten the other kids around her. I keep her on a pretty short leash while we are there. She is on a 3 foot lead all the time. From what I have read, it looks like we may need to bring this do back to the shelter we got her from. What do you think?

Would obedience classes really help this dog? I appreciate any
thoughts and advice you may have.

Thank you,
Joy

A. One thing that jumps out at me is that this puppy is on your lap, and that needs to stop. You are giving her a “power position” by allowing her to be up there. She needs to be on a leash with her feet on the floor or in a crate.

Please read this article about becoming an effective pack leader.

The first sentence in this article says it all: "You can feed water and love your dog and he will like you but he very well may not respect you." 99% of all behavioral problems are a result of dogs not respecting their owners. This happens as a result of poor handling and/or poor training.

This article was written for people like yourself, people who have great intentions but not enough knowledge of pack structure.. There are links within the article that will take you to other articles on my web site.

Your puppy is trying to run the show here, which is why she is biting you and your family but not the vet or strangers. Dominant behavior is usually shown to pack members (you and your family) that show weakness or act like followers.

I am going to make some recommendations on reading material and videos.

Pack Structure for the Family Pet

Your Puppy 8 weeks to 8 Months

Look at some of the articles on this page

Q&A on Puppy Biting/puppy Chewing/ Puppies that bite their owners and their family member

I hope this helps.

Cindy
  
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