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Canine Behavior/Toy Poodle's Night Aggression


Hello, my mom and I have a 1 and a half year old female toy poodle. Her name is Princess. She sleeps with both of us on the bed. During the night, especially when the lights are off, she becomes very sensitive. Whenever we move, she will growl and bite. She will attack us and jump on us. We do not even touch her, just so long as we move she will attack us. We react by scolding her, firmly saying no and asking her "why are you biting me?!". She then looks sorry and goes back to sleep. This happens whenever we move, and its a routine now that we cover our entire body in the quilt just in case she bites us. What can we do? Thanks

Remove the dog from the bed and the bedroom.   Give her a soft comfortable bed in another room (kitchen).  Be prepared for a few nights of howling, barking, whining.  DO NOT RESPOND.  Even if you must lose sleep.  The dog's eyes must be examined by an expert in ophthalmology in order to rule out some inherited sight problems (early onset cataracts being one of them).  Meanwhile, this behavior is totally unacceptable from a companion dog.  Find a veterinary ophthalmologist if you can (in your country) for a thorough evaluation and then report back using followup feature.

Before introducing any serious behavior modification program, we need to know the dog is not suffering from a physical cause for this behavior.

Canine Behavior

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Jill Connor, Ph.D.


I have spent my entire professional life rehabilitating the behavior of the domestic dog and I can answer any question regarding any behavior problem in any breed dog. I have answered more than 5,000 QUESTIONS on this site in the past (almost) eight years. If you are a caring, committed owner and need advice, I'm here for you. I am personally acquainted with my colleagues (Turid Rugaas, Ian Dunbar, etc.) who were members of an elite group in EGroups that I founded: K9Shrinks. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES for serious behavioral issues; not only is it unprofessional to offer same, it is also unethical. IF I ASK YOU SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS, I NEED YOU TO INTERACT WITH ME. More information equals more credible answers and a more successful outcome. If you want ANSWERS THAT WORK, participate in any way I request. I'm quite committed to working on this site for YOUR benefit and the benefit of YOUR DOG. Help me in any way you can.


30 years of solving serious behavior problems in domestic dogs; expert in dog to human aggression; Internet columnist for for 5 years; former radio talk show host, WHPC.FM, Garden City, NY "Bite Back" (1995 through 2000). List owner, international animal behavior experts, Seminar leader: "Operant Conditioning and Learning"; "Aggression in The Domestic Dog"; "Solving Problem Behaviors" -- conducted for various training facilities on Long Island from 1993 through 2000. Former clinical director of "Behavioral Abnormalities" in conjunction with Mark Beckerman, DVM, Hempstead, New York.

Member, APDT (UK); Psychologists in Ethical Treatment with Animals

Harcourt Brace Learning Direct: "The Business of Dog Training" "The Fail Safe Dog: Brain Training, not Pain Training"

Ph.D., UC Berkeley

Past/Present Clients
Board of Directors: Northeast Dog Rescue Connection; The Dog Project; Sav-A-Dog Foundation; etc. Pro Bono counselor: Little Shelter Humane Society My practice is presently limited to forensics. I diagnose cause of dog bite, based upon testimony before the Court, for attorneys and insurance companies litigating dog bites, including fatal injuries. I also do pro bono work for bona fide rescue organizations, humane societies, et al, regarding such analysis in an effort to obtain release for dogs being held for death in municipal shelters in the US.

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