You are here:

Poodles/HELP MY DOG IS AGGRESIVE!

Advertisement


Question
QUESTION: sORRY tO bOTHER, bUT I HAVE A Multi-Poo Dog.she has been aggressive. She bites you randomly and makes you bleed! We try to shave her because she has mats in her fur and she snaps/ attacks us! we tried a cone around her head, a thing around her mouth (muzzle), AND put  leash on her and nothing seems to work! She is 6 years old. Also she was potty trained and now she pee's and poops EVERYWHERE around the house! And when we tell her NO she attacks and bites us like i said before! We cannot take her to the vet to be shaved as she was so aggressive they will not shave her anymore!!!!! She has also been territorial! Are multi-poos supposed to be Mean And Attack Out of nowhere? EXAMPLE i will pet her and thet she bites HARD! Please Help and respond asap! And do you know any colleges that allow dogs?

ANSWER: Hello Alex,
Let me start off by saying that you are no bother and any question where someone needs help is one I am happy to answer.

Ok, now for the tough stuff.  This is Not going to be easy to fix, but these steps will help you get you back to being the boss of your dog and house.  
What is going on is that your dog has been taking over your house and rules for some time now.  It may not have been noticed, but she has been finding ways here and there to ignore what you are saying, snap back at you when you say something and just generally become what you see now.  
To fix this, you are going to have to reassert yourself as the Dominate member of your pack.  This means making her submit to you, even if she growls, snaps, nips or even bites at you.  YOU CANNOT ACT AFRAID OR PULL AWAY!!  If she thinks that she can make you afraid, then she has won and will keep doing what she is doing.  
The first part of this is Dominating her.  To do this, you are going to first need a leash on her so she doesn't get away, you will need some hand protection (this can be oven mits, thick gloves or whatever will give you bite protection, though you will need to be able to use your hands) because she will attempt to bite you, and a muzzle if you can get one on her.  
You won't need the gloves for this part yet.
Once she is set up like this, let her fight the leash a bit.  Walk her around and give a pop on the leash when she fights.  She needs to know that by her fighting, she is not going to get her way.  There will be head shaking, pawing, growling and she may even flip around some.  Let her.  Let her tire herself out until she will stand or sit still on the end of the leash.  Praise and pet her when she will sit still and quiet.  She needs to learn that you want her to sit still rather than to fight you and that she will only get the praise and petting when she is quiet.  Try getting down on her level and petting her.  If she is good for the petting and doesn't attempt to bite, Praise her.  If she fights, repete the process.  Let her fight it out with the leash until she will settle down.  DO make sure the leash isn't choking her and that the muzzle allows for free breathing.  Get her to the point that she will walk around with the muzzle on and the leash is loose.  Praise her and pet her when she is doing good.  
Next go to pick her up.  If she lets you, pet her.  If not, you need to lay her down on her side with her head on the floor and hold her down in that position until she will relax.  She may struggle to get up or attempt to bite you.  Don't let her.  Also, though you will be nervous inside, don't let it show outside.  If she can tell that you are afraid, she will know that she can do this again and you will give in.  Hold her head on the floor and keep her in this position until you feel her relax.  Once she has relaxed some, take your hands off her.  She needs to stay in that position until you release her, so if she tries to get up before you have Let her up, back down she goes with her head on the floor.  You can even Growl at her when she tries to get up.  Crazy as this sounds, you are speaking her language.  Once she is quiet and calm, don't look at her just move away from her and let her get up on her own.  Leave the leash on her though, so if you need to get to her again, you can grab the end of the leash.   
This is what a Dominate dog will do to a submissive dog that is trying to cause trouble.  The Dominate dog will growl at the other dog, will put his body over theirs and will take on a stance of dominance.  If the submissive dog doesn't back down, the Dominate dog will then use his head to push the submissive dog down.  The Dominate dog will use whatever means necessary to get the submissive dog down, including a fight if it comes to that.  9 out of 10 times, a Dominate dog Does Not want to fight another dog.  However, he will if the other dog won't submit.  The Dominate dog will lay the submissive dog on the ground and will stand over him, not letting him up, until the other dog will submit, then the dominate dog will walk away.  The Submissive dog should lay there for a minute or so, then get up and go his own way.  
This is what you need to do.  Make your dog realize that you WILL NOT tolerate this unruly behavior and that this is what will happen when she does get unruly.  
In my Grooming practice, I see aggressive dogs alot, or not necessarily aggressive dogs, but dogs that DO NOT want to be groomed.  They may have been to other groomers that will pull away when they become violent, so they attempt that with me.  I have learned that the only way to let a dog know that I am Dominate is to show them that I will not back down from whatever they throw at me.  If they Growl at me, I growl back.  If they snap or jump towards me, I thump them on the nose, and if they attempt to bite me, I grab them by the neck and bite them back.  It sounds mean, but its necessary if the dog thinks that they can dominate me.  I have trained myself to not be afraid.  Its hard to get over the thought of being bit, but you have to or the dog will use that against you.  
Once you have gotten your dog to where you can lay her down on the ground and her not get aggrressive, you can move on to the Dog Exam Position.

To Do the Dog Exam:
If you think your dog will try to bite you, use protection.  You are going to want to sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you.  You will position your dog in your lap on her back with her feet in the air.  Gently rub her until she will settle down.  Don't let her up or let her attempt to bite you.  Hold her there in your lap until she is quiet.  Next, start at her head.  If she has the muzzle on, skip her mouth.  Look in her ears, and eyes.  Check the top of her head (as if you were looking for fleas).  Move to her front legs.  Go down the leg bones to her feet.  Learn the feel of her bones and the bones in her toes.  Go in-between the toes and tap on the nails.  This will help her get used to having her feet messed with so that she is better when you trim her nails.  If she attempts to bite or struggle at any time during this process, lay her down on the floor and make her submit until she will lay still.  then pick her up and put her back in your lap.  Next move to her belly area.  Move your hand over her hair backwards so that you can observe her skin.  Praise and pet her when she will lay still.  Lastly move on to her back end.  Go down her tail, back legs and private areas.  
When she is quiet and calm, you can let her up.  

You may want to leave a cheap leash on her when you are home with her and where you can watch her.  That way, you can grab her when she is doing something she shouldn't be doing or correct her.  You also need to start doing things with her to let her know you are Dominate.  Such as making her sit before you put her food down in front of her, having her sit before she goes out the door to potty, and walking behind you on walks.  Don't let her jump on the couch or bed unless you ASK her to come up.  Being up on the couch with you is a priviledge, not her right.  She has to earn it.  

You might also want to think about getting her into some Obedience classes.  Not only are they fun and helps the dog learn some neat commands, but it is another way to show her you are her boss.  You give a command and though its fun and entertaining, she has to do it.  
If you feel that you cannot do the above mentioned procedures to correct her behaviors, you will need to consult a Professional Dog Behaviorist to help you.  This dominate behavior she is showing towards you won't get better on its own, it will only get worse as you and her "fight" over who is more dominate.  Also, since this didn't happen overnight, it won't be fixed in a day.  She will continue to test you and try to go back to being dominate.  You need to be on your game and not let this happen.  Remember to Praise her, give her treats and Pets when she is doing good and to get on to her and even growl at her when she does something that is not wanted.  

Please feel free to ask me anything more about this, I am more than willing to help you get your girl back to being the sweet girl she can be.  

Thanks for using AllExperts.com,
Kim



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi! Thanks For The Tips! I Will Be Sure To Use Them In The Future! Do You Know If Chihuahuas Are Mean And Aggressive? (Like My Dog) I Want To Bring A Toy Sized Dog To College! I Need To Find A College That Accepts Small Dogs In Doorms. I Am Looking For A College That Not Only Accepts Dogs, But Are In Hampton, Virginia, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Or Chesapeake. Please Help!

Answer
When looking for a friendly dog, you need to go out and visit the breeder and see the parents of the litter before buying the puppy.  Make sure both parents (if they are on site) are friendly and outgoing.  If they seem shy or aggressive, you can bet the puppies will probably be that way too.  
Chihuahuas can be friendly if raised right.  Some tend to be shy, but that is usually due to the breeders not socalizing them at a young age.  If they are raised around people from a young age, they will tend to be more friendly once they are ready to go to their new homes.  

If you are looking for a College that accepts pets, your best bet is going to be contacting that dorm and asking them.  I will look and see what I can find though.

http://mycollegeguide.org/blog/05/2010/pet-friendly-colleges/
http://www.petswelcome.com/articles/pets-welcome-pet-friendly-colleges.html
http://www.lmc.edu/student_life/residence_life/residence_halls.html

Try these out for starters.  I'll keep checking.
Good Luck,
Kim

Poodles

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Kim Wingate

Expertise

I can answer general questions about Poodles. My specific area of expertise is Standard Poodles, but I will answer all questions about Poodles and dog related questions if I can. If I can't answer your question, I will be able to find information or someone who can.

Experience

I am a Dog Groomer and Dog Trainer, who has raised Standard Poodles for over 25 years. I can answer Housebreaking questions, Obedience/Training questions, Grooming questions, Breeding questions, and General Dog questions. I can also give SUGGESTIONS about general Health questions, but as I am not a Certified Vet, I cannot and will not diagnose illnesses. If you think that your dog is seriously ill, please contact your own Vet.

Organizations
I am a member of the American Kennel Club.

Education/Credentials
I have worked at several Pet stores in my area, worked for a year as a Vet Tech, was an apprentice for a Dog Trainer, and have also worked at a Grooming/Showing kennel for several months. I have also raised, shown, currently train, and groom my own Standard Poodles, and have for over 25 years.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.