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Advice please....he bit me. Heartbroken

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Thanks for the reassurances too from all you agility people. I will wear my scars, not with pride, but understanding at least.


Think poorly of him? No, never in a million years :rolleyes: the hairy, sloppy goofball - I love every inch of him!


In our pack, he's usually bottom of the pecking order. I kind of think of him as the perpetual heir to the alpha dog crown who waits a lifetime to be king. I'll need to watch out for other subtle signs as time goes by I guess - like taking mistresses, or displayig an interest in organic gardening :D

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Meg's Mum -you asked if he gets jealous of Meg or DH - No - not ever in an aggressive way, but he can be , ummm, quite subtly but persistently, attention seeking - you know, sidling up, head on lap, nose under what I'm reading etc - and I do tend to give him a scratch absent mindedly, sniff his ears, :rolleyes: whatever. As a lot of you dear folk know I've been off work for a long while with depression and I have found this behaviour of his very comforting and haven't really discouraged it. Perhaps I need to look at curtailing it some.


Thanks for the timely reminder ( sorry I forget who it was ) about 'games' triggering the prey drive. Absolutely.


Taking aside all our human emotions, his actions sound very much like attention seeking behaviors to climb his social ladder...and as you give into his behaviors, he's putting you beneath him in the pecking order.


I know these little actions are very endearing, and when I was told to curtail them by a behaviorist I cried (really) I found what an impact they made on my dogs state of mind.


The way I see if it with my crew is that I don't care if they have attention seeking behaviors if the rest of their behavior is acceptable to my household. I think that's what you need to analize. It could be nothing and it could be everything. I do think that perhaps the nip was not necessarily related to dominance..it just was and it's not something to dwell on unless you see different tendencies.


Try and not allow your dog to initiate the cuddles, it's just as easy to ask them to do something easy and then love on them all you want. :D It's also empowering..I'm sorry to hear that you've been struggling with depressing, it's a familiar syndrome in our home and my husband keeps wanting to call a puppy Prozac.




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I don't think its anything I'd really worry about.


It is obvious it was redirected frustration. The reaction he gave after the fact, probably instantly, was apologetic. I don't even think correction is required a this point, just a clear gesture that it is never acceptable, even out of frustration.


I think the dogs do all their punishing on their when you can read that they are indeed truly sorry for what they did because they "know" its wrong.


One of my dogs from time to time has nipped my leg when we "play" agility (I don't train really train for it, its just a game). Instantly the dog drops to the ground apologetically, saying it is sorry. We stop at this point and the dog gets a gentle shake and growl on its back, just as you would with a puppy.


The dog knows it is wrong, I reinforce that its wrong and then we're done. The "correcting" goes no farther then that as more is not needed because both the dog knows what it did and that it was wrong. Correcting byond a gentle shake and growl are not going to do anything more then what has already been taught and corrected.


It is one thing when a dog has no clue what it did or the fact that what it did was wrong. It is something totally different when a dog "knows" what it did, that it was wrong and it is apologetic for it.


Dogs are nothing like people who will do wrong continually and apologize with no meaning because they know it will get them out of trouble.


I believe this makes scene. :rolleyes:



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Please take a minute to do a google search on the term "redirected aggression" to make sure you understand what it is. It occurs more commonly with cats than dogs, so many of the links will talk about it in a feline context. Here is one.


I think you know this, but you should not be focusing on why Rhiw bit you. You should instead be focusing on how Rhiw reached a state of arousal that was beyond his ability to handle. Two things need to change: (1) don't let him get to that level of arousal; and (2) teach him better self-control and appropriate outlets for aggression when he is aroused.


Teaching Rhiw that you, not he, initiates cuddling is one way to teach him better self-control. Here is a protocol, again developed for cats but you can adapt it for dogs, that will help you make this transition. Remember that you don't need to do any less cuddling, you just need to be the one who starts and stops it. Dogs look to us for leadership and they are almost all happier when someone provides it for them.

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Alaska - thanks for that link - it's very helpful, and as you say googling produces a lot of other useful info.

We're re-enforcing the 'nothing in life is free' stuff (including cuddles - if he initiates we ignore him) and it is already resulting in a change in his behaviour - he's pestering less for cuddles and his focus on me is much more intense. Also today, as I brushed him outside he was very compliant - normally he whines and tries to squiggle away.

Thanks again for all the helpful advice. :rolleyes:

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