More info please! What was the situation in whih the bites happened? In your home, out in public, was the dog under stress? Was this an adult or a child that was bit? What was the person who got bit ding what was the dog doing, ect.
People are like slinky's, not really good for much. But its still fun to push them down the stairs.
Bubba was in the house. I was in the basement. My kids were outside playing with the neighbor kids. The 4 of them walked in the house and Bubba bit her on the back of the leg. Drew blood through her jeans. There was no stress before the attack. He is a 18 month old chihushua who has bit my husband and done the same as above to my teenage neice before.
I know what a stressful situation that is, but try to not overreact or make any hasty decisions. Dogs are just like people-they can develop bad habits, but they can also change with the proper training, so give Bubba the benefit of the doubt for now. First and most important I think, has he been neutered? Sounds like a possible territorial/dominance thing to me. Even at 18 months, getting him neutered can drastically reduce those tendencies, and would be my very next step, barring any immeidate legal repercussions. What you do next has a lot to do with how the parents of the kid who was bit are reacting...
I had the same problem with my rescue maltese, as far as ankle biting. Bailey issues had to do with fear aggression. He has never drawn blood though. I'm sure you will get some great advice here and I look forward to hearing it. The only solution I can offer is to segregate your dog and be extremely vigilant. I'm not extremely social and I don't have any kids, but when I know someone is coming to my house I make sure Bailey is in a separate room or I'm holding him before they come in. If you dicide to hold him make sure you pick him up before shows any signs of aggression or else he might think he is being rewarded.
Has this dog had any type of professional training? Even a basic obedience class will help teach them a pecking order and respect for their pack leaders.
Also have a thorough vet exam done including vision testing to rule out any issues beyond his control. Next I would suggest a animal behaviorist to work with you. Your only other option is to re-home him to a rescue or other type facility willing to work through his issues with him.
Allowing the behavior to continue will end in your children being bit, as well as someone suing the next time possibly forcing him to be euthanized.
It is VERY common for owners of small breeds to spoil ansd coddle them. Punishemnt for bad behavior is generally not done because of he owners thinking he is s small and afraid to hurt him, or think that his dominance of you is cute. Allowing him to go on thinking he is in charge and running the household, which is a common reason for this behavior.
***Edited By: lpn169 on 4/17/2008 12:35:49 AM*** Reason: add
People are like slinky's, not really good for much. But its still fun to push them down the stairs.
Bubba was fixed very young. He did not reach maturity. He hasn't had any formal training. I think I have let him dominate the other dog way too much. We are like a show of dog whisperer, except I haven't seen any episodes where he rehabs a biter that draws blood.
Also Bubba was attacked by the neighbor's dog before. They got rid of the dog-- I don't know in which way. Now he has bit their daughter. I think they are expecting me to get rid of him. And I contacted a rescue league, they said they cannot take a biting dog.
Before getting rid of the dog, why not try training? If money is a consideration, most local shelters have professional trainers who work with them and offer at least basic obedience at a very reasonable cost. Isn't he is worth at least that much effort before any final decision is made? If you go through with the training and find the problems are not resolved, the a Chi rescue would be the route to go.
"Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful".
When we first got our rescue Maltipoo, who was 10 years old, we had the same problem. He was afraid and would bite. We took him to an animal behaviorist and she worked with us to understand why it was happening. Once we knew what triggered it, the problem disappeared. Training as others suggested, or an animal behaviorist I'm sure would help with your situation.
The majority of chihuahuas I have been around have been high strung. Kids can make them nervous and anxious. Especially small kids. When the dog bites people like your Husband it might just be re-directed aggression due to the kids making him nervous. I think chihuahuas make better pets for adults and much older kids. Maybe try giving Bubba his own space where he can retreat when the kids are rowdy. That's when crates come in real handy. Or just try putting his doggie bed and some of his belongings in a quiet corner of your bedroom and shut the door. When the kids are in "quiet mode" at the end of the day and watching t.v. or something, let Bubba join the group. Discourage the kids from teasing him. I've seen first hand how teasing a dog can turn them into biters. At first it seems funny but then turns serious. He doesn't give me the impression that he is a fear biter. Fear biters are usually prompted into biting, not spontaneous biting. Try giving him his space.
I have been doing Bullmastiff rescue for over 30 years and I know for a fact that most breed rescues will not take a dog if they are told it has bitten some one. This is the reason I no longer belong to the American Bullmastiff Association Rescue group. They didn't care why the dog bit or take the age of the dog into consideration all they wanted to do was euthanise. I have always run a no kill shelter and could not deal with this hard line attitude. I was told to put down a puppy that had been tortured because it bit to defend itself. Don't count on a breed rescue to take a dog with behavior issues unless you get a commitment in writing and a guarantee that the dog isn't going to be put down as soon as you sign it over. I struggle to provide for the dogs I take into because I don't receive any financial assistance, but I have the freedom to do what is in the dogs' best interests.
Most rescues won't, BUT some will-it is worth looking for. Some of the Cairns we rescued were taken in by Col Potter rescue, and one had a biting issue-they worked with him for a few weeks and got him past it, and now he has been re-homed successfully. However, this is YOUR dog, you have loved him for almost 2 years, so I would say stick it out awhile longer until you can honestly say you have done all you can. Work with a trainer, and until he can be trusted, keep him crated or leashed at all times so that you can control him. There is also a TON of helpful info on the net about dealing with biting, especially at identifying the reasons behind it. There are no guarantees you will conquer this, but I would say you have a good chance. Doesn't sound like he is a truly aggressive dog, just one who needs to be taught some manners.
That actually can be very typical of chi's. They were are one time considered one person dogs. I had one when I was younger, but after it bit me 3 times and went after my baby sister, my mom found a wonderful old lady to give the dog to. She was thrilled with him. Anyway. Most breeders have done an EXCELLENT job of changing the temperment of these dogs. But it is possible that the dog is getting stressed out by the kids playing. I would suggest perfesional training like others above. I would also think about a crate or x-pen. The x-pen is a wonderful idea that way the dog can have his space, bed, food, water, and toys. That way he will not feel as if he is being punished for something. He will have his own space, and use it for different times, even just quiet times before bed or something. I wish you all the luck in the world. I will pray for you, and I hope all works out.
Thank you everyone for your help. I have taked to chi rescue centers. They cannot take biters. I talked to my vet. She said it is very hard to rehab a biter that has drawn blood. So I found a lady that has 3 or 4 already. She knows that he is a biter and says he will just fit in with the others. I love him dearly, but I just couldn't take anymore of a chance with my kids' safety. Thanks again for all your support.
Children can be experimental and even cruel sometimes to animals. They need to be taught respect and boundaries, as well as how to read a dogs body language.
That situation most definitely caused your dog stress and you let it continue unmonitored. You failed your dog, your kids and even a strangers kid here, this is not a terrific message to be drilling into their little sponge like minds. Please don't bring another animal that demands even this small, basic amount of training, security and money home anytime soon.
I would say your vet is somewhat misinformed, and while I am disappointed that you decided not to keep him, I am glad to hear that he will not be put down at least. I do understand being concerned for your own childrens' safety, and regardless of how some people feel, your children should come first. Perhaps things will work out for him with his new home. I would advise you to think long and hard, and do a great deal of breed research before bringing another dog into your home so that this unfortunate situation will not be repeated. I wish you the best.
I don't mean to be rude but you did fail your dog. He did what he was being trained to do. I say that because it's important for you to realize that you need to make changes before you consider bringing home another dog. It would be a tragedy if you blamed this situation on the breed or the individual dog. I'm sure you didn't realize you were inadvertently rewarding his behavior and I'm glad you found a good home for him. You deserve some credit for not euthanizing him or dumping him on the already overburdened rescues.