I have an approx 1.5 year old believed to be Australian Shepherd/ Jack Russell Terrier mix my husband and I adopted from a rescue at the age of 3 months. He has never been aggressive towards anyone, we often even joke that he is literally everyone's "best friend" and I have worked extensively with him to both socialize and train him. However, while we were travelling this holiday season to see family we had to stop in at a hotel for 2 days due to a car issue. He had done well the whole trip, was even fine with the hotel on the first day. The evening of second night I had gotten up to do something and noticed he had not moved to his crate like he usually does, but was sprawled on my husband's coat instead. I didn't think much of it until I knelt down to check on him and he bared his teeth and growled at me in a low tone the dropped his head and whimpered. Concerned that he might be sick or hurt I leaned to turn on the light and he lashed out and bit me on the hand hard enough to hurt, but not break skin, then growled again. The commotion woke my husband up and the dog was like nothing had ever happened. But I'm still a little rattled by it. There's been no recurrence and no aggression towards either of us since or before. But he has developed a shyness around children (fur stands up, runs away, hides) as well over the last month (he's been around children a lot before this with no problem). Can anyone shed light on whats happening with him? I don't want to be afraid of our dog and I dont want to be nervous around him and children either.
A lot of dogs do not like being disturbed while sleeping. Don't let anyone near him to startle him awake, especially children.
I also agree that he was on edge because of the confusion of being away from home as well.
They like to sleep on our things because they smell like us.
If he starts displaying more aggression than just when he is sleeping, or in a similar stressful situation, take him in to the vet for a check up. He could have something medically triggering aggression. Dogs can't tell us if they are in pain, losing their mind etc...
Good luck, don't be afraid of your dog. Be confident yet cautious and patient.
***Edited By: pope1982 on 1/7/2010 12:29:58 PM*** Reason: add
"You know, I've given the matter some thought, and I think I'd be willing to be a house pet to a race of super intelligent aliens."
I too think this was a freak thing. Sounds as though the traveling, over stimulation, strange place, strange noises, etc made him uncomfortable and afraid. It was dark and he had the jacket for comfort and was startled when someone tried to touch him.
Some dogs get very stressed with travel, he may just be one of them.
I don't think it was a freak accident. He did it TWICE!
He would have been severely reprimanded if he'd been mine. That is a totally unacceptable behavior.
There are NO acceptable excuses for your dog to bite you. He obviously does not respect you. So don't give him any. Don't give him any leeway either. He isto know and understand that he is never to do that again. He could become a dangerous animal and gradually become the boss in the house. ASs have been known to do such things.
Start over with this dog and be his Pack Leader. Firm, consistent and fair training. Always you in the Pack Leader position as well as everyone else in your family.
ann..... I am not sure where you got your info, but Australian sheperds are not dogs who will bite or turn nasty on their owners. Unsocialized ones can be protective of there owner around stranges, as they are to be reserved with strangers.
Jack Russels on the other hand can be unrulely little guys, and stubbern, as they are a terrier. In fact in the UK they are treated very much the same was we treat pit bulls.
So I am going to assume you got your info mixed up, and was not intentionally give out mis-information.
I agree. the dog just seemed like it was scared. No reason to punish it. you should never startle a dog awake because they will generally show a fear reaction....growling, biting. I only punish a dog if it bites more than once.
I agree. the dog just seemed like it was scared. No reason to punish it. you should never startle a dog awake because they will generally show a fear reaction....growling, biting. I only punish a dog if it bites more than once.http://www.idresses.co.uk