i have had my dog for about 8 years now, we adopted him from a shelter when he was 1. he has had some biting issues, though they have recently started to get worse. we only took him to puppy training class at petsmart, and it didn't do much. other than that, he hasn't had much training, which i assume is where this is coming from. when he is sleeping, you can not go near his pillow. he has bit everyone in my house at least ten times, some being serious requiring stitches. although my parent's have pretty much just blown it off, a recent incident has set them over the edge. my dog was sleeping on his pillow, and i guess my mom went to grab something that was near him. he woke up, and bit her finger. my mom thought it was fine, but within a few days realized it wasn't. she went to the dr who sent her to a hospital where she ended up having surgery because it had gotten super infected. my mom spent 5 days in the hospital, and came home to an in home IV treatment. my mom spent the entire time in the hospital worrying about my dog and what we are going to do. everyone is telling us to put him down because of the number of times he has done this, and because of the severity of this one. but i can't just jump to that conclusion without seeing what our other options are first. i am well aware of how my dog is when he sleeps, so i leave him be. however, my parent's seem to "forget" how he gets, causing these terrible situations. do you think this can be fixed and get out of him since he is already 8? idk if that's too old to try to change things like this? he also has a very bad food aggression problem, but we were told that is probably caused by trying to force his way through his brothers and sisters when he was younger to food from their mother. i guess i am just asking for advice, and whether a normal dog trainer should be able to help with this, or if we are just left with only one option? :( the thing that i am worried about is that even if we get a trainer, it's not guaranteed to work, and we can't risk this happening again, especially to someone outside of my family. my dog is perfect for 99% of the time..it's just that small 1% where he has issues. :/
You could try a behaviorist, a regualar dog trainer really wouldn't cut it. I feel no dog is to old to learn new tricks. I know in my area there is a group called bark busters. They are great, you could look them up.
Otherwise you as a family has to remember what triggers his behavior and not do it. He is getting older, and could be startled easier. Hearing, and sight start becomming a problem within older dogs.
The risk of him biting someone outside your home is a risk that only your family can decide to take. If he is fine around people and only protective of his things, that usually makes a huge differance.
You have my sympathy...we rescued a hideously abused Aussie/Chow mix about 8 years ago and he's gotten worse with every year. Sometimes these dogs are so abused that no amount of love or care can heal them--and their behavior DOES seem to get worse over the years. If you can't bring yourself to put him down (we couldn't either) you must be very careful to ensure he doesn't get out of your fenced yard, always keep him behind a barrier when guests visit (and warn them not to try to pet him), and always make sure his shots are up to date. If you know he has food issues don't feed him where anybody can pass by while he's eating--ours eats in the laundry room behind a closed door. It's nuts to keep this kind of dog, I know--but when I think of what he's been through, I just can't "off" him. Good luck!