Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Domandal

My Lab Bit Me.

159 posts in this topic

Domandal   

Wow, we're still talking about pack hierarchies in 2012? On a dog forum? :(

Why not? With some dogs it is a very relevant issue. For most dogs it isn't an issue and sticking to all the old rules are a waste of time but in some situations re-establishing the family pack has to be done for everyone's safety. The issue I see here with the frequently absent female owner is that the dog has become "daddy's girl" and resents being pushed from that position. Just as male dogs frequently bond like this with female owners, female dogs do it with male owners. Some dogs are also one person dogs, refuse to take orders from anyone else and can get quite stroppy about it if you push them.

To the OP. Definitely try to get hold of the book "Think Dog" by John Fisher to understand what has gone wrong here but in the mean time get a good professional in to help you and get the dog off the bed permanently. Do not physically challenge this dog or things could really escalate.

Lol unfortunately I'm the bloke in this saga, although reading my previous posts I guess that wasn't established, and I get a bit sentimental when it comes to my puppy mate. I'm sure a lot of the problem is that I'm away so often and Layla is more than happy to be buddies but when it comes to territory it's each for their own between us at the momment. She obeys my commands as per previous posts, but if she is naughty she responds better to a telling off from the Mrs. Which is what happened after she bit me this morning. She knew Mum was very angry and took off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Andisa   

Wow, we're still talking about pack hierarchies in 2012? On a dog forum? :(

I would expect this topic to be openly discussed as long as people own dogs - not every owner is dog savvy, not all dogs will respond the same and even owners who have had dogs their whole lives will still come across a dog that they don't know how to handle.

Nothing In Life Is Free is a great motto and it works :thumbsup:

Good luck to the OP and I hope you find a good trainer to help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Domandal   

Don't let her cute looks fool you, she has a hell of a bite, I always laugh when I think back to a Dogs 101 vid suggesting one of the traits of labs is a soft gummy mouth. Layla destroys everything she puts in her mouth. Anyway I'm off to the doctor to get my wound checked out. Vets on Monday for Layla to get a checkup. The main reason for my original post is that I was confused in the situation where you should not let your dog get away with behaviour like that otherwise it will become pattern behaviour. So faced with choice I avoided being fearful of her escalation and it resulted in a nasty bite.

I had no intention of seeking medical attention but after advice from you guys I will. We will be speaking to a behaviour expert next week.

Edited by Domandal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She does look like butter (or fingers) wouldn't melt in her mouth (sorry! Couldn't help it)! It might be worth leaving a lead on her when she is inside so you have something to grab (other than her body) when you need to move her?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, we're still talking about pack hierarchies in 2012? On a dog forum? :(

Why not? With some dogs it is a very relevant issue. For most dogs it isn't an issue and sticking to all the old rules are a waste of time but in some situations re-establishing the family pack has to be done for everyone's safety. The issue I see here with the frequently absent female owner is that the dog has become "daddy's girl" and resents being pushed from that position. Just as male dogs frequently bond like this with female owners, female dogs do it with male owners. Some dogs are also one person dogs, refuse to take orders from anyone else and can get quite stroppy about it if you push them.

To the OP. Definitely try to get hold of the book "Think Dog" by John Fisher to understand what has gone wrong here but in the mean time get a good professional in to help you and get the dog off the bed permanently. Do not physically challenge this dog or things could really escalate.

Lol unfortunately I'm the bloke in this saga, although reading my previous posts I guess that wasn't established, and I get a bit sentimental when it comes to my puppy mate. I'm sure a lot of the problem is that I'm away so often and Layla is more than happy to be buddies but when it comes to territory it's each for their own between us at the momment. She obeys my commands as per previous posts, but if she is naughty she responds better to a telling off from the Mrs. Which is what happened after she bit me this morning. She knew Mum was very angry and took off.

Oops. It is more common for bitches to attach themselves to men and dogs to women but it can work the other way around. Ruling out medical causes I really think this dog probably sees you as a regular visitor not the master to be obeyed. Her behaviour needs to be modified but as you have found out, physical confrontation is not a smart idea.

BTW, expect the bite are to be very swollen and a lot more painful tomorrow. If it is just puncture wounds get some Icththammol Ointment from the chemist and put that on the wounds to draw out any infection. It works like magic on puncture wounds on humans or animals.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have just started reading "Think Dog", really enjoying it. Puts a whole different spin on how we view the interaction between dogs & humans. Also helps you read their body language. Very interesting thus far.

It will help you understand why the 'dog on the bed' means so much more to them, the message it's sending them, than it does to us in some dogs.

This book changed my life. I know the "pack heirachy" thinking is now considered old school but the methods used to overcome problems are mostly positive and that is where this book is at opposites to the old methods of Kohler, Barbara Woodhouse and Ceasar Milan. The other books by John Fisher are also worth reading as well.

I remember ready a Barbara Woodhouse book where she dealt with a little dog with the same problem of the dog not wanting the wife to get into bed. Her method was to don a very heavy coat and leather gloves and remove the snarling dog from the bed. Hardly something you could do with a large dog though. I much prefer John Fisher's non confrontational methods that are so much safer and still get results.

Really? That is still what is taught at our training school so i didn't know the whole are you the boss of the pack was considered outdated! :( What are other trainers teaching these days??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Weasels   

That is still what is taught at our training school

Really? Oh :(

The methods that result from the thinking aren't universally harmful (teaching dogs patience, self-control and the 'rules of the house' - all good) but the underlying philosiphy is demonstrably false.

Beautiful sunny day out so I'm going to leave it to Kathy Sdao to provide deets: http://www.kathysdao.com/articles/Forget_About_Being_Alpha_in_Your_Pack.html

Edit: I will add that "that dog is dominant...." is not a complete sentence. Dominance is a relationship established over time between 2 individuals for priority access to a resource. My girl asserts dominance over the water bowl. My boy asserts dominance over getting onto the car first, because he wants it more. Neither of these pieces of information help me if I want to train a specific behaviour. I just train it.

Edited by Weasels

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
corvus   

A growl is a warning. An air snap is a stronger warning. A snap that makes contact is a stronger warning again. From her perspective you ignored all her attempts to tell you she wanted you to stop. Of course, this doesn't mean that her behaviour should be excused or ignored, but it might help you understand why it happened and therefore how to avoid it happening again until you've addressed the underlying problem. It's often considered amongst vet behaviourists that this kind of thing happens as a result of a pattern in deference. The person who got bitten may unknowingly have been deferring to the dog a lot. This can be very subtle. Example, you come into the bedroom, Layla gives you a 'look', you don't notice because you're not even looking at her, you leave, she just told you to go away and you did. Whether that has been happening or not I have no idea. It's just an example to show you how these things can creep up out of nowhere. The dog gets used to the human deferring and then one day when the human doesn't defer the dog gets their nose out of joint because their idea of how the world works has just been turned on its head. The starting point for many behavioural modification programs is NILIF or whatever variation is your favourite. The idea is not to enforce rules or discipline or to show the dog who is boss. The idea is to gently get the dog into the habit of deferring to the human. The more gentle the better for a dog that has bitten. An abrupt change may be hard for the dog to handle and could provoke another bite.

Then again, maybe Layla just doesn't like you pushing her around physically. Don't read too much into it. If it's a hierarchy issue one might expect that the problem would be more widespread and associated with more resources and in more contexts. It may be as simple as a dog telling someone not to push her, then telling them again, then telling them again. If someone doesn't listen to you when you speak softly, you say it louder and louder until they hear you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tdierikx   

Sounds like Layla thinks your side of the bed is actually hers... *grin*

Some very good advice has already been given here already, so I won't harp on at you by repeating it - you already have indicated that you are taking that advice.

When I had a partner living with me, my dogs would look to me for acknowledgement if he gave them an order, and his dog would do the same - it was truly weird the way they had picked who they thought they could get away with things from... no-one ever got bitten though... and we had 4 Rotties at the time.

I must say that my Labrador is way more likely to push the boundaries than any of my Rotties ever did... she's not named Trouble for nothing you know...

... and if you think Layla has perfected the butter wouldn't melt look, check out my Trouble...

IMG_1426.jpg

I hope Kathy can help you sort out your relationship with Layla...

T.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
megan_   

I'd recommend a vet check (possibly pain related?) and a behaviourist assessment.

Good luck with the situation. :)

Yes - vet check first then reputable behaviourist (lots of charlatans out there)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
LizT   

Nothing to add to the already very good advice you have been given other than to wish you, your partner and Layla well.

Sure you'll get it sorted out with good help.

So in that respect an interent forum IS useful insofar as referal to good help goes. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
m-sass   
Layla our adored Lab almost 2 years old bit me this morning and I'm not sure what do. First ill tell you a bit about our situation, Layla was bought from a breeder as a pup of 7 weeks. She is reasonably obedient after I used clicker training to train her, these days though unless she can see the treat or the reward she won't complete the order.

Ok, what you have is a result of mamby pamby training a dog of the wrong temperament. I would absolutely swear on a stack of bibles if the dog had received a few good corrections for blatant disobendience, the dog would have never bitten you. The dog is the boss, calls the shots, runs the household and wants to do as she pleases. This type of aggression gets worse of not nipped in the bud fast, definitely time for a behaviourist preferably one with a full tool box, preferably not another mamby pamby methodoligist who fixes the problem on the bed by keeping her out of the bedroom. She needs IMHO to learn the consequence of an aggressive reaction and learn some rank order for what it's worth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So what exactly would you suggest doing m-sass and scootaloo? Ie. what type of corrections in this situation?

ETA - oh, and how does the OP prevent it happening again?

Edited by Simply Grand

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
m-sass   

So what exactly would you suggest doing m-sass and scootaloo? Ie. what type of corrections in this situation?

ETA - oh, and how does the OP prevent it happening again?

What I am pointing out from the great discription that the OP gave us of her dog's character and behaviour, getting bitten by this dog was coming, she's a protestor, a tough nut with an attitude if you make me do something I don't want to do, I am going to bite you eventually??. This in NOT (for the purpose of the explanation) a fear based reaction, she's a tough one who likes to flex some muscle, bit of an Alpha Bitch type and IMHO, you have to correct dogs like that and lay down some boundaries.

The dog as the OP explained, won't sit without seeing the reward.........that's common with tough nuts and then growling if she's lifted into the car......then growling and snapping to biting on the bed which is all related behaviour. The dog if she could speak is telling the owner to get stuffed basically so in that case beginning with the sit, a known command she doesn't want to do without a treat........I would give her a Bill Koehler special for that behaviour and often, it's all it takes......one good correction and a tough nut re-thinks the rules of protest and learns a bit of rank order. The bed situation is not the issue, the bed situation is the accumulation of protesting behaviour where the biting has surfaced......I would wind back the training clock and start again with the basics and the NILF system is a good start, obviously a good trainer/behaviourist is needed here to get the whole picture.

I haven't seen the dog and I am purely shooting from the back pocket here on what is written about the dog's behaviour, but that is the temperament and character of a dog that needs consequence and motivation/reward.......the question, what dogs need some aversive measures??.......the OP's dog is a perfect example of the type of character I would most definitely use corrections to conteract protest.........actually in a Lab given that so many now are so nervy, she sound's like the makings of a great dog with the right training :)

Edited by m-sass

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
megan_   

So no vet visit?

Wpretty brave to diagnose via the Internet. Let's hope the OP sees Kathy and doesn't just follow msass' advice and land up with a dog redirecting their aggression on the OP. (has happened to at least one person I know).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
m-sass   

So no vet visit?

Wpretty brave to diagnose via the Internet. Let's hope the OP sees Kathy and doesn't just follow msass' advice and land up with a dog redirecting their aggression on the OP. (has happened to at least one person I know).

No, I gave a back pocket opinion, I said that and also recommended the OP seek professional advice and for the record, I wouldn't recommend Kathy who is another method pusher with the anti- prong and Ecollar speil, good luck with trainers who's tool box is half full to cater for a range of temperaments and characters :banghead:

If a dog tends to show potential for redirected aggression, you muzzle them then it's nothing to worry about :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
tdierikx   

I think a lot of people are of the impression that a Labrador is just a big friendly goof ball and would never harm a fly... which I can attest isn't exactly the case.

Here's a shot of my Rottie/Pittie cross after an altercation with my Lab...

23-6-2010-TroubleandZeddywounds011.jpg

As you can see, the wounds are all mainly on the legs and chest. The Lab was being deadly serious and had the Rottie/Pittie cross by the front legs and was shaking her about like a rag doll. 2.5 cans of capsicum spray, boots and batons were applied by 3 police officers who heard the altercation coming from my yard and came to assist me in breaking the dogs up. When the dogs finally did stop, the police actually drew their guns on the Lab in case she decided to go them... I'm under no illusions as to the fact they would have shot her if she had made any move to approach them.

So, even though altercations like this were extremely rare (only 4 fights in 2.5 years), I keep those 2 dogs completely separate at all times now... it's just not worth the consequences to try to let them run together.

Funnily enough, my Lab girl is fine with the other dogs in the family - even deferring completely to my smaller disabled camp dog (who is a bossy boots) - and she loves playing with all the foster pups who come through here. Same with the Rottie/Pittie cross girl. It's only each other that they will challenge... to the death.

Whatever you decide with Layla, you need to nip her challenging behaviour in the bud as soon as possible - she has shown you that she is capable of biting you if she doesn't like what you are asking of her... and you certainly don't want to be the recipient of what she could be capable of if she decides to really show you who's boss...

T.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×