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Old 09-17-2012, 12:05 PM
Location: Hampton,Va
25 posts, read 80,173 times
Reputation: 25


Just want a quick opinion on what you guys would do in a sitiuation where the dog you've raised since a puppy, has started to snap at you.

- first time ocurrence?
-second time?

Quick note: If you have a personal story please feel free to share and give details on the breed and age.

Note: this is not a story, I did not get bit by my dog im just looking for people's opinion on the topic

Last edited by RedskinNation11; 09-17-2012 at 12:35 PM..
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:11 PM
Location: North Western NJ
6,588 posts, read 16,707,860 times
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first time: what did I do to provoke it...a dog deosnt just suddenly start snapping for no reason...so am i doing something to mkae the dog feel the need to react? and am i NOT paying attention to its body language...
if nothing seem to be "out of the normal" otherwise id pass it off as having a bad day (we ALL get into one of those moods some times.

second time: again what did I do to provoke the situation, if no reason can be found its off to the vets for a full work up...once can be dismessd as a one off, but twice especially if the dog has never shown any sighns of snappy/guardy behaviour its time to rule out an underlying cause, illness and pain are VERY cmmon causes.

from there then it would become a case of training/behaviour modifications (which again comes down to "what am I doing to provoke the situation and what can i do to teach my dog to A: respond differently to the situation or B: safely manage that behaviour if it cannot be redirected/cured.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:11 PM
1,270 posts, read 2,434,151 times
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need more info:

what was happening when dog snapped?
dog health ok?

I'm sure others will chime in with more questions but based on the little info provided, I would first take my dog to the vet.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:24 PM
Location: Southern California
743 posts, read 803,712 times
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What were you doing when he snapped at you? Feeding, picking him up, play? Did he growl first? Body language. Sometimes it is so slight, you can miss it. My dog will barely lift his lip when Thora, (the female) get's to close to something he wants or has. How old is the dog now? Has he snapped at anybody else that you know of?
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:29 PM
Location: Pennsylvania
13,795 posts, read 7,397,700 times
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I adopted a sr (8 yrs old, if I remember) mostly German shepherd. She's snap if/when I tried to take anything she was trying to eat away. Note: not her food-I never did that. Dead things, shoes, etc.

I just yelled and let her know that was NOT acceptable behavior. She learned. She really was the bestest dog.
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:32 PM
Location: Hampton,Va
25 posts, read 80,173 times
Reputation: 25
This isnt a story, I just want other opinions about the topic because when i was younger, I would go visit my uncle who owned pitbulls. One of his dogs bit him and drew blood so he "put him down" and in his words, " if a dog bites its owner then that dog is no longer any good"

I had a different opinion and thats obviously the reason why I came here to listen to other people's thoughts
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:26 PM
Location: North Western NJ
6,588 posts, read 16,707,860 times
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for me biting an onwer is so loaded with so many possibilities that putting the dog to sleep is a possibility BUT ONLY if all other avenues have been first ruled out...
as an imediate reaction to 1 bite, heck no...
but if i found out that 1 bite was a pain reaction caused by an incurable cancer of the brain that was only going to get worse...then id put the dog humanely to sleep...
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:32 PM
14,753 posts, read 23,966,077 times
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More questions than answers:

Change in living circumstances (move, new SO, new kids, new pets)?

If the dog has some kind of tumor "upstairs," then you'll have to put the dog down. I had to do so with an Aussie who developed hip displaysia (sp), but she would just look at me with soulful eyes when she couldn't get up and peed on her belly, as I would clean everything up. It's very sad to let a loved one go.
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:32 PM
Location: zone 5
7,306 posts, read 10,465,981 times
Reputation: 9459
I don't think there's a set answer for this. It depends on the circumstances, what the dog's temperament has been previously, what the owner has done in the past to rectify behavior problems, and if health problems or pain has been ruled out as a cause. I can't see automatically putting a dog down without trying to work with a behaviorist unless it was a really severe attack.
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:52 PM
Location: Santa Barbara CA
4,122 posts, read 8,191,614 times
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Can't really answer this as there is so much more that would be necessary. To me a snap from a dog is just a warning saying" I do not like this back off" Dogs can not talk so can not use words to tell you that so growling and or snapping is how they tell you.

An example was my late Jazz at the vets and that day we had a vet that she did not know and right away I knew Jazz was uncomfortable as was the vet. After my suggesting that I pick Jazz ( 50lbs) up and put her on the table this vets says I think she is more comfortable on the floor so she sits on the floor and now is face to face with Jazz . Jazz was showing signs of being uncomfortable but the vet proceeded and Jazz suddenly snapped right in the vets face. Terrified the vet but even she admitted that if Jazz had wanted to bite her she would have so it was a warning saying I do not like what you are doing so stop now ! Jazz lived 14.5 yrs and never bit anyone did grab a few and hold on to their arm but because she had a very inhibited bite she did not bite down and she frequently would snap at people that made her uncomfortable as then they would back down and leave her alone. Don't get me wrong as she was a very freindly loveable dog but HATED vets and a couple dog trainers we had met.

I feel dogs are entitled to give a warning and that if I do something to stop that warning it puts the chances of a bite much higher as they know they will get in trouble for warning some one so go right into bite mode what people call a flash biter, Nope I would rather have a dog that knows it is ok to warn people or even other animals to back off. Of the 6 dogs I have owned on my own not one ever has bitten a person.
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