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Old 09-07-2009, 01:33 AM
 
1 posts, read 3,169 times
Reputation: 11

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I am heartbroken we have a 3 and a half year old shih tzu called Alfie who is amazing with our 12 year old daughter they are like peas and carrots he is her best friend. However I answered the door yesterday and he ran pass me and jumped on a little 5 year old boy and bite him on his belly. He just went nuts. I am heartbroken and have told our daughter we are going to get rid of him because i do not trust him. Our other daughter is having a baby in november and i am really worried in case he attacks the baby too. He always barks at strangers and we always make sure when we answer the door he is in the kitchen but yesterday there was a lack of communication between myself and my husband. I thought he had the dog he thought i had put him in the kitchen and because of this he did what he did. My husband and myself are in turmol our 12 year old is heartboken and says she cant live without him. Alfie is amazing in the house around us and is the perfect dog but if we take him out on a lead he will not listen he wont walk properly and looks demented. If he sees anyone coming towards us he growls and barks and if he sees another dog or a cat the are loud screeches and cries from him. We cannot control him outside the house. It has always been like this since he was a puppy. when stangers have come into the house we have always locked him in the kitchen or in the garden because we don't trust him as his behavier towards them has always been nasty and yesterday just proved to us as we always new if he got near a stanger he would bite. What can we do...
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Old 09-07-2009, 02:41 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 22,021,475 times
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Take him to a "Dog Whisperer", most Dog trainers have the most amazing results with difficult and aggressive Dogs.

Dogs need to be "controlled" and "disciplined" just like Children and a Dog Trainer will teach you to become the "Alpha Dog" to Alfie. I am sure there are plenty of Dog Trainers in your area , if not you might have to travel a little further but IMO it is worthwhile.

Don't give up quite yet, I think Alfie deserves at least a second chance.
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Old 09-08-2009, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Chicago
6,021 posts, read 13,546,329 times
Reputation: 8045
Quote:
Originally Posted by unitedgirl View Post
I am heartbroken we have a 3 and a half year old shih tzu called Alfie who is amazing with our 12 year old daughter they are like peas and carrots he is her best friend. However I answered the door yesterday and he ran pass me and jumped on a little 5 year old boy and bite him on his belly. He just went nuts. I am heartbroken and have told our daughter we are going to get rid of him because i do not trust him. Our other daughter is having a baby in november and i am really worried in case he attacks the baby too. He always barks at strangers and we always make sure when we answer the door he is in the kitchen but yesterday there was a lack of communication between myself and my husband. I thought he had the dog he thought i had put him in the kitchen and because of this he did what he did. My husband and myself are in turmol our 12 year old is heartboken and says she cant live without him. Alfie is amazing in the house around us and is the perfect dog but if we take him out on a lead he will not listen he wont walk properly and looks demented. If he sees anyone coming towards us he growls and barks and if he sees another dog or a cat the are loud screeches and cries from him. We cannot control him outside the house. It has always been like this since he was a puppy. when stangers have come into the house we have always locked him in the kitchen or in the garden because we don't trust him as his behavier towards them has always been nasty and yesterday just proved to us as we always new if he got near a stanger he would bite. What can we do...
have you sought any professional trainers? I think there are ways to handle this and still keep your boy, but it will take some professional help and a lot of work on your part. rather than lock him away in the garden when guests arrive, why not try having him out on a short leash and working w/ him so he behaves around guests? obviously the "out of sight, out of mind" method isn't working
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Old 09-08-2009, 05:11 PM
 
795 posts, read 3,928,709 times
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unitedgirl -- how old was alfie when you got him? and did you socialize him to other dogs, other animals, and people when he was a baby? has he ever had the opportunity to meet-and-greet on the leash, or have you always restricted his movements and kept him away from outside stimuli? it sounds like he's never been socialized, and he's reacting exactly the way you'd expect, showing aggression (or fear) toward the threatening new things he's seeing...

in any case, following are a couple of links about socializing an older dog... but, honestly, i agree with the others, it sounds like you need the help of a professional trainer. these articles might help you understand what's going on, though:

Dog Tip: Socializing Adult Dogs and the Importance of Maintaining Socialization

How & Why To Socialize Your Dog - It Might Be The Most Important Thing You Do! - The Fun Times Guide to Dogs

Puppy Socialization

good luck!
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Old 09-08-2009, 06:27 PM
 
4,131 posts, read 13,313,151 times
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Getting rid of him isn't the answer, a biting dog is a liability and if you don't share that he's bitten, there can be big problems should he bite someone else w/ a new owner.

We take our kids to school, he s/h gone to classes way back when. It's not too late as the other posters have suggested but at this time, he has bad habits and does need a professional trainer who uses positive methods (nothing harsh).

You, your husband and daughter should work with him, that would be a far better lesson to your daughter than to get rid of him, consistency is key w/ him (actually any dog) so he's not getting mixed messages. He's young and trainable but it wont be easy as he has picked up some bad habits along the way. Barndog posted some good links, would contact your vet for a positive-methods trainer (you can interview several if you get the names of more than one) and best of luck.
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Old 09-08-2009, 06:31 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,823 posts, read 56,018,889 times
Reputation: 19019
Also, run - not go - to the library and get the book "The Other End of the Leash" by Patricia McConnell. It's amazing and even after owning dogs for 40 yrs, I learned some things in just the 1st chapters.

Good luck!
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Old 09-17-2009, 02:31 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
409 posts, read 2,547,605 times
Reputation: 379
Caesar Millan will say it's not the dog, it's the owners. I have been guilty of it myself. LOts of excersise, discipline and then affection. Stay calm because they sense it and take over and then they are boss and you arent. His books are very interesting and so is his reasoning. It is a dogs life to be with other dogs, run, etc. We are making children out of our dogs and then we have problems Don't give up, there is no such thing as an untrainable dog.
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Old 09-17-2009, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Mountains of middle TN
5,244 posts, read 14,025,851 times
Reputation: 6063
Sounds like this is lack of training, not an aggressive dog issue. If you don't tell a dog how to behave - what is allowed and not allowed - they'll make up their own rules. You need a trainer in that house now.

If you dump this dog because of your neglect it's going to be destroyed. That's not fair to the dog. If you want to know what to do - if you're serious about wanting to do what's right - you'll get a trainer. If not, go have the dog euthanized. You've created this behavior in him with your lack of education and training and that makes it your responsiblity to solve the problem, one way or another.
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