desperatebeagleowner

Aggressive 4 Year Old Beagle Biting Us Hard

57 posts in this topic

Hi,

 

Our situation is that we have a 4 (almost 5) year old beagle. We have had him since he was a puppy and he hasn't been neutered, we had conflicting advice as to whether that would be effective. I took him to puppy training classes weekly for the first 12 months of having him.

 

He has always been quite domineering towards us, as such we have never allowed him on the sofa, bed etc and he gets regular walks. We have recently got a new kitten and his behaviour towards us has changed significantly, but he is great with the kitten. He has snapped and growled at us prior to the kitten when taking items from him (he regularly takes the tea towels for some reason). When he first behaved aggressively we called the breeder who recommended that I pin him down until he gives up and submits, but he never did, I would hold him down for up to 45 minutes of constant struggling until I just physically couldn't anymore. A couple of times he had bitten my wife, not very hard but enough to scare, this was over a 3 year period and wasn't a regular thing. Recently though, he has bitten my wife and I a couple of time hard enough to draw blood (once could be described as a fair amount) and cause some big swollen lumps. He is very demanding for attention and suffers from separation anxiety, since we have had him my wife hasn't been able to work due to ill health and every piece of training advice to overcome this and persistence has had very limited results.

 

Training on many issues has been hard, he still hasn't mastered down and doesnt recall off the lead. Beagles are hard to train and this side was expected. We have an enclosed and secure back garden and I have access to a couple of acres which is well fenced in where he gets to play with other dogs and run around more.

 

We are based in Suffolk

 

As a beagle he is very food orientated, which has been helpful in bribing him, but he never seems to make progress and only does things for food. However he will only eat his own food after we have all gone to bed.

 

We really need some help as he is getting out of control and fear we won't be able to keep him like this for long.

 

Thanks

 

Steve

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My heart goes our to your poor dog. I can't believe you actually pinned him down, and tried to keep him there for 45 minutes. Successful dog training is based on kindness, firmness and consistency. He sounds confused and very unhappy.

 

You would do well to invest in a good book on training - I would recommend Turid Rugaas - On Talking terms with Dogs - Calming Signals - and start again from the very beginning. You may need to consult a behaviourist but please ensure it is one who bases their training on kindness.

 

Why do you leave his food lying - if he does not eat it in 10/15 minutes, you should pick it up until it is time for his next meal.? You dictate when he eats, he doesn't.

 

You have a long way to go but with patience and kindness you may get there. I wish you all the best with your boy.

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I would point out I was only doing what I was told to do by a registered kennel club breeder who had excellent recommendations. I had tried every other suggestion. I really love our dog, he has a wonderful side to him and I have had dogs throughout my life, none have ever been as challenging as him.

 

Recommendations regarding practical things I can do are what I need, the food suggestion and consulting a behaviourist are exactly the types of things I need. I will get the book you suggested ordered as well.

 

I am very open to suggestions and am desperate to make things work. This is the first time I have sought advice from this forum, but not the first time I have sought advice about him.

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Can I suggest that as well as seeing a behaviourist you PM user Strix on here? She's a bit of a beagle buff and may be able to help you with getting back to a truce in your house.

 

From what I have inferred from your first post, it would seem like your dog is guarding your kitten from you, but that's something that really needs to be seen by a behaviourist anyway because even if he's resource guarding that could be for a whole lot of different reasons.

 

Pinning a dog for that length of time doesn't sound positive to me either, but then again when a dog has got as far as biting as their solution to an issue not all training means can be positive.

 

Good luck :)

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Thanks Eingana, will look them up and ask. I dont think he is guarding the kitten from us, the kitten is playing with us in front of him just fine, she (kitten) plays with him often.

 

Truth be told, it didn't feel positive to me either, I did call the to double check I was doing it correctly and I followed what I was told.

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Sorry! I was just rather taken aback!

 

If you are looking for a behaviourist/trainer then try intodogs.org.com, Anyone can set themselves up as a trainer nowadays so you need to be careful that you choose the right one. APDT, COAPE and ISCP trainers use the most positive methods. Remember that you have the right to ask someone to leave if they use methods that make you feel at all uncomfortable

 

If you happen to live in the Lincoln area, I can recommend an excellent trainer!

 

Another book you might like is John Bradshaw's - In defence of Dogs - it's a fascinating read.

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It's ok, you obviously place animal welfare as high as we do, we just don't have the information needed to handle this situation and I am really pleased to be getting some input, suggestions and places where I can find suitable people who can help.

 

Unfortunately I am not in Lincoln, we are in Suffolk so if anyone can recommend a local trainer that would be appreciated

 

I will get that book as well.

 

Any other ideas/suggestions please do put them forward.

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I would recommend you to read about more recent discoveries and studies and conclusion on dog behaviour to understand and deal better with the problem you have as there is a lot that is not as it is popularly believed to be in regards to what dogs are and why they do what they do.Here is a very interesting book that I believe everyone who has dogs or works with them,including behaviourists should read,it is Barry Eaton's ,"DOMINANCE:FACT OR FICTION?"

I leave also a link to a website where you can read a little more in advance of what it is all about,I am sure you will find it helpful as I did with my own dog

http://www.deaf-dogs-help.co.uk/help/dominance.htm

 

Don't do anything that in your heart you feel is not good for your dog any more until you know better what is going on as it could make things worse,like the "pinning-down" method which is totally unnecessary,erroneous and extremely confusing for dogs,and whoever tells you that that "works" is not understanding that when a dog does " give in" it is only that the dog freezes in a mechanism of defence to cope with the very distressing situation and will certainly not better the communication and trust that your dog needs to have to sort out the issue that it is showing with the possession of resources .It is better to wait , investigate properly, reading and analysing for yourself before coming to decide on conclusions of others. I believe you are on the right way seeking help .

I can recommend you other excellent books full of information worth knowing but this one book would be a good help right away to let you know where the direction of what needs to be done should be going.It is a matter of trust and communication ,in learning to understand precisely why your dog is doing what it does to start with.

 

Regards,

Claudia

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Hi - I'm Strix

 

I'm a volunteer for beagle welfare (though they don't know me as Strix ;) )

 

PM me and I'll send you my number

 

Honestly - pinning a beagle down. Stupid idea. They're bred for their determination. You just don't win meeting them head on. You have to demonstrate leadership to them, not confrontation

 

I'm not criticising you btw - but the breeder. I bear the scars of my own learning process ;)

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Ahhh the world of Beagle ownership, I love them a friend of ours has 2 a male and female, the female is 5 years old and she can only now just about let her off lead,the male dog is sooooo handsome , the nicest Beagle ive ever seen, beautiful square snout but they are a naughty breed which is why when we were looking at breeds for our fist dog we didn't have one, at the time i just didnt feel i knew enough to do one justice.

My friend also said after we spoke about the fact that Lilly was an only dog at the time Beagles are very much pack orientated and Lilly was so much better and co-operative once they got Rigby.

I wish you luck with you boy, I would love one i now think i could do one justice but ive now got addicted to Labs and dont have room for another having 4 dogs already, but it will stay on my wish list for future reference.

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Wow....this dog is 5 years old? Get yourself along to an approved dog training club for advice and help on socialising and teaching your dog some manners. It will make him a much more worthwhile pet. BUT...... it requires a lot of input from YOU. It means being open to new ideas and commitment to turning up regularly and putting the work in at class and at home. Good luck.

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Due to the incorrect advice you were given initially you will need to repair the relationship you have with your dog so he learns to trust and respect you. It wont happen overnight and I would suggest you contact those on here who have offered help.

Becky

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5 years old and he has bitten hard enough to draw blood!! your wife is scared and it sounds like control has been lost my advice is have him pts before he does some real damage, from your post it doesnt sound like your cut out to "retrain" him and if left he will become increasingly more aggressive.

I am not posting this too get flack but to give you some honest sound advice i read from your post a desperation and the inability to solve the problem do not pass your problem on you need to make a difficult decision but it will be for the good of all concerned.

 

Good luck

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I certainly would get help from a professional behaviour trainer who will advise you properly.

 

If he is biting, this cannot be tolerated but I certainly wouldn't write him off completely as it sounds like you've had some rubbish advice on how to deal with him and have therefore made him worse.

 

I don't say this to make you feel bad but its the sad fact of the matter.

 

Hopefully Strix can help you too.

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Hi,

 

Our situation is that we have a 4 (almost 5) year old beagle. We have had him since he was a puppy and he hasn't been neutered, we had conflicting advice as to whether that would be effective. I took him to puppy training classes weekly for the first 12 months of having him.

 

He has always been quite domineering towards us, as such we have never allowed him on the sofa, bed etc and he gets regular walks. We have recently got a new kitten and his behaviour towards us has changed significantly, but he is great with the kitten. He has snapped and growled at us prior to the kitten when taking items from him (he regularly takes the tea towels for some reason). When he first behaved aggressively we called the breeder who recommended that I pin him down until he gives up and submits, but he never did, I would hold him down for up to 45 minutes of constant struggling until I just physically couldn't anymore. A couple of times he had bitten my wife, not very hard but enough to scare, this was over a 3 year period and wasn't a regular thing. Recently though, he has bitten my wife and I a couple of time hard enough to draw blood (once could be described as a fair amount) and cause some big swollen lumps. He is very demanding for attention and suffers from separation anxiety, since we have had him my wife hasn't been able to work due to ill health and every piece of training advice to overcome this and persistence has had very limited results.

>> Address separation anxiety by treats on leaving, go for 60 seconds then come back. Build it up minute by minute. The dog is displaying possessive tendencies towards the kitten and "policing" you as he pleases. Stop giving attention on his demand, and generally be less "lovey" towards him.

 

Training on many issues has been hard, he still hasn't mastered down and doesnt recall off the lead. Beagles are hard to train and this side was expected. We have an enclosed and secure back garden and I have access to a couple of acres which is well fenced in where he gets to play with other dogs and run around more.

>>Indicates headstrong/lack of respect/ignoring you

 

We are based in Suffolk

 

As a beagle he is very food orientated, which has been helpful in bribing him, but he never seems to make progress and only does things for food. However he will only eat his own food after we have all gone to bed.

>>>> You're dog has succeeded in training you. Control when he eats, it's not up to him and don't enter into food contracts.

We really need some help as he is getting out of control and fear we won't be able to keep him like this for long.

 

Thanks

 

Steve

Please see my answers in bold, I've tried to address specific points, give me a shout if you'd like any more.

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Would love to hear how it's going?

 

You've been given done great advice, I really hope you have been able to take some positive steps.

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Some fantastic advice here. I would ask what kind of training you did with him a puppy classes for a year? It seems like you have been advised very poorly in the past and there is no doubt that this is the root of your current issues. But do not despair, you can teach an old dog new tricks. You just need to learn how to communicate with him and unforunately, pinning him down is not communication.

 

I would suggest finding a responsible trainer who can work with you one on one. It is a team effort and is as much about training you as it is about training the dog.

 

Add 'The Power of Positive Dog Training' by Pat Miller to your reading list. Not so much a step by step guide but some great insights into the inner workings of the canine mind.

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I have a suggestion that will probably upset a few members on here:

 

Bite the dog back whenever he bites you, I recomend either an ear or his temple - between the front of his ear and eye - in other words soft tissue, and don't be afraid of biting hard enough to make your dog yelp, and don't worry about causing any scarring or damage you wont, your teeth will break long before you can do such damage - yes I know a mouthful of dog fur is not nice, but I have done this to german shepards, dobermans, rotti's, pitt bulls and many other powerful breeds - I used to be a professional squeeky toy (an agitator, the idiot who is in the padded suit the dogs are trained to attack with) for a company that trained attack and guard dogs.

 

nomad

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I'm sorry, I don't agree with biting your dog back. Two wrongs don't make a right.

 

Anyway, with a dog that has shown aggression, isn't biting him on the ear asking to get half your face ripped off?

 

This owner needs to rebuild lost trust with this dog. He's not going to do that by biting him, in my opinion.

 

Susan x

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I have a suggestion that will probably upset a few members on here:

 

Bite the dog back whenever he bites you, I recomend either an ear or his temple - between the front of his ear and eye - in other words soft tissue, and don't be afraid of biting hard enough to make your dog yelp, and don't worry about causing any scarring or damage you wont, your teeth will break long before you can do such damage - yes I know a mouthful of dog fur is not nice, but I have done this to german shepards, dobermans, rotti's, pitt bulls and many other powerful breeds - I used to be a professional squeeky toy (an agitator, the idiot who is in the padded suit the dogs are trained to attack with) for a company that trained attack and guard dogs.

 

nomad

 

 

What a poor understanding of animal behaviour you have,so sad to read you had dogs,you should not be allowed to have any with that mentality!Biting them back is the most appalling stupidity anyone could try, and should you truly have practice such barbaric methods,as you claim to have done , then I am sorry you got away with it without being prosecuted for animal cruelty .What an ignorant "recommendation" you dared to post.Hopefully no one "listens" to it.

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Like I said I knew my suggestion would upset a few people here, but how do you think puppies are taught proper and acceptable behaviour from their parents? - growling, snapping and nipping/biting.

 

 

I'm sorry, I don't agree with biting your dog back. Two wrongs don't make a right.

Anyway, with a dog that has shown aggression, isn't biting him on the ear asking to get half your face ripped off?

This owner needs to rebuild lost trust with this dog. He's not going to do that by biting him, in my opinion.

Susan x

 


When you have a mouthful of dog ear your face is well out of reach of their mouths. And the dog turning it's head to try and get your face into biting range won't work.

 

I will admit biting the dog back is not the first thing I would resort to, but it is something I will do to a dog that refuses to stop biting - it's done to children for christ sake to teach them not to bite. And as I pointed out I am used to dealing with aggressive dogs and have even encouraged aggression in dogs - training attack and guard dogs.

 

I agree with building a trusting loving relationship with your dog, but the dog has to understand that there are boundaries and consequences for crossing them. It's one thing for a dog to bite its master, but your dog biting a complete stranger will land you in a lot of expensive trouble, even possibly jail.

 

Just out of curiosity though a member in this thread suggested having the dog put to sleep - A.K.A killed. Isn't that far more extreme than biting the dog back? And that seemed to provoke less of a reaction and no personal attacks like my suggestion has.

 

nomad

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Biting a dog is to deliberately inflict pain and injury on it. There can never be any justification for that.

 

I believe that if you have to resort to such brutal behaviour, you have no true understanding of dogs.

 

Dogs have limited intelligence and biting is instinctive when they feel threatened or anxious. You're a human being. Aren't you talking here about copying the dog's behaviour?

 

I'm surprised you're trying to justify such a shocking suggestion. Believe me, you're very much in the minority.

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Biting a dog is to deliberately inflict pain and injury on it. There can never be any justification for that.

 

I believe that if you have to resort to such brutal behaviour, you have no true understanding of dogs.

 

Dogs have limited intelligence and biting is instinctive when they feel threatened or anxious. You're a human being. Aren't you talking here about copying the dog's behaviour?

 

I'm surprised you're trying to justify such a shocking suggestion. Believe me, you're very much in the minority.

 

And how many police officers are currently patroling the streets with dogs that you have been involved in training?

 

Believe it or not you can actually bite somebody without inflicting pain or injury - it has happened quite recently in a soccer match, and made lots of front pages in the national papers.

 

 

nomad

 

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