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My 1 year old male bit me 3 times now....
  • Please help, I am going to look for a trainer but many in my area are more of the "Alpha" trainers and I don't want that.
    My boy turns 1 Dec. 2nd. Today was the 3rd time in about a month that he's bit me. Please let me know if this is covered somewhere, I couldn't find it. I also was not sure if it belonged in the resource guarding category because it is definitely food related but he's not really guarding anything. (or maybe he is, let me know!) Also, none of these bites were hard enough to make me bleed, but I really don't know how. I'm sitting here with what looks like a hole in my leg right now! I guess it's just enough to make it really hurt. They bruise up a lot and it's sore to walk around with.

    So I'll just start from the 1st bite. (This one I believe is more resource guarding but the other 2 are not.) I took him to my parents house. We were watching tv. While my brother went from his room to the bathroom, he left his door open. Hiro snuck in and found a box of eaten chicken wings from dinner that night. Hiro knows the drop it command but it is not perfected, he does not listen when it is something of high value. I told him to drop in multiple times but he would not. I grabbed the back of his harness to pull him away but he swung around and bit my leg. He did NOT let go for what seemed like forever obviously. But we did manage to get the chicken wings away. I start crying and sit on the couch. He's just stalking around at this point. Everyone steers clear and leaves him alone.

    2nd bite happened the very next day. I'm sure both of us were still on edge from the 1st bite. I have very bad anxiety and I'm sure he could sense it. This bite happened as I was getting ready to go back to my mom's house. I decided not to take Hiro this visit because my mom was very upset after seeing him bite me. (She was attacked by a dog a few years ago so this was not a good thing for her to witness) As I'm getting ready, it's obvious Hiro could tell I was going to be leaving. I tried to get his mind off of it. I played with him for about 10 mins or so with toys and tried to work his brain with some low value treats. As we're playing, he starts to get more and more antsy and aggressive. He started snapping at me and I'm trying to say "AH-AH" & "NO" in as stern a voice as possible but it only makes it worse. When I turned just the wrong way, he got the back of my leg and again, did not let go right away. I cry and yell at him, not the best but my anxiety was so bad I didn't know what to do and become irrational.

    Now we're to the 3rd bite. This is almost a month later, I thought we were getting better. We had become a little more strict with him. At this point, we're making him work for every single meal time, no exceptions. Every single treat. Sometimes even for toys. Absolutely no people food has been given to him since. We're still working on not allowing begging, it's getting better but still very much a problem. I'm trying to work on his patience, he tends to whine when I get his food ready, I say "ah-ah" every time he starts to whine. Today I was getting ready to go to my mom's (again, maybe this is the issue lol) and I was planning on bringing Hiro with me. I was getting food in baggies to bring. Hiro was being very impatient and wanted to eat now. I should have fed him, but he can get car sick so I thought I would feed him as soon as we got there. I felt bad, so I grab a few treats and give him commands to work for them. He gets VERY impatient at this point. When I bend down he grabs my thigh and bites hard. I let out a yelp, not because it's what I'm told to do but because it really HURTS and he lets go. He's very strange this time. He chatters his teeth and obviously on a weird aggressive high. Instead of like previous times when I yell no's and ah-ah's, I talk him down softly. It takes a minute, but he seems to calm down. I go to the bathroom and pull my pants down to look at the damage. I sit on the floor and cry ( I cry after every time because I'm so upset he bit me) this time he acts completely different and loving. He literally becomes attached to my hip, is leaning against me, he wouldn't leave my side for almost 2 hours until my bf came home. I would like to think of it as an apology but I doubt dogs think that way......

    Is this an issue with patience? The 2nd bite seemed like seperation anxiety almost. Which he's shown only a few time before but he never bit me aggressively, just whined and pulled on my clothes, but that hasn't happened since he was about 3 or 4 months old. I really don't know how to train him out of it since it's only when he gets aggressive that I can correct it and I would really rather him not get aggressive and bite me! (also, it has only been me that this happens with & I am the primary caregiver. I am mostly the one that feeds him.) Please let me know if there's another thread similar, I tried searching but I really don't know what I'm searching for? Food aggression? Resource guarding? Just plain aggression? It doesn't seem to fit under any one category but I would appreciate any and all help and experiences. Rehoming is not something I've even considered. I have no kids, and don't plan on having any any time soon but I do have younger siblings (18, 16, 13) at my mom's house and I would not want them to get bit, It would definitely cause and issue with my mom who would probably push for him to be rehomed at that point. (Though I would just never bring him over ever again.) Thanks for any help, I really appreciate it. & like I said, I am looking for trainers but I haven't found the right one, as many people in my area really seem to go for dominance theory and training... I really don't want to go that route!
  • @imizamonster - Sorry you're going through this with Hiro, I hope we can help you get to the bottom of his little outbursts.

    First, have you taken him to the vet lately to check whether his behavior could be linked to potential health problems? I know there have been cases where sudden aggression can be linked to hypothyroidism. If everything in terms of health checks out, then you can move on to behavior modification and training.

    From what you've wrote, it seems like there's quite a few things that are triggering his behavior. It seems like a combination of resource guarding, lack of impulse control, and overexcitability. The one thing that you absolutely must keep in mind is to remain calm. I find that Shibas are much more sensitive to their surroundings than other dogs, and will instantly pick up and feed off your energy. Yelling and crying at him will only make things worse. Hiro is now a teenage rebel that will test your every limit. You have to remain a strong, protective leader for him to place his trust in.

    I honestly don't think this is as much aggression as it is just him just being an overly rebellious brat.

    Let's break down the three incidents:

    1) Chicken wings!

    Here we have a few things that could have caused him to lash out:
    - I found delicious chicken wings. Extremely high value. (Stress ^)
    - Got caught with Mom yelling at me repeatedly to drop it. Will lose chicken wings. (Stress ^)
    - Mom is angry now (Stress ^^)
    - Mom grabs me and pulls me away from my delicious chicken wings I'll most likely never get again (Stress ^^^)
    - Bite occurs
    - Everyone is angry at me and ignoring me. Where are those chicken wings? (Stress ^^)

    All this happened within a few seconds but since he's already overexcitable, the anxiety builds up even faster and he did the only thing he could do to get you to stop, which was bite. Never use physical force to discipline a dog, especially if they're in a heightened state of stress. Use distractions first in order to deter the dog from the bad behavior or use a drag lead/leash.

    2) Mom is leaving! =(

    - Mom is leaving me (Stress ^)
    - Mom plays with me for a little while! (Excitement ^)
    - Mom stops play right when I was having fun and starts getting angry (Stress ^)
    - Mom gets angry and gets up to leave. I don't know what I did wrong. (Stress ^^)
    - How do I get her to pay attention to me? Bite.
    - Mom cries and yells at me more (Stress ^^^)

    Here is a confusing situation for Hiro. He already stressed that you're leaving, but is happy that you're playing with him. He gets really excited and starts nipping, which at that time you should have immediately stopped playing with him and stood up until he calmed down. By saying No and Ah Ah multiple times that are negative to him increases his stress level and he sees you diverting your attention away from him. So again, to get attention the only way he knows how and to get a response from you, is to bite.

    3) Treats!

    - Mom is leaving! (Stress ^)
    - I'm going too!? (Excitement ^^)
    - Mom has treats! (Excitement ^^)
    - I'm hungry now! Give me the treats now because I don't want to work for them! (Stress ^^)
    - I'm so excited and hungry! How do I get mom's attention!? Bite.
    - Mom is so upset with me and is crying. (Stress ^^^)

    Hiro needs quite a lot of work with impulse control and patience. There's a lot of buildup of anxiety from both you and him so you'll need to work with him with a lot of patience and time to destress him. I honestly think that's the first step to calm him down since he gets very excited easily and the only way he knows how to communicate and get what he wants is to use his teeth.

    Take a look at Doggie Zen training and give us an update on his progress:
    Post edited by Nikkitine at 2015-11-30 19:50:54