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Thread: My dogs snaps when picked up by other people.

  1. #1

    Default My dogs snaps when picked up by other people.

    My partner and I have just recently adopted a 6 year old miniature fox terrier x jack russel about 2 months ago from the RSPCA and he has snapped at my partner when she picks him up from his bed ( RSPCA said he had this issue) but today he went for my partners mother when she went to take him off the lounge.is there anything to do so he stops?

    Also he is fine with me if I pick him up from his bed or lounge.
    Last edited by AshRoughley95; 01-02-2015 at 08:38 PM.

  2. #2
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    Whilst nobody would want to, IF some non family (immediate) member tried to pick my dogs up. They would get bit probably. That's so rude of you in my book.
    Your dogs book too it seems.
    I dont think you have to get rid of him, i do think you need to manage him immediately. By stop trying to pick a dog up. Its weird! In dog world. why would you do that, if not to shake it to death. < see, try seeing things from your dogs perspective.

    Im hoping you will get lots of advice about how to retrain your dog, to accept and be able to trust that human hand coming toward him.
    But please, meanwhile
    stop picking this dog up
    re train the chain association, that human hands mean lovely things, like food, and pats, and throwing of fetch items.
    And earn some trust. Dont lift him off his feet. Way too challenging.

    Earn some respect: Triangle of temptation. Do a search for a thread
    Be a good pack leader, quick to praise, quick to ignore, quick to guide, quick to forgive. or he'll lead himself

    Whilst im wary of this dog now, and would show it respect. I trust your mother in law less. Nice that she chirped in with some advice for her son. Get rid of it. Nice. Tells you a lot doesnt it?
    Last edited by bernie; 01-02-2015 at 05:56 PM.

  3. #3
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    This is not particularly uncommon. People cant seem to resist picking up small dogs whether they like it or not, why would you want to pick him up from his bed when he has legs?. I rarely pick my dogs up as they are medium size and they would probably hate it if I was constantly hauling them around and picking them up, very demeaning for some dogs. I mean would you like it?

    At agility trials I sometimes see owners of small dogs pick them up and walk off the course when things have gone wrong. You can see that the dogs often hate this and I have seen more than one growling and snapping indignantly at this treatment.

    I would start to do some training with him. Has he got a good recall? also he needs to learn that a hand coming towards him is not to be feared and is not going to haul him up all the time. You need to gain his trust and also establish some boudaries. Sounds like you may need to incude your MIL in some of this.

    He does need to learn to be picked up because there are times when this will be important. He needs to be trained to accept this. I would start off getting him used to training for reward. I would also at the moment be inclined not to allow him up on the lounge untill he has a reliable recall. I am sure someone else will go into the details.

    He is a rescue and there will be some baggage. You accepted this situation when you adopted him. Does the RSCPA offer training help? The place where I got my rescues from have a professional dog trainer who will help when there are issues. The other option is to find a good local obedience dog club where you can take a few classes. I did this with one of my dogs years ago and I learned a lot. I prefer reward based training methods.
    Last edited by Kalacreek; 01-02-2015 at 06:24 PM.

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    His bite response is his self protection. Maybe it would be better if there were places he can sit and lie that being only to him and he doesn't she the sofa or bed or chair or whatever with the bipeds until he gets that they do not belong to him. At least teach him "Off" when he needs to get down. Not too hard with food bribes and some consistent effort over a few days.
    Obedience training is very bonding between you and the dog and will give you access to some advice as well.
    It will take months for you to develop the relationship and until he understands you will always take care of him he will feel the need to rake care of himself as his own pack leader.
    Last edited by farrview; 01-02-2015 at 07:00 PM.

  5. #5

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    Bernie, Did you read the part where I said he's fine with me picking him up when needed but not others?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AshRoughley95 View Post
    My partner and I have just recently adopted a 6 year old miniature fox terrier x jack russel about 2 months ago from the RSPCA and he has snapped at my partner when she picks him up from his bed ( RSPCA said he had this issue) but today he went for my partners mother when she went to take him off the lounge.is there anything to do so he stops?

    Also he is fine with me if I pick him up from his bed or lounge.
    Quote Originally Posted by AshRoughley95 View Post
    Bernie, Did you read the part where I said he's fine with me picking him up when needed but not others?
    AshRoughley95

    based on the others responses to your post - it must have been a lot longer than what it is now.

    You can train a dog to be nice about being picked up - but I think you'd best to get some help with that. Depending how much he likes food - for now it might just be quicker to say "off" and toss some food on the floor where you want him to.

    If he is snappy when on the couch or the bed - he should not be allowed up there at all. If he's on your lap or on the couch with you and he snaps at someone else - calmly and gently put him on the floor and do not allow him to get back up.

    What ever works for him - he will do. So it might be best to get a bed for him in the lounge and for the bedroom and make sure he goes there instead of onto the couch.

    For your partner to pick him up safely - might take some careful re-training - I would start with the "collar grab" game eg put the lead on him, she should put her hand down the lead towards his collar as far as she can without him reacting (if he growls or looks uncomfortable - the hand is too close) and reward calm behaviour. If he's being grumpy or stressed he gets nothing, but if he's being calm and happy he gets a treat or something he likes.

    And gradually over a period of days - try to get from being able to touch the lead to being able to grab the collar to having him put his neck in your hand (or your partner's) when you reach for his collar. From there - should be able to gradually work towards picking him up.

    Make sure the pick up method is comfortable for him - you may need to get a vet to check his joints are ok (and for the vet to do this you may need to put a muzzle on him - nice to pair wearing a muzzle with treats first too)

  7. #7
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    I did see the bit about him being fine with you. But he has to fine with everyone he lives with.

    The fact that he lets you lift him, is a big positive. it tells me, he is trained with you. Now that behaviour, just like a newly learnt 'sit' needs to spread to different locations/disractions/drives. So too with the snapping. Obedience, or any other routine of sharing behaviour with your dog, will bond you and any other human that cares to put the time and effort in. Especially walking out together.

    I like the idea of training a recall. solidly. As it can then be used to lure off the furniture onto the floor before a reward is given. And then never letting 'this' dog up again. 'this dog' is willing to challenge a human. And is willing to bite.

    'this dog' has found its soft place to land. Has a owner that is willing to research and learn how best to handle the behaviour. Lucky indeed. Many would put him out.

    Ive owned a dog similar to yours. Also a rescue. Though 60kg. First he trusted and behaved well for me, then the rest of the family became included in his list of 'nice people i dont bite' list. It was the start i needed to complete his training. I cant begin to imagine what would of happened if someone had tried to pick him up. eek. Same doggie behaviours in my home, = a lot of damage if bitten. So i kinda have to get over/around/through behaviours that are risky, fast.

    Why doesnt your dog bite you? what are you doing, that the others are not?
    that's always worth reflecting on too.

    Its very retrainable behaviour i believe. And you sound willing to put the time in. So good luck. I hope i didnt offend you earlier. sometimes my written word comes accross ungentle.
    Last edited by bernie; 01-03-2015 at 09:09 AM.

  8. #8
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    Yes often a dog will become more bonded with one person and allow them certain liberties. I still dont like the fact that people seem to think that becuase a dog is small they can haul it here and there at will. The dog needs to be trained to be picked up safely but this is probably going to be easier if if he understands that people are not going to gratuitously pick him up when it isnt neccessary. Jack Russells are fiercely independent little creatures. A lot of working type dogs really dont like gratuitious man handling just because we think they are cute and can pick them up like a stuffed toy.

    The process is going to take time as you build your bonds and do some training. Is it you that feeds him? I would get other members of the family to share this task and be involved in his reward training. Remember that with dogs it takes time to change and train behaviours.

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