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 Im done, wont be bit anymore

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ZiMan
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PostSubject: Im done, wont be bit anymore   Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:20 am

So again tonight i was bit. We had made such progress and he was making me his pack. Lots of days where he listened and would be friendly. But today he bit me again. Trying to get him out of his crate to go outside. I have four punctures and it feels like a bone is broken in my hand. . He is mean in these moments when i try to move him, and i wont do this anymore. Even the NILF training fails me. Im at the edge...
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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Im done, wont be bit anymore   Sat Aug 25, 2018 11:56 am

You sound like me and Sasha!  The last time she bit me and I got four stitches was the limit.  ( I know I had a thread about her, Aha found it!)

Since her issue was food aggression, we went into an absolute NILF.  

  • You want food: You'll set and wait till I'm ready to feed you, you'll take it from my hand (not without a good degree of trepidation on my part)
  • You want out: you set and wait till I get the lead and put it on - if you get antsy / jumpy you're gonna wait!
  • You want in: you set and wait, when I've got the leash off then we'll go in.
  • You want a belly rub, then you're gonna work for it. Normally, set, stay - no big deal, roll over - not likely!

These were all simple things but they were absolutes!

On the other hand, I didn't push things she didn't want to do.  If I wanted to go out and she didn't - that was okay.  If she didn't ask for her food, I didn't get any for her (as I noted in the other thread, she needs to lose weight.)

I promised her that if she ever bit me again that would be the last time she bit anyone!  I think she decided I was serious.

If you look at the date on that thread, it was four years ago.  We've reached the point where I can set her bowl down and release her to eat and she doesn't care if I'm there or even if I pick up or move her bowl.  On the other hand, if she's picked up some snack off the desert, I don't push my luck, she found it, it's hers and I'm not too interested in arguing with her about it - 'course I have called her and she'll often drop whatever it is she has and come to me (allowing me to get the <whatever>).

As I see it, you're stuck where I was that day four years ago when she sent me to the ER.  I will not accept being bitten!  I can't pass her on to anyone, there are legal and moral issues there.  I don't want to put her down because most of the time she's a good, enjoyable dog (and a pain in the butt!)  I didn't want to surrender her to the county, they track dog bites (and the hospital reports to them) and she'd have been put down the same day I brought her in.  Blithering quandary ...

If you want to keep him then you've definitely got your work cut out for you.
Food seem to be a great driving force for most dogs and even though you said that feeding four bowls of food by hand would be time consuming, I think you need to take the time. You need to impress on him that you're the boss and food, in my case at least, seemed to be both the issue and the salvation.
There are times where it's not important, he didn't want to come out of his crate - and I'd open the door and call him rather than reaching into *HIS* home - shut the door and wait till he wants out. BTW, Sasha's "crate" is the corner at the end of my couch, if I really want her to get up and out then I reach in with the leash, clip her up and gently (???) pull on the leash till she decides it's too much effort to resist.

One question - one that should have been first - does he warn you first? If he growls (as Sasha did with me) and you ignore it - well, that's on you. You have to determine why he's growling and figure out how to work around it (by teaching him other ways.) On the other hand, a dog who has been trained to NOT growl is a real danger because they tend to attack without warning.

You have my sympathy ...
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Artic_Wind
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PostSubject: Re: Im done, wont be bit anymore   Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:09 pm

Can you describe how you are  "trying to get him out of his crate" because, to me, trying to get him out of his crate and "he is mean in these moments when I try to move him" doesnt sound right, and where I think the problem may be. To me it sounds like you are reaching in his crate and forcibly trying to remove him, and it should never get to that point.
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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Im done, wont be bit anymore   Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:23 pm

I have a dog  a bite history.  He wears a muzzle whenever he's out of the crate.  I never, ever, ever reach in the crate for him.  We have a protocol:  I get a slip lead, have his muzzle and ecollar ready to go, make him sit in the crate,  I open the door, hold the slip lead open to catch him as he comes out, snug  up, make him sit again, muzzle goes on, ecollar goes on.  He can eat, drink and pant wearing the Baskerville Ultra muzzle.  Both a trainer on FB and my vet told me I deserved what I get trying to get  a dog out of a crate.  Dog comes out voluntarily or  sit there and rot.  There have been times when Z'ev has a bone in the crate that he had stayed almost 18 hours in there.  I worry but I worry about me more.  See my thread here:

http://www.itsahuskything.com/t16630-blazze-becomes-z-ev-follow-his-journey-from-death-row-to-member-of-the-family
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TwisterII
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PostSubject: Re: Im done, wont be bit anymore   Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:18 am

There will always be set backs. I've had my big male over a year now. He was a food aggressive, toy possessive biter when I first got him. He bit me in the upper arm bad enough he did muscle damage. Thought we had moved past it. Then while my mom was house sitting he bit her on her hand. I can deal with biting. I'm far more mean than he is about it, but biting my mom is a different ballgame and was hard to deal with. Just got to refocus, assess triggers and get back to it. I know it's frustrating, especially the ones that can pack a real punch.

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ZiMan
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PostSubject: Re: Im done, wont be bit anymore   Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:29 pm

Thanks, everyone, for the responses. I’m not sure how I feel with 24 hours behind me on this. While I understand the idea that he sees his crate as his space, I am also a firm believer that a dog should never bite. Yes, I was reaching into his crate to get a hold of his collar. If I do that it is to guide him up and out. Not hard pulling, not tight. Usually he will respond by immediately standing up and moving. But this night he bit instead. There are times I need him to come out of the crate, we have to go somewhere or he needs to go outside. I understand the idea that he’ll come out when he’s ready, but there have been a couple accidents in the crate when he goes too long. And I hate that to happen because he’s so uncomfortable in the time he has to sit in it. Just now we needed to get him out to go for his bath and he wouldn’t come out. I had to lure him out with peanut butter. But shouldn’t he just come out because I ask him too? Because I’m standing there with the leash? This may sound arrogant, but if every time I need him to do something I have to bribe him with peanut butter, just who has trained who? He does sometimes growl, more of a rumble, when he doesn’t like something... for example he’s done having me pet him, and I respect those warnings. And yet, deep down in my heart, I still think that even if I didn’t stop petting him, he still has no right to bite. Dogs don’t bite humans. Period.

So yes, I’m in a quandary. He’s fun, loving, generally a great dog. And yet, if he thinks it’s acceptable to bite because I reach for his collar, yea, I’m gonna have a problem with keeping him long term. I just don’t know how to move forward. I don’t want to be scared of my dog. And right now I am a bit.

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ZiMan
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PostSubject: Re: Im done, wont be bit anymore   Sun Aug 26, 2018 2:59 pm

Al, I just finished reading your string on Sasha. Thank you for sharing that. More food for thought for me. Maybe ecollar would be a way to go. Training out of the crate with the noise and vibration. I really don’t like shock option, but that’s just me feeling like I’d be mean to him. I don’t want to hurt him. Friends asked me if I ‘beat him’ after he bit me. Uhm, no. I don’t want to hit him and feel like if I responded aggressively I’d only be proving his point that he gets hurt by humans in his crate. I really think his prior owners hurt him when he was in the crate. His entire demeanor changes in there, and he acts like he’s waiting for someone to hit him. Very untrusting of me when he’s in there.

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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Im done, wont be bit anymore   Sun Aug 26, 2018 3:26 pm

ZiMan - scared of your own dog?? Yeh, believe me I can relate - when Sasha bit me the last time, I was really afraid (the hell with "a bit scared.") I knew what the triggers were and I went ahead and ignored them.

For the sake of argument, I'm going to play devil's advocate - do you mean that if someone is attacking you that your dog shouldn't try to intervene? There are times when barking and biting are appropriate responses. Story time: I had a black lab, most gentle girl I've ever seen. Kids who she didn't know could come and play with her - one 2-3 y/o had a good grip on her tail - and the worst she did was whine "Get this kid off me!" Same dog, out behind my apartment, fellow is picking up cans the kids had left after a "party in the woods", I don't know what he was thinking but he came at me with a real angry aspect - Lady (same dog) got between me and him and let him know - in no uncertain terms - that if he came much closer he was gonna lose something! It's that appropriate reaction that we're looking for, no??

I'm going to posit a hypothesis - and it's gonna taste bad - (talked about mixed metaphors) your dog is afraid of you at times. Sasha bit me because she was afraid I was going to take her food away from her - in her mind forever. Once we worked through that - she understood that if I took her food it was for a reason and she'd get it back - we had no more problems.

Whether it's something you've done - actions, tone of voice, whatever - or something that a previous owner had done he's acting on what he knows. It's a lot harder to unteach a dog than it is to teach them in the first place - you're having to unteach him and you need to be the consistent force in his life.

A bit of a difference of attitude here - when my dogs are in their "crate" I very seldom demand anything of them. (( I'll ignore the fact that all I have to do is pick up a leash or rattle a plastic bag and they're all right there. ))

I'm not sure if these were rhetorical or not but I'll pick on one:
"Shouldn't he come out because I ask him to? Because I'm standing there with the leash?"
Yes, he should - but if the previous owner beat on him in the crate / around the crate, I'm sure you can understand his apprehension.

I'm going to suggest an oddity - does he come to you when you have his dog food ready for him? Is he ever in his crate when it's time to eat? What's running through my mind is to treat him every time he comes out of the crate when you call - get him to expect a "good thing" when he comes out. Does that mean he's training you - not by a long shot, you're using something he likes - either food or a treat - to train him.

The other thing, you got him when he was 18 mos old, and he's just turned 2 yrs. It took me over two years before I was comfortable that Sasha wasn't going to bite me - in the long run it's been well worth the effort. Unteaching a dog is time consuming and it will wear on every bit of patience you (and he!) have - but as I said, it's so well worth the effort.

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amymeme
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PostSubject: Re: Im done, wont be bit anymore   Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:00 pm

Ziman.. have a lot to say later tonight when I'm at the PC. Phone typing laborious.

My first thought, possibly collar/head shy.

Will leave resources e collar training, managing in out crate.
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TwisterII
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PostSubject: Re: Im done, wont be bit anymore   Sun Aug 26, 2018 10:29 pm

I've dumped my boy out of his crate before. Not because he would bite me but because I'm too lazy to get down there. Just grab the back of the crate and give it a sharp lift. Have to do this with him in his bed sometimes too. My boy is head shy so I do try to keep collar grabbing to a minimum, but pulling the rug out from under him so to speak might be a safer way to get him out during his training if he's being stubborn.

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ZiMan
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PostSubject: Re: Im done, wont be bit anymore   Sun Aug 26, 2018 11:13 pm

Twister, that made me giggle a bit. I’m trying to imagine what his reaction would be. But to you and Amy, I’ve never heard this concept of head shy. Need to research. Thank you!

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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Im done, wont be bit anymore   Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:10 am

ZiMan, many dogs are head shy - at its simplest it's just that the dog will duck his head anytime someone reaches toward their head or over their head.  My Sky is simply head shy but it's not a problem, it's a normal, nervous reaction.
However, with some dogs - especially those who have been abused or hit on the head / muzzle - any hand coming toward their head will make the shy away and sometimes bite because they are *very* uncomfortable.
Collar shy is similar except it's when a dog has been, essentially, drug around by its collar - their thinking goes sorta like this "If he grabs my collar, he's gonna choke me, that hurts so I'm not going to let him!"

If you don't mind, I'm going to look at a couple of your comments (and this is going to open me to argument)

You said  he "responded to my command to stop when I caught him, and actually showed guilt."  Dogs are capable of showing the range of simple emotions - affection, fear, suspicion, etc. but they can't get a handle on the more complex emotions like guilt.  What most of us see as guilt is a recognition that they've done something they shouldn't have and a fear of our reaction.
Let me point you to this article and, if you can, read past the "history lesson".
The article I referenced is only one of many which essentially say the same thing.
The Google search I used was this one.

You said "He is mean in these moments" there are several words that seem to be used when we're referring to dogs.  Dominance theory suggests that we must be the overbearing being in our relationship, when - IMHO - dominance is granted an owner as a means of respect.  You may not be "loved" but still respected, hence the dominant person in the human/dog relationship.
"Mean" is another of those words that carries one meaning for humans and quite another for a dog.  A human may be spiteful, a dog just can't be; a dog may be vicious, most humans aren't.  So saying that "He's just mean..." normally means that the dog is scared or stressed.  A vicious dog, btw is generally always vicious - that's generally a trained behaviour (think a vicious pit bull trained to the ring.)

I am, in no way, suggesting that you're responsible for his fear - I'm really thinking that his previous owner(s) might have been abusive and while he's relaxing in your environment he still has a lot of learned behaviour that you'll need to help him unlearn.

and final comment - yeh, I could picture dumping Sky out of her crate.  I can just picture the "What the hey, boss?!?!?!" expression.
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Shepsky13
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PostSubject: Re: Im done, wont be bit anymore   Tue Aug 28, 2018 10:51 pm

So sorry this happened to you!!

I do not have experience with being bitten, but these are the things I would do if it were my dog?

1. Go to doctor and have a good look at the hand, make sure it is well treated and taken care of (shots if needed).
Take care of You first!!

2. Train dog to come out of crate on command using positive reinforcement - a lure. Like, I would open the door, throw a piece of chicken on the floor about 2-3 feet outside, and say "Out!" If he's like my dog, he will emerge on his own and you can do what you need to then. When he isn't feeling so cornered, he is much less likely to bite. In a few days, your command "Out!" should produce a dog who stands up and comes to the crate door himself, and comes out eagerly. After "Out" is a habit, you can start fading out the treat or only give a treat sometimes...especially if he's coming out to go for a walk, then that is already enough of a treat.

I don't know your dog's history or if he has bitten before, or bitten other people...?

( My rescue shepsky growled at me the first night, and I remember how scared I was just by a growl! It was actually a similar situation - I was trying to get him to go into his crate by holding his collar. Eventually, by tossing bits of chicken or cheese, he was trained to go into the crate by himself on command. )
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NovasHuman
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PostSubject: Re: Im done, wont be bit anymore   Fri Aug 31, 2018 10:52 am

I agree with aljones you are humanizing your pup too much. Alot of reactive dogs that bite it's because they are going into fight or flight and in most cases they can't flight, so their only option is to fight. It isn't because your dog doesn't care about you, when they are in that paniced state he's going off of instinct, and in a crate he is trapped so his only option is to scare you off.

Just food for thought. I agree with teaching him to come out if you are extremely hesitant to use treats then you are going to have to plan your day a little differently, plan to start trying to get him out of the crate earlier just leave the crate door open and walk away to keep working on whatever you were doing, give him the space he needs to feel comfortable coming out of his crate. You can practice a kennel up command, teaching him going in his crate means he gets a treat. Can help him get more comfortable with you around his crate too. There are alot of different methods to work on a problem, if one doesn't work try another. Not all dogs respond to the same training methods, don't get irritated and don't let your emotions get the best of you when working him, he will be able to tell.

But NEVER reach inside a crate with a dog, they are trapped at that point, always let them come out on their own.
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Shepsky13
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PostSubject: Re: Im done, wont be bit anymore   Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:20 am

Yea, and I was wondering if just the simple recall ("Zi! Come!") could be used instead of "Out!" The door is open and you are standing there offering a treat. When he emerges, he gets the treat and Good Dog, Good Dog! With the average dog, this should train him rapidly to come out when you need him to...it will become a habit, almost a reflex of his over time, and then you can begin to reward randomly or even fade it out entirely. Training also creates a stronger connection with your dog -you will have a better relationship with each other.

On dogs biting humans - yea, that's a tough one.

I will say that Yes, my dog will bite. He has to be muzzled at the vet. He growls at strangers who pet him on the head, so we don't allow strangers to pet him. A man ran suddenly out into the street at us (to get a ball) and my dog growled and snapped at him. With enough provocation - yes, he will bite. My decision was to keep him and muzzle him in circumstances where he might bite, and to be careful with him around strangers. There are other people who really do not want to keep dogs like that, and who would rehome.

( My first dog was a Great Dane - had her from puppyhood and I never heard her growl in her ENTIRE life. It has been an eye-opener with my shepherd/husky mix (a rescue with a dark past) but I now understand that especially with shepherds, they are a breed where some aggressiveness is bred in (they can be trained to attack on command, to bite deeply and hold, for military/police work) so a shepherd that will "never bite a human" is more rare. I had to accept his breed & his past, and realize that he'll never be a dog you can casually bring to a barbecue.)
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ZiMan
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PostSubject: Re: Im done, wont be bit anymore   Sun Sep 09, 2018 4:18 am

So I’ve thought long and hard on this. It’s a struggle to think my boy would bite a person without serious provocation. And so, I’ve tried some weird stuff the last few weeks. I’ve slept in his crate. With him. And just outside. We’ve spent time in his crate together. Outside, inside, and variations of both. It has not been comfortable but we’ve made it work. I want him to know that he’s safe here, and yet I’m his person. We’re in it together. I get what your saying al, and I am probably placing too many human emotions on my boy-o, but truly I can’t help it. I’ll work on it.

The last two weeks have been interesting. I’m right beside him and also in charge. He knows that where he goes, so do I. I’ve been hand feeding, resting with him, playing, and generally up his arse at all times. It has been intense. When I work, so does he. When I rest, so does he. His play dates are with me, right there giving him praise and snacks by hand. Food, play, and rest is all based in NILF. Water is free. Of course.

Also, if I can’t get him out if the crate to go outside, the lifting of the opposite end works wonders. Thanks twister. 😀no one is unhappy and we are both unharmed and safe. He is head shy. I don’t know how I missed it. Now that I read about it, it is so clear.

He’s a great pup. We’re going to keep trying. I was so ready to give up. But we’re working at it. I really hope some day he trusts me completely. But that is probably still too human. Maybe I hope that I trust him 😉.

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aljones
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PostSubject: Re: Im done, wont be bit anymore   Sun Sep 09, 2018 1:26 pm

Good on you , mate!! Believe me, I know it's rough when your own dog bites you and you have to decide what you're going to do!

You are seriously going to have to get someone to take a picture of both you and your pup in the crate at the same time! That's definitely going to be good for a laugh and I really cannot picture that since I *might* be able to lay in the crate with Sky (well, about half of me) but I don't think either of us would be comfortable!

Head shy - I think most people miss that unless they've had a dog who is seriously head (or collar) shy in the past. Most dogs, I think, will duck when someone reaches across their heads - it's just a natural reaction until they *really* trust you.

NILF is, in my mind, one of the best ways to raise a dog - not just one that we're having to work with for a problem. It really does teach them that we're in charge without having to be too overbearing.
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