• Arthur Lopatin

    December 18, 2020 at 12:04 am

    Based on your description, and w/o knowing his history, the poor guy might be fear aggressive, but it might be more likely that he’s a fear biter.

    Here’s Mike’s description of  ‘Fear Biter’:

    Fear Biter

    The term “fear biter” should not be confused with “fear aggression.” Fear aggression is a preemptive and proactive –“I’m going to get you before you get me or us” — behavior, while “fear biter” applies to a dog that bites only in defense, and only if flight is not an option.

    A typical fear biter may “fear bite” when cornered by a perceived threat, when getting nails clipped, or when he/she cannot escape various other types of fear-eliciting stimuli.

    Dogs who are not fear biters, may bite in the identical circumstances. However, whether the bite is the result of protective/fear aggression or dominance aggression, will need to be determined by analyzing their behaviors and body language, preceding the bite. The true fear biter will have fearful body language and will prefer flight if there is an option.

    That description comes from: https://dogtraining.world/knowledge-base/classification-canine-aggression-rehab-k9-1/

    My hunch is that dominance aggression is probably a secondary factor, altho it could develop if the owners don’t have a good handle on leadership/dominance…..

    Here’s a good read on leadership: https://dogtraining.world/knowledge-base/introduction-to-leadership/

    It’s a good complement to NILIF.

    Also, I highly recommend implementing the Fear & Protective Aggression Blueprint: https://dogtraining.world/knowledge-base/fear-and-protective-aggression-blue-print/

    …. the Dominance Aggression Blueprint: https://dogtraining.world/knowledge-base/dominance-aggression-blueprint/

    I’m wondering if the D&T muzzle is the best for this guy. U might want to check out the Baskerville muzzle. Mike likes the Basker. quite a lot. Soft, easy to feed treats thru the muzzle basket, tho that sometimes requires clipping one of the soft rubber cross-bars.

    Here’s a good Mike vid re muzzle conditioning:


    This dog’s been thru a lot, so imo — from personal experience — it will take a long time and a lot of patience to heal the psychological as well as the physical scars. The slower you go, the smoother things go, and the smoother things go, the faster the results.  I hope his owners are going real slow w/everything, not trying to do too much too quickly…..w/everything from muzzle conditioning to desensitization and counterconditioning to stuff that triggers him. I hope they are dealing with one trigger at a time, rather than dealing w/a whole bunch at once.

    I suggest that you post this as a question for tomorrow nights Q & A, so that Mike knows about this situation.

    I hope this info helps. Kudos to you and the people who have made this dog part of their family.

    Fear Biter and Pain Elicited Aggression