• Shannon Hargis

    June 11, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    I’m so sorry it took so long for this thread to get addressed! 🙂

    The main reasons a dog may bite a family member is either fear related, resource guarding or less than adequate leadership. Given the situations you described it sounds like he is lacking adequate leadership. He might have a bit stronger personality than your last dogs. A better understanding of how to be a good leader should benefit your situation greatly.

    The leader of a pack would be the one to make decisions or begin activities. The leader also maintains possession of all valuables (toys in this case).
    Action -Have all toys up at all times and you be the one to start a game. You be the one to end the game and put the toy up again. Maintain a positive attitude even while ending the game and feel free to give a treat afterwards.
    The important thing here is that you are the one beginning this activity. If your dog tries to initiate play, ignore his attempts. Making sure his play needs are thoroughly met will help reduce the amount of times you need to ignore him, because then he won’t feel the need to ask so much. 🙂

    The leader of a pack would be the one to initiate activities. This is true for affection too. If your dog comes up to you asking for affection or attention you should ignore him. Catering to his wants like this is similar to spoiling a child. Giving the dog everything he wants, when he wants, tends to be the majority of leadership issues. When you do give affection, make sure YOU beginning the interaction. If he is laying down somewhere see if he wants your affection enough to come over to you. Be careful not to coddle him with affection when he doesn’t seem interested. This would be a form of actively submitting to him.
    Give him your love with an open, honest heart. Your affection and love is important. But save this prize for only when you begin the activity and only if he appears happy/eager to receive it. 🙂

    Other leadership tips I did not expound on:
    -Keep all bones and food up when he is not actively chewing/eating
    -Keep him off of couches and beds
    -You be the one to initiate all activities including going for a walk, going outside potty, eating etc.