dog behavior Houston, Jim Burwell

Dog Bites Owner – How to Fix It

It Can Be Devastating When Your Dog Bites You

dog behavior Houston. Jim Burwell

It was for Veronica. It ripped her emotions wide open.

With her arm just stitched and bandaged from her dog bite, she recounted the horrible experience that night with Max.
I could hear the devastation in her voice and see it in her eyes as well.

Veronica tried to mask her disappointment with a little humor. “It was over an argument about what show to watch on television as we laid in bed.”

The reality was that Max bit Veronica hard on the arm as she reached for the remote control that was lying next to him.

Veronica’s concerns went on. This was not the first time Max had bitten.

Her bit her friend on the ankle as she picked up his blanket off the family room floor.
Max took exception to this and nailed her.

It’s clear there are certain articles and spaces Max guards.

  • He takes control of Veronica’s bed, couch and lap.
  • His navy blue blanket, television remotes are also two coveted items.
  • Max also tries to bite some people when they come to visit or try to pet him.

Veronica asked me, “Why do dogs bite?”

Dogs Bite for Many Reasons

These are just a few reasons to think about:

  • Dogs can bite if they are fearful and feel threatened
  • Dogs can bite if they are in pain
  • Dogs can bite if they are guarding things they consider their property. This means: homes, owners, food and any other items that might be of high value to that dog like Max’s blanket or the remote.

Veronica immediately knew that Max fit in the last category and asked her next critical question, “How can I fix Max’s biting issue?”

With Veronica, the fix was pretty easy.

Most dog owners who have a dog that bites them, always have something in common:

The dogs are stressed and anxious because there is no structure, no rules and no expectations for their dogs.

That’s exactly what I saw in Veronica’s home with Max.

See, many times the initial reason for getting a dog is: companionship, love and affection.

This then can become the exact source of the dog behavior problem.

With no structure, Max had too much freedom to do what he wanted. Which was: bed, couch, Veronica’s lap and affection, any time he wanted or asked for it, and for free.

If your dog bites you, do what I recommended for Veronica.

Let’s take a look at “How-To Avoid Dog Bites Owner

”Step One: Biting Dogs Get No Privileges”

We set down some “tough love” rules with:   no bed, no couch and no lap time.
We also picked up all coveted items like his blanket and kept the remote controls out of reach.

“Step Two: Biting Dogs Get Little to No Affection During the Program”

Max had always been the “love of her life” and was showered with affection all the time.
It was a “feel-good-feeling” for Veronica. It was just like she liked her little Max. She never expected it to turn out like this!

Veronica stressed about how to turn off the love faucet.
But after the first week she began to see a noticeable change in Max when she combined it with the structure in Step Three below.

“Step Three: Biting Dogs Must Now Earn Everything”

Max was now required to sit for everything instead of getting everything for free. This was Veronica’s NILF Program (Nothing in Life is Free). Max had to sit for his meals, sit to go outside and potty or play and sit for toys.

Veronica had her list she set on a quest to fix her broken boy.
She wanted her old Max back.

Another critical addition for Veronica was putting a leash on Max evenings and weekends while she was home.
If he attempted to jump on the sofa, the leash was there to get him off the sofa.
Consistently using the leash every day to reinforce his new rules and boundaries was critical and it worked

“Step Four: Biting Dogs Must Do Regular Obedience Training”

Max was now required to work for Veronica during scheduled obedience training sessions.

He had to perform his sits and downs at her command for 2 minutes, 3 times a day.

This began to give Max a sense of working for her rather than Veronica following his lead of nudge/pet or bark let outside.

“Step five: Biting Dogs Must Not Bark at or Bite Visitors”

Max wore a leash when visitors came calling. Veronica required him to sit and not jump or lung at the visitors.
When a friend came over, she required Max to settle down on leash by Veronica’s side.

It took many repetitions with friends coming over for Max to get it right.

After 6 weeks of intense work with Max, she began to see positive changes in him.

Signs that he was beginning to look to her for direction.

Signs that she liked – a lot!

Could this be the Max she once knew returning?

It was and it was a welcomed return! Veronica was so overwhelmed by these positive changes she has kept all rules intact.

She was beyond amazed that by doing simple things like adding structure to Max’s life, he changed back into the great dog she once knew.

If your dog bites you as he tries to guard something follow Veronica’s lead.

  • Add structure.
  • Set expectations for your dog.
  • This relieves a whole lot of his stress and anxiety and might fix your biting dog problem in time.

Remember that every dog is different. Some may need more work on behavior modification.

If this is the case with your biting dog, start these 5 steps any way. You’ll be ahead of the game.

Together We Can Raise A Happy and Obedient Dog

You got your dog for a reason. You wanted to share your life with a happy and loving dog. But now, your dog has big problems and life is not happy.

I can help you get that happy, well behaved dog back no matter where you live. We’ll do private lesson in your home OR we can do private video lessons where geography is no longer a roadblock.

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