my dog bit me

  1. I have a 10 year old cocker spaniel. Today she bit my hand when I was trying to get her to go outside (she was refusing..she is a stubborn old girl). I had put my hand under her torso area..but was gentle.

    We have to muzzle her when she gets groomed, she bit a groomer now I have to spend $100 to have someone come to our home every couple of months.

    She has always had a tendency to snap, if someone touches her feet...but otherwise is a loving and gentle dog. She is not aggresive.

    I have kids, she bit my son one time many years ago when he stuck his head in her foodbowl , so I blame that more on him, although he was only 3 or 4..and luckily he wasn't harmed..but it sure scared us.

    Has anyone had to put a dog down because of biting, she isn't vicious...but I fear that in her old age she might lose all patience with the kids or their friends.

    What do I do?

    I LOVE this old dog. She doesn't have a medical issue with her feet, we have explored that...she has just always been sensitive. I have always had cockers...and I know sometimes they can get snappy...but now with kids it is different.

  2. Awww. this is hard subject. I've always had Cockers growing up.. and we had one male temperamental Cocker. It got so bad that we've had groomers refuse to groom our dog.. so we found a groomer that would groom him only if he was sedated. I think the snapping is a behavioral issue, have your tired looking into Cesar Milan's tapes or actually contacted him? He does have a dog psychology center in LA.... depending on where you're located. I know this type of behavior can be addressed and fixed... you don't have to put your cocker down. :nogood:
  3. uh oh..that's not right. Has this always been a problem? Like something you couldn't train her not to do? I don't know about dogs but for cats they can be given works to calm them down. Maybe you can ask the vet if your dog might need meds to calm her down or how she could be trained to stop biting. She's not a puppy anymore so training isn't going to be as easy, but I'm sure it could be done?
  4. What do you do when she bites? Did she get punished when she bit your son? Whether it was "his fault" or not, did you let her know that what she did was wrong? I don't think that a child going near/touching a dog's food bowl gives the dog a right to bite and if she received no reprimand for it, she may think that she's allowed to bite. She sounds like she's in control not you and she needs, very quickly to be put in her place.
  5. This reminds me of my old dog She was a German Shepherd she lasted 18 wonderful years and did the same thing.Whenever she bit me i would say Ah a bit loudly because she wouldn't get it when i said No and then ignored her for a few minutes and then she realized it was wrong.She stopped doing after i did that.
  6. You have my sympathy--this has happened to us a few times, all for different reasons. I've read Cockers can be snappish. Other than that, is it possible that she is tender in the area you touched her? Has she had a full physical exam recently? Being a little older there might be something that is bothering her. That was the cause of one of our Boxers biting our son. Another of our rescue Boxers had arthritis in her spine; I didn't know that and when I tried to move her, I pressed on an area that hurt and she grazed my hand, drawing a little blood.

    Just a couple ideas. But the dog has to learn it's not acceptable. Good luck with your senior lady.
  7. I'm so sorry! It's always horrible when your own animal bites you. My own horse bit me for no reason on the shoulder last year-my feelings were actually hurt!
    Older animals can become simply cranky. It sounds like pretty infrequent biting. I would watch her carefully around children-warn everyone-don't touch her, she may be grouchy.
    My husband and I have two Heelers (notorious for being biting savages) and when they would get out of line we would just hold their muzzle clamped shut until they whined a little, and say No very firmly.
    And (can't resist, sorry!) make sure she dosen't have arthritis or abdominal pain; pain can make us all cranky!
  8. I had this problem with Mariah(Chihuahua) when she was younger. I didnt explore training, but instead decided to try to break her of the problem myself. Every time she would growl or show her teeth, it was "time out" I would tell her "bad girl, go lay down" and she would, but she used to try to crawl out of wherever she was(usually under one of the chairs we had) as soon as I saw her try to crawl out I would say "no! stay there!". She would stay in time out for at least 5 minutes. I know it sounds silly, but it worked! She hasnt snapped at anyone in about 3 years. This time out method also helped with potty training Princess(Lhaso mix), and we didnt even get her until she was 2 y/o. She had ALOT of behavior issues when we got her, they are all gone now(it took her about 8 months to get the hang of it though)-seriously, I pretty much swear by my time out method lol.
  9. Totally agree. It is a behavioral issue and the dog needs to know it's place. YOU have to be pack leader. In nature, a submissive dog would NEVER bite the pack leader - whatever the situation. Your dog has to be at the bottom of the pecking order and you and your family have to be dominant over him.

    I really recommend reading/watching Cesar Milan to anyone. As Cesar says - he "trains people, not dogs"!
  10. If you've ruled out a medical problem (like her being in pain, because dogs may bite for that reason even if they don't ever do it otherwise), then yeah, you need to be vigilant. Even if it was just a warning nip, she can't get it in her head that it's okay to bite a human. I just hope the poor thing had a bad day and never does it again!
  11. Thanks guys, I think we both had a bad day. But I'm fine, and you are right...a dog should never bite. She is not a bad dog, or normally a I think the advice to keep other children clear of her/ and warn them of being very gentle.

    Today I look at her happy little face, and I can't even think about not having her.

    I have watched Cesar, I'll look at his book too...but I know it is hard to break an old dog. Thankfully I still have a groomer who will work with her, if she leaves me...I don't know what I will do. I tried grooming her myself....that is a tough job.

    I'm glad nobody said euthanize her, I always thought that was how to handle a biter...but I don't think she really falls into that category.
  12. Well, she's 10 she is a senior/geriatric dog. Its possible that her hearing and vision may be deteriorating and she is more easily startled now. I would rule out medical issues and if there are none then I would suggest that its due to aging. Older dogs start losing confidence because they are sort of out of the loop and begin to fear being injured because of underlying pain issues(arthritis, lower back deterioration,...). A huge factor in sudden behavioral changes is the thyroid being out of balance which is very very common in senior dogs. If the thyroid is out of balance you will see a formally stable dog become fearful, aggressive, destructive even biting family members. A simple blood test can rule out the thyroid as the culprit and if it is the thyroid then an expensive pill will change everything.
  13. wow... i knew that thyroid problems affected weight, skin, ect. but i didn't know it could cause behavior problems, interesting.

    i have a cocker, got him from the pound years ago. he's extremely obsessive, but he's never bitten me, the hubby, or our other fur babies. i have heard that it is common for cockers to bite their owner, when they get old... i think it's due to the fact that they are so over-bred. i wish you luck with your doggie!!!
  14. I used to have a Poodle that was a real *****, and not just in the sense of being a female dog. She bit me and everyone in my family and everyone in our neighborhood. I never would have dreamed of putting her to sleep for it though. I finally had to put her down when her health issues gave her such a poor quality of life that she was totally miserable, but not for the snapping. Unfortunately people are so lawsuit happy now days that you have to be so careful with a snappy dog, more so than when I had my poodle. If I had $1 for every person she bit I'd be rich.
  15. I am with those who suspect she might have been in a little pain and got scared. That's the only time my guys have snapped. (Moose has a "black mark" on his file at the vet's because he snapped at the vet when getting innoculated and caused the vet to give himself the shot. He was NOT happy.)