After dinner tonight, my two year old Shepherd/Chow mix decided to come after me unprovoked while I was lying on the couch. He scratched up my face and head pretty bad but none of his attempts at biting me broke the skin.
I really love my dog but I have no idea what to do with him. He's come at me before and growled. I dont want to put him down and I dont have the money for him to see an animal behaviorist...
you gotta put that mother in line, scruff him, alpha role him, make him submit.
fucking weird... your own dog attacked you, my shepherd may have challenged me, growled when younger, i nipped that shit in the bud...but he's eleven now and mellow. my dog would kill for me, not kill me. chows can be a bit fucked from the get go.
I know you love your dog but he's dangerous to you and to anyone who comes within range of him. Veterinarians see this a lot and my suggestion is that you speak to yours right away. Your dog could have ripped you to bits while you were sleeping. What if he gets out and kills a neighbor's child? Your dog doesn't know his own mind and is dangerous. You have to put aside your guilt as you consider the safety of everyone.
When a male dog growls at you, seriously, you beat the crap out of him. You show him who runs the shit. And I don't mean abuse him, but a hard shot and chucking his ass outside. If a a dog came at me like yours did (and I know the difference between fucking around and serious attacks), I would have to restrain myself from killing the thing. There would be a boot in the ribs that would let it know to NEVER go there again.
If you can't break him of that habit, you need to seriously consider.. other means. While shepherds are very loyal, chows are not known as particularly nice dogs. I know this is difficult and truly sucks, but if the problem can't be fixed then consider putting him down.
Unless you want to go through the brutality that is dealing with dog bites.
It was provoked in your dog's mind, or else he would not have done so. This is the heart of the issue here. Your dog and yourself are not seeing your relationship in the same light, and the fact that it has escalated to the point that he has attacked you and you see it as "unprovoked" (which I take to mean that before now you have not seen any signs that he has challenged you) makes me very concerned about your ability to understand where a dog is coming from. I don't say this with a judgmental attitude, just very concerned about your understanding of your dog, because I don't want this situation or ones like it to end with a euthanasia when the problem could be fixed with an adjustment of the understanding on all parties of the dog's role in the family.
I'd really like to know more about the circumstances. All you've said is that you were on the couch. Does he usually lie on the couch? Was it immediately after he finished eating? What are the usual household rituals and hierarchy regarding food, order of eating, and the couch? What are other areas he's exhibited dominance or aggression in the past? How old is he, and is he neutered? How old was he when he was taken from the rest of his litter?
My first reaction to this is, do you have young kids? Because, when you have to readjust the thinking of a dominant dog, you have to primarily think about the safety of your children.
You haven't given a lot of information but despite the fact that your dog is very dominant, please know that it's a common and fixable situation. I have to say, though, that, if necessary, spending the money for proper and good obedience training which is designed to enforce hierarchy has to be on your list of priorities if you want to own a dog. It's part of the package, just like you need to pay for vet bills if he gets sick. It's a variable and a responsibility.
That said, I am always on the side of our dogs and I really hope you can resolve this. Dogs have so much more ease of mind when they are not the household alpha.
Thanks for the replies. I have done all the "normal" stuff you would do to correct a dog including jerking him with the pinch collar that was hard enough to lift him off the ground, pinning him to the ground Steve Irwin style, etc. The chow in him gets even more aggressive when physical corrections come about.
Other than that hes obedient, knows lots of commands, listens to them, etc.
He has exhibited aggressive behavior most likely from a sense of dominance. I regret making the blanket statement which I did, and I'm sorry, because I don't know what you know about dogs. However, the fact remains that the statements you made in your post indicated quite a bit of misinformation, or lack of information, as to what generally prompts aggression in dogs.
He does not usually lie on the couch when I or my girlfriend are home. No kids in the house. Anytime he tries to jump off the couch, he is verbally commanded to "Get Down" which he does 9/10 with no hesitation.
Over the past few months, he has started demonstrating aggression by growling and snapping at my feet on numerous occasions. Whenever I try to verbally correct him, it seems as if he doesn't care. If I physically correct him, he gets physically aggressive right back.
Food time is ALWAYS after I eat and I make him perform several commands (Paw, Lie Down, Stay) before saying "ok" which means he is allowed to eat his food. He will growl if you try and touch him while he is eating. He is not possessive over his toys.
To answer the other questions, he is 2 years old and I have had him since 8 weeks old. I resuced him from an adoption place.
No kids thankfully. My girlfriend has another smaller dog and a a cat which my dog has gone after before so we keep them in separate areas of the house now so they have no interaction.
I really would like to resolve the situation. I have read several different books on the topic and have tried several methods with no luck. Here are some things that I do consistently
I always eat my food before he does and make him work for his.
I never allow him on the furniture or the bed.
He does not sleep in the bed with us.
I have walked him with the pincher collar with mixed results. He listens but a correction that is too hard will result in him turning aggressive.
I constantly make him work throughout the day whether its sitting before going outside, eating etc or just giving me his paw before playing fetch. I do not play tug since I read this is not a good game to play with dominant dogs.
Maybe you guys see something I don't. I would much rather have the dog learn his role in my household than to simply take him in.
Yeah, but in what context? Saying you administer proper corrections is hard to judge if the offense is unknown.
Don't get me wrong, I'm sure you love your dog and want to do right by him.
I've worked with hundreds of dogs and I do love chows. I know their reputation, but they have such a wonderful sweet side. They and shepherds do require a special attention to their needs. Every dog is unique, which is why I say, I know you haven't budgeted for a trainer, but if you can find a GOOD one, who will assess your relationship and not just give cookie cutter advice, it is wholly worth it.
And hey, if you don't have the time and the money to give your dog the training and help what it needs, please don't put it down without thought, and consideration of the option to give it another home. If you have indeed done all you can, and still have to put him down, that's that. Do your best. And don't burden yourself with guilt if you have.