Posted by aiphillips
Sep 29, 2008
My 12-year-old male Lhasa Apso has bitten my husband twice in the last month, once after being stepped on (apparently a fear reaction but no less unpleasant) and once just while being pet. It's a pretty painful bite. The dog had a biting issue with children when he was younger but we have not had any problems in many years. He does not like to be picked up by strangers and so we keep him away from small children.

The dog has always had a dominance issue, which we have dealt with since he was a puppy, periodically and consistently reinforcing that we are alpha to him. We worked with a professional trainer years ago on the issues of lowering his status, not allowing him on the furniture, making him wait until we eat, etc. But it's pretty bad when the dog bites his owner and we are not sure what to do besides go back and retrain him per the techniques in alpha dog training. Other than dominance and biting, he is fairly well trained and a good pet. Any suggestions to deal with the biting?
Posted by aiphillips
Oct 9, 2008
Anybody have some solutions? I haven't received a single comment or response from any forum users nor from the folks at SitStayFetch, which I thought was part of the package I purchased. Anyone?
Posted by KOPsBecks
Oct 10, 2008
Dear aiphillips,

Thanks for your enquiry, sorry we have taken so long to respond.
Biting after being stood on I believe is completely acceptable its a fight or flight instinct, I don't think you should include this is the problem. The other instance does concern me however, could it be a case of rough petting, or could your dog have been in pain and the area being petted was painful and thus we have another reaction to pain??? This would follow a common theme, and although unpleasant, is an understandable reason for lashing out.
I think it might be wise to take him to the Vet and get a good clinical check-up done on him, given that he is an old dog a lot of behavioural problems may be caused by underlying disease making them feel generally cranky.

Another possibility is that he has a fear related problem, in which case he needs rewarding for good behaviour whilst being petted and reassurance.

If it is a dominance aggression then you must go back to square one with fixing this problem as it can spiral out of control if left ignored. Keep up the good work with assuring your dominance in the pack, and your husbands also!

Good luck,

Posted by nevrenufanimals
Oct 13, 2008
My Lhasa is 9 yrs old. Although he was well socialized as a puppy (is an AKC confirmation champion) and obedience trained, he can still be aggressive. I was nervous every time a judge touched him. He went through handling classes at 7 mo old, and the instructor said he never knew what he was going to do. He even went through an agility course. He was voted least enthusiastic because he did things when HE wanted to do it. He has always remained very dominant, even after much behavior training and retraining. And yes, he IGNORES discipline. He does NOT like to be picked up, esp by strangers. As far as I know, he's never bit anyone for this. He Hates his crate, always has, and will fuss and attempt to bite you if you physically push him into it. And then he barks, fusses, scratches and tries to get out the whole time. He actually rocked himself out of the car one day onto the ground from inside his crate from pushing and jumping on it. He WILL nail you (bite) if you step on him or his tail. He fusses (grumbles) the whole time he gets a bath. He WILL nail you if you're grooming his feet (or anywhere) and he warns you to stop and you don't. Even us, his owners. Every groomer I know will tell you (and has told me) this is inherent of the breed. And I've not seen any books or information on the breed that says they're happy go lucky, easy going, well behaved, like-everybody dogs! Mine has issues with ankle biting friends as they LEAVE my house, not when they enter. And yes, he draws blood. Even with help from dog trainers, and the final use of an E collar, it is still not resolved. He knows when it's not on him. I now just have to put him away if company comes. He is very smart, and loyal, knows lots of tricks, and I love him, but his behavior is annoying. He is a terror at my windows, constantly lunging and barking at them when he sees anyone outside. Same thing in the car. Sometimes we think he's going to take out the glass. I can't answer the door because he does the same thing. I've tried teaching him to sit and stay, (which he knows very well) but as soon as that doorbell rings or someone knocks, he goes nuts and refuses to mind. I've tried distracting him with treats, but he ignores it. He didn't bait in the show ring either. Bark collars only stop the barking, not the lunging. He is not dog aggressive, doesn't bark at people outside my home, and walks on leash just fine. No pulling, etc. At 3 mo old, my vet told me I would have my hands full with him. My trainer saw him at 4 mo old, and said the same thing. And I have. My husband hates him. I neutered him at age 3 because I didn't want his temper passed on. I don't trust him with anyone. I feel for you. It's not all his fault though. The rest of the family isn't consistent with training, and as I've said, my husband has nothing to do with him. They crossed paths very early on and it's been like that every since (for years). Since the dog doesn't act submissive and wag his tail when he looks at him, he doesn't like him. This little guy could add a whole chapter to the dog training book! I'm here looking for help too...