My dog bit someone today.

Posted by james
Oct 20, 2007
I have a 5 year old Jack Russell. He has been neutered. I also have a shop and for the last 4 years my dog has always come with me to the shop. He has growled at some people passing before but never done anything more. lots of people know him and stroke him. Today he went up to customer to say hello and when the customer went to stroke him my dog bit his hand and made his finger bleed quite badly. I dont know what I can do now as he cant be trusted. What are my options regarding training him not to get aggressive ever again?
Posted by Emma
Nov 7, 2007
Hi there James

It is certainly not uncommon for this to happen but it is really important to get the bottom of why this happened. Dogs can bite people because of dominance aggression, territorial aggression, fear aggression or protective aggression. With this in mind it is really important to find out a little bit more about your situation.
1. Is your dog normally aggressive at all when people approach and you are around?
2. What did your dog do before biting the person, did he give warning, back away? Was he cornered? Does he get frightened of people or uncomfortable around people at all? What did he do after biting? Did he run away or persist forward?
3. Does he appear quite territorial about the shop? Does he pace at the windows? Does he growl very often at passers by? What is he like with other dogs passing by?
4. What is he like at home - by this I mean does he respond to your commands? Has he ever bit you? Does he ever growl at you? Does he ever get possessive over things like food or toys? Is he usually a very confident dog?

These questions are really important to find the reason for your dog's aggression because the treatments for the different types are quite different and you dont want to be dealing with a fear aggressive dog by giving advice for dominance.