biting dog/peeing dog

Posted by Caligirl
Oct 3, 2011
We got our dog, Charlie, from an animal shelter about 2 years ago. He is a chihuahua mix (w/pug maybe) and his approximate age was 4 years. We have another dog, Bud, and the two dogs get along great. Our problem is that Charlie will try and bite/nip at people when they come in. Last week my sister in law was over and when she walked down the hallway with me, he came up from behind her and bit her on the back of her leg. The bite left a mark, but did not break the skin. Today, my son came into the room and Charlie jumped up and bit him on the back of the leg. This time it did draw blood. Everytime my son comes into the house or room, the dog tries to bite him. He has never been aggressive towards me and he is not aggressive or possessive of his toys or food. We are going to try the 48 hour ignore tactic, because I think we do need to establish who really is the boss, but when the dog tries to bite my son, how do we ignore that? Should we leave him outside for the two days? How do I get the dog to actually like my son? Right now they pretty much have a hate/hate relationship. Our other problem with Charlie is that he marks in the house. I can never catch him, I only see the evidence. How can I get him to stop peeing in the house. Needless to say, my husband wants to now get rid of the dog
Posted by MaxHollyNoah
Oct 5, 2011
Hi Caligirl,

So Charlie's biting and peeing have been happening since you got him 2 years ago, or the issues just started?

I don't think 48 hr ignoring him would work. He would forget why he has been igored by you after 10 mins.

I think it is much more effective to reprimand him and give him a 20 mins time-out right after he bites/pees. He should learn that specific behavior is not acceptable. Tell him how upset you are at the scene and remove him to another room and shut the door.

I don't know how much training you have given him during the 2 years but it will be a good idea to enroll him at a dog obedience class. 4 years old is still young so he should be able to learn how to become a dog that your husband want to live with Good luck!
Posted by KOPCaroline
Oct 5, 2011
Hey there,

I agree whole-heartedly with MHN - the time out training might be key here. Anytime Charlie acts up, tell him no, and put him in a small, quiet room by himself for a while, at least 10 minutes. You have to be prompt and immediately put him in timeout every time he acts up, whether its biting or peeing, so that he gets the message about what he's doing wrong.

Specifically to your son - try having your son be the one to feed Charlie and let him out for bathroom breaks, etc for a while. This can help Charlie to recognize your son as a provider/a dominant figure, and will hopefully help your son to see Charlie as an alright dog Try getting your son to work with Charlie on giving commands (just the basics - sit, down, etc) and giving Charlie treats when he responds well. I'm not sure how old your son is, but hopefully he is willing to give it a go!

As far as marking in the house - is Charlie neutered? Is your other dog? You should try pet deodorizers where Charlie has marked previously - otherwise he'll smell it and keep marking the same spots. It may come down to repeating his house training as well, just to drive the idea home.

Hope this helps - if you have more questions or want more advice, dont hesitate! And please keep us posted on how things go!
Posted by Caligirl
Oct 5, 2011
Thank you for your ideas! Charlie was neutered at the dog shelter right before we brought him home. He went all the time in the house when we first got him, but he never figured it out completely. I do use Nature's Miracle on the spots where he marks, but he still sometimes will go on those same spots. He has also marked on our bed, so now I don't let him up on the bed. I hope that will work. I don't know if he thinks that's his territory or not. My other dog is neutered as well. Charlie has been to dog obedience school and knows his commands. I have to admit, we weren't very consistent in using them! We have now started using them on a consistent basis. We are also trying the "alpha dog" techniques, making them wait for us to invite them in the house, feeding them after we eat, etc. I am also having my son give them commands (they listen to him!) and giving the dog treats in order for him to realize that John is a nice guy and won't hurt him! I will do the time out period when he barks at my son or tries to bite him. I also told my son he might want to try and get Charlie to sit and stay and then get down on his level so he won't be so intimidating to him. We have only been doing this since this past Sunday and I'm hoping that things turn around quickly!
Thank you for your suggestions!