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Sally G.
Sally G., Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 9361
Experience:  Service /assistance dog trainer,Therapy dog evaluator and trainer, AKC evaluator, pet first aide and member of PAS Animal Response Team.
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I have a question regarding the behaviour of my partners

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Hi, I have a question regarding the behaviour of my partners dog please?
Myself and my 3 children moved in with my partner 8 months ago. My partners dog is a Rottwieler cross German Sheppherd. He is not very good with strangers but is very loyal to his owner and has been good with myself and the children. If strangers every come to the house once he has had a treat from them he is happy for them to be around. However my parents came to visit this weekend and had been in the house for a couple of days, out of the blue he attacked my mum and she has a slight graze on her arm. Understandably I am very shocked by the incident but now feel worried that I will not be able to trust him around the children. His background is that he was rescued as he was badly treated as a puppy - he has been with my partner for 3 years and loves long walks and is well behaved with people he knows.
Hello and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I have been in the dog field for 25 years. I am a Therapy Dog & AKC Evaluator/trainer/ specializing in behavior. It will be my pleasure to help you today. I am sorry for what happened to your mom. I hope that she is okay.Because you have a dog that is fearful of people you will always have to watch her. Fearful dogs usually act out when they feel they cannot get out of a situation. Humans have a tendency to do three things that any dog sees as a challenge. Humans are also not great at reading a dogs body language which would tell us to leave them alone. You should be scared of the dog, but you should not trust that guests know enough to read the body language either. Eye contact, talking to, and reaching out or petting are three things that we do wrong with a dog that is uncertain with people. I would suggest that to spare yourself this in the future, that the dog have its own place in the home to go. Some dogs, especially rescue dogs, have had traumatic pasts, they are fine with family and they are comfortable with family because they learn the family routines and individual routines among the home. They know what each family member is going to do next when they behavior a certain way. They become predictable to the dog. Someone outside the family is not predictable to the dog and that is when trouble will happen.
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