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Ask Jane Lefler Your Own Question
Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18941
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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Am having problems with my 3 year old lhsas apso he is neutered

Customer Question

hi am having problems with my 3 year old lhsas apso he is neutered at 6 months old lately growling barking at anyone and has bitten my neighbour drawing blood
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Hi Sir or Madam,
My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.
In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply. I hope you can be patient.
Why did you have large vet bills, skin tests and a change in diet?
Was a thyroid panel done at any point?
What obedience training has he had?
Who handled him during his training?
What have you tried to correct the problem?
does he growl at family members as well?
Is he aggressive to other dogs?
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 1 year ago.
Hi JaCustomer,
I was hoping you would replay to my request for more information but I want to give you an answer as well. So let me give you some generalized suggestions.
Medical conditions can cause a dog to be aggressive. Hypothyroidism is one cause. You can read about this and others below.
http://www.petplace.com/dogs/medical-causes-of-aggression-in-dogs/page1.aspx
http://www.apdt.com/veterinary/assets/pdf/Dodman_MA10.pdf
It sounds like your dog may be having issues with dominance aggression. Many dominant dogs are described as well behaved until you try to get them to do something they do not want to do, and then they reprimand you either with a growl or bite if you don't heed the growl. Things like taking away something they want, making them move when they don't want to, waking them up, etc can cause them to reprimand (bite) you.
Dogs that are allowed on furniture (even if put on the furniture) tend to feel that since they are elevated to your level or higher if on your lap, they mentally feel elevated as well in the pack order and thus are the boss. Keeping them on the floor can help lower them mentally back to a submissive position in the pack. So the first thing is to not allow him higher that the humans or even on the same level. In addition, humans shouldn't be on the floor with him either. A small short stool is enough to keep them higher than the dog when petting the dog. Attach a leash and use it to remove him from the furniture. Give a correction in the form of a quick tug and firm "NO" when he attempts to get on and a treat when he starts not trying to get on the furniture. Thus you are providing negative reinforcement for the getting on the furniture and positive reinforcement for the desired behavior (not attempting to get on the furniture).
There are other ways to regain the dominant position in the house as well. The best way is to start obedience training. While a formal training class is great, you can start obedience training without a formal class. Before you can get into classes, I am including links to a couple of other sites that teach some good methods of training. Be sure and read both.
http://www.aspca.org/Pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-articles/teaching-your-dog-to-sit
http://www.luckydogs.info/pdf/Teaching-the-basic-commands.pdf
The following site is helpful. Be sure and click on the link to the page on obedience at the bottom. and links on subsequent pages leading to detailed instructions.
http://www.schutzhund-training.com/training_theory.html
Training works best if you train at least 30 minutes a day (two 15 minute sessions). I would start making your dog work via the Nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is outlined below.
http://www.pets.ca/articles/article-dog_nilf.htm
http://www.cairnrescue.com/docs/NILIF.pdf
You will also want to keep a leash on him at all times initially to grab if he should disobey. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how well your dog does with training. Dogs like knowing what is expected of them and they love the little paper thin slices of hotdogs that I use for treats while training. Give this a try and see how it works for you.
Additionally, I would suggest you get a basket muzzle and make him wear it anytime children are around or visitors are there. Be sure to use the leash to make him obey you. If he growls give a short tug to get his attention and a firm "NO" to let him know, you are not going to allow his aggression. If he is sleeping, give a little tug to let him know that someone is there so he isn't startled when being woken up. .
In addition, if the situation is not improving using the techniques on the previous website, you may have to consult a professional behaviorist. You can usually find a behaviorist by asking your Vet for a recommendation or you may be able to find one using the following site.
http://www.apdt.com
This would have been tailored more toward your specific situation had I received responses back. I hope this information is helpful to you. If you need more information or clarification, please reply and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. If you are satisfied, please take the opportunity to rate.