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Big Stress bonanza move = aggression?

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
Kenzie

684672
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 27, '13 5:41pm PST 
I moved over Christmas, a big move, new state, new everything. Stayed with family for the first 2 months while looking for a place of my own. Family has two dogs, one year old boxer mix, one 7 month old Boston Terrier. My dog is a good bit smaller than either of them. He's a trained, registered service dog, trained to assist me in the management of crippling PTSD.

It has been a rough ride, things went south with the family, they allow their dogs to jump on furniture and both are just this side of completely out of control. Rough play, destruction on an amazing scale (The boxer has destroyed crates, furniture, eaten entire cases of chocolate health bars,boxes of body building vitamins, hundreds of dollars in damages in the 2 months I've been here) Boxer is also rough, likes to smack my dog around and stand on him, wont back off when he growls and snaps at her (wont remove her nose from a guests crotch or take it out from under a guests shirt as they scream either) Boston is dominant, and humps things that will hold still (he's neutered). I go to work and get calls that my dog has bitten a visitor, or attacked the boxer. One night the Boston jumped into my lap on top of my dog and sat on him and started licking his face and my dog turned and bit him in the face, drew blood.

Family has labeled my 7lb service dog as vicious and dont want him around. I'm moving out in a week but am worried, while he has, aside from the bite to the Boston, never acted out in my pressence, has the stressfull, crazy move ruined my dogs trust in me?

He still does his job beautifully, the last two months he has worked overtime helping me through, my family threaten that they should report him, and he would loose his certification if they told people how terrible he is. I've only seen the one act and honestly, the puppy jumped into my lap on top of him and started licking his face, I dont feel his reaction was aggression or viciousness, am I wrong? He has an evaluation with a service dog specialist two weeks after i move to my own place, the trainer said no honest eval could be done before that.
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Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 27, '13 6:12pm PST 
I'm going to be honest in that, while I wouldn't expect any dog to tolerate such rude behavior from another dog such as the situation that arose there, I also would not expect them to take it as far as to draw blood. A growl, a snap, a WARNING is far more acceptable than an outright bite that draws blood. That suggests to me that the dog lacks good bite inhibition. And while it could have been the stress of the move, what concerns me is your dogs ability to handle such high stress situations. Never would I have allowed another dog to jump on my dog in the way the family's dog did, but at the same time, service dogs NEED to be able to tolerate HIGH stress situations and it concerns me that it seems as if your dog cannot.

Now, I could be wrong, as I do not and have never had a service dog, so perhaps an SD handler can better help with your question.

But it sounds to me, like the situation is simply high stress for the dog and he's not coping well with the level of stress of the move, and the change living with the family and the other ill-behaved dogs.
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Happy

The Boy Wonder
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 27, '13 10:06pm PST 
As a service dog handler I hate hearing of things like this because first off you've put your dog in a situation where he can not win. He is too small to be bounced around by larger dogs without you right there to supervise. He should never have to growl at the other dogs without you stepping in to stop whatever the situation is. He needs to be separated from the strangers in the household and other dogs first thing.

While I'm not in the camp, that a service dog should never Ever defend themselves, if there has been more than one bite you need to take a hard objective look at your dog and what is going on. I've had children hit, kick and otherwise harass my dog and while I always step in he has to have good enough nerves to take both dogs and people (including children) that are going to do very stupid things. A service dog must first and foremost have a rock stable temperament and reports of your dog biting guests would be a major red flag for me.

A puppy jumping in your lap and licking him is not cause for a bite in a stable service dog. I don't know if the situation has forced him to the point where he feels the need to bite, or if there are other root causes but it is where it is now. I'll keep my finger's crossed for him, but in the meantime I would limit contact with your family and completely cut off his contact with your family's dogs as they will only continue to make the problem worse.
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