Ask Alecia: My Doxie Bit My Husband!

Dear Alecia,

I was standing near a pantry door and my husband entered the area. For no reason, Lucky bit my husband’s foot. It was a good thing my husband had sneakers on.

My dog has attacked my husband on other occasions, and it’s usually at night. I have to go to bed before my husband as Lucky won’t attack him then. Lucky usually gives a warning growl.

I admit I have spoiled him and he looks to me for everything. What should we do when Lucky tries to bite my husband?

I’ve told my husband to say NO very strongly and loud, then ignore him. Is this a good idea? Lucky is part Dachshund and part Chihuahua. He’s very smart and cute. He does growl at other people on occasion. I’ve had a trainer who was very helpful but not with this. — Beverly

Dear Beverly,

It sounds like a case of your love for Lucky spoiling the stew.  As humans our love has  a lot of emotional overtones to it.  For dogs, love is based on clear boundaries and respect.

While Lucky may be an adorable guy (I have a Dachsie, too, so I know the cuteness factor) he still requires very clear boundaries about acceptable and unacceptable behavior.

You are actually going to have to be the one to set it straight with Lucky as he will just be reactive to your husband.  So I would suggest you being the disciplinarian when Lucky goes  after your husband.  I would also highly recommend trying to catch the behavior as he is  getting into attack mode so that you lower his energy before he has a chance to get up a  head of steam.

If you sense him getting into that mode, ask him to do something– a sit, or a stay — something to distract the attack focus which will bring his attention back to you and where he has to respect your authority.

Next time you notice him getting into that state, put him in a sit-stay and if he gets up simply put your hand on his butt and have him sit back down until he is listening to your commands and not attacking your husband.

When he does a good job, praise him and let him know that he is  doing what you want.  He cannot get up off the sit-stay until he is calm and taking his cues from  you.

Paws Up! Alecia

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Alecia Evans is the inventor of The Walk In Sync™ Humane Dog Walking and Training System with her exclusive 5 Minute Manners Makeovers using the Walk In Sync™ Harness and Accu-Grip Leash, along with her Walk In Sync™ 3 Easy Steps to teach any human/dog duos to Walk In Sync in just minutes.

The former host of the award-winning GrassRoots Aspen TV Series, The Whole Animal-An Alternative Approach to Animal Care, Alecia takes a natural approach to dog training and health care. Her work has been featured on Fox and Friends, The Sandra Glosser Show, NY 1, and in Aspen Magazine,, The New York Daily News and Woof Report.

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