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So my dog just bit my roommate

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So, a few months back i ended up getting my dog back (we had the dog together, she took him in the break up) after he bit her grandma in the face. In this incident there was no warning or anything, it just happened out of the blue. So he came to my place.

Flash forward about 3 months, he ends up freaking out in one of my roommate's face. snarling and snapping, but not actually biting him. after this he stopped sleeping with the dog (neither was asleep when this happened, jsut lying in bed face to face).

Flash forward about 1-2 months. My roommates were playing Halo. Rob was sitting on the couch and Tom in a different chair. Carson (the dog) was lying on the couch. Tom looks over at Carson, who was staring at rob. he then launches to attack rob's face, but rob just happened to turn at that moment and got bit on the back of the head. no warnings at all (no growling, snarling, barking, anything). after the incident the roommates locked him in my room. after a while they let him out but are hesitant to trust him anymore (they still love him, jsut don't want to get bitten).

I'm at a complete loss as to what's going on or what to do.

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Carson staring at Rob was the warning. Animal's often speak with body language, not verbal cues. Something in Rob's behavior was agitating Carson.

This.

If a dog is just cold staring like that, be wary. Also, wherever they're staring is where they're going to bite.

I would say get a consultation with a trainer. Find someone who will come to your house to observe the dog in the environment where these incidents are happening. Hard to say exactly what the issue is without seeing how the dog is acting/body language/etc.

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Big, medium, or little sized dog? What's his breed history, if you know it? How much previous training does he have and how well does he obey (standard commands such as sit, stay, lay down, heel, come, etc.)?

Bear in mind that some breeds come with mental stability issues (chihuahuas, dalmations); others are naturally aggressive and can react accordingly under specific stimulae (chowchows, malinois). Your dog's physical health may also be a factor: cataracts that limit vision or excess wax buildup in the ears that impairs hearing can cause dogs to startle more easily, which is often manifested as sudden aggression. Extreme changes in their owner's lives can also cause sudden behavioral issues, as the dog reacts to the owner's emotional state with protective instincts. Such changes may also cause the dog to assume the "dominant" role in the household, which will almost always be demonstrated by the dog through acts of territorial aggression (claiming certain pieces of furniture or even people, and reacting violently to any outside interaction with them).

I second BearsBeetsBSG's suggestion though: a trained professional who has studied canine behavior will be able to observe more, and hence determine more accurately the reason for your dog's sudden change in personality.

Also, I'd like to add that I've always found FPS gamers extremely loud and obnoxious. That may not be the case with your roommates, but there's a possibility that if your dog hasn't encountered online aggression in a first-person experience before, that may have triggered the event.

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Big, medium, or little sized dog? What's his breed history, if you know it? How much previous training does he have and how well does he obey (standard commands such as sit, stay, lay down, heel, come, etc.)?

Bear in mind that some breeds come with mental stability issues (chihuahuas, dalmations); others are naturally aggressive and can react accordingly under specific stimulae (chowchows, malinois). Your dog's physical health may also be a factor: cataracts that limit vision or excess wax buildup in the ears that impairs hearing can cause dogs to startle more easily, which is often manifested as sudden aggression. Extreme changes in their owner's lives can also cause sudden behavioral issues, as the dog reacts to the owner's emotional state with protective instincts. Such changes may also cause the dog to assume the "dominant" role in the household, which will almost always be demonstrated by the dog through acts of territorial aggression (claiming certain pieces of furniture or even people, and reacting violently to any outside interaction with them).

I second BearsBeetsBSG's suggestion though: a trained professional who has studied canine behavior will be able to observe more, and hence determine more accurately the reason for your dog's sudden change in personality.

Also, I'd like to add that I've always found FPS gamers extremely loud and obnoxious. That may not be the case with your roommates, but there's a possibility that if your dog hasn't encountered online aggression in a first-person experience before, that may have triggered the event.

he's some sort of mix between fox and jack terrier, dunno for sure. he's a shelter dog, we've had him for 3+ years. he's probably about 5-6 years old now.

usually we don't have the volumn up loud when playing games, and it's not new.

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don't hold me to to this but i'll tell you what my dad did with our dogs (both dead now but always ridiculously well behaved pair of golden retrievers). They're pack animals, you have to be the alpha or they won't respond or obey you as they should do (i'm saying anything like beating them etc but be dominant). as an example to their behaviour, before i was born and my brother was a baby my dad's friend came over to watch him, he found his way outside and the two dogs where sat around him and when my dad's friend tried to get him back they wouldn't let him near my brother, despite the fact that the elder dog was around before my brother he knew his place, at first it was just my dad ahead of him in the pack, then when he married it was dad then mum, then when my brother was born he knew that he had to defer to him too etc, you have o let it know who's boss and who's ahead of it in the pack.

my dad did use a choke chain for him from a young age but was never harsh or cruel, whether this applies with your dog being around 5-6 years old i don't know, just giving you an idea

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Have you done any training with the dog? Do you take the dog for daily walks? If not, start both of those. Training him to obey commands will help teach him to respect you and other people. Taking him for walks will help keep him calmer, and also reinforce you as leader if you make sure he walks beside you or behind you instead of pulling you along (the leader is in front, that should be you). Get your roommates to do the same, it should help get the dog to see them as a leader and not just someone it lives with.

Look up dog/wolf body language, too. Or, here, I found you a page. You have to learn to watch their cues so you can redirect it before a bite happens.

But basically, learn to read the dog, teach them how to do the same, and definitely invest in someone to come see the dog at home. =)

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no, none whatsoever.

In that case (in addition to talking to a trainer) I might suggest taking a trip to the vet - sudden behaviour changes can be related to health problems (if the dog is in pain, they may be more likely to react aggressively).

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In that case (in addition to talking to a trainer) I might suggest taking a trip to the vet - sudden behaviour changes can be related to health problems (if the dog is in pain, they may be more likely to react aggressively).

Seconded. Sudden behavior changes with no apparent cause, especially aggressive changes, are indicative of some rather unpleasant medical issues. Get him checked out by your vet and consider hiring a trainer to address the behaviors.

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I second getting the dog checked out by a vet. My Brigit was super aggressive for about a week before she slipped a disk in her back. Also, you have a terrier. Terriers can be.....challenging. If all checks out with the vet, I'd go for upping the excercise, and I'd try to institue NILIF (nothing in life is free) training with him, with you and your roomate. Good luck.

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