skittish foxhound
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Author:  rober [ Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:13 pm ]
Post subject:  skittish foxhound

the wife took on a now 2 year neutered male old foxhound. I think he was abused maybe beaten by a male. he's uneasy around me but comes on command, sits, shakes, & seeks out ear & belly rubs. but if he is sleeping & is startled awake by me or is cuddled up near the wife & I get too close he launches into a full blown attack mode. he's agile & has actually jumped on my chest while trying to bite me. when she walks him in the park if a jogger, cycler, or another dog approaches he whimpers & whines until they pass. I've taken to putting a training collar on him in the house but so far he's not attacked while wearing it. i'm putting up with this for now for the wife's sake but if he ever draws blood I might have to take him for a one way walk in the timber. has anyone ever trained a dog out of this kind of behavior?

Author:  arachyd [ Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: skittish foxhound

All I can say is be careful, be patient and keep him away from children. I've known dogs that had been abused to where they act like yours. It's not because he's a bad dog. Your observations indicate he would have been a good dog if he hadn't had such bad experiences. It sounds like he's reacting in self-preservation mode and thinking about it only after he realizes he's not in danger. That can happen when there has been no consistency in how he was treated so he never knows what to expect and is always expecting the worst. The more you can keep things routine for him the easier it will be for him to settle a bit but he will probably always be jumpy. You can try speaking or whistling a tune when you walk through the house so he isn't startled and can tell it's you in a good mood well before you get near him. Talking and doing normal, everyday things a lot around him helps him learn your moods as well. Exaggerating the pitch changes in your voice to give treats (high pitch and yes you'll sound silly) or to go for a walk (speak slightly faster, sound eager) makes it easier for him. Consistency is very important. Once he can predict a little bit of your habits based on your tone of voice and movements you'll probably notice him being less skittish around you. Unfortunately you can't teach strangers and kids very easily how to get along with him and there will always be a danger of him biting out of fear if he gets startled. I wish you luck with him.

Author:  rober [ Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: skittish foxhound

that's pretty much the approach i'm taking. he still has his moments & will growl & show some teeth but hasn't actually attacked in awhile. I realize these reactions are defensive & are always directed at me & never the wife so his abuser must have been a man. both he & my redbone have serious sweet tooths. last week I was outside ( it's messy )making sugar syrup to feed my bees & he got aggressive while I was stirring the pot. he got a serious soaking with the hose & that put an end to that. raised voices send him to his hidey hole. if it were up to me i'd rehome him but the wife won't have it. I just do not trust him & plan on getting a muzzle for him to wear when my younger grandchildren come around.
another odd thing he does is when the wife walks him he whines a lot while they walk. if someone is approaching them head on he gets nervous & if it's another dog walker she has to step off the path. yet he has truly bonded with my redbone.

Author:  arachyd [ Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: skittish foxhound

He is probably afraid of being in unfamiliar territory. Not knowing what to expect is magnified away from home, especially when you throw strangers into the mix. I think the muzzle is a wise choice around the grandchildren. Very often an abused dog will become a 1-person dog so I wouldn't take it personally that he's attached himself to your wife.

Author:  rober [ Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: skittish foxhound

he's been here close to a year. while he's bonded with the wife he does interact with me. he get's excited when I come home, comes to me & nuzzles his head between my legs for an ear rub, & stuff like that. after an attack he acts submissive & repentant & comes to me when called. he'll go for a time & be fine & then out of the blue comes an attack. it's like living with a multiple personality person who missed a dose of their meds. the attacks have been less frequent but I will never fully trust this dog.