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dogloverhelp123

Help i love my Cairn Terrier but he just attacks all the time!!!!

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dogloverhelp123

Someone help! 

My Cairn Terrier named Floyd just turned 5 years old. He’s diabetic and loves going for long walks around the neighborhood. I love my dog but for some reason he attacks everyone in the house! One second he’s fine and getting a belly rub and the next hes attacking my knee!  When we try to train him he just becomes more aggressive and hostile. When anyone goes to leave the house he runs to bite them and barks! Just the sound of keys sets him off! Does anyone have any tips? Also we walk him several times a day and trained him to go to the bathroom outside but for some reason when he needs to go he just goes on the floor! He refuses to listen and I really need help because I do love him! S.O.S

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hheldorfer

First, welcome to you and Floyd!  (Love the name Floyd, by the way.)  

A few questions:  Has Floyd always been in "attack mode" or is this a recent development?  Did you get him as a pup or was he older when you adopted him?  Is his diabetes under control?  Last but not least, has he been neutered?

 

 

 

 

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sanford

I assume you see the vet regularly re Floyd's diabetes. If not, it might be good for Floyd to be examined and maybe have blood tests done to see if there is some underlying condition, physical problem, or even a toothache, which can cause such behavior. 

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pkcrossley

agree with hheldorfer, is this new behavior?  have you had him for 5 years? if it is new, then as sanford suggests, the first thing in such a situation is normally a vet visit for a thorough checkup. there are all kinds of things that can cause erratic behavior in a dog. 

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dogloverhelp123

Thank you all so much for replying! 

We adopted Floyd at 4 months! His diabetes is controlled however he got diabetes just this summer and yes he is nuetered! And hes healthy! The first time he attacked was at about 2 years old when I was sitting on the floor and I got up and he just went for me. Another example is when i went to pick up a red solo cup from the floor and he bit my hand! From then on its been a bumpy ride with Floyd. Just the other night for instance I was sitting on the floor petting him we were both bonding and he was laying on my foot cuddling, when a member of my family walked out of their room and for some reason Floyd thats when he snapped! He turned around and went to visciously attack me cutting his teeth through my knee and pants and continued to go after me as if i’m an enemy! We’ve tried to let him understand that we mean no harm! We love him and do so much for him! Yet for some reason one little thing and he turns on us! Does anyone else experience from this?! Tips?! Im thinking of looking for a trainer to evaluate and help him!

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hheldorfer

Assuming there are no medical reasons for his behavior, I think Floyd has you exactly where he wants you - marching to his tune.  Until you make it clear that *you* are in charge (and Floyd is not), you'll need to start over with Floyd.   Everyone in the house will have to stick to a program:  No biting allowed, ever.  No aggression toward family members, ever.  As far as the type of correction you should use, that's a matter of trial and error.  There are quite a few topics in the Behavior and Health section regarding this type of behavior and how to correct it.  The "alpha roll" (holding the dog down on his side until he settles) is effective for some; shunning works for others.  pkcrossley advocates using a harness featuring a handle - this allows you to simply pick Floyd up in a way that takes all control away from him. 

You may also want to invest in a pair or two of wood stove/grill gloves or heavy gardening gloves to protect your hands.  Once Floyd realizes that he can't hurt you, you'll gain far more control over him.

 

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Hillscreek

I wondered about his hearing but I think it may just be him bossing you, as said above. A cairn will always want be in charge.

You may have to experiment with what works best as deterrent to Floyd's biting. Be firm and consistent and realize it may take time for him to accept that he must do as you say. A boss doesn't usually want to stop being a boss☺️

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pkcrossley

i certainly think both his vision and his hearing need to be checked. but if floyd has never had a trainer, he certainly needs to meet one. at this time, a behaviorist who is experienced working with TERRIERS. we have accounts from time to time of trainers who don't get anywhere with terriers because they try to train them like labs or shepherds. cairns have an inbred, hair-trigger frenzy trait that they can either learn to control or they can learn to exploit to keep their families wary of them and likely to indulge. floyd sounds like a lot of cases we hear about, not like an incorrigible criminal. but terriers need very specific training and it is absolutely essential to convince them that it is hopeless to try to scheme to take over the world. floyd sounds like he still thinks the world might be his oyster. 

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Idaho Cairns

You say your Cairn has diabetes--how are you treating that condition?

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