Aggressive poodle

Posted by Mickey
Apr 14, 2008
My daughter has a 1-1/2 y.o. toy poodle who has recently started being very aggressive, even attacking her. He will wake up out of a dead sleep and snarl, growl and bite very aggressively, completely unprovoked. He will also attack strangers and other dogs if he feels threatened. My daughter has always let him sleep on her bed and I realize this is part of the problem. Are there any suggestions for breaking him (and her) of the habit of sleeping on her bed, as well as any suggestions regarding how to prevent this random aggression? Thanks...Mickey:confused:
Posted by taniajennifer
Apr 16, 2008
woo boy. thats pretty serious - being attacked by your own dog in your sleep. some dogs can sleep in their owners bed and not confuse who is alpha and some just cant. it seems that you realize this and understand that this is definately a symptom of alpha confusion but your daughter doesnt. aggressive dogs really need a firm hand and a clear message at home as to who is the boss. however, it took me about a year to finally admit this to myself. but i can tell you that, with my dog, making her sleep on the floor beside my bed was the single most important turning point to extinguishing her aggressive behaviour. i think you should share this with your daughter because until she is ready to deal with this, the problems will continue.

as for getting the pup out of the bed, that part is relatively simple. you make a nice cozy bed on the floor and patiently remove him/her every time she jumps on. we use the command "OFF" for this. we do allow libby to sleep in our room when we are not home, and she can handle this without any regressive behaviours, but i would suspect that some dogs need to be banned from the room (just shut the door) when their owners are out to make it clear whose domain it is.

todd would have more insight into this as i am fairly new here but i also think that it the pup acts up and is really aggressive when you kick him/her out of bed and is hurting your daughter then i would maybe crate him/her at night to re-establish a NEW den for the dog and i would also maybe in the beginning save a special treat for bedtime to create a positive association (only in the beginning) and withdraw the treats to a random reward system as the dog settles into new habits.

and of course i am saying all this with the assumption that your daughter is doing the other sitstayfetch recommendations in the alpha handbook becuase they are wonderful! try them! try them! try them!

good luck
Posted by taniajennifer
Apr 16, 2008
i meant poodle!!!
Posted by Todd
Apr 23, 2008
Hi there and thanks for the post.

Some great ideas there Tania......pretty much what i have in mind.
As Tania mentioned having dogs on your bed is not a major issue UNLESS they start showing aggression. Then it is very important to make sure they know who is boss.

I know the alpha training gets thrown a lot on the forum but with aggressive dogs like this letting them know who is boss is crucial.

Firstly how to get him off the bed. If he is snappy it is probably best to leave a lead on him. When he starts snapping then grab the lead and gently pull him off the bed while reprimanding him with a GGRRRR or AHHHHHH. Once he is off the bed praise him (as long as he is not being aggressive.....if he is tell him off again).

If he jumps back up again do the same will take time but keep up with it.

It may be a good idea to stop him from sleeping in the bedroom as this will completely stop the issue while you get her aggression under control.
Set up a crate or a bed in the lounge so he knows exactly where his place is at night.

Now back to the alpha training. It me. So here is how we will go about it.

1) All the dogs in the family should be fed last and never from the table

2) When you arrive home wait 10-15 minutes until the dogs have calmed down before you give them any attention

3) If he or any of the other dogs are lying in the hallway make them move out of the way. Stepping over or around them only lets them know that they are boss. If he is being aggressive then leaving a lead on him will make it very easy for you to move him safely.

4) All of your dogs should wait until you have walked through a doorway before they can. You can even practice this by putting them on the lead and walking them around the house!

After a few weeks of a change in the order of place in the house you will start to notice some changes. The next big step is obedience.
The more obedient he is the easier he will be able to control no matter what the circumstance or situation.
Take him to a quiet secluded area and practice the basic commands of sit, stay and come for 10-15 minutes twice a day.

Obedience and alpha training can make a huge difference no matter what the problem.

Good luck with him, you might be best to print this off and give it to your daughter so she knows exactly what to do. Please let us know how things are going

Posted by Mickey
Apr 26, 2008
Thank you so much for all your great advice! We will give it a try and let you know how things go. Mickey
Posted by Steph-ampWyatt
Apr 26, 2008
Hi Micky,
First let me say welcome to the site, joining it has helped me a lot w/ my dog not to mention meeting some great people and making some good friends I too have a dog who started getting aggressive (w/ my husband) in the bedroom, we stopped him from sleeping not only on the bed but in the bedroom, as well, we put a bed for him and a kennel outside the bedroom and now he sleeps there, it was rough for a couple of nights (he whined and cried) we also followed the advice that Todd gave you, the change was amazing, I don't think the size of the dog makes any difference if your dog has alpha tendences you have to make sure they know their place in the pack it is amzing how many mistakes we dog owners can make in the name of love,as I've said before I know I have, there advice has really helped me to understand what I was doing wrong. Good luck and keep posting
Best wishes
Steph& Wyatt