Dealing with a people-aggressive Boston

Hello all. One of my 8 year old Boston Terriers, Batman, has some aggression issues. We believe he was abused my a man for two years before we adopted him, we at least know for sure that he was neglected. He is mainly aggressive towards men, especially when they hover over him (like when trying to pick him up), when they raise their hands suddenly, or when they make any sudden leg movements. He will occasionally get aggressive with me when I try to put him in his room or his crate because he wants to sleep with us, but he only "pretends" to bite me, where he will actually bite my husband. Batman is deaf, and unless he is looking at you, you cannot "communicate with him". I have tried stopping him during the unwanted behavior and telling him no (we use a hand signal that he knows means no), but this does not help.

How on Earth can I train him and help him with this issue? He has been living with us for 6 years now. He is a momma's boy and is very close to me, but he just cannot get over his aggression towards my husband.

Here is a link to a video of what he does when we try to put him to bed.

http://static.ak.fbcdn.net/rsrc.php/v1/y1/r/Qyh5ph9cQ_M.swf?v=10150903316300075&ev=0

ed. - I get a message that this is a "secure" video and am unable to view.

Comments for Dealing with a people-aggressive Boston

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May 08, 2012
You are not alone
by: Sheila Delaney

Our 7 year old Boston is the same way and since she started taking prednisone she has gotten worse. That is one of the side effects. I try to get her not to be aggressive, but she seems to have a mind of her own on that subject. I do know that she was abused before we got her and she does not like men. I guess speaking as a woman, she is just a very good judge of character. lol

May 07, 2012
deaf dog snapping
by: Alison

I guess I would have a few questions so it's a shame we can't speak. Deaf dogs are extremely unique creatures and really are different than hearing dogs. Deaf dogs generally will pick one human to bond and trust with. They will look at this person for all of their cues. Batman picked you which is why you don't have issues with him. They don't like to be alone and they really don't like to be in the dark. They will actually freeze and not move as they feel vulnerable since they can't hear and all dogs don't see very well in the dark. They also don't like things going over top their head. They do use their peripheral vision much more than their hearing counterparts.

If you take all of this into consideration and put on top of the fact he learned to not trust men that's why your husband is having issues. You can get his attention and get your point across without him looking at you. Get a water spray bottle and trust me he sees you and your hand commands even when he slightly turns his head. He will hate to be sprayed and he will stop the behavior. I would not put him in a dark room. This is provoking the behavior as for the past 6 years he knows the routine. Your husband should feed him all of his meals and work on a more trusting relationship. No one should ever grab quickly or startle Batman or he will snap. Again this is a normal reaction in a deaf dog when frightened to protect themselves. I also have a deaf Boston along with 5 hearing dogs. It is amazing to observe the differences in behavior.

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