Aggression leads to attacks on humans

by John B.
(New Baden IL USA)

I have a Black Labrador retriever who I rescued from a family that was unable to cope with his aggressive behavior toward humans and a little less toward other dogs. The very first day I picked “Axle” up I was bit without warning. This wasn’t a little nip either, it was a full on bite that broke skin in more than one place and drew serious blood. One of the strange things about it is Axle showed signs of remorse for doing it. The attacks have continued and I have had very little warning prior to the attacks. I have tried everything I know and just when I think it is safe and he has been doing well an attack will occur. I am wits end and fear he may have to be destroyed. I love Axle and he is a loving pet too, he is playful and shows his love for me all the time. I can’t figure out what is causing him to have these sudden changes in temperament. Is this something that can be treated with medication or training? The bites are painful and take weeks or longer to heal when they are deep. The liability is a big worry too, while he shows no aggression toward children, I worry about it all the time. I am a retired Air Force Veteran of 30 years as well as a retired Wyoming State Trooper. I suffer PTSD from a traffic stop that went bad and I was forced to fight for my life and took the life of the attacker. I was also injured in Afghanistan and forced to retired from the damage done to my right leg. I have had several Labrador retrievers since then and they perform an invaluable service for me and are there when I am having a panic attack or begin to experience discomfort when surrounded by people and I withdraw into my shell from it.

I need your help. I have recently lost my Chocolate Labrador to a blood clot in October and my Black Lab to heart failure last October. I can’t handle losing another right now. Help!!!!

Thank you,

John B.

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Mar 03, 2018
Nothing In Life Is Free
by: Adam G. Katz

Employ the "Nothing In Life Is Free" approach, so that your dog starts to view you as the "pack leader." If your dog doesn't see you as the leader, then your corrections will be meaningless. So, if you're doing subtle things (inadvertently) to undermine your leadership role around the house-- it will be counter-productive.

All the best,

Adam G. Katz is the author of, "Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer!" -- which you can find at

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