Aggressive Rat Terrier
by Lisa M.
(Prior Lake, MN)
Yankee is 11 months old; we brought him home when he was 8 weeks old. After about 2 weeks getting to know Yankee, I realized he was deaf (although occasionally seems to hear VERY loud noises/barks).
From the very beginning, Yankee exhibited aggressive/vicious behavior, particularly with my now 9 year-old son. I have watched the two of them interact, and my son is not overly aggressive or mean to Yankee; yet, Yankee often growls, bites, and snaps at my son.
The worst behavior occurs when Yankee gets a hold of something that he shouldn't have, and I try to take it away from him. He almost seems crazy! He bit my thumb so hard a few weeks ago that I should have had stitches. I have come to learn that I need to trade something with him for the item he shouldn't have. However, my main concern is my son and his friends. He even tried to bite my mom when we were at her house a few weeks ago.
Yankee is very jealous when our 4 year-old (very well behaved)Beagle, makes any move toward me. He will B-line across the room and intercept with a nasty growl and a few snaps, just to keep the Beagle away from me. Riley doesn't exactly put up with it, he growls back and tries to correct him, but Yankee thinks it's a game. I'm sure because he can't hear him!
Yankee use to be very good about going into his crate. I would show him a treat, and make sure he watched me put it in his kennel. He would trot right in, no problem. In the last month or so, he hides under the chair or coach, and literally runs from me when he knows it's time to "go to bed." He WILL bite me if I try to pick him up.
Again, I have learned that if I am VERY patient, the treat eventually will work. But, I have to spend 5-10 minutes trying to lure him into the crate. It's ridiculous and I don't always have the time to play this little game.
There are many instances when I am afraid to reach for him or take something from him, without putting on my oven mitts first.
I have just recently started swatting him when he is biting, or table surfing. I hate doing that, but he can't hear me and I don't know what else to do.