A. If your dog is startled easily upon waking and is biting people or objects, it is possible that he may have a vision or hearing problem, which causes people to startle him more easily. Making lots of noise before you approach (such as vibrating the floor or turning on a light) may help him to wake easier without startling, and may make him less prone to biting. It is a good idea to schedule a veterinary appointment to check for any health issues that could be causing this response.
If he is healthy and doing this behavior, or is acting aggressively toward others outside of waking up, then speaking with a local trainer or behaviorist in your area is best. Aggression is a hard behavior to train, and requires an expert in person to tailor training to your dog's specific needs. Neutering may also decrease aggressive or dominant-type behaviors, however it does take times for the hormones to reduce and does not always solve the behavior.
If you are in the united states, you can find an animal behaviorist in your area by clicking this link: http://www.animalbehaviorsociety.org/web/applied-behavior-caab-directory.php
DISCLAIMER: The answers in Ask petMD are meant to provide entertainment and education. They should not take the place of a vet visit. Please see our Terms and Conditions.
IMPORTANT: The opinions expressed in Ask petMD content area are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training.
Our Ask petMD experts include veterinarians, vet techs, veterinary students, pet trainers, pet behaviorists and pet nutritionists. These opinions do not represent the opinions of petMD.
User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a petMD veterinarian or any member of the petMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, timeliness, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions.
petMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment. Do not consider petMD user-generated content as medical advice.
Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your veterinarian or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on petMD.
Your account has been reactivated.