Dog Dilema

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Troglodyfae
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Dog Dilema

Postby Troglodyfae » Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:09 am

I have a doggy problem, quite a serious one, and although in my head I know what I should be doing, my heart is breaking.

My silly spotty lad has had a very troubled past, we know some of it but not all (rescue dog). We feel/felt that we had ironed out most of the problems he had, as he is much more adjusted than he was, and we thought we had made some significant progress.

I would be a liar too if I said I trusted him fully with other people, because I do not. He is great with the family and especially with my very elderly mother, we have no concerns about him in any situation, however, he has now on two occasions snapped at people. The first was my niece about 3 years ago and he bit her ear, she did require hospital treatment and he was on his way to the vets the next day. He was reprieved because my niece and my sister in law begged us not to have him put to sleep. I cannot excuse what he did, but throughout that day he had played with the teenagers in the pool and been the best dally ever, but that evening whilst with the teenagers he snapped at my niece. There was no warning not even a growl, and afterwards he was gutted.

Second occasion he snapped at a friends daughter who during the day had been feeding him treats and making him sit and beg for them, which is his party piece. Again he snapped, without warning, a single nip but none the less it could have been devastating, as she was only tiny. He should have gone to the vets that day, but again we were begged not to do it as the family in question know the dog very well and just felt it was so out of character.

Tonight he bit my son in law. They were both on the bed asleep (yes human and dog) as they are great mates and spot has known my son in law for a year now, and simply adores him. There was no warning no growl, nothing. My son in law thinks he might have rolled on him, but it still should not have happened. We are not quite sure what happened as they were both asleep, but he did bite him and again on the ear.

We are gutted, I mean gutted, I love the silly spotty *beep*, but I am so angry with him for doing this. My son in law is fine, he just has a sore and punctured ear, but that is not the point.

My gut is telling me to have him put to sleep as he is now a liability and I now cannot trust him at all around anyone other than close family members. My mother is distraught at the thought of him being put to sleep, and cannot talk to me about it because she believes this is what I am going to do.

I am going to have to sleep on this one, however I do know if he really meant to hurt someone he could do some very serious damage. My problem is this, obviously I have a very strong emotional bond, were he sick I would have no problem having him put to sleep, I would be very sad, but I would know that I had saved him from a possible horribly painful death. He is fit and healthy and most of the time is the most lovely dog, very loving, very obedient.

I am scared that if he does this again he might really hurt someone, I do not want him to live the rest of his life wearing a muzzle inside and out, but I could not live with myself if he hurt someone, I am in total bits trying to work out what to do, what is best for him.

If anyone has any suggestions I would be most eager to hear them. Please be as gentle as possible because I am very teary right now.

TIA

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princess peach
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Re: Dog Dilema

Postby princess peach » Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:56 am

Well Trog,No way would i put him down before considering some things first.

How old were the two children he bit?
were they young?
kids and teenagers can be pretty nasty to dogs behind adults backs...whether feeding him biscuits one minuite or not.I have to constantly tell my son(13) to stop winding my puppy (1 year)up,as she permanently wants to eat him,and she would really bite given half the chance,but that is my sons fault,and he is told off for it..
You mentioned that he also bit your son in law,who is an adult,but he also said he couldve rolled on him... :?
I wouldnt even consider putting him down yet...I would monitor the doggie for a few months,maybe wearing a muzzle when he is out anyway.
Keep him away from sleeping with people,and keep him totally away from children and teenagers.
How old is your dog Trog,you never said!
Cheer up Trog,Do not put him down,but monitor him very carefully over a period of time. :D

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country boy
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Re: Dog Dilema

Postby country boy » Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:29 am

I really feel that it is your fault that the dog behaves this way. He considers himself to be your equal and possibly even feeling like making a challenge for dominance. To allow a dog to share a humans bed is abhorrent to me and if a person rolled on him he was only doing to them what he would do to another dog..."Watch it mate or next time I'll give you what for!" but in Dog terms of course. You are too close to this animal, it's a dog, not a hairy human being. I'm afraid that both you and the dog need some training. Harsh advice I know and in no way meant to be nasty, I hope no offence taken. You can go to classes rather than put him down, it would cost about the same :idea:

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Troglodyfae
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Re: Dog Dilema

Postby Troglodyfae » Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:44 am

Hi PP

He is 5 in May, My niece was 16 when he snapped at her. The child he snapped at was only a toddler, that said I had asked her Mum not to put her down on the floor, which she did and the child lunged at the dog. Not a reason for the dog to snap, but he has no experience with children at all.

Country Boy, no offence taken I asked for advice, and you gave it. Charlie does not normally share a bed with anyone but himself, he has his own dog bed. My son in law had gone for a lie down as he was not feeling very well, and the dog found him and decided to get onto the bed too, I was not aware of this as I was in the kitchen when he bit my son in law.

After the incident I put him outside and gave him a *beep*. He was left outside for an hour, and when he came back in he was put on his bed and told to stay. He kept belly crawling over to my son in law and just lay there looking up at him, but none of us would make eye contact with him. I am wholly convinced that he knew what he had done was bad.

We have been working with him since we rescued him as he had quite a few issues, God knows what the four previous owners did to him. Most of his bad behaviour seems to stem from fear and anxiety. We could never go out and leave him as he would become hysterical. We tried a few times and then monitored him from a neighbours house, to see if he would settle. We discovered via a dog trainer that he had separation anxiety, his history revealed he had been abandoned in a caravan by his first owners when he was a pup. Other than that we know very little about his past, we can just wonder what happened to him.

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princess peach
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Re: Dog Dilema

Postby princess peach » Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:59 am

Well,after reading your last post Trog and country boys,i think he is right in what he is saying.
Your dog obviously still has issues,and probably will have forever.
Do not put him down,work with him(as CB says)demand to friends and relatives,they do not put children anywhere near him as he WILL bite.
At 16 years of age teenagers can still tease(if im honest, i did)
Keep him away from any situation that you have seen him snap and bit in future.Make everyone who comes into the house aware he could bite,and watch him.
He has obviously been through a lot,and deserves to be respected in your family for that,which clearly he is,its the strangers that are the problem.Dont beat yourself up about it,I would watch him carefully around others,i certainly wouldnt put him down.
Cheer up Troggie.xxxxx :D

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Re: Dog Dilema

Postby kexon » Thu Dec 18, 2008 1:29 pm

Sorry to hear about probs with your dog.I wouldnt have the dog put to sleep until you have explored other avenues.I always advise all my visitors to completely ignore my dogs when they come to the house,as they are very excitable at first,and the leader of the pack never seeks attention from others,so far this has worked and the dogs calm much quicker.However, I have had more probs with the english who just cant seem to help themselves and are all for fussing the dogs!Now I have to insist they ignore the dogs.There will be others on the forum who will have much more experience than I and also lots of info on the net for behavioural problems.Hope you manage to cure the problem.

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Re: Dog Dilema

Postby hillybilly » Thu Dec 18, 2008 2:10 pm

My dog is untrustworthy around people other than myself and a couple of old/close friends who "understand" her. She is not a dog to be petted in any way but I knew this when I took her on as she had been used for dog fighting purposes. She has bitten, mostly me and a couple of (now-ex!) partners. I tried ex-services and police dog trainers etc and they all said there was nothing to be done.

However, because other people find it hard to believe that you could possibly have a dog that can't be petted and, despite me telling them not to, will insist on bending down to try to be affectionate, usually saying things like "it's alright, all dogs like me..." my dog is ALWAYS muzzled (or locked outside or in another room) if we have visitors. It's a nuisance but saves any problems and the dog is absolutely fine with this, after many years. There is absolutely nothing wrong with muzzling a dog and I don't know why people have an aversion to it when it may save a life, human or canine.

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Re: Dog Dilema

Postby Chrissie » Thu Dec 18, 2008 2:54 pm

I completely agree with you Hilly. Many years ago I had a german shepherd who had been kept tethered and ill-treated by Spaniards - she was a guard dog. Although she was fine with any other races and normally perfectly gentle and well-behaved, she would try to attack any Spanish male she saw! I had to keep her muzzled whenever we were out in town or when my Spanish friends visited, but she didn't mind the muzzle and it certainly meant I had peace of mind. Without that precaution she would have had to go on a trip to the vets with no return!
It's definitely worth a try Trog, but she may complain a little at first. Just persevere and praise her when she doesn't complain. PLEASE don't put her down :cry:
The past cannot be changed, but the present can be spoilt by worrying about the future

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Re: Dog Dilema

Postby Jool » Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:02 pm

TRog, I agree your dog thinks himself too human and Country Boy is spot on in explaining the behaviour, your family and household and the dog are just one pack, watch Cesar Romero to see about changing pack status. Otherwise what about using a nylon muzzle all the time the dog is not with you? Better than the alternative while new behaviours are learned, sorry if this is blunt, in a real rush.......

Good luck and lucky dog......

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Re: Dog Dilema

Postby Troglodyfae » Thu Dec 18, 2008 3:14 pm

Hi Guys thanks for the replies I have taken everything on board. I agree that Charlie clearly still has issues and I knew this was going to be a long and rocky road.

I also understand what hilly said regarding people just not listening when you tell them not to pet the dog. I have strict rules when people come to the house. They are asked not to acknowledge the dog in any way, no touching and no eye contact. To date he has responded well to this and he is only allowed to come and say hello when told to do so. We insist that people do not bend down to pet him and no way is he allowed to come anywhere near faces. He is allowed to say hello, have a stroke and then he is told to go and lie down or to go, which in fairness he does. However you will always get one of two who believe they are an authority and all dogs are great with them.......Rubbish ! I have always had dogs, and yes usually I find I have an affinity with all animals, but I never ever trust a dog I do not know, I always observe instructions given by the owner, and trust my instincts. I never take as gospel the old saying ' don't worry he/she does not bite' hmmm maybe they have not in the past but I am not about to prove them wrong.

I have sent an email to Ceser Milan as he has previously answered questions I have sent him via email, I hope he might have some suggestions and training techniques I can put into place rather than the alternative.

Thanks again for your replies

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Re: Dog Dilema

Postby Bongtrees » Thu Dec 18, 2008 4:31 pm

Having watched a few episodes of The Dog Whisperer I am sure he will reply as Country Boy did.

We have never ever let any dog go upstairs or on the sofa as it is both unhygenic and sends all the wrong messages to the dog.

As for the nips/bites we have always had Jack Russells and they do bite people and kids so we always have kept a baby gate handy in order to keep the dog indoors in a room away from visitors but still in the house and use it when annoying visitors or kids come to visit as the dog is an indoor dog and I dont see why it should be punished and put outside just because other people and or their kids always seem to think they know best.

Dog obedience classes in my area of Spain (Valencia) just do not exist, hope its better where you are.
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell

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Troglodyfae
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Re: Dog Dilema

Postby Troglodyfae » Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:31 pm

I think you are right Bongtrees, and that he has been allowed to be too human if you like. My daughter and I were discussing this today whilst collecting wood and she said he has become too humanised and needs to be put in his place and that is at the bottom of the pecking order and he needs to be a dog. Harsh but wise words from someone so young, even though she knows she has been a party to this, we all have.

I just want him to be a good dog all of the time, and have a happy life.

No regime is going into place and hopefully with added safeguards we can keep him.

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princess peach
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Re: Dog Dilema

Postby princess peach » Fri Dec 19, 2008 9:15 am

Yeah!!!!!!!
Great news Trog!
Think positive about your dog,He has been treated badly afterall.
I would be even firmer with any visitors and even tell them he WILL bite you,its just a case of when...that should frighten them off :D

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Troglodyfae
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Re: Dog Dilema

Postby Troglodyfae » Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:26 am

Valid point about the visitors PP I guess I did not want to admit that he does bite, and told myself he did bite but he is not going to do it again. Lunacy when you look at it all the cold light of day :oops: I think I just wanted him to be acceptable.

Problem is with a Dalmatian that because of blasted films like 101 dalmatians people automatically assume that he is a lovely cuddly mutt, reality is that he is a potential killing machine :(

Actually my last post should have read 'New regime going into place'

Jool
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Re: Dog Dilema

Postby Jool » Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:50 pm

Trog....good luck, I´m not sure it has to be so rigid once dog has new pack leader established....I´m not ashamed to admit my dogs have their own sofa, use ours when allowed (they sit and ask) and also sleep on the bed at night.........they are lovely and warm to cuddle up to. Neither have ever bitten anyone.......

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princess peach
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Re: Dog Dilema

Postby princess peach » Fri Dec 19, 2008 3:53 pm

YET...............


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