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Thread: My older dog is starting to have some "issues" advice wanted please

  1. #1

    Default My older dog is starting to have some "issues" advice wanted please

    I have my sisters dog who has always had a few "issues". He has never been that friendly to other dogs, not overly social even though he spent 5 years going to doggy day care, can't stand loud noises, crowds or thunder storms. He is now 14, been with me since she moved out about 7 years ago and did not take him, so I guess I should just call him mine. Anyway he is having some issues and not sure what to do.

    He has lead aggression, if he is on the lead EVERYONE is out to kill him, better if we go to an off lead park but on lead he is a nightmare. I can't have him around kids as he will snap at them however has always snapped at them (we have done training trying to fix this and now he will normally just take himself away from the kids) he has not bitten anyone outside of me one night when I woke him up an he went into attack mode and got me on the head. I have seen Dog trainers and the vet, we have tried a few different drugs but not sure any of them worked, one just made him pee himself all the time the other just made him sleep... second fixed the aggression but that is no life so took him off them.

    At the moment his aggression is a problem for everyone around him, if he runs into something or another dog bumps him he goes them, he randomly pees inside, up until the last few months has always gone outside. He also gets mad at objects like the couch, lamp or say the kitchen table. The other day he tripped over thin air and went the cat. Lucky he has had most his teeth removed due to being so badly inbred it is not funny so no damage outside of annoying all the other animals. If you ask him to do something he does not want to do he growls and snaps and carries on. He has always been highly strung but it has been getting worse over the past year.

    Most of the animals just ignore him when he lashes out but my only other male dog has started to attack back and I don't blame him to tell you the truth however it makes it hard to break up as Mac just is so focused on the attack and Barney the corgi is deaf!

    I am just not sure where to go from here, the vet just keeps wanting to try a different drug but the first two I tried where horrible have had him on Valuim but he is so resistant (he has been on it for years to help with anxiety for thunder storms) to that I have to give him almost 20mg (4 tablets) to start seeing an effect. Just wondering if anyone has dealt with these type of issues and what you did?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Hi Cap Silver

    That is hard - especially the bit where he attacks the furniture - does the vet know about that one?

    It does seem like he's beyond training like there is something broken in his brain that means he doesn't see things properly - thinks everything is out to get him. His sight might be going, he might also be going deaf - which means he gets more surprises and probably does not handle surprises well.

    I haven't had to deal with problems as severe as this. My dog did hate groodle like dogs - fortunately I've managed to talk her out of that most of the time - we had two most excellent dog greetings today - despite one poodle cross sneaking up directly behind me when I was trying to stop her from attacking it (Clueless owner on the phone). If I yell at clueless owner - of course my dog wants to help and that's where most of our problems come from. So I can control that a bit. The other problem was a particular dog that played way too rough and persistently and that problem is also gone.

    But that's not your problem. Seems way deeper than my dog's problems.

    I think I'd consider training him to enjoy wearing a muzzle when you're out or just not taking him out any more or not very far - eg around the block when you're least likely to encounter other dogs - not to an off lead park or anywhere there's likely to be lots of things he can't handle. And at home - I'd consider crate training him - so he can be in a safe place he considers easy to defend (covered sides - one door) and most other dogs respect that too so far fewer surprises. You don't have to shut the crate door but it means nobody can sneak up behind him or from where he can't see or smell them first.

    And if you can't be there to supervise - you can shut the crate door and so he would not be able to get into fights. As long as he's happy in the crate (trained) and doesn't tear his way out of it.

    I'm also wondering if he has the doggy version of dementia. I don't know how you check for that or what you do to treat it but your vet (or another one) might have some ideas.

    Some of the drugs that some vets use for aggression - are meant as training aids - ie you put the dog on the drug - it make take several months to settle the dog down - and then you train while the dog is on the drug to counter all the things that set that dog off - while the dog is drug-calm enough to learn. And not totally overwhelmed by its triggers - but this needs an experienced vet behaviourist - working with a skilled dog and people trainer (sometimes it's the same person but not always) - to teach you how to train your dog while it's on drugs - to be a calmer dog. If that makes sense to you. I chose not to go there - ie it seems over the top to me - but if I had no other ideas about what to do with my dog - I'd do that.

  3. #3
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    It sounds like dementia to my untrained observation. Muzzle and crate seems viable? My sympathy it sounds like you really care and want the best for all concerned.

  4. #4
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    Yes that also is what ocurred to me, age related dementia, or some other brain related issue, poor old fellow.

  5. #5
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    without the CT scan, who knows?

    I can tell you that my (always a perfect gentleman) GSD, now with arthritis, moans when visitors go near his back end. Tells folks off for walking behind him. Is less patient with children, less tolerant of noise and fuss, as visitors arrive, and lets 'me' know he's not happy for them to come in. He doesnt bite, but knowing my dog well, i know he's not happy. Visitors wont stay rounded up, they wander around his home, like they own it, AND keep stroking the other dog and ignoring him! All of these things piss my dog off these days. Its not dementia, its pain. I smile wriley, as it reminds me of my ageing grandfather, who behaved similarly with visitors toward the end. Pain makes for grumpiness. I use his crate, that protects him from small visitors.

    At 14yrs.... his kidneys and liver are not up to continuous rounds of toxins aka medications.
    Trainer cant sort it.

    Seems you could manage it, with crate training. Or time for rainbow bridge as quality of dogs life is not sounding very good.

  6. #6
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    Yes whatever it is, he is not well. Could indeed be pain in the equation or a combination of pain and dementia. Sounds like he needs a physical assessment. The attacking the furniture is certainly an escalation.

  7. #7
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    Does sound like the poor dog has Dementia and with aggression too I doubt there's much you can do as he's not going to improve and from what you've written I would be seriously thinking of putting him to sleep. You have to think of his quality of life and being drugged up is not what I would want for my dog...I'm very sorry for you.
    Chloe & Zorro
    Rottweilers and German Shepherds are Family

  8. #8

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    Thanks everyone I was thinking that having him cross the rainbow bridge might be the best option but was worried I was thinking of myself not him. We are going to see another vet that I trust next week and will have a chat with her, I just can't imagine a world without him sleeping or should I say snoring on the end of my bed.

  9. #9
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    Yeah worst thing ever to have to let them go. To let a dog go when it is time is thinking of the dog, as none of us want to let them go, but quality of life is important I believe.

  10. #10
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    Yes a key question to ask a vet who is a bit reluctant to tell a client something they think the client might not want to hear....

    is "What would you do if it was your dog?".

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