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help please, I really don't know what to do...

So, if you read my last question you know that my dog has begun growling at the adults and kids if we lay next to him or near him. Well, we took him to the vet and they found nothing physically wrong with him. She gave us some pills for him, some kind of anti-anxiety type thing and said that we need to try to desensitize him. He goes back in 2 weeks and needs to be showing improvement. Problem is, the pills seem to be making it worse. He is now snapping at us adults. The kids are not allowed near him unless our other dog is present because he won't do it with her around, and even then I am avoiding them being around him at all. I do NOT want to put him down. He is a wonderful dog as long as noone is laying near him. I can pet him all over, but the minute I get on the floor with him he starts getting that way again. I don't know what to do or how to help him. THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN ALL THE TIME. Really, I need advice.


Asked by Petie at 11:12 PM on Jul. 19, 2009 in Pets

Level 7 (170 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • I would probably try contacting a dog trainer that has experience with this sort of behavior. You might ask your vet for a referral. Aside from that, it seems your only other option would be to turn him over to a rescue group and make sure you tell them what has been going on so that he doesn't go to a home with children.

    Answer by Christina807 at 12:04 AM on Jul. 20, 2009

  • Sounds like a job from Cesar Milan the dog whisper.

    I am sure your dog is fine it is how he feels around certain people I am sure if you find someone that works with dogs behaivor that will solve it. Try that route don't give up so quick. GL

    Answer by Butterfly1108 at 11:19 PM on Jul. 19, 2009

  • Questions: What kind of dog is he? How old is he? What is his exercise and training schedule like? Can you give me a glimpse into his day?

    Answer by PaceMyself at 11:24 PM on Jul. 19, 2009

  • Ok, so he is a 4 year old mutt, something like border collie/terrier of some kind. His exercise usually consists of playing out with the kids. No he isn't walked regularly because we have over an acre of property and he runs all day. Leash training him was impossible, but I'm thinking with the meds, he may be calm enough to learn. He was literally so frazzled that he would run these huge circles in the yard over and over, and anytime you put the leash on him, he would do that again, getting caught up in it and hurt himself once. So we went to the frisbees, balls, and bubbles. So, while I'm at school he is out back playing with the other dog, and the kids (prior to this mess at least). At noon, he comes in for the heat of the day. About 4 he would go back outside to run some more. At 10 he comes inside for dinner, and then bedtime. Waking again at 6.

    Answer by Petie at 12:02 AM on Jul. 20, 2009

  • His training is limited to about 10 minutes in the evening after he eats dinner, and then usually about 1 hour on the weekends when dh is home. On weekends dh isn't home, he gets the 10 minutes after dinner. In 4 years, he has learned sit, but never could calm enough to learn down, or stay. And of course, we kept working on trying to get him on leash, but he has always just been so hyper.

    Now, if someone comes over, he will get riled up, so much so that it scares me he is going to hurt himself. Then he gets so scared that he starts shaking. We only reward behavior that is good, so usually in those instances he has to calm himself before we pet him. But, most often, he is unable to calm himself until the person leaves.

    Answer by Petie at 12:07 AM on Jul. 20, 2009

  • I know that we should be working with him more, but our house is crazy as it is. 4 kids and each has their own activities. But I have never had a dog that honestly was this difficult to train. You tell him to sit and his tush hits the ground and pops back up. He just cannot seem to sit still long enough to learn. I don't know if that is a discipline issue or if we need to find him something MORE energetic than just walks (well if we could ever get further than one block before he gets so tangled he can't walk anymore) and running around the yard. Any suggestions would be wonderful.

    Answer by Petie at 12:11 AM on Jul. 20, 2009

  • Butterfly, I have seriously thought about that. I told my brother that if I could afford it, I would take him out to California to see if they could help him.

    Answer by Petie at 12:13 AM on Jul. 20, 2009

  • So he just growls when someone bothers him while he is resting? Otherwise he is a good and well mannered dog? I am not saying that growling is a good habit to get into, but that is what dogs do to tell people or other dogs that they DO NOT LIKE what is going on. MANY dogs want to be left alone when they are in their bed or crate. That is actually very normal. Have you ever thought of just not bothering him while he is in his bed or crate? Let him have somewhere he can go that it is understood he can be left alone. Every dog needs a place that is off limits to people, especially little people that may be bothering them a little too much. My Boxer is an incredibly well mannered dog, and you could sit on his head while he is in his bed and he wouldn't make a peep, but children are told to leave dogs in my house alone if they are resting. Period. That term "'let sleeping dogs lie.." well I agree with it.

    Answer by KTMOM at 1:29 PM on Jul. 20, 2009

  • KTMOM--when he is resting is only one of the times he does it. The other is anytime it seems like you are going to lay your head near his. So for instance, when my dd wants to give everyone a hug at night. And yes, I could teach her not to do it, but I don't know how long that would take. Or, for instance, if I am checking him for ticks, because we live in the middle of nowhere, he growls when I lean over him. But yes, other than that, he is a good dog. It's like he has his triggers, and though I am learning them, my daughter doesn't understand.

    What concerns me most is that this is a NEW behavior, not something that he has always done. Oh and trying to get him to NOT be near the kids while he is inside is almost impossible, as it is, he is constantly whining when we seperate him from them. Which is confusing because he will still growl at them.

    Answer by Petie at 8:25 PM on Jul. 20, 2009