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Ben is still a danger to take out!


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:rolleyes: I am lost now, the dog trainer couldn't help, the animal behaviourist couldn't help and the vet couldn't help. Ben still turns into a savage beast when he is out of the security of the house and garden. Infact if you dare to pick up a lead in his veiw, you are most likely to get a bight on your leg or face and a scary display of snarling and growling.

I feel terrible! He even sometimes turns on Chance, my older collie who wouldn't dream of hurting another animal or human!

Ben is quite nasty sometimes but then the next day he is a lovely dog who'll flop at your feet :D

I just don't know what's going on :D

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What recommendations, advice, explanations did these people have for Bens behaviour? What is his background? Has he been on any meds and has he had a thorough medical check?. Perhaps give some more information.

 

Sometimes dogs are just wired not quite right and it is not the dogs or your fault.

 

You must protect your older dog during all this. I feel for you as it is a difficult situation.

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How old is Ben now? Is his behaviour slowly getting worse or is it pretty much the same as it was a few months ago? Does he show irrational behaviour at home when you don't have the lead or is it at other times as well. Also what is his breeding?

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Ben is 1 year and 7 months old now and over the past months he has gotten worse, but at the moment he doesn't seem to be changing. He has had health checks and we have been told to sue various muzzles, harnesses and head collars but nothing has worked. Also we were told to try and reassure him and talk to him whilst out but he just goes into panic mode and ignores us.

He is usually happy doing his own thing but if you interfere with him (like trying to stroke him or something) he will snap at you, and if you tell him off his lips curl up and he gives you his 'stare' which is not unlike that of a wolf :rolleyes: He can also have times where he'd go for your legs as you walk past and try to drag you along, and my dad has very bad feet at the moment which cause him alot of pain and grief. Ben must of picked up on it as he attacks my dad's feet which causes him alot of pain. He often listens to me when he is scolded, but he ignores basically everyone else.

We bought him from a farmer (I now see this was a bad idea) we had the intention of doing agility and maybe fly ball but we haven't got that far yet.

When he was younger he broke his leg, and his 'agression' started from then on. The vets did say he was going to be a 'snappy' dog.

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This sort of thing is next to impossible to sort out on the internet.

 

As was pointed out, some dogs simply are biologically "right". If you vet and behaviorist can't fix the dog, what was the prognosis? If they insist he is not "fixable" and he is endangering you, other people, and other pets around him there are vew options. Particularily bad is when he is endangering family - this is not fair to your other dog, or your Dad.

 

Sometimes a gentle, planned death is the kindess thing that can be done.

 

I'm truly sorry for you. No choice here is going to be happy.

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As Lenajo said, you have responsibility to this dog, but you also have responsibility to your other dog, and not to mention your family. It sounds as though your family has been incredibly patient with Ben's issues as of late, too. I'm sure you realize that rehoming is not an option here.

 

If you have ruled out any medical causes, and the behaviorist also threw their hands up in the air in exasperation, then perhaps Ben does indeed have a few crossed wires. This sort of thing is never, ever easy, especially when you, your family, and others are getting hurt.

 

Have you tried a behaviorist who specializes in aggressive cases? Perhaps you need to seek some alternate vantage points, broaden your perspectives on how/why ben must be this way. Bark Busters are dg trainers who will come to your residence and aid in training your dog, which I find t be an immense help. They will deal with aggressive dogs, and they are located all over the country.

 

For now, I would crate him from your other dog and family unless you can be with him. Muzzle him, if you have to, when he is out and prone to biting. (Basket muzzles work better than fabric ones, in these cases, as they are not as constrictive on their mouth, but prevent biting very well.) Its your job to control him, and protect your family, and your other dog, until an ultimate decision is reached.

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If Ben's aggression started around the time he broke his leg, I'd say there's a good chance the aggression is fear related - he's afraid of being hurt.

 

From the language in your post, I assume you're somewhere in Britain? I don't know how many veterinary behaviorists there might be, if that's where you are. If you can find one, maybe at a veterinary college, I'd run not walk.

 

As Lenajo says, it's darn near impossible to give any reasonable opinions over the internet. For right now, keep Ben crated comfortably. He should not be in a position where he can snap at people or your other dog.

 

For what it's worth, it sounds to me as if Ben is terrified he's going to be hurt. If he's ever been stumbled over, if the vets or vet techs had to handle him a bit roughly when his leg was treated, or, his leg could still be hurting him. Frequently arthritis will start around an injured joint, and even after the original break is healed, the arthritis can be quite painful.

 

You can try the agbeh list, (aggressive behavior in dogs, try googling Barbara Brill and that should get you to a link), but I'd want to be more aggressive in pursuing medical causes, especially since it started around the time of his leg injury. Has he been tested for thyroid? HyPERthyroid, though rare in dogs, does occur, and one of the symptoms is aggression.

 

This is truly a difficult situation, and I wish you the best of luck.

 

Ruth n the BC3

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I'm having a hard time with "just put the dog down" based on the limited information here. Is there another thread somewhere about Ben's issues that has more details about his problems? What kind of behaviorist did you take him to (not everyone who calls them self a behaviorist is actually qualified)? How much exercise is he getting? Under what circumstances did he break his leg? Have you tried NILIF?

 

Like I said, maybe I missed something in another post that I can't find and I know that some dogs just aren't "right" and can't be fixed but not every dog with aggression issues is a lost cause.

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Ben is 1 year and 7 months old now and over the past months he has gotten worse, but at the moment he doesn't seem to be changing.

When he was younger he broke his leg, and his 'agression' started from then on. The vets did say he was going to be a 'snappy' dog.

 

It could have been something to do with his leg or sometimes as dogs mature aggression can start to surface.

 

It is sometimes hard to tell the true nature of a dog at the vets. I have friend who has a dog with a lovely nature that has to be muzzled at the vet.

 

The afore mentioned yahoo Agbeh group or the shy K9 group where fear aggression is common and I found was a fantastic group, could be helpful in pointing you in the direction of a professional who deals with aggressive behaviour in your area.

 

It seems as people have pointed out that it would be essential to find out the source of the aggression.

 

Then you can hopefully come to some decision as to the future direction. Dogs with issues will sometimes need a lifetime of management to lead happy safe lives. I have myself been down this track once before with a fear aggressive dog, although my dog was fortunately non aggressive and predictable within the family.

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I am lost now, the dog trainer couldn't help, the animal behaviourist couldn't help and the vet couldn't help. Ben still turns into a savage beast when he is out of the security of the house and garden. Infact if you dare to pick up a lead in his veiw, you are most likely to get a bight on your leg or face and a scary display of snarling and growling.

I feel terrible! He even sometimes turns on Chance, my older collie who wouldn't dream of hurting another animal or human!

 

You can only do so much and at times, Yes "put the dog down" is the answer. It easy to say what you should do when you are not the one who is going to put up with the mess. This could be a bad thing waiting to happen and yes it will. Reguardless of the pain or his backgroung, he still bites. AS much as I love my dogs, it may be the right thing to do.

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What did the behavourist say about him? None of us can tell you what to do. You should get opinions from licensed behavourists, good ones, that have good credentials, and follow their advice. If your dog is biting your father's feet, put him on a leash, so your father can walk in peace. Try and write down when he seems to get aggressive. One other thing I don't like is your description of how he is going after your older boy. Even in the photo with both of them together, Ben looks a bit pensive about Chance. Anyway, please get this sorted out soon, before someone gets seriously hurt.

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I would definitely look at trying some pain meds to see if this changes anything. Brew has hip dyplasia and until recently it hasn't seemed to bother him too much. He started getting aggressive with humans and my other dog. I put him on aspirin and he hasn't snarled at anyone since. Other than that, I agree that a good behaviorist would be in order.

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The thing that concerns me is that he is unpredictable even with her and her family, that picking up a leash or even petting him leads to snapping and even biting her on the face. I have dealt with a fear aggressive dog before, pretty recently actually, and while this dog would growl, snarl and snap at strangers and even strange dogs and was to the point that I couldn't take her out in public, I never had any fear that she would bite me or my DH or kids.

 

I would understand if she wanted to give it another try with a different behaviorist or try and explore the pain angle (though I got the impression she had already looked into that), but I would also understand if the op decided to put this dog down. I don't know what at what point I would be willing to give up on my own dog, but being bitten repeatedly, not to mention having my father and other dog attacked, and walking on eggshells in my own home, I'm pretty sure would be it for me.

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I have to agree with Lenajo on this one. If the specialists haven't been able to offer help and the dog is becoming (or already is) a danger to you, your family, and your other pets, the best thing for all concerned might be a humane death. FWIW, I have an aggressive dog whom I kept (he was a rescue I had intended to rehome) strictly because I didn't think he'd be safe going into another home. As he's gotten older he as gotten a bit more aggressive in some situations. So far he has never attacked another dog, but he did scare my neighbor pretty badly when she was looking after the dogs for me when I was out of town one time. A dog that is willing to bite over something as simple as seeing a leash picked up is not one I'd want to even begin to trust around myself or other humans. All that said, I agree that it wouldn't hurt to rule out pain as a cause, but I'd be curious to know what age he broke his leg. If it was when he was hitting adolescence, then the relationship between injury and onset of aggressive behavior may simply be coincidental. (That is, if he was reaching physical maturity at the time he was hurt, then his personality might simply be what he achieved at maturity and have nothing to do with the fact his leg was broken at about the same time). Some dogs just aren't wired right (as Lenajo said), and if living in your world makes him that "unhappy" it might be a kindness to euthanize him.

 

J.

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Just a couple of thoughts. Do you walk Ben? Both of my dogs know what the leash is for? To them its we get to go for walk and that is fun. Ruger will even fetch his leash. Dogs have a long memory. Our Springer hated my son for years. He used to play rough with her when she was young. Years later when my son finally grew up, that was about a year ago and he is 22, Casey finally quit growling at him whenever he tried to pet her. I have seen Casey go after him for minor infractions. He deserved every bit of it though. To sum this up, the leash needs to represent a good time.

 

Ruger will go after my pant legs. However, he does it when he thinks I am trying to escape from him. I kind of turned it into a game. This resulted in a couple pair of pants with holes in them though. This could be part of the herding instict, I don't know. Both parents are outstanding sheep dogs.

 

My only advice is don't put up with any unacceptable behavior. By no means hit Ben but he needs to know you are the boss and there are quick reactions to his misbehavior. Raising a dog is much like raising children, you get back exactly what you put into the training. Except for the fact that dogs are smarter, cleaner and more obedient than children.

 

Best of luck.

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After the first post I thought your dog is not well socialized. JMO- feel free to disregard anything I say

 

Second of all you say"He is usually happy doing his own thing but if you interfere with him (like trying to stroke him or something) he will snap at you, and if you tell him off his lips curl up and he gives you his 'stare' which is not unlike that of a wolf He can also have times where he'd go for your legs as you walk past " This seems fearful and also not socialized.

I wouldn't give up on this dog, nor would I risk your family. I would simply give the dog up to rescue. No dog at this age should be put down. The dog needs a real evaluation by a border collie person. That is simply MY opinion- taken as I see it. The problems can be worked out if someone is in control. This is one "hard to handle, fearful dog with trauma" It needs an expert.

Dianne

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After the first post I thought your dog is not well socialized. JMO- feel free to disregard anything I say

 

Second of all you say"He is usually happy doing his own thing but if you interfere with him (like trying to stroke him or something) he will snap at you, and if you tell him off his lips curl up and he gives you his 'stare' which is not unlike that of a wolf He can also have times where he'd go for your legs as you walk past " This seems fearful and also not socialized.

I would simply give the dog up to rescue. No dog at this age should be put down. The dog needs a real evaluation by a border collie person.

 

I had a dog that was undersocialised and fearful of anything outside her home environment but she never showed aggression or anything like how Ben is reacting within the home where one assumes Ben has been well socialised or with family members outside the home. If she was going to snap outside the home it was always when a strange person or dog turned away from her, it was never a direct challenge.

 

The fact that Ben is reacting like this to dogs and people he has known since puppyhood would indicate to me that there is something else is going on.

 

To me it is a very serious signal and I would think is going to take a lot of work and time, possibly years to deal with this situation. I would think that rescue would not be keen to take Ben on as he is not going to be a good rehoming proposition and there may be no short tem solution.

 

These dogs can be life changing, somtimes you can grow with them and learn so much and sometimes you can be overwhelmed by them, but in the end they are the owners responsibility. Pain, genetics, lack of training, whatever, only an expert will be able to work through this with Ben and his owner.

 

It is a horrible situation to be in with a dog which is loved and in which many dreams were invested.

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One thing a vet behaviorist may suggest at this point is a trial of some meds for Ben. I haven't followed all threads here as my connectivity is limited, but I would say if you have tried all of the recommendations of slowly desensitizing Ben to different new things and he isn't even at a place where you can begin to do this, that meds may be in order.

 

We had an extremely reactive, fear aggressive (bite history) dog come into rescue. We couldn't rehome him with his history so we sought out help at Tufts. Our work was long and hard and we also found out he was gray area hypothyroid. We had some meds to give to Arrow about 1.5 hours before an "outing" which cut down on his "fight or flight" response to new stimuli. This gave us the opportunity to then get his focus on us and treat him lavishly for just sitting at a great distance and watching other humans and dogs being about. It was not a daily med, just for our special trips out for some desensitizing. Without that drug we had no place to start.

 

I've also heard wonders about doggie prozac for many dogs who would otherwise be PTS for serious problems. I'd first check out the meds route with your behaviorist. IMHO, he is not a candidate for rescue, you are his best chance and after giving it your all, only you will know what the best thing is for Ben. There definitely are some dogs who are just not "wired right" and will be what they are no matter what, no one's fault, genetics and early lack of socialization sometimes can't be overcome:(

 

My heart goes out to you, difficult dogs are a challenge. Our Arrow is still with us now after almost five years and while we don't expose him to having contact with strangers, he is fine out and about no with no meds. Good luck.

 

Kathy

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I wouldn't give up on this dog, nor would I risk your family. I would simply give the dog up to rescue. No dog at this age should be put down.

 

Why should this be a rescue's problem? I don't know of a single rescue that would be willing to take a dog like this. What are they going to do with him? He's not adoptable. Most rescues don't have unlimited resources to spend on a dog that is not adoptable. The only thing a rescue would do is put him down.

 

I agree with Lenajo. This is not the type of thing that will be fixed by soliciting advice on the Internet. These behaviors are way too complicated. A veterinary behaviorist would be my recommendation, if you want to try to help your dog. But, sometimes euthansia is the best thing for all involved. It doesn't necessarily mean that you are giving up on your dog. Not if you have exhausted all other possibilities.

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I would simply give the dog up to rescue.

 

No Rescue I know of would take a dog with this history. Period.

 

sometimes euthansia is the best thing for all involved. It doesn't necessarily mean that you are giving up on your dog. Not if you have exhausted all other possibilities.

 

To euthanise for the right reasons is the greatest of responsibilities; it is the ultimate in doing what is right for your dog over what hurts your heart.

 

Again, this sort of issue is impossible to fix over the internet. All we can really offer is support and suggestions. You (the op) have decide for yourselves if this dog has potential for quality life that does not impede those around him from having theirs.

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I wouldn't give up on this dog, nor would I risk your family. I would simply give the dog up to rescue. No dog at this age should be put down. The dog needs a real evaluation by a border collie person.

 

Ummm no thanks! Rescue is not an outlet for everyone to drop off their problem dogs. Rescue is for rehoming adoptable dogs, and those dogs must be SAFE for that to happen. I wish people would not encourage owners of aggressive dogs to give them to rescue ... they just sit in foster care eating up resources forever. If they do "get better" it is often only with the foster family, so they are still not really adoptable.

 

I agree the dog needs to be evaluated by an experienced handler, but this needs to be done with the assistance of the person RESPONSIBLE for the dog (ie the owner) and a plan of action implemented to save the dog. If the owner is unable or unwilling to follow through, then the owner needs to make a life or death decision for the dog. But please don't dump the dog on rescue for us to deal with. Do you know how many adoptable dogs there are that could use that aggressive dog's spot??

 

RDM

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The fact that Ben is reacting like this to dogs and people he has known since puppyhood would indicate to me that there is something else is going on.

 

Absolutely.

 

I have a dog who is fearful in some situations, but she is also totally predictable. And is very comfortable at home with people/aniamls she knows and trusts.

 

The unpredictability is a huge red flag. Get him evaluated by a veterinary behaviorist.

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