Jump to content
BC Boards

I'm so rattled


Recommended Posts

So let's start off with some history. Petey has always been a neighbourhood favourite. On his daily walk, he gets to interact with tons of dogs that live around him. Pete and whoever he meets will play and lay together while the neighbour and I make small talk and we go on our way. He also used to spend time at a "kennel" when I was younger and when my parents went on trips and couldn't take him. The "kennel" is run in a house around the corner where the owner has 2 Border Collies of her own and many boarders there. Petey was always a favourite there, as well. The owner would write journal entries about Pete's stay and always mentioned how much he loved the other dogs. They were allowed to sleep where ever they wanted in her home, and they were taken to the dog park 3 times a day! He was always so tired after coming home from her kennel, and always so happy.

 

Well, as I grew up and could take after Petey while my parents went away, he stopped going to the kennel. He remained friendly to the "regular" dogs on his walks but started grumbling at strange dogs more and more. As time progressed, he's been getting quite snippy with other dogs even ones who he used to be best pals with. I've stopped to talk to our regular meet-ups and Petey will get very growly and pretty much attack his "friend". So we stopped meet-ups and had to start walking on the other side of the road, as he would bark and growl as he passed..

 

Well, just a few minutes ago, I was bringing in some furniture from IKEA and had Petey on his long leash that is attached to a twisted metal peg that twists deep into the ground to secure him in his front yard. He was rolling around in the grass when a guy my age walked by with his black Lab and his Jack Russell on leash. Petey was up and growling in a split-second. I didn't pay much attention to him or the other dogs because Petey was secure on his line which was embedded into the earth! Next thing I know, I see a blur of black and white and a Jack making the loudest noises I was ever heard in the middle of the street with an oncoming car. He pulled his stake right out of the ground which was probably soft from all the rain we've been having. I literally jumped in between the growling enemies and picked up Petey. He wouldn't stop growling, he was so intense, I was shaking. I tried to calm him down and he bit my hand out of the way. The guy was really nice about it, we apologized and parted. Minutes later, after a "heart-to-heart" with Petey, the guy came to my door and we made peace. He checked to see if I was alright because I put my hand in between the fighters, and we apologized again and parted ways. Probably for good.

 

I'm so rattled, I don't know what to think or do. I can't believe it's gotten to this point, I can't believe the once favoured Petey is attacking other dogs. I'm scared to go on his walk tonight, I have zero confidence right now in him or in myself. I just.. I don't know what to do :rolleyes: I had a major yell-fest with Petey and haven't talked to him since. He knows better than to go near the road, and he ran right into oncoming traffic to mangle a Jack. He knows he upset me, he's giving me his space and watching me very carefully.

 

I just need your help, advice, anything and everything! The image of him in my arms, biting my hands to get at the JRT again is going to give me nightmares. I don't recognize him, and it's so scary. Where do I go from here? I just feel like the worst dog owner ever.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is simply one of many possible theories....but I had a boxer growing up that did the same exact thing. As it turned out, the dog had cataracts in both eyes and he was simply getting confused due to his failing vision....but as I mentioned....that is one of a million possible theories. I hope your hand isn't hurt too bad. I know how upsetting and disappointing it can be to get bitten by your own dog :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yea vet check's my first recommendation for big behavior changes. A student's dog has been fine with handling up until recently - turns out he had a massive UTI and crystals in his bladder!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think a vet check is definitely in order, maybe there are some sight things that I'm not catching. I just feel like it's all my fault and that I've let him down, and that poor Jack. So many things are buzzing through my head. I'm still shaken up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think a vet check is definitely in order, maybe there are some sight things that I'm not catching. I just feel like it's all my fault and that I've let him down, and that poor Jack. So many things are buzzing through my head. I'm still shaken up.

 

Don't beat yourself up Kayla. :D

You've only got Petey's interests at heart and you can only try all the different roads that might lead to where this behaviour change is coming from. I know its really scary to be faced with such uncertainty but I think you need to first find out if this is health/medically-based and, if not, let him know in no uncertain terms that this snippy behaviour will not be tolerated. I find as dogs get older, they often tend to get more crotchety and I think this behaviour pattern is often re-inforced by an owner who thinks their older dog can be allowed certain indiscretions due to their long life : hello, :rolleyes: guilty.

Don't be afraid to walk him. Be firm and reassure him. He is the same Petey, after all.

Let us know how the vet visit goes.

Ailsa

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I. for one, after all these years with Petey, wouldn't blame it on "my dog".

YOU know your dog and if he hasn't be aggressive in the past, just what was it that did it to him? If it's his old age, frankly I don't blame him. My :rolleyes: dog, was dying at 17 and in quite a bit of pain, kidney failure. If someone accidentally stepped on her, she would turn to bite- quite unlike her- but if she saw it was a child, she would just move to another place.

One of the last pictues of old Miss Lacey- :D

lace.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can understand old age, and I can understand him grumbling when a young dog is too annoying for him and if the young dog doesn't leave.him.alone, I can understand Pete giving it a snap. I can understand him not wanting to engage with other dogs very closely. I can't, however, understand him pulling so hard to get at another dog that he pulls a twisted stake right out of the ground all because of ..old age? I will not tolerate that behaviour.

 

However, since I posted this thread there have been a few other threads talking about aggression management and I have been using some of the recommendations with Pete and hopefully with time he'll get better with it. I will always accept him as the dog he is. If that means we don't stop and talk with the neighbourhood owners and their dogs, then that's the way it is. As grumpy as my old man gets, I will not tolerate the attitude he gave the other day.

 

We're working on it though, he seems to behave well around other dogs when I make him focus on me. Dogs can be sitting almost on top of him and he doesn't care as long as I'm treating him and making him focus on me. Strangely, when I babysat that Border Collie a few months ago, Pete was so relaxed and couldn't get enough of her. He's a little bi-polar about other dogs.

 

Anyways, that's my little update, we're doing better though and I'm practicing switching his focus onto me when we go for walks or the park and pass other dogs. He's already picking up that looking at me when other dogs pass means hotdog pieces, so we haven't had any grumbles since which is good! I think we're going to be okay.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can understand old age, and I can understand him grumbling when a young dog is too annoying for him and if the young dog doesn't leave.him.alone, I can understand Pete giving it a snap. I can understand him not wanting to engage with other dogs very closely. I can't, however, understand him pulling so hard to get at another dog that he pulls a twisted stake right out of the ground all because of ..old age? I will not tolerate that behaviour.

 

Have you considered that Petey was just guarding your yard while being staked out? Maybe he looked as the other dogs as a threat to you and your property.

Barb S

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That was my first thought and it very well may be dead-on. I wouldn't know, I mean he tends to bark as other dogs pass by but since this is the only time the stake has ever been pulled out of the ground (which was probably due to all the rain we've been having) I can't really say that this incident wouldn't have happened before. I now have his long line attached to a big oak tree on my property, so as long as he doesn't gain any super powers, he's never going to escape again.

 

I have been working with him outside, switching his focus to me when dogs pass by which happens quite a bit. I now say, "Petey, I see it" to let him know I see the other dog and am okay with it's presence or not threatened by it and then I immediately switch his focus onto me with toys or treats. So far, it seems to be working. I think that with more practice, when I tell him "I see it" he'll trust me and won't need to focus on the other dog until it passes. He's already offering it to me when he sees other dogs! We've had a few times yesterday where a dog passed and there wasn't a peep out of Petey.

 

If he is guarding my yard, I think that this method will teach him that I'm okay with the other dogs and he should be as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...