Old dog troubles. (1 Viewer)

jvalex

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Alright, I've exhausted my other resources. I am at a loss as to what to do with this old dog. I adopted him a few months ago - his owner had passed away. He has always been grouchy but still sharp and no health issues aside from a wheeze.

But now it's cold and rainy and the dog is refusing to go outside, and peeing out of sheer spite on his own bedding, floor, etc. He has to stay in a crate unless I am right there to watch him. So that means - overnight, when I'm at work, if I'm putting the kid to bed. It's too much. He growls at me any time I try to nicely encourage or guide him. Treats don't work. Toys don't work (he loves chew toys). He gets high quality food, glucosamine supplements, CBD oil.

What the f*** can I even do to make this dog more comfortable - mentally and physically? He's here for the rest of his days and I want those to be long, happy days.

He has been snapping more and more but today he finally bit me and I totally lost it. I just want to cry. The last dog we fostered, the big Chow, ended up euthanized as he was senile and in pain and bit my neighbor's child - the one that cares for them daily when I'm at work - in the face, as well as biting his original owners when he returned there for his safety. I do not want this for Cody. I want him to be happy here. He loves my son - but any sort of dominant personality / challenge and he's a snarling little s***. I am so sad.
 

jvalex

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Currently wagging his tail and snacking from my hand. Gentle as can be.
IMG_20190103_101050.jpg
 

jvalex

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Going to vet tomorrow to rule out any underlying issues but it sounds like this just may be his new norm unless we can make him more comfortable with meds. I am sad sad sad.
 
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Dogs that are aggressive need to be put in their spot.
some are a pain and need to be "bit" .
Not knowing the entire situation, I'd leash him and drag him out.
On the other hand, is he good on leash? Does he actually trust you? The Alpha/trust is the biggest key to success.
I know a lot of people think dags are really dumb, like tiny babies. That is NOT the case.
My wife's Boston was literally written off by multiple "dog whispers"
I had him mostly tuned in a few months. We are 3 years in at this point and he's 98% perfect now.
Dogs have strong personality and will TOTALLY f***ING PLAY YOU if they know they can.

Like you said, make sure he's not sick, then be the boss.
My take, on dog ownership especially, is this; if you aren't willing to kill and eat that dog, you probably shouldn't own dog.
 

jvalex

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Dominant physical behavior absolutely does not deter him. Which is why I am where I am. I am also not a fan; non violent communication is possible with animals. I have always kept a firm hand with pets; I grew up on a farm. It is necessary. But this dog is totally different. I am understanding now why his previous owner's family wanted nothing to do with him and dumped him in his old age - as heartbreaking as that is. He is VERY. VERY. Determined.

BUT - this dog has most stubborn ass owner out there so he's in for good care but not without a fair fight.

I do gently lead him outside but am still mopping the floors and having to put him on the grass only for him to walk right back inside and pee wherever he pleases. Sunny days aren't this bad which makes me think this is more behavior, less physical symptom.
 
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Totally agree. Different techniques for different animals. Like mentioned though his behavior seems to be more personality based than anything. The biggest flag for me is the growling on touch. And is he snappy or actually aggressive when biting?
 

jvalex

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Snappy. He's less than 20 lbs, he's not trying to take my face off. But today was a definite "I am sinking my teeth into your flesh with intention" bite.
 
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Ya. I was definitely gotten several times by Rhyme. At this point in time he knows as soon as he blows it and has regressive behavior. They all scatter when I raise my voice, even if I'm just yelling at the TV.

Anyhow, snappy generally means scared not trusting. My ex an I adopted a mini poodle that literally would not let me touch him when he came to us. Many hours on my lap and much :smokin: we became such pals it made my ex crazy.

Work on trust while dominating him. He'll fall in. Basically if dominant behavior doesn't have effect, it's because he still thinks he's the boss. ;)
 

rrv333

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Sounds like he was the Alpha in his previous home. He's still in that mindset. I'd glove up (heavy gloves) the next time he snaps or bites and I'd then grab him firmly and pin him to the floor. Pin him until he acquiesces to your control. You'll have a fight on your hands but once you start don't stop until he relinquishes his alpha status. You may have to do it a few times until he realizes that you're the Big Momma and you run things. Good Luck.
 

jvalex

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Two days down and love and patience is the answer - as it always has been in my household, for pets and difficult humans alike. Grumbling has decreased but replaced with trembles - so now he's showing me vulnerability when he's not worried about a rough hand. No accidents in the house for two days, he even sought me out for a cuddle and a pet and licked the lotion off my legs - the little old man I brought home a few months ago! Picked some more of this up since it was 40% off today at Earth Fare. (For those of you that have those stores in SE)
IMG_20190105_094422.jpg
 
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Trust is huge with dogs. Developing a relationship & building trust goes a loooong way when trying to modify behaviors. Being fair & consistent has always worked for me. Glad to hear it’s working out...
 
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Hey jvalex, it's a tough situation to be in for sure. I'm a small animal vet and I've put down many pets for the same reasons. It could just that he's going senile or had a stroke affecting his personality, but more likely it's chronic pain (dental disease and joints are common). Eyesight is also a common problem and makes them fearful of hands coming towards them. Hopefully your vet finds some plausible cause!
Victor
 

jvalex

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Hey jvalex, it's a tough situation to be in for sure. I'm a small animal vet and I've put down many pets for the same reasons. It could just that he's going senile or had a stroke affecting his personality, but more likely it's chronic pain (dental disease and joints are common). Eyesight is also a common problem and makes them fearful of hands coming towards them. Hopefully your vet finds some plausible cause!
Victor

Aw Victor thank you for commenting, having a professional chime in is comforting.

So I've been back to the vet with him. We've been having "the talk". I've been counting the good days over the bad days, mobility, interest in life's joys like food and other - and really ignoring the growling. It seems like with spring and warmer weather he has perked up! But we also see signs of renal failure, weight loss, pain, dementia.

Sigh. Each week I say "this is it" and each week he goes "but wait, look, I'm happy and kinda comfy again..."

I love him more than I even realized. This is a hard one. But right now he's snorting at me from his comfy crate because I had to drag him outside to pee this AM.
 

Brentbba

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Jack Russell terrier? Based on a neighbor with a couple of them, they can just be plain mean. Hoping for the best with your efforts to make him welcome and comfortable.
 

todt

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Not related to your issue but old dog related. Have an 14yrold boxer that can no longer see or hear so was a real pain to physically direct her outside etc. One day realized she would react to my flashlight so now I simply flash my light her way and she heads to the light. Makes guiding her around the house and in yard a lot easier than yelling for 10min with no response.
Maybe someone could use this trick one day.
 

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