I can't cope with my dog anymore :( be gentle please.

(69 Posts)
TheTempest Mon 29-Jul-13 18:24:19

I have a 7 yo Patterdale who we got from a friend of a friends dad. Bad idea I know now.

We've had her for a year now and I really thought I was getting somewhere with her. We have been doing PAT with her as she was too snappy and barky at other dogs.

She slipped her harness today got her muzzle off and attacked another dog. Bit it in 4 places, the dog has had to stay in the vets overnight and it's coating us nearly 400 pounds.

I'm at the end of my tether, she had been so much better. She laid down and looked at me afterwards.

I absolutely adore her but I can't cope with this anymore hmmhmmhmm

Where do I go from here? She's had a vet check and nothing wrong, seen a behaviourist who said she wasn't aggressive. I'm a horrible d

Lifewassupposedtobebetter Wed 31-Jul-13 10:02:42

I'm no expert but as another poster said there are far worse things that can happen to a dog than being PTS.

topbannana Wed 31-Jul-13 13:44:31

To give a little context, as I said I have been in a fairly similar situation twice with two different outcomes.
The first was when we took in an old greyhound at about 10 years old. He was of dubious background ad had been used by gypsies as a coursing dog- he would cheerfully have killed anything small that crossed his path and he was not jesting when he tried.
We took him after a very long spell in kennels and an appalling life prior to that. We had a stable door on our utility room where the dogs lived (strangely he wasvdevoted to my dogs) and he never came out without a muzzle on. Walked on lead apart from occasional access to very secure field. His recall was excellent (when not in hot pursuit!) and he worshipped the very ground on which I stood. Poor eyesight also helped my cause!
Given his background and age, his life with me was a complete joy compared to his previous incarnation. I did not have DS at the time and when I did have him, never walked the two together as I could not fully concentrate on both at once.

Dog no.2 was a lurcher who we had from 8 weeks. At a couple of years old he got in with some sheep and chased them, apparently for the joy of running and with no malicious intent. On his return we ha words and he was always kept under very close control anywhere we may stumble across stock.
Fast forward some 5 years and he one day, completely out of the blue forced his way through a bramble hedge into a field of sheep. By the time I got round he had mauled a couple and had one pinned in a corner while he tried to tear her throat. He was PTS the next day sad
I know that some people will be of the opinion that I could have done more for him but he was essentially a young dog who loved to run, a life on lead would have been intolerable for him. We live in a rural area with lots of stock about. He would have to have stopped agility as he would have needed to be loose and every shred of trust I held in him was gone. His insurance paid the farmers vets bills but they revoked his 3rdparty cover afterwards.
I simply could not risk a repeat performance and could not countenance a life muzzled and on lead for him- he would not have understood why his freedom had been so dramatically curtailed and would have been miserable.

My point is that for some dogs a life of severely curtailed freedom is OK, for others you need to question for who you are doing it for. Having a fit and healthy dog PTS is not something to be taken lightly and was one of the most awful experiences of my life but ultimately I know was the safest thing to have done.

TotallyBursar Wed 31-Jul-13 21:31:47

This is a difficult decision the answer to which, I really do think, would be different for every one of us. I certainly think there is more information needed than is provided to provide an answer that will ultimately be the right one for your dog, your family and you.

I would really recommend looking for a better behaviourist - she said she wasn't aggressive? Quite honestly I can't judge what she means from that - your comment was so brief it comes across to me that she really didn't aid you by giving more qualified answers or actually more of an answer of where to go now. It reads as if she was a little out of her depth or uninterested - although that is purely supposition from such a brief line.

What I feel I would need to consider is the dog's chances - after a consult with a well qualified and experienced behaviourist the discussion needs to be had on what they feel can be offered. I suspect it would be condensed down to three options 1) Yes, doable 2) give me an x time trial to assess progress with significant behavioural support before my decison 3) No progress to be made.
Then armed with that information you consider what you can do - are you able, as a family as well as the main carer/walker/trainer, to offer the time, money and resources necessary to make that progress?

What is in the dog's best interest? I feel that some part of this will be informed by the consult. It's only that which will provide the framework you are working within and so give a guide as to how much she might have to endure in terms of management and how much you feel she can deal with. Also what her issues are defines so much - dog aggressive is actually quite an umbrella term.
If she is healthy it will be a harder decision to make if the prognosis is not positive but that is the only way I can imagine I would feel I had done enough to meet the responsibilities I have to my dogs and also to my family.

I know it seems a cop out to say but I can't see a way to meet in the middle with your husband than to ask for him to support your need to do right by her (behaviourist and keeping her in her home) and his need to have his concerns and wishes taken on board (pts or re-homing which isn't really an option) on the back of honest assessment of the situation by someone that you trust will weigh up the situation with the benefit of skill and experience. It seems there needs to be someone to tip the balance, who is able to assess what you can't online where we will be offering the same conficted advice that you are dealing with already.

or that is all unhelpful bollox.

mistlethrush Wed 31-Jul-13 21:35:25

I've seen these harnesses recommended: here as being difficult for lurchers to get out of - and some of them are really good at getting out of harnesses!

Perhaps something like that might give you confidence that she can't get away so you have more control?

mistlethrush Wed 31-Jul-13 21:36:24

Oh - yes, and if you're remotely north I have heard of a behaviourist that's used to terriorists who might be ideal....

TotallyBursar Wed 31-Jul-13 21:44:15

Terrorists?! Hardcore! grin

mistlethrush Wed 31-Jul-13 21:50:28

grin that's what quite a few people that I know call them!

mistlethrush Wed 31-Jul-13 21:51:02

Remember the extra i though - terriorists...

TotallyBursar Wed 31-Jul-13 21:56:11

Whoops, sorry!

Made me chuckle so much I couldn't read or spell...very little change to the rest of the time really hmm grin

curlew Wed 31-Jul-13 22:02:23

Sorry- sense of humour failure here. A "terrierist" is a lovely, bouncy , into to everything, full of beans, slipper eating, poo rolling, bulb digging handful.

The dog in the OP actually attacked another dog and caused it significant injury and pain. And can't be trusted not to do the same if it ever gets free again. Rather different.

TotallyBursar said it all for me <crush grows>

mistlethrush Wed 31-Jul-13 22:15:16

Curlew - my parents had a collie/ terrier cross - who wanted to be in the middle of any dust-up even if was nothing to do with her whatsoever. She would have caused significant harm if we had lost control and let her.

I know lots of people who have terriers who have to be very careful with them.

Lots of terriers are easily capable of doing significant harm.

The Op is clearly trying to do her best to stop her dog following its instincts.

TheTempest Wed 31-Jul-13 22:56:30

Thanks for your really informative post TotallyBursar, that is pretty much all she said, other than unsocialised and over enthusiastic to greet.

I thought that fitted her quite well as I have done a lot of research and up until ParkGate her behaviour signs seemed to support that. She has been out with a dog walker once a week for that year with other dogs and other than a couple of warning growls has been fine confused

(She has an aggressive SBT and a lot of experience with dogs herself) I've been in training walks with her And no aggressive signs at all.

I do get what everyone means about her being a risk, and I know that if it came down to it I'd have to put her yo sleep. Looking at her now with her head on my leg loving me, it seems like the hardest thing in the world. hmm

I should have said that I do have 2 other dogs as well, a Chiuahaua (that I can't spell!) and a small mongrel. She is absolutely fine with them and always has been.

I have been looking into fields etc, but no luck yet. The vets have given me the details for another behaviourist to try too. I'm East Sussex so not even slightly north! But thank you lots.

TheTempest Wed 31-Jul-13 23:04:11

Oh I also meant to say that I double leaded her today. New muzzle bought at PAH (not fun trying to fit her one but thankfully very quiet in there) , light lead attached to collar and normal lead in her harness.

I have been looking at harnesses and will be either buying the one linked to ( sorry can't scroll up) or a DogLox one, depending on what the new behaviourist says when I see her.

She is always walked separately from the other two, so has my full attention. Felt a bit like I was trying to contain Hannibal Lector today though!

TheTempest Wed 31-Jul-13 23:07:02

I also meant to say, thank you everyone for sharing your experiences with me, it helps to know that I'm not the only one. Feels like it when we're out walking though and people look at us like we're aliens grin

mrspink27 Thu 01-Aug-13 21:37:39

Just a thought... would she actually be better walking on lead with your small mongrel? May be dog aggressive due to lack of confidence when out? Extra doggie companion might be enough to help? I am East/West Sussex borders and happy to meet up for a dog walk if you want to try ...

TotallyBursar Sat 03-Aug-13 16:07:49

Tempest - how are things going?

Chickenshavenoeyebrows - blush I likes you too...do you want to come and do something norty behind the bike sheds? grin.

EasyToEatTiger Sat 03-Aug-13 19:37:57

So sorry to hear about your experience, Topbananna. I think sometimes we are left with such little choice. And credit to you, TheTempest for working so hard. We met a fantastic trainer up in Norfolk. She's called Sarah Jenkins and she's based in North Norfolk. She works mostly with sheepdogs. She may be able to reccomend someone more local to you or someone who works with terriers. My mum had terrierists. They were murderers. The hunt had to be called out to extract them from a hole. One of them took on a badger and came out alive but with half her face missing. They are not sweet cuddly dogs! They have a job to do.

Floralnomad Sat 03-Aug-13 22:46:56

easy my Patterdale is sweet and cuddly ,he only murders part time !

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