Dog after pts previous for behaviour

(81 Posts)
Mankymonkey Tue 28-Jun-16 23:52:41

Some weeks ago we had to pts our beautiful young dog for constant biting of family members including myself. I absolutely adored him nonetheless, believe it or not. I'm still grieving him. Although I knew it was the right thing to do. I still have a dog shaped hole in my life and would one day hope to have another dog.

Has anyone else experience of this? How did it go?

RandomName9 Wed 29-Jun-16 00:00:11

My mum had to have her Labrador adopted last year because he began to growl & "snap" at my then 2 year old for no reason. Previously he was not a vicious dog but it couldn't be risked with a toddler. I took her to the adoption place, we all cried, it was very sad. Not sure this helps but it was the right thing to do X

Mankymonkey Wed 29-Jun-16 13:54:37

Thanks. I think I was a bit enigmatic in my thread title. What I really wanted to know is has anyone got experience of getting a new dog after you had to rehome or pts your previous dog for behavioural issues. Did you find things went more smoothly? Did you need a long break to get over it and get the courage to try again? Or did you decide you couldn't risk it?

DiamondInTheRuff Wed 29-Jun-16 16:38:18

We've recently adopted a young dog, having had our boy pts in January (due to cancer, not behavioural reasons). I've found it tough, tbh, and could have done with a longer gap.

In your shoes I'd want to do everything in my power to make sure it didn't happen again. Do you know what happened with your ddog that caused him to bite?

SonicSpotlight Wed 29-Jun-16 16:39:46

You said your dog was young? How old? What was their background?

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 29-Jun-16 16:41:50

My only concern would be if there is any possibility that the behavioural issues were down to You and your family and thus likely to be repeated in any subsequent dogs.

Have you determined the reason for this behaviour?

FATEdestiny Wed 29-Jun-16 16:46:44

The key thing is this doesn't happen again. So you need to ask yourself some questions that may be hard to accept the answer to. Primarily:

- was your training of the dog inappropriate?

- were your expectations unrealistic (all pups bite/nip as natural behaviour, for example)?

- do you have access to adequate support in training and expectations next time?

fishybits Wed 29-Jun-16 16:48:41

How old was the dog OP?

Mankymonkey Wed 29-Jun-16 17:17:34

Hi. Thanks for responses. He was nearly 18 months. I'm totally aware that this is a tricky age for dogs. I was determined to get through it but after over a year of using two behaviourists and implementing behavioural plans it wasn't getting better. He had severe separation anxiety issues, biting people who tried to leave, biting dh when he came home, biting daughter, biting son, (both nearly adult), territorially aggressive, frustration biting, biting if someone sneezed loudly, biting if they yawned loudly etc. A lot of the time it was predictable but sometimes it was not. I became so anxious about the responsibility of him biting someone that I wasn't sleeping or eating. Towards the end he was incredibly stressed himself. We used pheromone methods, and calming drugs and were on the verge of using more drugs which made me feel it was too much for him. I didn't want him to have a doped up existence. He came from an experienced breeder and was well socialised and left at the right age for puppies. I had oodles of time for him. I spoke to a vet nurse with behavioural experience as a last chance effort. After we talked it through and my awful decision was made, she said at his first puppy check up with me she thought he was going to be trouble. But she obviously didn't tell me earlier. The conclusion seems to have been he was "wired wrong".

However, I still worry I did something wrong. I'd find it hard to go through that heartbreak again. So I want to minimise the risk of it happening again. All the experts were very supportive that it wasn't my fault. But I look on taking on a puppy as a highly responsible thing, it's already born and I don't have a right to owning a dog. But as I care so much, I'm willing to put in time and effort.

Mankymonkey Wed 29-Jun-16 17:19:48

Ps I read lots of books also and took advice from fellow dog owners.

DiamondInTheRuff Wed 29-Jun-16 17:21:18

What sort of methods did you / the behaviorists use?

Mankymonkey Wed 29-Jun-16 17:21:59

Pps This had gone beyond puppy biting. I trained him using positive reward methods and also implemented nilf as was recommended.

Mankymonkey Wed 29-Jun-16 17:24:07

The behaviourists were from apbc.

FATEdestiny Wed 29-Jun-16 17:40:31

Is guilt a factor in you wanting another dog?

FATEdestiny Wed 29-Jun-16 17:46:23

The conclusion seems to have been he was "wired wrong".

This is said only to make you feel less guilt.

Don't get me wrong. You clearly put in a lot of effort to resolve the behaviour issues your dog had, but it would seem this was too late. That the dog was beyond your help by that point. So you did do all you could.

However these issues are behavioural and so as a result of the dogs environment and training as a youngster.

For what it's worth, it sounds similar to MILs dog. Their or

FATEdestiny Wed 29-Jun-16 17:48:55

(Posted too soon)

For what it's worth, it sounds similar to MILs dog. Their problem was as a new puppy to the house, they "killed with kindness". They treated the dog as a person and an equal. This lead to the highly anxious dog with separation anxiety.

Mankymonkey Wed 29-Jun-16 17:59:04

Yes, it definitely occurred to me that the "wired wrong" was to make me feel better although this was said to me before I'd made the decision and about other dogs first.

Do I feel guilty? I'm not sure. Grief stricken. So it's not something I'd try again for a year or so at the earliest. I just felt I had a good life to give a dog and enjoyed all aspects of ownership apart from this.

Mankymonkey Wed 29-Jun-16 18:02:25

As I previously stated I tried to implement the nilf programme from a young age (about 8 months, maybe too late?) which worked successfully. Because the rest of the family found him hard even though they loved him, it was mostly just the two of us.

Greyhorses Wed 29-Jun-16 18:22:10

FATE, studies have shown that behaviour can be influenced by genetics and even stress from the bitch in the womb or bullying from early littermates before the puppy was even purchased by the owner so it isn't always down to training.

I spoke to a leading veterinary behaviouralist who's theory was that genetics had a huge influence on behaviour and that it was not down to training alone. For example, my collie was born herding things and nobody taught him to do so...he has never seen a sheep in his life. Likewise, some dogs are just born nervous and lots of the time it turns out the bitch or dog is of unsound temprement which has been passed to the puppy.

The way it was explained to me was that a genetically unsound dog could in theory be trained to be 'normal' if it had perfect training and socialisation but is much much more likley to show behaviour issues and can more easily be messed up compared to a more sound puppy.

Sorry waffling now but it's something I have been researching myself as the owner of a horrible dog! I asked two seperate adpt trainers where I had gone wrong and both thought this particular dog was doomed to be aggressive from day one no matter what I did and that nothing could have prevented the way things turned out for me, maybe they were just being nice but I looked into lots of studies that agreed with the principle and it turns out the mother of my dog was also aggressive and other puppies in the litter have also become nervous wrecks. They were raised differently yet turned out the same.

Anyway, yes I would consider another dog after something like this but I would go for the opposite of what I had the first time and would consult a behaviouralist from day one!

Mankymonkey Wed 29-Jun-16 18:38:08

Thanks also, Greyhorsese. Sorry to be dim, but what do you mean by the opposite exactly?

Greyhorses Wed 29-Jun-16 18:49:49

I meant I would go to a different breeder, possibly even different breed and actively look for a dog with traits that my dog is lacking smile so in my case I would go for a confident puppy with friendly parents as opposed to a nervous wreck!

Swatsup Wed 29-Jun-16 18:59:31

Maybe think about getting a rescue dog instead? That way you don't have the worry of the same thing happening again. Although from reading your posts and the effort you put in I would imagine that it wasn't your fault just very bad luck. Dogs you ever contact the breeder for advice?

Mankymonkey Wed 29-Jun-16 19:16:28

Right, thanks for clarifying. Apart from size considerations, breed wise I'm open minded and have thought I should look for breeder maybe even more than breed? Saying that I've been looking at breeds who are good with strangers, family and good with separation. Although I didn't leave my dog very frequently, And maybe look to more direct breeder recommendations from friends etc.I was worried about rescue because you can't be certain of its exact history but maybe that's wrong. I didn't contact the breeder because I wasn't sure how they could help.

SonicSpotlight Wed 29-Jun-16 19:46:11

From what you've said I'd consider getting an adult dog rather than a puppy. A dog that has a known temperament and is well past any puppy biting.

orangeyellowgreen Wed 29-Jun-16 20:07:55

Dogs are born with different personalities. You can try to train particular behaviour but much is down to the breed. A border collie is never going to be like a pug or a staffy and some breeds have well-deserved reputations for certain traits.
It's tragic to have to pts a young dog but you can't live with a psychopath.
Go ahead and get another dog but choose a different breed next time.

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