Help. Dog has just bitten a relative.

(8 Posts)
feesh Sat 16-Jul-16 16:21:57

There's a lot of history to this one and it's very identifying, but please bare with me while I lay it all out.

We live in the Middle East, where we rescued an 11 week-old puppy after our friends found her on the streets. She's always been a bit tricky to manage, and we had trouble socialising her properly because of living in the Middle East, but we did our best. She's always had a few issues and been a bit reactive though, although I worked REALLY hard with her as a puppy to do my best using positive reinforcement techniques (followed Kikopup, worked with friends with dogs, read all the best positive reinforcement books etc).

3 years ago, we were due to come on holiday to England. Took her in for boarding and the lady (who was supposedly a qualified behaviourist) refused to take her in, because she snarled at one of the lady's little dogs over a chew when I went to drop her off (the dog boarder had chews lying all over her house, which I thought was a bit stupid to be honest, and my dog was to be her first ever dog boarding customer).

Anyway our only option was to cancel our holiday, or take the dog with us to England - to cut a long story short, we chose the latter.

She was such a happier dog in England that we decided to see if anyone in England wanted to rehome her (life is pretty shit for dogs in the Middle East - they regularly get spat at, have rocks thrown at them when we are walking and we can't even walk them for half the year because of temperatures). My mum decided to volunteer to keep her.

I had big talks with my mum and explained what she was taking on, and she agreed to it all. I went through all the dog's issues, gave her written advice on how to deal with them, gave her a muzzle as part of her kit (because she can be reactive with vets and some other dogs) and explained about the possessiveness issues and how to work on it.

I also offered to pay for a behaviourist to work with Mum and the dog to acclimatise her to England life - Mum took us up on this offer and did have a couple of sessions with a behaviourist, but basically the behaviourist said she was a good well trained dog and that was the end of it.

The thing is, my Mum has never been really one to listen to me and every visit back I haven't been that happy with how things have progressed with the dog, BUT I have been biting my tongue for various reasons that probably belong more on the relationships board than here.

The biggest thing I have noticed on this trip back is how bad the dog has got with possessiveness. I've had to really watch my kids like a HAWK around her, because she is giving very clear warning signals to anyone who comes near her when she has a chew or a toy or food.

Mum knows how to deal with this and has been using treats to retrieve things off the dog - however I strongly suspect there has been a history since she has had the dog of trying to intimidate the dog into giving things up, as she has told me about situations when the dog got hold of things she shouldn't (e.g. finding a pizza in the park) when it was pretty obvious reading between the lines that Mum had probably lost her rag with the dog and snatched it off her. I suspect this is why the dog has got worse anyway.

My Mum isn't a very patient person and she can also be quite controlling. Hence I suspect she has got arsey with the dog and shouted at her as a way of dealing with her.

Anyway my cousin and Aunt just came over and the dog, for some reason which I have never seen in her before, took a real dislike to my cousin. I shut the dog away, but Mum let her out again. When we were inside sorting out lunch, my Aunt tried to take a plate away from the dog which the dog was licking and my Aunt got bitten.

I have seen this coming and I don't know whether to (a) really lay down the law to my Mum when she comes back from the hospital or (b) take the dog back to the Middle East with us or (c) have the dog PTS.

I know possessiveness issues are among the hardest to deal with - is there any hope of getting this problem fixed? Does anyone know of any behaviourists who could help?

feesh Sat 16-Jul-16 16:26:49

Re: the bite, dog has always given very clear warning signals which I have talked mum through, so she knows the hierarchy of lip licking, ears back, teeth exposed, growling, snapping, biting - the dog has never got past growling before with regards to possessiveness (although I think she has snapped at Mum over being washed in the past). So we have always known a bite was on the cards regarding people taking things away, if it wasn't handled properly.

The bite is a puncture wound which bled a little (2 holes from the canine teeth) so they have gone to hospital to have it cleaned out. So it's not too serious, but not minor either.

MrsFrankieHeck Sat 16-Jul-16 16:30:34

I don't think it's your dog anymore tbh and think it's up to your mum what to do with it. Personally I would pts. Sorry.

Chippednailvarnishing Sat 16-Jul-16 16:32:10

Unfortunately I would have dog PTS, because of your mother's inability to look after it properly.
I wouldn't be happy with any dog that needs watching like a hawk near kids, unless it wasn't ever left alone with them.

Sorry I know you have tried but I can't see how you would be able to rehome it

EllenTheEgret Sat 16-Jul-16 16:33:44

No advice I'm afraid, but you do have my sympathy. It sounds really tough. What breed is the dog, and how old is it now?

feesh Sat 16-Jul-16 16:40:38

She's 5 and she's a saluki mix. I can't bear the thought of her being PTS.

feesh Sat 16-Jul-16 16:42:22

We are only here for a few days. But I am worried about something happening on future visits. I never leave the kids alone with the dog and they have also been briefed to death about not taking things off the dog and coming to get an adult if the dog takes something she shouldn't have.

But yeah, it worries me. We would probably hire a cottage next time anyway aside from the dog issue.

Floralnomad Sat 16-Jul-16 17:00:05

Sorry but I agree with a pp in as far as this is not your dog so not your decision . If it were mine I wouldn't be doing anything other than making sure I was a lot more careful with visitors - its your mums call to make .

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