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Help! The dog snapped at DD2.

(13 Posts)
TheYuleLogLady Thu 02-Dec-10 22:11:17

The dog has been acting weird lately - I think due to the steroids he has for a sudden flea allergy.

He is the nicest mildest 10 yr old dog who has never snapped at anything in his life.

anyway - apparantly he was outside eating snow and wouldn't come in so DD (12) pulled his collar. He snapped at her and caught her hand. It has 2 tooth marks.

What do I do? I'm at a loss.CanI blame the drugs and ignore? DO I ever trust him again? Should I...? Help!

stinkypants Thu 02-Dec-10 22:21:13

hmm - my dog is a grumpy old bugger and would definitely snap if someone tried to pull his collar, so we just never do and always use vocal commands. as it is out of character i guess you can just be vigilant and see if anything else happens - try to replicate the situation and see if he still snaps, in which case maybe it is an issue related to being pulled by the collar - i woud certainly advise all around him to be cautious, and maybe seek advice from the vet.

misdee Thu 02-Dec-10 22:24:24

i dont know how dogs react on steroids, but when dh steroid dose changes for his medication he is a right grumpy hungry bugger.

DooinMeCleanin Thu 02-Dec-10 22:25:24

My dog does this all the time. What should you do? Stop pulling him by his collar, as Midori told me when I posted this very same issue grin. He doesn't like and has made that clear now. tempt him in with tasty treats instead smile and check his collar area for any sore patches. She might have hurt him.

Please don't worry. It won't escalate past snapping.

VictoriasLittleKnownSecret Thu 02-Dec-10 22:25:31

Steroids can affect mood so that can precipitate a grumpy dog, however snapping progresses so needs nipping in the bud.

Talk to your vet because not all dogs respond well to discipline and can get worse it it's not right for them

The last thing you want is a further bite

TheYuleLogLady Thu 02-Dec-10 22:26:57

i'll phone the vet tomorrow. he is excessively thirsty and weeing alot.
Poor dog is all confused and Poor DD is scared. Will make sure she stays away from him for the forseeable.

stickersarecurrency Thu 02-Dec-10 22:27:19

What Dooin said.

DooinMeCleanin Thu 02-Dec-10 22:29:09

Snapping progresses? How long does that take then? <eyes The Devil Dog suspiciously>

It's 'cause I fed 'im red meat innit? It's given him a taste for blood. I knew I should have listened to DH wink

Snapping does not progress. It's the dogs way of communicating. He didn't want to hurt the dd, just wanted her to let go. My bet is there is a sore patch under his collar and it hurt him when she grabbed him. It might also be related to the steriods so is still worth a call to the vet.

Joolyjoolyjoo Thu 02-Dec-10 22:30:57

It could be the steroids, especially if he has been acting strangely in general. I know quite a few of my patients seem to be a bit "depressed" when on steroids, according to the owners.

Although if he has a flea allergy, is it possible that she could have hurt a sore area of skin when she pulled his collar? His skin may be sensitive just now, so just a thought.

I wouldn't be doing anything drastic at this stage, tbh, but I would obviously not allow anyone to directly grab his collar- an extending lead in the garden, maybe? the steroids will also be making him thirsty, hence his wanting to eat snow, so maybe he was reacting to being pulled away from that?

Vallhala Thu 02-Dec-10 22:32:40

Teach your child that they should never pull any dog by the collar.

We all have our breaking point, you and I included. The game of water-squirting you played yesterday amidst squeals of giggles might be rewarded with a shout of "STOP THAT AND GET OUT!" (or worse!) today when you are stressed, cold and tired. Likewise your dog, off colour, cold and on meds, snapped out to tell your daughter to feck off.

Seek advice from your vet, who may find a problem in the collar area and/or may want to change his meds.

Work on establishing a firm, reliable recall which doesn't rely on anyone dragging him away by the collar. Lots of treats, lots of encouragement and praise.

Good luck - we all have our off days, sometimes we just need to recognise the signs and respect each others space.

Joolyjoolyjoo Thu 02-Dec-10 22:32:56

X-posts! I imagine if his skin is now a bit better, and he is very thirsty/ hungry/ weeing loads your vet might want to put the dose down (if it's tablets he's on) If it was an injection it would usually wear off gradually. Is he on antibiotics too? Does he have sore patches on his skin?

TheYuleLogLady Thu 02-Dec-10 22:36:23

he is on a reducing dose - down to every other day from tomorrow.

he is normally so good and recalls so well. just think he's gone a bit mental on the steroids and DD was impatient because it is so bloody cold. i'll check under his collar shortly and make sure nobody pulls it again.

just such a shock.

midori1999 Thu 02-Dec-10 22:36:51

I read the OP, scrolled down to post and saw DMC had already posted what I was about to... grin

Dogs generally put up with a heck of a lot from us humans, precisely becausenthey are so good natured. IIf your dog is used to being grabbed/pulled by the collar, I suspect he has tolerated it well up until now, bit maybe feels uncomfortable because of the a;lergu or out of sorts due to the steroids and so reacted when he normlly wouldn't.

The dog doesn't need 'discipline' he needs to be managed in a way where he doesn't feel the need to react like this. So, if he won't come in from the garden, lure him with a treat. You're not giving into him, you're motivating him to do what you want in a way that avoids potential problems.

Did the dog growl before he snapped? Has he ever growled in the past? If so, what did you do when he growled?

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