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My dog is like Jeckyll and Hyde

(5 Posts)
booksandchoc Sat 20-Aug-11 17:17:40

Hi, I have been lurking about here for a few weeks hoping to find someone who could possibly help with my lovely little dog.

He is what I call a 'Heinz 57' dog. I have no idea what breed he is. He looks like a jack russell but twice the size, with cocker spaniel black and white markings althought he has smooth, shiny, short hair. I have also been told that he has a beagle like personality.

Anyway, we (me and my husband) rescued him from an elderly man who no longer had the patience for him, but he was already a rescue dog. We have been told he was abused by his first owners (he has scars which are consistent with abuse.) He is now 4ish, and we have had him since last february.

He is brilliantly behaved in the house with us. He is a bit spoilt (lies on the sofas, sleeps in our bed.) He does bite my husband when playing but not aggressively and he doesnt bite me.

Our problem is when he is outside, he cannot be allowed anywhere near other dogs for fear of attacking them (only 1 dog he can be around is MIL dog but we have a theory for this), we cannot walk him because he constantly pulls, he cannot be allowed off lead because he runs away from us and has no recall what so ever. He would kill a cat if was ever allowed near one, and he doesnt get walked very often (which im ashamed to admit) because off his behaviour outside.

Sorry for the long post. I was just wondering if anyone has any advice which would help us out. We tried taking him to a dog training class but were told not to bring him back because he tried to attack another dog.

Also due our first baby in january so any advice on how to make this easy for Buddy would be appreciated.


fruitshootsandheaves Sat 20-Aug-11 17:31:40

You need to find a better training class. One with a trainer who is prepared to work with you and your dog, not just dismiss him straight away. However you may find some one to one lessons are needed at the start. At the classes I went to there were sometimes dogs that would just watch from the back with their owneres. Or just come in for a few minutes at a time until they were less aggressive/reactive towards the other dogs.

I have a collie who is not good with other dogs. I don't think she will ever get much better than she is now, I just have to be aware of the problem and put her on her lead if any other dogs are around. However she has a good recall which makes it easier to deal with. I use a halti on her which immediately stops her pulling and makes it so much easier to walk her past other dogs but the halti doesn't work at all on my spaniel.

I would seriously look for another training class / behavourist near you and start working on the issues you have as it will be near impossible to find the time once your baby arrives.

LeBOF Sat 20-Aug-11 17:34:56

The pulling is a common issue which can be sorted with training and helped by something like a halti harness. It seems a shame to not walk him, and the lack of exercise will be contributing massively to poor behaviour.

Scuttlebutter Sat 20-Aug-11 18:35:19

OP, you desperately need to be giving this poor dog some exercise. He must be going up the wall. What a lot of sighthound owners do is to find somewhere secure where their dog can run safely off lead and you can practice things like recall.

One of the best places is to find out if you have a local riding school with an indoor school or even a securely fenced outdoor menage. Indoor schools are fab - escape proof, usually with a good surface for running around. Talk to the riding school about hiring it for a hour or so a couple of times a week - if you are able to go during a weekday when there are fewer lessons they will probably be very glad for the school to be earning some keep. Obviously you will have to pay a small fee.

Another option is to contact a local sighthound charity and see if they can recommend a secure off lead training area. Huskies are often run off lead in secure areas too - again, ask around.

If you can at least ensure your dog is being safely exercised regularly this will begin to help. I'd endorse working with a good behaviourist. You might it find it worthwhile to do a few lessons one to one before joining a class, but a class is an excellent idea, and most good dog trainers will have seen it all before. smile Have a think about clicker training and start doing short spells of training work in the house - this will help your dog's mental stimulation as well. There are several very good books on Clicker training, and loads of videos on you tube about it.

Lead walking is solveable - needs practice and consistency. You may also find it helpful to walk him in a muzzle - there is nothing at all wrong with this and it acts too as a signal to other dog owners. Also consider varying the time of day and place where you walk him so you can avoid taking him to places where there are lots of dogs. It's possible to find quiet walks - you just need to be a bit more imaginative.

Good luck!

minimu11 Sat 20-Aug-11 18:45:57

oh you poor thing I feel for you. I also hear this sort of situation daily from clients and do realise how difficult it is to manage and live with on a day to day basis. However there are people that can help. Look at the APDT website and see if there is a trainer near you. They will be able to give you one to one training and then gently introduce your dog when he is ready into a group situation.

They will also show you how to use a muzzle so that the dog loves it and it does not increase the stress levels to the dog. I train my dogs to push a ball with a muzzle so they think muzzle is time for football type game! they are not aggressive (well one foster is work in progress) - but they just love to play the muzzle game!

It may be a matter of managing the behaviour rather than totally change it but there are loads of things that can make it easier for you. One will be showing or working out with you how to exercise him regularly which will bring down his stress levels and make him easier to live with and to ,make him much happier

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