Please help...is this aggression or anxiety?(9 Posts)
I have 2 dogs. The older is 4 and is a cavapoo. He has always been a dog that needs lots of attention but a little neurotic! Never aggressive . We got him whe ds was 2 years and bought up around children.
However about a year and half ago he started growling when visiting children came anywhere near him, especially near his crate. So have been very careful of watching him
I now also have dd who is 1 yr. he has always Been friendly to her if we are with him. He does growl if she crawls near his crate so she is not allowed near it.
However today, the dog was lying outside on a toy box when dd walked over to stroke him. I quickly went over as dog was moving his lips backwards and forwards in a way I hadn't seen. If I talked to him he wagged his tail.
Then a minute later, he snapped at dds hand.
I sent dog to his bed.
It obviously worries me as I can't always watch dd every minute and meant to be a family dog. The other dog is fine and loves dd.
This dog has a miserable life as always has to be kept in crate if people with children over and if I can't watch dd. I don't even trust him when he is in crate.
Not really sure what to do?
This sounds like fear to me, toddlers move in a way that can be strange to a dog. Close supervision and environmental management is required. Don't send him to bed for letting you know he is not happy.
He ought to surely know that he is not allowed to snap at a baby though however strange he may feel. He could have walked off.
If he snapped, that is his way of telling you he is NOT happy. Your DD approached him, not the other way round. I'd also make sure he has been thoroughly checked by a vet - sometimes dogs can be grumpy because they are in pain. Given your dog's breeding, have you had him checked for syringomelia?
Unfortunately, you must supervise their interactions. Just because he is a family dog does not mean he should be left alone with your DD.
If DC are visiting, it makes sense for dog to go in his crate - can't see the problem with this unless you have DC visiting you every day for hours at a time? Otherwise there is nothing wrong with dog going to his crate for some safe, child free down time.
One idea may be to train your DC to never approach your dog, but always to call dog over for interaction, tickles etc. That way they will never inadvertently disturb or bother your dog.
Thanks for that advice. I will be taking him to vet for check up as he does have a problem with blocked anal glands. He just seems to be a bit withdrawn at the moment too.
We will be keeping them separate but its hard in a 2 up 2 down and also keep older ds his space from the baby. There just isn't enough space!!!!
I like your idea of getting dd to call dog.she does sometimes hand feed them their breakfast as she loves doing it and he takes them from her happily.
We are really strict that she must never go near his crate or touch it. She rarely gets to interact with him either as makes me wary so tend to always keep him separate.
Yep a vet visit to check physical health. Then contact a qualified behaviourist ask the vet for advice. Only contact the behaviourist if they have one of the following qualifications. APDT, APDC, PPG possibly COAPE.
It may cost a lot of money BUT they will be able to assess the nature of your dogs anxiety and give you effective ways to manage in your house. Without this professional help you could be making things worse.
This behaviour usually can be sorted and managed once you have got professional advice.
How much do these things usually cost? Ball park figure.
One of ours snarled at ds2 once. She (the dog) was lying on the floor and ds2 went to stroke her. As she was a rescue, the rescue said she had to have involvement from a behaviourist (which the rescue paid for).
The behaviourist said that even though she was awake, it may have been sleep aggression, as some dogs get this if they are also feeling tired as well as being fast asleep. We were told she must only be allowed to lie down/sleep in her crate - never in the middle of the room and she had to learn to listen to ds2 (come when he called etc), rather than him approaching her.
Not sure there is a magic answer, but would certainly recommend behaviourist advice. They will be able to look at the situation and also advise on what is realistic etc too.
In your place I would have gotten professional help a long time ago. The dog is telling you that he is unhappy and you need to assess and address the situation before he takes the next step. Aggression should always be dealt with by a professional who can see the dog and advise you, don't rely on the internet for help with this kind of situation. Vet first to exclude a physical problem and then behaviourist.
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