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I can't cope with my dog anymore :( be gentle please.

(69 Posts)
TheTempest Mon 29-Jul-13 18:24:19

I have a 7 yo Patterdale who we got from a friend of a friends dad. Bad idea I know now.

We've had her for a year now and I really thought I was getting somewhere with her. We have been doing PAT with her as she was too snappy and barky at other dogs.

She slipped her harness today got her muzzle off and attacked another dog. Bit it in 4 places, the dog has had to stay in the vets overnight and it's coating us nearly 400 pounds.

I'm at the end of my tether, she had been so much better. She laid down and looked at me afterwards.

I absolutely adore her but I can't cope with this anymore hmmhmmhmm

Where do I go from here? She's had a vet check and nothing wrong, seen a behaviourist who said she wasn't aggressive. I'm a horrible d

Floralnomad Tue 30-Jul-13 09:15:15

This is the quote that rules my Patterdale owning life ,it comes from the Patterdale rescue uk website
'Terriers will be terriers and need management as much as training. Their safety is in your hands. We naturally take the blame and never place it on the terrier.'
I'm not flaming the OP for letting her dog escape her harness and muzzle but it ultimately was an accident that shouldn't have happened .Well done OP for wanting to deal with your dog rather than just PTS or pass the problem on . If this attitude makes me a 'fool' then I'm happy with that .

mrspink27 Tue 30-Jul-13 09:24:54

I would recommend a harness but also a collar and lead clipped to both - double insurance... Also lots of "mental" exercise - like kongs and bustacube etc... it is really hard to have a dog aggressive dog. Been there. It can get better, but not without the odd slipup and heartache. Can you find somewhere really quiet to walk her and then walk on a really long line?

curlew Tue 30-Jul-13 09:51:36

"I'm not flaming the OP for letting her dog escape her harness and muzzle but it ultimately was an accident that shouldn't have happened"

No accident should happen- that's why they are called "accidents! And in this case, a) the OP will always be on egg shells in case it happens again, and b) the consequences of an accident could be disastrous. It's horrible and sad, but there are loads of lovely dogs out there who will enhance the OP's life, not fill it with anxiety and guilt.

curlew Tue 30-Jul-13 09:53:42

For example, the OP's dd will never have the delight of helping to walk the family dog, of throwing a ball for it, she's already witnessed a very distressing scene yesterday.....why risk it?

Curlew, you make valid points. Thing is, objectively you're right. But when it's your dog, that you love, it's not that simple. It really isn't. You try and find a way to cope, because you don't want your dog to end up PTS. My dog causes me stress, and believe me when I've had a bad day I've thought about calling a spaniel rescue, but I haven't. Because he's mine, and I took him on for life. Thankfully, he's never actually hurt another dog, and I doubt he actually would. He's fearful and a coward as soon as the other dog raises a lip <eye roll>

D0oinMeCleanin Tue 30-Jul-13 10:04:33

TheTempest, you've got to be cheeky, if you spot an empty but secure field find out who owns it, give them a ring and ask if you can use it in exchange for a small fee.

A local factory lets us use wasteland belonging to them. Lots of people use this land but because we asked permission and explained our problem (one of my Dad's dogs is dog aggressive with dogs he doesn't know) the security guard will not let anyone else on until we've left. He just tells them "Sorry, but the land is being used for training today" Neglecting to mention it is us, training our dogs grin

A local Farm would also let me use a spare field he had when I was training Devil Dog recall and the rugby club let me use their training pitch when they weren't as long as I cleaned up after myself. They still let me use their field now if we get Greyhounds in who have no recall.

If the muzzle came off it doesn't fit well enough, get down to PAH and try a few different ones on. The one my dog has when he needs one has straps around his head, but also attaches to his collar.

curlew Tue 30-Jul-13 11:14:32

I do know that, chickens. I think that's why I want to OP to know that she does have other choices. I know that most people on here will be outraged at the very thought that somebody could find a dog too much for them - i don't, i think it's a perfectly reasonable and understandable thing to feel.It's also incredibly important to remember that being PTS is very far from the worst thing that could happen to a dog.

Floralnomad Tue 30-Jul-13 13:12:46

I think we will have to agree to having a different approach to animals curlew , you obviously feel they are disposable if they don't fit perfectly into your life and family ,I don't ,to me they are valued members of the family despite what issues they may have . I doubt any of the animals I've ever owned would have had much life expectancy in your house as few have been perfect .

1MitchellMum Tue 30-Jul-13 13:51:34

Just a quick note to say I had a fear aggressive dog whom I couldn't trust when we were out - but I walked her alone and managed her. At home she was the soppiest, loveliest dog you could wish for. Have to say I felt safe when I was out with her. I got in the way of her trying to get to another dog on one occasion and she drew blood from me. But for all the problems I loved her dearly and still miss her (she died of natural causes).

topbannana Tue 30-Jul-13 14:24:10

FWIW I do think curlew has a point, albeit not a popular one.
The OP clearly has a problem and has asked for advice which she has been given. It's now up to her to sift through it and decide what she should use and what she should discard. She seems to genuinely have her dogs best interests at heart and is willing to put in the necessary work which is fantastic.
However the fact remains that the dog is not a pleasure to own out of the house (and I may be old fashioned but I have great issue with blind trust that a dog aggressive dog is safe with humans, particularly children, however well supervised)
The incident with the other dog has happened and fortunately the other owners were decent and reasonable about it, despite the fact that their dog needed £400 worth of treatment- I'm not sure i could be so understanding and the OP is fortunate that things did not escalate rapidly from there.
There have been some great suggestions on here which may alleviate the problem somewhat but, if it were me, would never allow me to trust the dog 100%. And I'm not sure I would want my DCs witnessing scenes like that.
So yes Curlew does have a point. It would be unfair to move the dog on again, particularly when rescues are full to bursting with dogs with no aggression issues and if the situation cannot be safely managed then PTS is an option. Better to choose to do it yourself than be forced into having the dog "destroyed" because of another incident.
Now is not the time to be making that decision but it is unrealistic to pretend that it is not an option.
Good luck OP smile

curlew Tue 30-Jul-13 14:39:06

"I think we will have to agree to having a different approach to animals curlew , you obviously feel they are disposable if they don't fit perfectly into your life and family ,I don't ,to me they are valued members of the family despite what issues they may have . I doubt any of the animals I've ever owned would have had much life expectancy in your house as few have been perfect ."

That is such a stupid post, and means that you have not read what I said at all. I take deep offence at the suggestion that I think animals are disposable, and I would like you to read what I have actually said, and take it back.

Floralnomad Tue 30-Jul-13 18:11:08

I have read what you said ,that's my opinion of you from what you have said ie the daughter will never have the delight of walking the family dog or throwing a ball for it ,there are loads of lovely dogs that will enhance your life . We don't know each other ,we don't need to agree ,you have your opinion of me ( I'm a fool ) ,I have my opinion of you ( we are very different ) end of .

curlew Tue 30-Jul-13 18:14:13

And the bit about there always be the possibility that this dog will seriously hurt someone else's pet? That she will always be on eggshells in case of another accident?

Talk about cherry picking!!!!!

curlew Tue 30-Jul-13 18:15:10

I have said nothing that you could interpret as mentioning that animals are disposable.

VivaLeBeaver Tue 30-Jul-13 18:23:58

Tempest, I feel for you. Not sure what to advise at all.

I have a fear aggressive dog who's aggressive to people, mainly dh, sometimes me, other family members, neighbours, etc. The list of people he's bitten is long, thankfully it does seem to be inhibited bites so they're painful but leave a bruise or maybe very small puncture rather than a bad injury. He's also a small dog which helps.

We're working hard to try and improve his behaviour and we do muzzle him if people he may go for come to the house, or if we're going to be out round people. But it's stressful.

I know that if we got to the point where we couldn't cope with him I would have to have him pts. It wouldn't be fair to him to be sent to a rescue. Ultimately a rescue would end up having him pts and I'd rather I was holding him while it happened rather than him having the stress of been kennelled for a few weeks and then a stranger taking him to the vets.

I hope you manage to find some way of dealing with his behaviour, it's so hard. My mad mutt hates his baskerville muzzle and tries like mad to get it off but touch wood since I really tightened all the straps the other week he's been unable to get it off.

Floralnomad Tue 30-Jul-13 18:24:53

I haven't cherry picked ,I've used examples and as I said that's my opinion from what you've said if you think its wrong then that's fine but I am entitled to my opinion .Just like you are entitled to yours .FWIW I don't think there should ever be a case of the dog attacking anther dog because I'm sure the OP will ensure that it won't be in the position to again .

curlew Tue 30-Jul-13 19:20:43

You picked the trivial examples, rather than the serious ones. To try to support your outrageous and offensive insult. Which I am still waiting for you to retract.

And the point about accidents is that nobody intends them to happen. But they do. That's what makes them accidents,

topbannana Tue 30-Jul-13 19:30:35

I'm sure the OP would not willingly choose to have her dog PTS any more than another person would. It would be easier for her to give her to a rescue or simply set her loose somewhere rather than take the responsible and infinitely less distressing line.
However (having had 2 situations fairly similar to the OP and choosing a different course of action both times) I sympathise with the OP greatly and think she should be allowed to make her decision without squabbling on her thread about the advisability of any course of action.
Ultimately if she cannot make her situation work then PTS may well be the best option and none of this will be making her feel any better surely?

topbannana Tue 30-Jul-13 19:31:16

more distressing hmm

Floralnomad Tue 30-Jul-13 20:00:34

topbannana ,I'm sure you are right and I would hope that the OP would realise that none of my comments have been aimed at her , I will say no more on the subject .

girliefriend Tue 30-Jul-13 20:11:41

I'm sorry I'm with the pts people, I can't understand why anyone would keep a dog that is aggressive. An aggressive dog is so dangerous, if it had been my dog that op dog had attacked I would be furious and expect you to put the animal out of its misery.

An aggressive dog imo is an unhappy dog.

How you can have a dog that bites around a 4yo frankly baffles me.

mrslaughan Tue 30-Jul-13 22:10:15

Firstly - I would hate to be in your situation, but I have thought about your thread all day. While I respect the amount of work that you have put in and are prepared to put in, but I turned it around and thought about how would I feel if it was my dog that was attacked. I have seen a number of dogs who have come to classes or who I have meet out walking who are not allowed off lead because they are petrified of other dogs, because they have been attacked.

I would try to be reasonable if my dog was attacked, however I would probably loose all tolerance if I discovered that the dog that attacked my dog, had attacked another. And what if it attacks another dog, but it's owner gets in the way?

Can you guarantee it won't happen again? Yes all dogs are unpredictable, but yours has known issues, it is like walking around with a loaded gun in your pocket. I know I will get flamed and this is really unpopular opinion on this forum, but it is, sadly how I feel.
If you lived on a farm, where it could get it's exercise without mixing with the general public - then it would be completely up to you, but i presume you don't. hmm

TheTempest Tue 30-Jul-13 22:44:27

Thank you for the replies. I have contacted my vet today and she is going in tomorrow for a check up and some advice.

I emailed the rescue for advice and was told that they are busy saving dogs from death row and basically why am I bothering them. Marvellous.

I have no idea what to do frankly. She is very lovely and I love her to bits. I'm not concerned that she would hurt DD as she hasn't ever shown any aggression to humans, but obviously that doesn't mean she never would.

I want to carry on training and hoping that she will improve, everyone including DP is saying that its too much of a risk. I'm kind of glad in a way that people can't agree on this thread, it's been my internal monologue! I agree it was my fault and just an unfortunate series of events that led to the poor dog being bitten.

The other dog is home now, I text her this morning and he will be fine. They were very kind and understanding, and it so easier could have been worse hmm

merrymouse Tue 30-Jul-13 23:51:09

Agree with advice to attach lead to harness and collar.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 31-Jul-13 00:37:48

IMO with any animal part of being a responsible and caring owner is having the vision to see it to the end.
Whether that end means deal with the animals issues- health, behaviour, whatever, and adapting.
Or taking the decision to end the animals life for the safety/wellbeing of everyone.
And WRT rehoming?
Well, Rescues are just falling over themselves to rehome a dog with aggression issues, aren't they? hmm

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