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help needed with Patterdale cross

(12 Posts)
wheresthelight Mon 01-Dec-14 12:01:14

I have an approx 4 yr old Patterdale cross (no idea what with but suspect jack Russell) who has severe anxiety issues but also goes mental every time the doorbell goes. she barks and jumps and occasionally catches you by accident with her teeth. today she has actually deliberately bitten my foot as I tried to shut her in the hallway. I always swore I would get rid if she ever deliberately bit as I have a baby and 2 dsc's and I can't keep the dog if I can't trust her.

she is a rescue dog and the rescue centre were shite! we got given information that transpires was absolute bollocks like she is great in the house, bit nervous but fine with other dogs, kids and happy to be left alone for max of 4 hrs.

she is rarely left alone but on the few occasions she is she goes mental, barks and pines constantly, she is awful with most other dogs and goes absolutely demented if anyone cones to or leaves the house. someone can be in the house with her but if the other person leaves she goes barmy, Barking, tearing about and licking the doors for hours.

I can't cope with her much longer! we have tried ignoring it, only rewarding grid behaviour, distracting with food but she just gets worse.

does anyone have any ideas before I start calling local rescues to see if they can take her?

moosemama Mon 01-Dec-14 12:32:05

If I were you I'd would be getting a qualified behaviourist involved at this point. They will be able to assess her behaviour and the reasons behind it and help you learn how to manage her, whilst working on improving her anxiety and behaviour.

First port of call would be vet visit for a full check-up and then you'll need your vet to do a referral to an APBC registered behaviourist. Have a look here to find one in your area.

Floralnomad Mon 01-Dec-14 12:43:05

I have a 4.5 year old patterdale x ( prob JRT) ,also a rescue but we got him as a 15 week old pup . Have you tried contacting Patterdale rescue to see if they can give you any advice ,they're very good ,deal with lots of crossbreeds and really understand the Patterdale mentality . BTW it's quite common for them to not be good with other dogs and have issues with doors . They apparently are one of the breeds/xbreeds that are most likely to be involved in RTAs ( per 100 dog of each breed IYSWIM).

wheresthelight Mon 01-Dec-14 12:53:45

unfortunately I can't afford a behaviour specialist! but she had her yearly check up a few weeks ago and is all fine and in perfect health.

will look into Patterdale rescue thanks and from Internet searches I have learnt they are a breed with issues! all things I would have expected the rescue centre to have known and told us.

she is fantastic with my mum's border collies but with anything her size or smaller she is really quite nervous and cones across as aggressive but I know it's fear.

her issues all seem to stem from being left so she associates anything to do with shut doors or going bear the front door as her being left behind. from talking to the people at the microchip place when I changed her details when we first got her 2 years ago we are at least the third people to have had her so I suspect that is the root of an awful lot of it.

we have learnt that putting her on her lead and giving her lots of fuss when someone needs to go out helps but with a baby that just isn't always possible. we have also taken to putting her in her cage when we go out to protect the house but also in the vein hope that she feels more secure although I actually think it's having the opposite effect and she is associating it with being at the kennels.

we try and give her 1 really good long walk a day and then a further 3-4 short walks and she has free run of the garden too so she is definitely exercised.

she is very funny about food at the moment, she won't eat if anyone is in the kitchen but is going through a stage where she won't eat dog food unless I out gravy on it (low salt one) or put left over veg etx which I don't like doing as it's teaching her bad habits.

she is so affectionate as long as doors aren't involved! she plays beautifully with all the kids and the baby can rip handfuls of hair out and she never bats an eye but the door thing is getting worse

Aked Mon 01-Dec-14 13:14:17

Do you have her insured? Some insurance policies cover behaviourists.

SpicyBear Mon 01-Dec-14 15:41:20

I would second checking your insurance, if you have it, to see if it will cover a behaviourist. Her issues sound workable, but quite severe. It would be a lot of work and a gradual improvement sticking to a behaviourist plan. If it is covered I'd say it would at least be worth the consultation and getting the opinion of someone who actually is able to see your dog.

How long have you had her? It does sound that you were terribly let down by the rescue. I also have a pattie x adopted at 9 weeks and whilst he is a lovely member of the family, he has been very challenging to train. It's very easy for me to see the behavioural issues he could easily have developed if we hadn't worked hard with him from day one so I can imagine the kind of highly aroused crazy nippy behaviour you describe. As he was a pup he could easily have been placed with a busy family and I can well see that he could have ended up bouncing around rescue and owners in his puppy and adolescent stages.

I would also recommend speaking to Patterdale Rescue about the issues and possibly rehoming if you want to start investigating that route. Did you sign anything to say she should go back to the original rescue if things didn't work out?

In the meantime, I would review how you allow her to interact with your children. Whilst she may have the good restraint not to react when the baby pulls hair out, it doesn't mean it is not adding to her stress levels. Also, she sounds very stressed generally and it's really not fair to put her in the position of having to deal with inappropriate handling by a small child. You can keep everyone safe by managing the baby's access to her better.

wheresthelight Mon 01-Dec-14 17:02:36

I am very careful to manage her contact with the kids but it's not always possible unfortunately.

we have had her for 2 years, my insurance doesn't cover behaviour issues unfortunately sad I don't want to get rid as she is brilliant the rest of the time and it really isn't her fault just no training of consistency when she was a pup.

she has cone on leaps and bounds with her other issues but this one is still a really pain!!

the rescue centre never gave us anything to sign. we were given her for a day to take out and see how we got on with her and vice versa and when I rang to say we wanted to drop her back and have a think about it all no one answered the phone and nominee answered the door when we went back. left umpteen messages over a month but no one called back and then the lines all went dead. they are still trading according to their website but the numbers don't work. we were properly shafted!!

Buttholelane Mon 01-Dec-14 17:28:50

I know it's hard with kids, things can happen in a split second sometimes, but you can't be allowing the baby to do things like pull out 'handfuls of hair', a dog and a baby pulling ears, fur, poking eyes etc, it's a disaster just waiting to happen.

It's always the family dog who 'was always so gentle with the kids, let them do anything' that ends up in the papers.

I'd report the 'rescue' as well.
I don't know who the relevant authority would be, the council? Trading standards, rspca? I dont know, but they can't be allowed to continue if this is how they work.
You know nothing of a rescue dogs history, not even ones given up by their owners as the owners can lie.
That's why it is SO important to thoroughly assess their behaviour and match them to the right owner.
The way they are operating could be disastrous one day sad

wheresthelight Mon 01-Dec-14 18:11:04

I did email our local rspca but never heard anything and to be honest I am not sure who you report this stuff to!

I am very careful with her and the baby but like you say it only takes a second and she is toddling now and had more understanding of the word no so we are able to teach her the right way to stroke the dog etc.

like I say the only issue is this flipping barking and going mental at the door. I hate the idea of things like these air horn type deterrents as it's training through fear which goes against everything I believe. she has a tiny snout and I have found it impossible to get a muzzle. I have a calming band which helps to a point but even with the smallest size they do its fit is far looser than it should be.

I tried calming tablets but they were rubbish but am wondering if the vets can give anything stronger to try and help with the anxiety

Buttholelane Mon 01-Dec-14 18:16:31

What about the local dog warden maybe? Or the council?
I can't imagine this being allowed, they have to be licensed and I would have thought have rules to follow.

What about a thunder shirt? They are meant to be good.

wheresthelight Mon 01-Dec-14 18:19:00

Ohh dog warden is a good idea! nit sure they will do much 2 years on but they might be able to refer on.

what is a thunder shirt?

tabulahrasa Mon 01-Dec-14 18:34:39

Behaviourists sometimes have lower rates for rescue dogs...

Also, they see you, assess the dog and then give you a plan to follow with email and phone support and then only see you again as and when it's necessary, so it's not a regular could even be a one off one.

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