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Sudden dog aggression and snapping in previously friendly dog

(2 Posts)
Oscarandelliesmum Thu 04-Jun-15 09:45:50

Hi I am hoping you can help with my dog...Please, please be gnetle. I am wracked with guilt as it is.
We moved to the Med from Scotland with our six year old collie/Westie cross bitch last year. Initially we lived in a house with a garden and all was well but at Christmas we moved to an apartment and the dog has been unable to be left alone, ever, as she barks at all the noises surrounding her causing neighbour complaints, (she never used to do this)
Her behaviour in other ways has changed dramatically as well. She has become really aggressive/nervous with people and other dogs. She has a tender back left leg which the vet prescribed a pain killer for. This has cured the limp but not the dogs nervous aggression. If someone goes to pet her now, she will initially cower in a submissive posture but then growl and snap if further approached. I live alone with three young children (My husband works abroad) and am at my wits end with what to do for her. She gets lots of exercise, a good diet (although her appetite is sporadic at the moment). The vet says the next step will be to check her blood for lymes disease as it is a big problem in these parts.
I have been looking for a professional behaviourist as this behaviour is getting so much worse and I need to keep her apart from the children now ......
We can't move house until at least October. I can't rehome her like this as no one knowledgeable enough to help her wants her. The dog rescue centres are fit to bursting as it is. Does anyone have any ideas about what could be going on with her? It is a complete change in her personality. At times she is normal then she just seems to go a bit strange for a few hours at a time. She is crate trained and loves to retreat in to her bed with a bone.
I am just dreading being told she needs to be PTS if she doesn't get help.
Thanks

GillynMilly Sun 07-Jun-15 10:45:03

Hi,I would firstly get her checked by vet,as you said, I had a cocker spaniel who we discovered had an under active thyroid,lots of changes obviously but temperament also changed,so could be relevant to condition with health. Dogs are incredibly sensitive to even subtle changes and some won't react but others can,you've had an awful lot going on,don't feel guilty,it's life and things happen and we learn. If she is now hearing a lot going on around her that she can't see it could be enough to tip her into being over sensitive and worried about noises,I.e if previously she was out in the garden and saw cars,people etc she at least knew nothing was coming to get her or her family. It can help to have a low level constant noise,I.e the radio on. I use rescue remedy a lot,don't know if you can get it there but worth finding out if someone can get it to you,health food shops. Just calms,won't harm,there are also these 'body wraps' that a lot of people use to calm and reassure dogs,I've not had experience of them but hearing good things. If there is nothing going on with her health,think a case of a lot of reassurance,she needs to learn that she and you are all safe. Keep regular exercise up,doesn't have to hours on end,even shorter but more frequent will let her see more of the outside,can you sit just outside with her so she hears and sees what's going on close by. Fear/pain and aggression go together,if you're worried,muzzle her at the moment. You do obviously have to be really careful with the children,the last thing she will want to do is hurt any of you,but she also needs to have contact still with the family. Get her leg checked out again. Try and rule out all physical. Try to stay calm and reassuring,she will pick up on all your stuff too! Good luck and please post again with how it goes

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