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feeling worried , what would you do ?

(9 Posts)
thefootofourstairs Wed 04-Oct-17 18:26:12

Rehomed 2 year old dog , not been in kennels , from a woman who couldn't look after him .

I have had him about 9 weeks now . Since the start not a week has gone by where he hasn't growled once . Often it has been in a situation that he has been fine in before and after so not easy to predict .

Have been to see a behaviourist who asessed him as nervous and under confident .
Have been doing what she advised and due to see her again in a couple of weeks .

He seems confident with us most of the time ( except these growling incidents) He loves tug of war games and seems happy with a little bit of mild rough play . We have been careful not to do anything that might freak him out or worry him .
Tonight ds2 who is 18 , so not a child . walked in from work , dog jumping all over him , wagging tail , excited to see him . ds2 sort of roughed him with flat hands either side of his body ( hard to describe) whilst saying hey , hiya , wanna play kind of stuff ( you get the picture) and the dog suddenly had a real snapper at him . I dont think ds2 was doing anything too ott that another visitor wouldnt do, i have to keep telling male members of the extended family that hes nervous etc etc . obviously the dog was uncomfortable and was momentarily scared as to ds2 intentions and its not his fault but i am worried that hes going to end up biting . This is a step backwards .
It seems like we are walking on eggshells trying not to cause him to growl but even so this has happened .
I'm worried .

CornflakeHomunculus Wed 04-Oct-17 19:42:55

Has he had a check up at the vet? If not it's worth doing just in case there's something niggling at him which is causing him to be short tempered.

What did the behaviourist advise you to do with him?

Hunkle Wed 04-Oct-17 19:45:22

Was your DS behind the dog, so your dog wasnt sure who/what was going to happen, or in front, facing dog?

Hunkle Wed 04-Oct-17 19:47:17

You could try some plug in D.A.Ps, to calm him and make him feel safe maybe?

thefootofourstairs Wed 04-Oct-17 21:50:12

cornflake i took him to the vets the first week i got him , she checked him over but it was just his weight , listened to his heart , looked in his ears and eyes etc
Hunkle ds and the dog were facing each other . The dog is always glad to see him come home and was excited .

The other occasions he has growled have been , tickled his belly , tried to take his collar off , budge him up a bit when he was sat on knee , put towel around him , growled at the groomer when she tugged at a knot .

He also gets very barky with strangers and bigger dogs . He reacts by chasing or pulling towards people , dogs , birds , cats , cyclists etc when out on a lead .

The behaviourist advised us to walk him somewhere quiet and not allow strangers to interact with him for the 3 weeks until next appointment . To get his focus on me with treats when walking and theres other dogs around etc . To show him to a safe place and give him a kong or similar when visitors come to the house ,
With the growling ( at the time of appointment it was just growling at ds2 , now hes done it to me a few times too) to build confidence with ds2 , not being too full on , letting the dog come to him , not to get into any confrontational situations , treat when he does what we want him to .
I was hoping to see improvement rather than what happened tonight which was a bit more than a growl .
The dog is currently sat on ds2 knee , he jumped up there and he always wants to play with him .
I have bathed him and everything else , yet 6 weeks in he growled at me for removing his collar .
He also goes really ott if anyone runs about or plays a bit giddy , has run circles around dh biting his trousers and wont stop numerous times .
I really adore the dog and don't want him to end up biting but i cant relax anymore .

Lucisky Wed 04-Oct-17 22:55:15

You don't say what breed?
I had a jrt who was much loved by us, but he would growl frequently if he felt you were crossing a line. It was just the way he was, and he was not the first jack I've come across like that.
I also had a rehomed shih tzu, who bit me in fear when I put my two hands either side of his body in a friendly way (in much the way you describe) No one had probably done that before and I startled him. I just made assumptions that he would be used to this sort of thing. He wasn't!
Probably not much help, but everybody brings up dogs differently, and what may seem like normal handling to you might seem intrusive to the dog.

Butterandsugar Wed 04-Oct-17 23:02:32

What kind of dog do you have? One of the dogs we rehomed when I was a child was quite similar - he simply wasn't used to contact and needed to build his confidence on his own terms.
Try to be patient, it will take a while for your dog to respond to the behaviourists advice and if you feel it's escalating remember you can always give them a call.

thefootofourstairs Wed 04-Oct-17 23:05:21

Hes Maltese , maybe a bit of bichon in there too as hes not tiny , weighs 7kg .
I do think it was fear , yes , sounds same , he put his hands either side of him .
The previous owner sais hed never growled at anyone before but i don't believe her .
Up until tonight the growl has been just a rumble , this was more snappy and aggressive sounding . ds2 justs backed off and left him alone .

thefootofourstairs Sun 08-Oct-17 19:33:53

Ive bought some adaptil today , worth a try anyway smile

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