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Aggression in older dog

(5 Posts)
Rogue1234 Fri 23-Mar-18 20:57:05

My girl is coming up to 8. She's a cross breed, and has never been great with other dogs but always absolutely fine with people.

Last year she snapped at a stranger who stroked her while we were out walking. Took her to the vet who diagnosed ear infection which was treated. Earlier this year she had another ear infection, which has been treated.

Twice in the last week she's snapped at people - once in the park and once this evening in our home. Both times the people only showed her their hands to sniff before stroking her and I had to intervene. She hasn't got any signs of an ear infection, and her ears look completely clear but I will take her to the vets on Monday for a proper look.

I'm really worried about these aggressive incidents. I don't want her to be in pain and I'm terrified she's going to hurt someone. We've got a young baby in the house as well.

We're really careful to make sure she gets the same amount of fuss as she did before the baby arrived and I don't think she's jealous, she doesn't seem that bothered by DS. I do really long walks with her daily (longer than before the baby arrived because I'm on Mat Leave!) so she's getting loads of exercise.

If the vet can't see anything wrong I will contact a behaviourist, but is it likely they will be able to help? She's been my baby for 8 years and I hate to think that she's in pain or scared, but part of me hopes that is what's causing it so we will be able to get it sorted sad

OP’s posts: |
nerofire63 Sat 24-Mar-18 01:01:20

Do you know what breeds? Some dogs will get like this will age. I am having this happen with my oldest right now. He is 9 and a German Shepherd.

reachforthewine Sat 24-Mar-18 01:04:40

Muzzle her when you're out to prevent anything worse than a snap at a stranger.

Don't let people pat your dog until you can contact a decent behaviourist.

Could it be something neurological? Have your vet look into this.

Rogue1234 Sat 24-Mar-18 07:02:17

nero that's really interesting - she's mostly German Shepherd. I didn't know it could happen with age, that's really not good sad

I've got a muzzle on order but I think it's going to have to be on-lead walks only until it arrives. She has so much energy that she really needs to run but the last thing I want is for her to hurt someone.

Are neurological problems easily solved? I suspect I know the answer to that question but to be honest I'm nowhere near ready to accept that this is a problem we can't fix.

OP’s posts: |
tabulahrasa Sat 24-Mar-18 14:38:35

If you know it’s an issue with an ear infection, the most likely cause is pain somewhere... so hopefully treatable.

In respect to your LO, I have a rottie who is reactive with strangers because of a painful medical condition. He’s absolutely fine with family members and people he’s been introduced to gradually and got to know. So even though it’s a long term issue that’s only treatable to a certain extent, it’s actually easier to manage than you’d think. I just have to always remember that he’s not to be touched by anyone he doesn’t know well and it’s fine.

Just to reassure that it can be totally possible to live with even if it’s not a quick fix. Easier to live with anyway than other causes.

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