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Old dog becoming grouchy...(5 Posts)
My 11 year old Parsons Russell terrier is misbehaving (more than usual). His latest misdemeanors include going upstairs (when he has never been allowed upstairs) and snapping at the children. The latter is obviously the most concerning. The kids are 3 and 5 and adore him. They are gentle and affectionate towards him, although have a tendency to badger him unless I intervene. The dog is obviously my first born and has been on the whole tolerant of the children up until now (although hated the crawling phase). He likes to be where they/we are and his new favourite spot is my daughter's bedroom (upstairs 😐) or with his head in her lap being stroked. Anyhow I thought perhaps he was just fed up of the summer holidays but its been quiet this week and today he snapped at the 3 year old who was trying to cuddle him. I am guessing it is old age, perhaps he is a bit achey and arthritic (we have no diagnosis of this, he is well in himself and very very active still) but I figured if I was 65 I might be feeling a bit ouchy sometimes. We suspect he has failing eyesight and might be going a bit deaf- again this is not diagnosed and could just be in fact the general belligerence that comes with terriers. He has his own space, a bed in the utility room but he tends to favour an old blanket in the lounge that he drags to wherever the action is, generally the kids playmat. If I shut him away when he starts to grumble thinking he wants some peace he whines because he wants to be in the thick of things. So he doesn't really help himself. We discussed getting him a hideyhole- an indoor kennel perhaps but I suspect a. the blanket will remain the favourite b. the kids will just climb in anyway. I do think the kids need to respect his space more and we have had that talk and when he snaps they certainly take note but easily forget. I just wondered if anyone had any tips/was going through the same thing. I just don't want anything more serious to happen, just because he has never bitten doesn't mean he won't.
Vet for check up, bloods and dental would be my suggestion.
Definitely get him booked in at the vet, any change in behaviour needs checking out in case there's a physical cause. Snappiness/shortness of temper is a common sign of pain in dogs.
There's also loads of great resources on managing dogs and children here which might be useful.
Vets to make sure he isn't in pain. Until then make sure the DCs give him space and no cuddles etc.
Thank you, he had a check up about a month ago after he was poorly and teeth and bloods were ok but we may have to take him back. The dog safety video is great and was just what I was looking for. The grandparents do dog boarding so the children are pretty good but I think take theirs for granted.