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Please don’t flame me I’m devastated

(31 Posts)
latestarteronthis Thu 10-Jan-19 21:22:48

Hi I have two Australian kelpies. Beautiful loving dogs. The eldest is a male and is 7 years old. He has always been anxious and on occasion will growl and lunge at other dogs to warm them offand we have spent s lot of time (and money) with dog psychologists, behaviourists and trainers to get to the bottom of it and train him out of it, particularly as it alarmsother people. He has a yellow scarf to signify issues, has spent time with muzzles and also on long leads, short leads, all leads. We take him to isolated places because if he doesn’t get to run he is miserable and then is a right pain. He will not poo or wee on the lead and sulks. We go to fields and country paths and avoid other people as much as we can. He never behaves badly with DH.

Things seem to be escalating. He growled at and snapped at my teenage son for the first time last week and then a few days later ran at a retriever in the woods, and bit its ear, drawing blood. I am at my wits end and horribly afraid of what might happen next as it feels like this is getting worse but after 7 years he is such a part of the family ...

Do I need to accept he can’t be trusted and needs to be put down? Is rehoming an option still? I don’t know what to do for the best. I have a horrible feeling I know the answer but I am so distraught about the idea (he is my first dog and we have had him since he was 8weeks old) that I’m hoping more experienced dog owners here might help.

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Bunnybigears Thu 10-Jan-19 21:25:00

What was happening when he snapped at your son?

3luckystars Thu 10-Jan-19 21:27:08

Sorry, thats awful. You must love him very much.
But he doesnt sound very happy. What kind of a life will he have?

I am not an expert in dogs, but they say when in doubt, do the kindest thing.

ILoveMaxiBondi Thu 10-Jan-19 21:27:23

First port of call is the vet to check for any sources of pain. It could be something like losing his sight or hearing and being startled by your son scared him, same with other dog. Best get him a full check up and explain all to the vet.

latestarteronthis Thu 10-Jan-19 21:28:25

He was barking at him, ds yelled at him to stop, holding his hand up, and he snapped at his fingers. He also jumped up and scratched his chest but I think that was accidental

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Kelpiex2 Thu 10-Jan-19 21:29:45

Hi I've nc for this post as a fellow kelpie owner. We've been through something similar.

The problem we had was that he is highly intelligent.

Hold on back in a sec.

latestarteronthis Thu 10-Jan-19 21:30:01

Thank you Ilovaxi but I don’t think he as startled, more attack is best form of defence

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latestarteronthis Thu 10-Jan-19 21:30:20

Sorry ilovemaxi

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DyingMachine Thu 10-Jan-19 21:30:29

Try to find a private secure field to exercise him. There is a Facebook page and website which lists all fields in the UK available for hire.

At least you will then be able to exercise him in safety and he can get a good run without injury to himself or any other dogs. He is no doubt picking up on your nervousness which is understandable.

What lead to him snapping at your son?

latestarteronthis Thu 10-Jan-19 21:31:10

He is definitely very intelligent

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ILoveMaxiBondi Thu 10-Jan-19 21:37:13

Ok so he snapped when your son raised his hand. Possible he thought he was going to be hit? Could anyone have hit him recently? Horrible thought but it’s possible. Your son?

IAmAlwaysLikeThis Thu 10-Jan-19 21:39:41

If he snapped out of nowhere it’s one thing, but he didn’t. Your son needs to not yell at him and not raise his hand to him. He clearly saw that as a threat, poor thing.

Kelpiex2 Thu 10-Jan-19 21:45:18


Ok so we have one sounding exactly like yours. Even down to the yellow lead!

Oh and DH is much better with him but he's not as nervous as me. I'm sure He senses it.

If you can be bothered please see a thread I had last year under username damnderek.

Anyway. We had many tears and dramas. What it came down to was pain. He was hiding it VERY well.

We kept 'running' him to tire him out but clearly it was causing pain and subsequent reactivity.

He's on strong pain killers now and we rarely let him 'run' as he jumps, twists and hurts himself.

Oh we've crate trained him too. This has been hugely helpful at keeping him calm when kids are playing (he tries to herd them)

We do loads of brain training and games. He needs a job. He has responded so well to workshops for tricks and stuff.

We don't walk our 2 dogs together now as they get reactive and are difficult to manage.

There is a kelpie Facebook group and reactive dogs UK that I found helpful.

latestarteronthis Thu 10-Jan-19 21:46:37

He has never been hit. He was barking and snapping towards my son who yelled “stop it” and put his hand up I. The “stay” position. He has a horrible tendency to bark at me if I speak to anyone after being quiet for awhile (when watching tv etc then talking) and did that, I left the room and that is when he reacted to ds. Ds is 18 and was not bothered. Tbh it is the incident with the other dog that worries me more

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ILoveMaxiBondi Thu 10-Jan-19 21:48:45

A barking dog is communicating. Very possible dog was already excited/agitated/nervous/in pain and then your son shouting and raising his hand was just overload for him. If barking is a problem learn how to teach a “quiet” command so the dog learns what the hand movement/word means and isn’t startled by it.

IAmAlwaysLikeThis Thu 10-Jan-19 21:49:19

You never know for sure if he has been hit though.

Yelling is not going to solve things, it will only escalate it.

latestarteronthis Thu 10-Jan-19 21:49:25

Kelpiex2 thank you! Sounds familiar. He won’t let vets touch him though so has to be sedated for every check up.

I’m seeing this as I type and realise how
Neurotic he sounds! Hated vets from puppy jabs. He remembers everything (except commands not to jump or bark...)

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ILoveMaxiBondi Thu 10-Jan-19 21:50:01

What happened with the other dog?

ILoveMaxiBondi Thu 10-Jan-19 21:51:34

You could ask if the vet will do a home visit. He might be more relaxed at home and just see the vet as a friendly visitor.

latestarteronthis Thu 10-Jan-19 21:52:50

Iamalways my daughter was In the room at the time, we do not hit the dogs ever and have had them since puppies

Ilovemaxi I will look up quiet commands and we will try. Thank you

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latestarteronthis Thu 10-Jan-19 21:53:49

He ran at it and In The furore of them fighting bit the ear drawing blood

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Kelpiex2 Thu 10-Jan-19 21:58:43

Honestly speak to the vet as your first action.

When we took ours he tried to bite him sad

Vet was great and it established the pain he was in.

ILoveMaxiBondi Thu 10-Jan-19 21:58:50

Definitely try and get him vet checked too OP. They can hide pain really well. It’s a survival thing from when they had to fend for themselves, injured dogs were vulnerable to attack by others so they learned to hide it.

latestarteronthis Thu 10-Jan-19 22:02:41

Thank you I will speak to the vet tomorrow

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latestarteronthis Thu 10-Jan-19 22:03:02

Glad there hasn’t been a chorus of get him put down!

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