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Old dog plus toddler :((10 Posts)
My son is nearly 2, my dog is 16.
TLDR; she is aggressive toward my son and the other day attacked my other dog. Now I'm worried about her getting opportunity to attack my son.
She has always been a belligerent hound and ever since my son could move himself about we have had to keep them separate.
He doesn't have to be near her or interacting with her for her to growl. If a scenario requires him to wall past her (even with us) she's been known to snap.
As a result she doesn't have much of a homelife with us any more but I worried her age and bad manners with other dogs and children would make her hard to rehome. She's always been my first baby and it's a miserable situation we're all in now.
Anyway, last week out of the blue she attacked our other dog. Bit his throat hard enough to leave him wretching, apparently over their kibble and when I tried to break it up she turned on me.
I'm currently pregnant again and the idea of my son, my other dog or now my new baby being subjected to that kind of attack has me stressed. Old girl pretty much spends all her time alone except for walks. If we're in the garden out front I put her out back. I can't trust her, I love her but I feel really stuck.
I'm sad she has limited quality of life. I know all she mostly wants to do is sleep these days and have her meals, she used to play with my other dog and he still wants to but I'm wary of taking my eye off of her for even a second now.
My husband and I are now in a limbo. We agree the situation isn't good and can't continue. We neither of us want to face the music and make the arrangements to have her PTS but doubt she would be rehomed. The idea of her living the rest of her days in a kennel is horrible to me too
I don't know what I'm asking for. I wondered maybe if anyone else has been in this spot and what you did about it?
You can’t rehome a 16 year old dog, so that’s out of the question anyway.
Have you taken her to the vet or had a phone consultation to rule out any underlying pain or problems? She could be ill which causes the lashing out.
If nothing underlying then I’d PTS. She’s 16, not a puppy, it would be kinder to do it with foresight than let something terrible happen.
Very often these situations are caused because the dog is in physical pain of one variety or another. Have you had a vet check up recently? A week of metacam to see if it makes any difference might be worth a go, if they're not willing to do a lot of investigations under lockdown.
Please do not rehome, I work in rescue and it’s heartbreaking when elderly dogs are given up mainly because the so called owners don’t have the decency to pts and want someone else to do it. You’re all your dog knows she doesn’t deserve to be abandoned now. It is easy to separate dog/child/dog, give her some peace and quiet, keep the toddler away from her and make the right decision based on her health and quality of life.
As well as physical pain she will know you are pregnant again.
TBH a lovely kennel in the garden, walks every day, evening time with you and your DH is preferable to kennels/euthanasia.
Rehoming shouldn’t even be on the agenda.
Either you give her a room where she can Potter round and eat/sleep with a stairgate across the doorway or you have her pts. She’s had a good life and it wouldn’t be wrong to have her quietly pts at this point.
She has arthritis that she is on medication for and that gets reviewed every couple of months. Her last was less than 6 weeks ago.
I will say she has always been this way around children though. If they're in the same room as her she gets her hackles up. We got her when she was a yearling but as a doorstep rescue. She was covered in burns and flinched at brooms or if you moved too quick, very obviously had never lived indoors before. It's hung in the back of my mind that she might have had many bad experiences in her short life before us and some of those could even have been around children.
I would just keep them separate during the day and have a bit of quality time with her in the evening , she will likely sleep most of the time at that age anyway . As she’s always been like it I think it would be a shame to have her pts just because her ‘norm’ has become an inconvenience . She will likely reach the end sooner rather than later anyway .
Rehoming a 16 year old dog is unlikely, as well as being extremely confusing and distressing for the dog. She deserves more than to be on her own all the time, or stuck outside alone at that age though. It's likely that she is losing/has lost at least some of her eyesight and hearing as well as being in pain from arthritis. If you can't maintain good quality of life for her - and that includes her mental as well as physical wellbeing - then it would be kinder to have her put to sleep. She is elderly and probably very confused by all the changes in her life, leaving her on her own most of the time or abandoning her altogether is not the answer.
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