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AIBU?

Starting to really resent my dog

393 replies

StopBloodyBarking · 31/12/2022 11:21

4 years ago (before anyone had heard of Covid so not a lockdown puppy) I bought a puppy. It was a breed I’d always wanted and she was perfect. I did everything by the book, training classes, socialisation classes etc - she excelled in all her classes and she really was perfect.

Then she hit 6 months old and changed. She became dog reactive - no idea why as I’d socialised her so much (in hindsight, too much). I worked on that but she became dog aggressive - then people aggressive. She hates men and kids. This means I can’t have my grandchildren over as it’s just not safe. Infact we can’t have anyone over, nobody visits anymore. All walks with her are stressful so we stick to the same route everytime and I try and walk her at times when the kids are at school so we’re less likely to see any. We can’t go anywhere as we’re so restricted with where she can go. I got a dog so I could take it to the beach, to the woods, to the park etc etc … I can’t take her anywhere. I’ve just braved a quiet beach with her and she screamed the place down before lunging and barking at anyone we came across, it was so embarrassing and after 10 minutes I gave up and came home.

I feel like a prisoner with her, every day is stressful and exhausting. I’m at the point now where i no longer want to walk her. But she’s so full of energy she needs it. I can’t rehome her as she’s aggressive. I’m stuck. I’ve had two behaviourists and 4 trainers. No difference. I’ve been told it’s all about “managing” her behaviour.

Sounds awful but I’ve started to fantasise about the time she’s no longer here :-( and I feel so guilty saying that as she adores me and I love her but I can’t do this for another 10 or so years. I’m really resenting how much time I’m missing out on with my grandkids because of her. All the places we can’t go, the days she’s ruined …. Just needed a rant really. So fed up.

The constant barking is driving me insane. She’s constantly “on guard”. I’m so tired of it.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

641 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
16%
You are NOT being unreasonable
84%
amprev · 31/12/2022 15:16

StopBloodyBarking · 31/12/2022 11:29

Rescue can’t take her as she’s aggressive and can’t be safely rehomed, she’s end up in kennels for months and then put to sleep :-(

I don’t think you’ve spoken to the right dog rescue. Where about are you in the country?and yes, what breed is the dog?

I don’t subscribe to the view that her behaviour cannot be changed and you’ve now got to manage it. To have had so many trainers/behaviourists suggests to me that you haven’t stayed with each one for long enough. A proper behaviourist will want to work with the dog for an extended period in order to build the trust and adapt the programme according to the dogs progress. Behaviourists cannot operate a one size fits all policy.

I completely sympathise with your feelings of despair - we went through the same with our rescue dog and I dreaded the walks. They are now 90% enjoyable, thoroughly enjoyable actually, but I remember thinking I had made a mistake because our dog prior to him was very low maintenance.

Youll have even told multiple times I’m sure about how the anxiety of the owner transmits to the dog so easily so you need to make sure that any professional knows how at the end of your rope you are - if you feel judged for feeling like this then they are the wrong behaviourist. Any decent one will be really keen to make your dog ownership a success.

wishing you lots of luck

dawngreen · 31/12/2022 15:19

People who say that are 99% ppl who should not own dogs. Put 100% in to training , or if you have children rehome the dogs with adult only home recommended by a rescue not gumtree!

ttcat37 · 31/12/2022 15:24

There’s no such thing as a bad dog. It’s 100% owners. You need to put time, effort and money into 1 to 1 training with a specialist dog trainer. You need to be 100% consistent with what you are taught. I have a 12 year old german shepherd born to a working police dog and schutzhund champion. He took so much time and effort. Until you have the aggression under control you need to consider putting her in a muzzle when she is in public and at the vets which is the safest and most responsible thing that you can do. Mine wears a muzzle for some procedures at the vets as it puts everyone at ease.

Sideorderofchips · 31/12/2022 15:30

Op if you can't cope and you want to rehome speak to the MOD

They do take dogs that are not suitable for home life and train them to be working dogs

They do take reactive dogs. I know this from experience as my dad was mod police and he had several dogs over the years that were unsuitable for home life but fantastic in working life. And their dogs are very well treated

CockSpadget · 31/12/2022 15:30

ttcat37 · 31/12/2022 15:24

There’s no such thing as a bad dog. It’s 100% owners. You need to put time, effort and money into 1 to 1 training with a specialist dog trainer. You need to be 100% consistent with what you are taught. I have a 12 year old german shepherd born to a working police dog and schutzhund champion. He took so much time and effort. Until you have the aggression under control you need to consider putting her in a muzzle when she is in public and at the vets which is the safest and most responsible thing that you can do. Mine wears a muzzle for some procedures at the vets as it puts everyone at ease.

Of course there is such a thing as a bad dog, just the same as there are bad people. Brain disorders and mental illnesses can occur in dogs, nothing to do with the owner.

Snippysocks · 31/12/2022 15:36

Is it possible to contact the police and ask if they would like to train her as a police dog?
If not (and I speak as a dog lover) the kindest thing to do for every one would be to put her to sleep.

Pinkgirl2013 · 31/12/2022 15:36

Give the dog and yourself the life you both deserve.
you free and her with someone who really wants her.
no shame, no hard feelings.
life is too short to be living a life you don’t like.
ignore rude comments

Lovemusic33 · 31/12/2022 15:37

I think this can be quite common with GSD? My neighbour keeps them (I think she has 4). She takes them out early when there’s no one about, luckily we live near fields and it’s pretty quiet. They bark at anything that moves and she seems to have little control of them on leads.

I would look at rehoming but got through a GSD specific rescue, they maybe able to do some work to improve behaviour and will be able to find the right home (rural would be ideal so it can be walked away from other dogs and people). They are a large breed so I wouldn’t want to risk it harming another dog or a person. It’s obviously effecting your life a lot and stopping you from doing things you enjoy and stopping family from visiting. Your family are more important than a dog. I know no one wants to have to re home a dog but I think sometimes it’s the only option.

Paq · 31/12/2022 15:38

ttcat37 · 31/12/2022 15:24

There’s no such thing as a bad dog. It’s 100% owners. You need to put time, effort and money into 1 to 1 training with a specialist dog trainer. You need to be 100% consistent with what you are taught. I have a 12 year old german shepherd born to a working police dog and schutzhund champion. He took so much time and effort. Until you have the aggression under control you need to consider putting her in a muzzle when she is in public and at the vets which is the safest and most responsible thing that you can do. Mine wears a muzzle for some procedures at the vets as it puts everyone at ease.

If there's no such thing as a bad dog why do people care so much about the temperament of their parents?

Unless you have lived this you have no idea. I've seen my sister go through a very similar situation and honestly, she did everything and more for her dog before pts. Yes it's an absolute last resort but like others have said, it probably saved a very bad injury inflicted on another dog or human by hers, which was just terribly, awfully troubled.

whataboutsecondbreakfast · 31/12/2022 15:42

Hearmeout · 31/12/2022 15:12

You're talking pure shit unless you're aware of Dogs 4 Rescue work. You're clearly not. So it's best not to comment.

I'm fully aware of them and their work, thanks. I work with dogs everyday.

I just think that some dogs should be PTS for everyone's sake. Some are just wired wrong and it's not fair to keep them going just because of human emotion around the subject.

I know that position offends some people though.

JT69 · 31/12/2022 15:44

What a mess OP - so feel for you as you do love your dog and it’s not her fault. Have you seen the Southend dog training vids, I’m not a dog person but they seem to have some success where other trainers have failed. Could she surrendered to be a working dog? I hope you come to a solution that isn’t putting her down.

TheLadyofShalott1 · 31/12/2022 15:44

I have read some of the other responses to you @StopBloodyBarking and all of your posts. Before going any further I feel that I should say that I am an animal lover, but when it comes to dogs, I absolutely adore them, I feel extremely honoured whenever a dog seems to like me, and when I am unconditionally loved by them, I am almost overwhelmed that they could love and trust me so much.

You have already said that your dog adores you, and that despite everything, you love her. So I am not saying this at all lightly OP, but even if a vet - not necessarily the one you have seen so far, who seems less than adequate - is willing to prescribe an anti-depressant for your darling GS, for it to be strong enough to work on your dog's stress, it would surely dampen down most or all of her other feelings too? I honestly think that you are close to the time when you have to start thinking about having her put to sleep, for her own sake as much as for yours and your family's.

I believe that putting her to sleep would be a kindness to her (from everything you have told us here), for as much as you love her, you do not live in a vacuum, and you should not, and neither should she. I agree with you completely that even if a breed specific rescue would take her, she would feel bereft from missing you, and in all likelihood it would be only prolonging the outcome that she would still need to be put to sleep. She might not be disabled physically, but I do believe that she is probably profoundly disabled mentally, so cannot be cured, and would be devastated to be kept in kennels away from you in the meantime.

I also don't believe that you are to blame for choosing her through her breeders, as you did so in good faith - you didn't go to a puppy farm, but they still lied terribly to you. If you hadn't bought her OP, someone else still would have, and they might well have not treated her so well, or cared about her half as much as you have, and do. They may well have passed her on to some unsuspecting soul, who may have had young children, and it could have ended up being another horrific headline in the news. Please continue to love your poor dog, and continue to put her first, which I truly believe in this individual case, means having her put to sleep, while you are with her, lovingly stroking her and whispering to her what a good girl she is, and how much you love her. She won't know what is happening to her, only that she is with the person that she loves most in the world. Thank you for being such a loving and caring mum to her ❤️

whataboutsecondbreakfast · 31/12/2022 15:45

ttcat37 · 31/12/2022 15:24

There’s no such thing as a bad dog. It’s 100% owners. You need to put time, effort and money into 1 to 1 training with a specialist dog trainer. You need to be 100% consistent with what you are taught. I have a 12 year old german shepherd born to a working police dog and schutzhund champion. He took so much time and effort. Until you have the aggression under control you need to consider putting her in a muzzle when she is in public and at the vets which is the safest and most responsible thing that you can do. Mine wears a muzzle for some procedures at the vets as it puts everyone at ease.

It's very rarely the case that the owners are fully at fault for extreme behavioural problems.

Some dogs are badly bred and no amount of training will change that. Some are so, so traumatised or in so much pain, that the kindest thing is to let them go.

Lovemusic33 · 31/12/2022 15:47

And I agree that some dogs are just wired wrong. It’s not always down to bad owners. Some breeds are harder than others and GSD are one of them, I have met several aggressive GSD’s, that’s why the breed is used for police dogs, army dog and guard dogs. Some breeds just don’t make great pets without a huge amount of work and they can still end up being like OP’s dog.

ttcat37 · 31/12/2022 15:51

Sorry I should have clarified. Dogs aren’t born bad. Different personalities, yes. But they aren’t born pre-disposed to being aggressive or nasty. Op needs to find a decent trainer and they will explain everything. Sometimes by doing what you think is the right thing you end up doing the wrong thing.
What would be really good for the dog is if husband could take her out alone and report back. It’s common for the dog- especially shepherds- to build a very strong bond with one person and their aggression is nervous/ protection because of that bond.

whataboutsecondbreakfast · 31/12/2022 15:57

ttcat37 · 31/12/2022 15:51

Sorry I should have clarified. Dogs aren’t born bad. Different personalities, yes. But they aren’t born pre-disposed to being aggressive or nasty. Op needs to find a decent trainer and they will explain everything. Sometimes by doing what you think is the right thing you end up doing the wrong thing.
What would be really good for the dog is if husband could take her out alone and report back. It’s common for the dog- especially shepherds- to build a very strong bond with one person and their aggression is nervous/ protection because of that bond.

I just can't agree with you.

Sometimes dogs are so badly bred that they don't stand a chance, no matter how much money you spend on trainers, medication, equipment, treats and muzzles.

I'd also argue that it's hugely unfair to keep some dogs alive when we can so clearly see they're suffering. If a dog was crushed in an accident, we wouldn't hesitate in having it PTS, but for some reason, mental suffering is ignored and we should just throw money at it instead, even when it's rarely in the dogs' best interests.

toolatetoloseweight · 31/12/2022 15:59

Not read whole thread so apologies if already discussed but I'd strongly recommend getting in touch with german shepherd dog rescue (GSDR), not necessarily for rehoming but they have a lot of experience working with GSDs who have issues/difficult backgrounds.
I'd also recommend speaking to a different vet - it sounds like the situation where she ended up pinned down and pissing herself would have increased her issues rather than done anything to help. Not all vets are good with all animals.
Are there any other adults who she is ok with other than yourself? if so I'd work on building up lots of positive interactions with them, lots of praise and treats etc to build up her confidence. it sounds like she is just incredibly anxious and this is manifesting as aggression.

Pipsquiggle · 31/12/2022 15:59

Sorry you are going through this. Sounds like have tried lots of approaches.

If the dog is dangerous and stressed all the time, there is no shame in the option of pts.

My friends had to do this with their collie - it had aggressive tendancies, tried to bite their young DC. They rehomed her to experienced dog owners but she came back due to her aggression and they had to pts. She was a dangerous dog.

Very sad but definitely the right thing to do

DogInATent · 31/12/2022 16:03

Snippysocks · 31/12/2022 15:36

Is it possible to contact the police and ask if they would like to train her as a police dog?
If not (and I speak as a dog lover) the kindest thing to do for every one would be to put her to sleep.

So many Happy Fairies on this thread thinking the police would think an aggressively out-of-control dog would be a useful asset.

Carouselfish · 31/12/2022 16:03

But presumably you have doors in your home? Or a car? Or a garage? Put her somewhere with the door shut, with some water and a radio on and a nice chewy for the few hours your grandchildren come over. Walk her first so she is tired out. Make sure door is off limits/locked/barricaded so the children don't go in there.
I know that's only one of your issues, but really, you CAN have people over.

Carouselfish · 31/12/2022 16:09

Ah, okay, nrtft. Sorry OP. I see they are a big, strong breed and you don't feel safe with them shut in another room.

whataboutsecondbreakfast · 31/12/2022 16:09

Carouselfish · 31/12/2022 16:03

But presumably you have doors in your home? Or a car? Or a garage? Put her somewhere with the door shut, with some water and a radio on and a nice chewy for the few hours your grandchildren come over. Walk her first so she is tired out. Make sure door is off limits/locked/barricaded so the children don't go in there.
I know that's only one of your issues, but really, you CAN have people over.

For severely anxious dogs, that's just not possible.

They become so distressed they will hurt themselves in their attempts to escape. They will eat walls and destroy crates, and even make themselves bleed or rip their claws or fur out.

I watched a TV show where one dog was so distressed he leapt out of a second storey window. I know people whose dogs have eaten through walls and ripped up floors when they've been left alone.

I know "just shut her away" seems like the obvious solution but I'm sure it's one OP has tried after four years! If it was that easy, she wouldn't be posting.

WonkasBooboofixer · 31/12/2022 16:10

I have a gsd too he's also highly strung and anxious I have him on cbd OIL. It has improved him and he's much calmer its worth a shot because it doesn't sound like she can get much worse

2FelisCatus · 31/12/2022 16:16

She sounds unstable and you don't sound suited to a big guarding breed (said as gently as possible). If you could not bring yourself to follow the balanced trainers advice then this simply isn't going to work. You've tried OP but through mostly what sounds like genetics this dog is never going to be safe in your hands. Putting the dog down is by far the best thing for all of you. You've put far more into this dog than most would.

Rocketpants50 · 31/12/2022 16:33

We find ourselves in a similar situation except its our parents with the dog and the dog has ruined our relationship. We find it very difficult to visit them, their dog will try anything to attack our dog so if we visit we have to put our dog in a kennel. Some of the Grandchildren are scared and I don't trust the dog at all and it has to be shut away which it hates, will bark and scratch so we try to avoid going to visit.
We are devastated and we feel they have put the dog before their Grandchildren. I have tried to explain how we feel but they are not as aware as you seem to be of the situation. I also worry that the dog is so strong that one day he will knock or pull them over causing serious injury.
What does your children think of the situation. I know it's not the dogs fault and I would question how happy the dog is, but it sounds like it is making your life very miserable and your husbands and maybe drastic action is needed for everyone's sake.

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