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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%
AGoodDayForSomebodyElseToDie · 31/12/2022 18:35

ttcat37 · 31/12/2022 18:19

I find your apparent encouragement to kill an innocent dog vile, so I guess we’re evens.

Fortunately for me, I'm not overly bothered about the opinion of someone whose opinions I also find vile.

ttcat37 · 31/12/2022 18:52

Rhondaa · 31/12/2022 18:24

'Killing the dog isn’t an option. You keep it or rehome it.'

Like it or not it is obviously an option. One many experienced dog owners would advocate. A German shepherd who barks non stop and is reactive despite constant intervention and major disruption for the owner should not be made to continue to suffer because you think pts wrong.

It’s not the dog that’s suffering!! It’s the owner!!

The owner needs to get a DECENT trainer. Go to German Shepherd Rescue and ask for a recommendation. Get as many sessions in as possible. Be consistent 100% of the time. It isn’t a quick process. It may take months or years to see change.

Notadrill · 31/12/2022 18:57

Don't know if this has been mentioned but as the dog is a recognised breed and presumably Kennel club registered, OP should contact Kennel Club as a precaution against breeder selling any further puppies as pedigree.

Sympathise with current difficulties and difficult choices. I'm dog sitting a GSD for NYE fireworks and they are an extremely complex and sensitive breed.

Notadrill · 31/12/2022 18:59
Rhondaa · 31/12/2022 19:02

'It’s not the dog that’s suffering!! It’s the owner!!'

A dog who barks non stop, who is reactive despite all the training the op has tried is not a happy dog, it is suffering. Time to accept defeat and move on.

Unforgettablefire · 31/12/2022 19:03

Catttt · 31/12/2022 11:57

Please look up uk German shepherd rescue on Facebook, there are contact numbers on there.
ive had to stop reading the comments on here as I’m sickened by all the put to sleep and life’s too short comments. maybe I’m sensitive as I had to sadly have my much loved 14 year old dog put to sleep yesterday due to ill health.
15 years I’ve worked with dogs, had many German shepherds in our family, you need breed specific help.
also don’t blame yourself at all. Your trying, which is a lot more than a lot of people on this thread would apparently do

Definitely this.

ywnbarwkitty · 31/12/2022 19:08

Breed specific rescue, google them and ring or email the list even if they're not in your area as they're fans of the breed. Write on UK based gsd forums if you cant reach anyone. Don't kill her for acting like a gsd, barking, lunging and the shepherd scream is a common problem in the breed, their whole job is to bark and intimidate and you got a hot one vs the calmer ones who are quite happy to socialise that you saw when you "always wanted" the breed.

Youre stressing her when you take her around people, walk her on public footpaths until you find a breed enthusiast to take her, dogs take 3 days to settle after freaking out, repeated exposure is probably ruining her chemically.
please don't get a guarding breed if you don't want guarding behaviour next time, get a golden or a toy and jesus christ don't kill a young dog because she's not acting like a spaniel.

Unforgettablefire · 31/12/2022 19:10

Lachimolala · 31/12/2022 18:25

Same as @Rocketpants50 really. My parents keeping a nasty, aggressive dog that’s repeatedly tried to attack my kids has all but destroyed our relationship.

I’ve not been back to my childhood home in over 5 years, there’s no nipping into mums for coffee for me, my youngest two haven’t ever seen grandmas house.

It’s very hurtful to see a dog being put before myself, my siblings and our collective children. And very frustrating to see my children so petrified it’s caused a strong fear of dogs in one of them.

How do your children feel about the situation?

Have your parents stopped seeing you altogether or have you just stopped going to the house?
They're hardly putting the dog before you if they still see you outside their home, you can't seriously be suggesting they put their dog to sleep or rehome so you can go in the house?

Unforgettablefire · 31/12/2022 19:11

ywnbarwkitty · 31/12/2022 19:08

Breed specific rescue, google them and ring or email the list even if they're not in your area as they're fans of the breed. Write on UK based gsd forums if you cant reach anyone. Don't kill her for acting like a gsd, barking, lunging and the shepherd scream is a common problem in the breed, their whole job is to bark and intimidate and you got a hot one vs the calmer ones who are quite happy to socialise that you saw when you "always wanted" the breed.

Youre stressing her when you take her around people, walk her on public footpaths until you find a breed enthusiast to take her, dogs take 3 days to settle after freaking out, repeated exposure is probably ruining her chemically.
please don't get a guarding breed if you don't want guarding behaviour next time, get a golden or a toy and jesus christ don't kill a young dog because she's not acting like a spaniel.

Very well said!

whataboutsecondbreakfast · 31/12/2022 19:14

It’s not the dog that’s suffering!! It’s the owner!!

They're both suffering. A dog that's so anxious that it screams whenever it leaves the house is quite obviously an animal that's suffering.

Brigante9 · 31/12/2022 19:17

Drugging her isn’t viable long term.
Sounds like the litter was ill-bred.
She needs (imo) re-homing to a specialist if you won’t euthanise-talk to some gsd rescues.
The police won’t want her and she’d be a terrible protection dog, she’s far too reactive.

I had a reactive springer for years. I avoided other people and basically trained him as a non-working gundog. I went through 4 trainers (one from TV) but ultimately his behaviour was ingrained. He did retrieves and trained every time we went out. It was incredibly hard work but we made it work. He was incredibly dog aggressive (but wouldn’t go for others as long as they didn’t approach him) and didn’t like people much, but was soppy with us. I’ve had to leave the park and avoid normal walks for years. People got to know us and avoided us, thank god. I’m not sure if you can train yours to only focus on you and give her a job. It’s a dilemma giving enough exercise when your options are limited about where you can go.

You’ve said you didn’t research breeding, hardly anyone does. Please learn from this for next time. I currently have 2 youngsters and my aggressive dog’s brother (aggressive one died last year) who is totally chill, very different dog. The ability to just have a normal walk after 10 years is a revelation. I would seek out re-homing options but don’t pass her onto a ‘rescue’.

Cherrysoup · 31/12/2022 19:19

ywnbarwkitty · 31/12/2022 19:08

Breed specific rescue, google them and ring or email the list even if they're not in your area as they're fans of the breed. Write on UK based gsd forums if you cant reach anyone. Don't kill her for acting like a gsd, barking, lunging and the shepherd scream is a common problem in the breed, their whole job is to bark and intimidate and you got a hot one vs the calmer ones who are quite happy to socialise that you saw when you "always wanted" the breed.

Youre stressing her when you take her around people, walk her on public footpaths until you find a breed enthusiast to take her, dogs take 3 days to settle after freaking out, repeated exposure is probably ruining her chemically.
please don't get a guarding breed if you don't want guarding behaviour next time, get a golden or a toy and jesus christ don't kill a young dog because she's not acting like a spaniel.

All of this, far more succinct than me.

Spaniels can be horrors too, worst dog I ever knew (not mine!) was a spaniel, very aggressive.

Proudofitbabe · 31/12/2022 19:23

Do the world a favour and never own a pet please. Jesus

All the people saying “just put it to sleep”… you are the reason the rescues are full to bursting. A dog is for life. If you aren’t prepared to keep it, don’t get one. Would you give your child away if it shouted a lot? Probably would if you could but you can’t so you find a way to make it work

Er, you can do one. I don't own a dog, so I won't be getting rid of one.

How does euthanizing a dangerous dog equate to full rescues? 🙄

Anyone who compares a child to an aggressive powerful dog is a moron. And so is anyone who'd advocate keeping such a dog at the expense of their own life, mental health and relationships. So hey, it sounds like you'd be an ideal candidate for it??

ywnbarwkitty · 31/12/2022 19:29

@Cherrysoup My spaniel is a soppy kitten but I have seen some spicy ones, my 11yo gsd is a sweet old girl now but she was my first dog and I was wholly unprepared for the screaming and lunging when she reached 2 after imagining she'd act how websites describe them😄They're terrors until they calm down

WiddlinDiddlin · 31/12/2022 19:56

Notadrill · 31/12/2022 18:59

Link to report breeder:

www.thekennelclub.org.uk/forms/assured-breeders-scheme-complaint-form/

This is only relevant if the breed is a part of the Assured Breeder scheme, not all breeders of pedigree, registered puppies are part of that.

So called 'balanced' trainers also euth dogs they can't fix and have made worse, they just don't talk about it, and they subject the dog to abuse first. Nice. Or they bin off the owner telling them its all their own fault, and threaten all sorts of nasty things should the owner attempt to complain to anyone (not hearsay, I've seen the conversations and heard the recorded phone calls!).

Would not recommend.

Confusssed1 · 31/12/2022 20:01

First of all OP I'm so sorry you're in this position. It's so hard. I also have a fear reactive dog. We were referred by our vet to a specialist veterinary behaviourist, which means they are also able to prescribe. He was trialled on pain relief, which helped a bit so some underlying pain must have been contributing, as well as anxiety medication. We were also given some techniques to try and help manage his anxiety. Unfortunately I don't think we will ever be back at a point where we can walk him (he finds it so stressful we do excercises at home instead, at the vets recommendation) but we have been able to improve/manage his anxiety in the house significantly meaning we are all a bit happier. Thankfully we have good insurance!

WiddlinDiddlin · 31/12/2022 20:04

To recap for the OP as there is now so much utter tripe in this thread, some of which is dangerous..

@StopBloodyBarking

Seek another vet - one up to speed on behaviour and behaviour medication, the relationship between pain and behaviour, and dodgy genetics and behaviour.

Avoid your dog getting distressed/reacting/practicing aggressive looking behaviour, as it will be pushing her stress hormone levels up each time, and if they can't drop back to normal (which can take days) before the next incident, she is likely to be way over threshold all the time and thus unable to learn effectively!

Get a proper veterinary assessment for pain - pain is a massively under diagnosed cause of behaviour issues in dogs, even very young dogs and must be ruled out, perhaps by pain medication trial, before attempting behaviour modification. If you can get video evidence of her moving (loose lead or off lead, walk and trot, camera down at her level, straight movement away from the camera, towards the camera and past the camera sideways) that may also help.

Get a referral to a certified clinical behaviourist or vet behaviourist (they will be listed with APBC/ABTC most likely) - this may take some time unfortunately.

If you cannot do those steps, and cannot reasonably find someone who can (And yes there are people who may SAY they can... you really need solid evidence of how they work and what they do, if you hand this dog to someone else and she hurts someone you could still be liable), then euthanasia on behavioural grounds is an option and it is a valid one.

LimitIsUp · 31/12/2022 20:18

crossstitchingnana · 31/12/2022 17:19

This is why I hate GSDs. I have had so many react to my dog.

Nasty breed.

Not at all - what an ignorant comment. They can be fiercely loyal and protect you with their lives

m.youtube.com/watch?v=k2mF_IBoCcs

Lachimolala · 31/12/2022 20:31

Unforgettablefire · 31/12/2022 19:10

Have your parents stopped seeing you altogether or have you just stopped going to the house?
They're hardly putting the dog before you if they still see you outside their home, you can't seriously be suggesting they put their dog to sleep or rehome so you can go in the house?

Their dog has attacked more than one grandchild, it’s going to attack again. It’s needs putting down.

So yes I am suggesting that, I can suggest whatever I like, and I don’t particularly care what you think about it either.

FTHC · 31/12/2022 20:33

There is some absolutely awful advice on this thread.

Teateaandmoretea · 31/12/2022 20:49

All the people saying “just put it to sleep”… you are the reason the rescues are full to bursting

Eh???

Unforgettablefire · 31/12/2022 21:01

@Lachimolala so just use common sense then. Don't take kids to the house.
Your parents clearly don't agree with you either since they haven't put their dog to sleep just so you can go in their house. If you don't like opinions on your posts then don't post. Again, common sense. It's a public forum.

NutsandPuffs · 31/12/2022 21:09

Hi OP,

I haven’t RTFT but have read all your posts. It’s so sad that your vet refused to sedate her and just pinned her down. Most vets nowadays are different, preferring “fear free handling” - using anti anxiety meditation hours prior to the visit and then additional injectable sedation (and a muzzle to facilitate this) for the physical exam, procedures etc. Much calmer and safer for everyone involved including the patient and much of the sedation can be reversed.

I would strongly recommend switching to a new vet as a priority and then discussing referral to a veterinary behaviourist. The vet will likely advise a baseline blood test just to check her general health and as a baseline prior to drug use. You and your dog both need help in the form of a combination of behavioural modification /training plus medication. The medication won’t necessarily be life long, potentially just for a year or two while you work with her. The purpose of the medication/s would be to help reset her reactiveness and anxiety to a lower lever so that you can actually “reach her” with training and help her learn - impossible when she is in a reactive state. Good luck

Lachimolala · 31/12/2022 21:24

Unforgettablefire · 31/12/2022 21:01

@Lachimolala so just use common sense then. Don't take kids to the house.
Your parents clearly don't agree with you either since they haven't put their dog to sleep just so you can go in their house. If you don't like opinions on your posts then don't post. Again, common sense. It's a public forum.

Oh is it? Close personal friends with my parents are you? Odd that you seem to think you know everything about a strangers family. Are you always this delusional? Try and engage some of that common sense you’re prattling on about.

crazymare20 · 31/12/2022 21:37

May seem a bit of a random question but is she reactive with people out in the garden?

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