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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%
DifferenceEngines · 31/12/2022 11:34

I would consider a vet behaviourist. If you are applying all the training techniques appropriately, then sometimes they do need medication.

This can happen without it being anyone's fault. Some dogs are just born anxious, and need a lot of support. Some need medication. Since need re homing. Some are just miserable, and are a risk to other dogs or people, and sadly need to be put to sleep.

TrentCrimm · 31/12/2022 11:35

Sounds like she's guarding you.

Speak to the vet about meds, they can help but won't completely solve. Try to bear in mind that a dog that's reactive to everything is in a near permanently highly anxious state, and that can't be pleasant. PTS might be the kindest action.

StopBloodyBarking · 31/12/2022 11:36

MontyK · 31/12/2022 11:28

Nobody could blame you for feeling this way, it sounds awful. It also sounds like you have really tried to address the problems.

As you have found out, there are some things that just cannot be 'trained' out of them. This is her and she sounds extremely on edge and is reactive to most things.

I think what you've been told is correct, at this stage it is about accepting/living with. her behaviour and trying as best you can to manage the triggers.

Have you tried walking her in a private dog walking field? You can hire on and have it to yourself so she can have a good blast and get her energy out without meeting any other people or dogs.

Can you put her away in a quiet room when you have visitors/your grand children?

Have you spoken to the breeder or anybody else that had one of the litter to see if they have experienced any of the same issues?

Finally, what breed is she?

i do hire an enclosed field but it’s £9 an hour and over the week this cost adds up. Still it’s looking like our only option now.

Can’t put her in another room whilst people are here as she barks the whole time and tries to get out. The anxiety of what would happen if she did get out is just not worth the risk.

All dogs from this litter are the same apparently, one has multiple bite history now and the breeder has disappeared. German Shepherd.

OP posts:
NoSquirrels · 31/12/2022 11:37

You need a different vet, sounds like.

Have any of the behaviourists been recommended by a breed-specialist charity or group?

TeeBee · 31/12/2022 11:37

I certainly wouldn't be sacrificing my relationship with my kids and grandkids for a dog. I'd try every possible solution and if they didn't work, PTS. Like you say, nobody else would want to take them on if they're aggressive.

AGoodDayForSomebodyElseToDie · 31/12/2022 11:38

She sounds extremely unhappy. I would focus on working out what's gone wrong - whether that's genetic and she was always unsuitable as a house pet, or whether you've had duff training / vet advice about her management.

I certainly wouldn't consider handing her over to a rescue or any private rehoming - if you can't find someone who can help you make her happier, or change her lifestyle to suit her, you should have her put down.

ChessieDarling · 31/12/2022 11:38

Honestly I would be seriously considering PTS. She’s unhappy, you’re unhappy, you’ve tried everything (multiple attempts by the sounds of it) so you’re absolutely not just giving up on her, you just need to be realistic in considering her quality of life.. and your own.

NoSquirrels · 31/12/2022 11:39

You would not be an awful person to PTS. Sometimes it is the right choice even for a ‘healthy’ dog, if they can’t live a healthy and happy life.

AGoodDayForSomebodyElseToDie · 31/12/2022 11:40

On the strength of your latest update, put the poor animal down, and, for heaven's sake, use a reputable breeder in future.

Hohofortherobbers · 31/12/2022 11:40

She's aggressive and bites, she should be PTS before she seriously harms someone.

LimitIsUp · 31/12/2022 11:40

I have 4 dogs including the rescue. The rescue is dog reactive. She is walked on a yellow lead with "I need space" on it. If she is approached by another dog she barks and lunges aggressively. I don't find this awkward or embarrassing - I have generally already advocated for my dog i.e. I will have asked those who haven't leashed their dogs to please do so (politely), so if their dog then comes over and mine barks and lunges I don't feel wrong footed - they are. I can calm her down by standing infront of her between the approaching dog and her, and telling her softly to shhhhhh, giving her eye contact (to let her know I have her back) and rewarding with treats if she quietens. Generally people will apologise if theirs approaches mine and I accept that apology graciously (no need to be an arse about it)

Do you advocate for your dog? Has she got a yellow lead? Could you try telling her that you will protect her (by standing between her and an approaching dog)? If you are confident about your ability to manage these unwanted interactions your confidence will help your dog. If you are tense and on tenterhooks - she will pick that up

Don't feel self conscious about your dogs behaviour - if she is on a lead she is under control

I can relate about mixed feelings towards your dog. I often fantasise about my 16 year old not being here because I am fed up with clearing up poo and wee in the house (because she has dementia and has stopped asking to go out). That makes me sound like a monster - but its wearing my down, especially since I sometimes stand in it indoors and have to wash my shoes

Rhondaa · 31/12/2022 11:40

Also if the constant barking is driving you just insane then think of your poor neighbours.

Either have her pts or pay to have a professional walker take her out muzzled so at least that's one less thing to stress about.

The situation is ruining your life, do the kindest thing for everyone and take her on a one way trip to the vets. Sorry it must be very sad but seeing your grandkids comes before trying and failing to manage a vicious dog.

hettie · 31/12/2022 11:41

You need a different vet. Try medication and then resource guard training (if she resource guards you which it sounds like it). If medication and training fail then I'd seriously consider PTS (she sounds very unhappy too)

LimitIsUp · 31/12/2022 11:42

Hohofortherobbers · 31/12/2022 11:40

She's aggressive and bites, she should be PTS before she seriously harms someone.

I think op said one of the dogs from the same litter has a bite history, not the OPs dog

Squamata · 31/12/2022 11:42

I'd pts. Life is too short. You wouldn't be doing it frivolously. Dogs take commitment and time but they shouldn't take your whole life, family relationships etc.

Rhondaa · 31/12/2022 11:43

'Can’t put her in another room whilst people are here as she barks the whole time and tries to get out. The anxiety of what would happen if she did get out is just not worth the risk.'

Oh op. She is ruining you life and she is dangerous what on earth are you waiting for, please do the right and responsible thing before she does hurt someone.

LimitIsUp · 31/12/2022 11:44

I would not support pts if the dog has no bite history. Surrender to Dogs Trust or similar rather than pts (with full disclosure). Someone better able to manage the dog may adopt her

TrishM80 · 31/12/2022 11:44

I like dogs but this thread is a great example of why I have no intention of ever owning one. Too much hard work, don't need it.

Catttt · 31/12/2022 11:44

Have you spoken to a breed specific rescue? There is a rescue specially for German shepherds, they will work with her before trying to rehome.
Im a German shepherd owner myself (I’ve worked in dog dog reacue, dog boarding and now run a grooming salon). They are a difficult breed but I would urge you not to have her put the sleep, there may still be help out there.

Burnamer · 31/12/2022 11:45

Hi OP, I have a rescue large breed with similar issues. It’s a massive challenge. We found a behaviourist and a vet who had both previously worked at Dogs Trust and therefore were experienced with these problems. Our dog is now on Prozac and it has helped. It’s not a panacea and needs to be used in conjunction with careful behaviour management but we have seen some improvement. Happy to pm if you want to.
Ultimately though, I wouldn’t judge you for taking the decision to pts. It sounds like your quality of life, and that of your dog, is being highly compromised.

UnpackThisMess · 31/12/2022 11:45

Maybe controversial but I'd certainly be asking the vet to put her to sleep or give her to a rescue knowing that they'll only put her to sleep when theyve exhausted other avenues. She's dangerous. Sorry.

MontyK · 31/12/2022 11:45

Ok she does (sadly) sound like a complete liability and if her litter mates have all exhibited the same behaviour then she's not an anomaly, the breeding match was obviously not a good one.

Honestly in your position I would PTS. You could have another several years of this.

What you need to do is take your time and find a vet who is going to minimise the trauma for you and her.

Have her sedated to the eyeballs first, this could be with oral sedatives first that you give to her? Then ask for them to give her an IV sedative, essentially like she is being put under a GA then the final injection can be given. There ARE vets who will do this. Phone around and speak to multiple practices if you have to. You need someone who is going to do this compassionately and with a solid plan in place.

It's terribly sad but in this case, I don't really think you have much choice.

StopBloodyBarking · 31/12/2022 11:46

With the reactivity I do positive reinforcement and I’ve managed to stop her reacting to bikes so we have had some success. She also doesn’t react to men anymore unless they approach us. I don’t know what’s happened this past couple of weeks but she’s gone backwards, screaming the street down as soon as we leave the house, biting at her lead and reacting to random men again.

We’ve had 3 positive reinforcement trainers and one balanced trainer. The only one who could handle her was the balanced trainer but I can’t recreate his methods. (Prong collar, I just can’t do it).

OP posts:
LimitIsUp · 31/12/2022 11:46

Catttt · 31/12/2022 11:44

Have you spoken to a breed specific rescue? There is a rescue specially for German shepherds, they will work with her before trying to rehome.
Im a German shepherd owner myself (I’ve worked in dog dog reacue, dog boarding and now run a grooming salon). They are a difficult breed but I would urge you not to have her put the sleep, there may still be help out there.

Exactly

Fathercrossmas · 31/12/2022 11:47

Are you sure it's not something physical. Worms, fleas, toothache, stomach ache? I had a cat once who used to have a flea allergy for example and his temperament changed hugely if he even had one on him.

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