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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%
SomePosters · 31/12/2022 12:03

Sounds like she’s guarding you.

strong willed aggressive breeds like German shepherds should not be sold as pets.
While some do turn out fine with good handling the majority are dangerous especially if taken on by inexperienced owners as house pets. Under stimulated working dogs tend to develop issues.

Im sorry you’re in this position op, while you do hold some blame for your choices here ultimately the breeder created this litter for money and the blame lies with them.

I would have one last look to find someone/where that will take her on but brutally it’s a full time job rehabilitating a dangerous animal like this and most people have bills to pay.

Op my mum missed out on years with her grandkid because of a dangerous dog. Didn’t visit in when in hospital because it was too complicated with the dog etc.
It caused a lot of resentment for me that this horrible dog was more important to her than seeing her 2yo grandkid after major surgery.

I am a big dog lover but I do believe dangerous dogs need pts, especially big ones like GS who account for about a third of fatal dog attacks in the last 15 years

LuckySantangelo35 · 31/12/2022 12:04

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

@Catttt

but life is too short for op to sacrifice her happiness and relationship with her grankids for an animal that should never be a domestic pet. It’s not fair on anyone including the dog

AGoodDayForSomebodyElseToDie · 31/12/2022 12:04

StopBloodyBarking · 31/12/2022 11:56

He lied to me and I fell for it hook line and sinker. He told me there were show lines, turns out they’re working lines. Her father lives in a muzzle. Her mother died recently at the age of 7.

I tried taking her to agility classes and she does enjoy that, I also tried shutzhund but she’s too unstable for it.

Was thinking of trying Mantrailing but again, unpredictable temperament- what would she do when she found her subject

Dodgy breeders lie to sell their pups. It's something we see every day. It's why it's so important to actually see the parents interacting with other dogs and people, see the litter with their mum, see how they're kept and handled, health scoring, do your own research about the lines, previous litters etc. Reputable breeders will facilitate this, dodgy ones will find (sometimes plausible) excuses and lie.

It's really telling that people on this thread don't think you're in anyway responsible - these are, presumably, the people who are buying from dodgy dealers and getting away with it, who are ignorant of the breeding issues, or just don't know much about it.

Vestigia · 31/12/2022 12:05

It's a rare day that I'd recommend putting a young and otherwise healthy dog to sleep but this is one of those days. There's no rescue that would take her and not pts because she couldn't even live with a shelter pack.

Your poor dog - undoubtedly through the worst of backyard breeding given the issues of her litter siblings - is dreadfully damaged and her life isn't a happy one. The kindest thing you can do now is send her peacefully to sleep, free of the anxieties and fear that makes her dangerously aggressive and deeply disturbed. Do not, however, use the same vet that has previously terrified her.

Best wishes for whatever route you take.

ChristmasCwtch · 31/12/2022 12:06

This situation doesn’t sound tenable. You’ve given a number of years to the dog and tried so much to make things better. Don’t spend the next decade like this. The kindest thing would be putting the dog to sleep whilst you’re there. You’ll find peace then. I wouldn’t tell others what happened other than she “sadly passed away during a procedure at the vets”. Others will be very judgy, but they haven’t lived your life, so aren’t in a place to judge

Swils1009 · 31/12/2022 12:06

Where in the UK are you based? We had a reactive GSD who would be fearful on walks but has calmed down due to training / trainer. Would be happy to pm details of local to you

LimitIsUp · 31/12/2022 12:06

@10speckledfrogs Yes, some dogs can't be fixed - but that isn't obviously the case in this scenario is it

JadedSoJaded · 31/12/2022 12:06

Your vet sounds awful, which is why I’m not surprised you haven’t been referred to a specialist vet behaviourist. They can assess and prescribe suitable medication to reduce anxiety which in turn enables the dog to learn. Providing behaviour modification exercises are done correctly & consistently. It’s an expensive route to go down. I have done it successfully with a rescue. But she was never aggressive. Exceptionally fearful.

In your shoes, and given litter mates are similar, I think I’d strongly consider PTS. She sounds deeply unhappy. As do you.

Rhondaa · 31/12/2022 12:07

'I'm going to say something here that will be unpopular but in all of my years working with dogs I have mentioned it to people a handful of times. If you cannot manage an aggressive dog there is no shame in behavioural euthanasia especially when fear is impacting on a dogs quality of life'

I think 90% of posters are saying the same.

AGoodDayForSomebodyElseToDie · 31/12/2022 12:07

LuckySantangelo35 · 31/12/2022 12:03

@AGoodDayForSomebodyElseToDie

op didn’t know about the breeder and the litter and the lines though did she, she was lied to. Nor could she have predicted that the breeder would have ran off.
none of it is OP’s fault

Jesus Christ. No, if you're buying a dog, you have a responsibility to know what to look for in a breeder. There's a tonne of freely available advice about how to assess breeders and what you need to see to work out if they're genuine. It's never been easier to research lines.

I really don't want to put the boot into the OP, who accepts her role in this, by going on about this - but there are clearly people on this thread who need to understand this issue lest they ever buy a dog themselves.

ToBeOrNotToBee · 31/12/2022 12:07

Behavioural euthanasia might be the kindest option here.

Yes, mistakes were made in the crucial early socialisation period, and the damage has been done.

You've sought professional help which hasn't helped.

Your vet quite possibly made things worse.

She's not really got much of a life and neither do you ready your post and replies.

In all honesty, I think you've reached the end of the road.

NoSquirrels · 31/12/2022 12:07

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

The GS breed rescues are also overrun and highly pessimistic about rehoming options. They would hopefully be able to signpost to breed-specific trainers but in truth, if OP has tried 4 trainers already and her husband isn’t willing to also share the burden of this dog, this sounds like a miserable existence for this particular dog and owner.

I’m sorry you lost your loved dog recently, that is tough.

LuckySantangelo35 · 31/12/2022 12:08

AGoodDayForSomebodyElseToDie · 31/12/2022 12:07

Jesus Christ. No, if you're buying a dog, you have a responsibility to know what to look for in a breeder. There's a tonne of freely available advice about how to assess breeders and what you need to see to work out if they're genuine. It's never been easier to research lines.

I really don't want to put the boot into the OP, who accepts her role in this, by going on about this - but there are clearly people on this thread who need to understand this issue lest they ever buy a dog themselves.

@AGoodDayForSomebodyElseToDie

oh don’t worry I would never buy a dog

waaaaaaay too much hassle

AGoodDayForSomebodyElseToDie · 31/12/2022 12:10

LuckySantangelo35 · 31/12/2022 12:08

@AGoodDayForSomebodyElseToDie

oh don’t worry I would never buy a dog

waaaaaaay too much hassle

Probably wise Grin

janeeyreair · 31/12/2022 12:10

Can you pinpoint a time when it all went wrong? Change vet and get a through check up. Can you go right back to basics starting with basic commands in the house, use snuffle mat, do you have garden? Set up easy agility course to mentally wear her out as well.

What do you do when she exhibits a behaviour thats wrong?

Can you get her used to a lightweight basket muzzle and find someone with a calm dog and walk behind them, not head on.

sorry you have most likely tried most of these, very difficult sad situation for you. Yo have my sympathy.

NamelessNancy · 31/12/2022 12:10

I haven't said it's an inevitability that the dog will bite but the op's posts would suggest she thinks there is a risk. This and the dog's quality of life should both be factors in decision making. It may be that with further input (including potential medication if deemed appropriate by a vet) this is not necessary and both the bite risk and dog's quality of life be improved.

Quveas · 31/12/2022 12:10

@10speckledfrogs I would also agree with you about euthanasia if all other avenues have been explored. I'm a life long Border Collie owner, and many years ago had a bad one. Tried everything, training, medication etc. Nothing worked. The vet told me then that he'd seen it before. Every now and then one is born "not right" and he'd seen it before. It happens in humans, so it's no surprise if happens in other species.

The day that dog turned aggressive towards me I booked him in to be euthanized. I was the only person who'd ever been able to control him at all, and I knew that if he no longer respected that control then I had a very dangerous animal on my hands.

startingitallagain · 31/12/2022 12:10

@StopBloodyBarking We have a dog on Prozac (fluoxetine) to manage its anxiety. We've also had behaviourists/trainers out to check the dog's temperament and ensure we weren't doing anything wrong. The medication has helped bring down the anxiety to help the dog engage with training. We also have to manage every single walk - it's not relaxing so I get how wearing it can be. Our dog has hyperarousal.

But first off I'd change your vet. I can't get over how he pinned your extremely anxious dog down when it could've been handled in a different way. In fact it's made me quite angry reading that. Your poor dog, and poor you too for also having to witness and deal with it.

Once you've got a vet willing to care (emphasis on that word!) for your dog, then talk medication. It may or may not work, but you have nothing to lose. Costs us £30 a month but may cost you more.

I'd also contact breed specific rescue. They will be an invaluable source of understanding what makes your dog tick, what drives your dog, what behaviours have been bred into the dog. A non breed specific rescue may not have the depth of knowledge a breed specific rescue has.

Of course, euthanasia is a possibility but for me I'd only be satisfied with that once I'd exhausted all other forms of help/support.

Beseen22 · 31/12/2022 12:11

I know what I would do to be honest and it's not going to be the popular opinion. But on a temporary basis my mum has a very similar cocker spaniel. She hasn't attempted training as diligently as you have but the dog is now 7 and still not house trained, barks the entire time, cannot be given access to the house because she's eaten 3 socks and had bowel obstructions from them and required a bowel resection each time. She snarles constantly and bites my mum at times. She's an incredibly anxious dog. Have you tried settling yours in the boot of your car in a dark place like the garage? It's the only place my mums dog will settle so they can have people round. She actually jumps right into the car and settles straight down, it's like a therapy for her.

10speckledfrogs · 31/12/2022 12:12

LimitIsUp · 31/12/2022 12:06

@10speckledfrogs Yes, some dogs can't be fixed - but that isn't obviously the case in this scenario is it

Well none of us know that, we can't see the dog

I'm just saying that once medication and behavioural modification have been attempted its a genuine option, and one too many people feel too guilty to take.

This woman has tried 2 behaviourists and is about to attempt medication. She is coming to the end of what can be done with a dog that may come from unstable lines judging by her previous comments. Worse things can happen to a dog when it is passed around rescue or other people

janeeyreair · 31/12/2022 12:12

@beseen thats so sad, was the dog always like this?

MrsVeryTired · 31/12/2022 12:13

@StopBloodyBarking feel for you, I have a resource guarder, who can be aggressive but we love him, its so hard, he's 5 and I do think about how life would be easier without him Sad.
I know you've probably read lots on it but "Mine" by Jean Donaldson is a great book, not only about guarding, but also about understanding your dog. I find it very helpful to read it.

BootifulLoser · 31/12/2022 12:14

An aggressive Alsatian? Can she be gifted to a farmer or scrapyard owner who needs a guard dog?

LadyvdM · 31/12/2022 12:15

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.

There's a fella online Southend dog training he's really good you can join an online group and get help or he does one to one training.

I feel you, I too have a reactive GS who's a massive pain in the bum but following his group she is getting better and we love her so much that we're trying everything to give her a good life and help with her behaviour. Definitely look him up he's on social media x

yoyo1234 · 31/12/2022 12:16

I assume her hips in particular have been checked out?

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