Dog and my OH have fallen out..causing problems all round :(

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by MissPeek, Aug 5, 2012.


  1. MissPeek

    MissPeek PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2012
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi All,

    Sorry about this as I’ve been asking quite a few questions regarding my 1 year old (recently adopted) Pekingese, Arnold recently. You have all been amazing! I hope that soon enough I may actually be able to contribute and offer advice to people myself!

    So Arnold has been neutered (and is practically back to his old self after a couple of hairy days) - I brought his op forward, on the advice of PF members when I expressed how Arnold had been displaying some aggression towards my OH recently http://www.petforums.co.uk/dog-training-behaviour/250049-just-getting-worse.html

    I ruled out anything medical with the vet so it’s clearly behavioural. I’m planning to see a behaviorist beginning of Sep but I wonder if there’s anything we can be doing in the meantime?

    Arnold was awful after his op, growled at me constantly and quite frankly I didn’t want to touch him. I only had to look at him for him to go mad! Now the anesthetic has worn off, I would say he’s back to normal with me (I have been the main caregiver/walker/feeder) but unfortunately his aggression has intensified towards my OH. On the way home from the op, my OH was driving and Arnold went crazy halfway through the journey, low growls and snapping at my OH when he said to him “ahhh poor little boy”

    I think my OH is not helping to be honest- he’s more into the whole Cesar Milan “dominance” theories while I’m more of a positive reinforcement person! Over this past couple of days I have sat on the floor and let Arnold come to me, sniff etc etc. OH has said “who’s a good boy” to Arnold from the sofa and has received a long low growl. The same thing happened this morning when Arnold was in our room…my OH got the growl again!

    I now have an unhappy OH who is quite frightened over the dog after being bitten last week and now he’s receiving serious hostility it doesn’t help matters. It upsets him and he takes it so personally so he is inevitably giving off a vibe. As a result, he hasn’t walked or fed him or even touched him for a few days now which I guess is understandable. Arnold has a resource guarding issue over food and can be a little monster and while we’re dealing with that separately, my OH doesn’t want to wind him up even more over the food issue if Arnold has an issue with him, so it’s all been down to me.

    It’s weird because a couple of weeks ago, I would have said my OH was Arnold’s favourite- they were having lots of rough house play and cuddles and Arnold was loving it! Would follow my OH round the house and would cry when he left. It seems to have suddenly turned! The worst kind of treatment I’ve had from Arnold has to be indifference, aside from when the neutering happened, I’ve never been on the receiving end of aggression unless it’s been over the resource guarding.

    The whole thing is worrying and it’s causing a few “heated discussions” between me and my OH…

    I just bought a clicker and a book on it called “click to calm”- do you think clicker training could be the way forward?

    Can anyone advise on how Arnold and my OH can re-bond again?

    My OH is suggesting time out when Arnold starts the growling but the problem with that, is that nothing snaps Arnold out of it when he’s on that track…distraction doesn’t work and you wouldn’t want to pick him up in that condition. My OH doesn’t make eye contact when it happens and tries to look away but it carries on. If my OH says “no Arnold” etc then the situation seems to intensify and it can lead to snapping. Arghhhh!

    Would appreciate any advice…

    Thank You!
     
    #1 MissPeek, Aug 5, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  2. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Messages:
    31,990
    Likes Received:
    1,634
    Is your vet male by any chance? I think they said he was unpredictable durning the procedures at times, understandable as a stressed unsure dog will become defensive at the best of times even a stable one can. Ive known rescue dogs be fine with women but if they have been manhandled and ill treated by men they can be untrusting and wary, one of mine was scared of men when I got her especially men with grey hair at first. Someone who I knew with a rescue dog became defensive and growled and lunged when her OH picked up a broom, rake or even a paper.

    I think it would be worth trying with him, what you did yesterday as far as your OH goes. With dogs who are wary, uncertain or even fearful even something like eye contact can be seen as intimidating or challenging. A dog growling is usually his first form of asking for space if they are unsure, its often not dominance as a lot of people think. Ignore the growling and proceed you will often see teeth and face pulling, ignore that and you often get an airsnap, ignore that and they can then be pushed to bite. Telling dogs off for growling or punishing can also mean they dont even bother and can go straight to air snapping or biting.

    I wold get your other half to totally ignore him and give him space especially as he has just had all the trauma of the last couple of days. Tell him not to even look at him, try to talk to him, stroke him nothing. If there is any treats or food that he adores then make sure your OH has some to hand. If the dog seems to be interested in him or curious but still keeping distance, tell him to slowly with gentle movements throw the treats in his direction, if he takes it, then tell him to gently and slowly throw one but a bit nearer to him, and see if the dog approaches and takes it. But still ignore him totally not even looking at him apart from that. Then let the dog sort himself out. if it works and he approaches and takes more interest then see if he will take one dropped near him on the foor. Eventually you should be able to build up to softly speaking to him, maybe taking a treat, and then a gentle pat and finally eye contact. You cant rush it he has to let the dog build up confidence and trust and want to interact in his own time.

    You can do a similar thing when he is eating, by starting at a distance away, where he doesnt react and ignores you, if he growls or shows agression you are too close, throw the treats, bits of chicken cheese hotdogs sausages or anything liver based often works. Just throw slowly and gently treats to land right by his bowl. Over time you should be able to approach a little bit at a time baby steps, until you can drop food by his bowl standing there. If he growls you have gone too far and to close, so go back to the distance he was not reactive at. Do nothing apart from slowly and gently throwing the treats. As you are not making any other contact with him not even looking he shouldnt see it as threatening or anything to be wary of. He should also learn that he doesnt have to resource guard and that your OH is not threatening and only means good things, likewise with his food people approaching doesnt mean it will be taken away, in fact the opposite, it means he just gets even nicer food treats. Depending on the dog it can take days or weeks, but you must do it at his pace only.
     
    #2 Sled dog hotel, Aug 5, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  3. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Messages:
    31,990
    Likes Received:
    1,634
    Just another thought looking at the title of your thread my OH and I have fallen out. That may be another factor. If there is tension, animosity, frautration or anger wariness from especially your OH, then the dog will likely be picking up on it. Makng him all the more likely to be uncertain and wary of your OH. An example is my first rescue dog a Samoyed who can be sensitive to thir owners feelings in general anyway. (Not sure about peeks, but I would hazard a guess that as companion dogs bred for centuries to be, they too could be sensitive to their owners and what they are feeling) He was a product of being rehomed due to a marriage break down, and if OH and I had an altercation anytime with raised voices and tension, he would literally take himself off in a corner and face the wall. My other rescue dog I told you about who was wary of men at first especially with grey hair she too was a product of rehoming due to a marriage break up, so depending on their previous life they can carry baggage and uncertainties for awhile.

    So whilst it may be very hard being as calm and light hearted about the whole affair could make a big difference.
     
  4. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Messages:
    31,990
    Likes Received:
    1,634
    Just been having a look to see if there is any decent websites on owning and living with peeks and breed traits they may have in common (you may have done aready?) Found one that seems to be quite helpful, sometimes understanding what a breed is like and what traits they may have in common can help a lot.
    This one seems to cover quite a lot in the home and main menu might be worth a read and give you a better understanding.
    Pekingese Dog Information
     
  5. MissPeek

    MissPeek PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2012
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    1
    Oh my goodness, thanks so much for taking the time again Sled dog! Brilliant.

    No, my vet isn't male but I can definitely see the logic as to why this may go some of an explaination as to why Arnold is wary of men. It's weird but Arnold does freak out whenever my OH emerges with a mop (not for cleaning unfortunately, for dislodging Arnold's toys from under the sofa) so perhaps something happened to Arnold previously to have reaction to something like that when a male is involved. Arnold doesn't care when I bring out the mop! To be honest, it's quite likely that Arnold was manhandled by a male previously due to his origins at the Birds Market. It's all male run. :mad:

    I've told OH to give him so space (as I have) and sure enough there's been a few sniffs of interest this evening. OH hasn't said in his big booming voice "who's a good boy???" while looking down at him from 6ft 3 high :mad2: and as for the treats, OH has been dishing them out tonight (with Arnold's meds hidden inside) and we did get quite a lot of tail wagging in response. Still no touching though or cuddles. This has to be very, very slow.

    Totally with you on the eating front, making us being around him a positive experience...we both need to do this. I have ordered that Jean thingy's book "Mine" online (it still has to arrive) and I believe it's the same kind of idea. This morning I didn't get any growling when I put the food down and I chucked bits of chicken into his bowl (from a distance) he seemed to be pretty comfortable with this so this may be the way forward.

    Thanks for the tip on the progression of dog aggression- how a growl can lead to a bite. I need to convince my OH that we do need to ignore the growling and that it's not dominance at all...the trouble is that my OH comes from a family of 2 dogs who are now 11 and 14 and they have been disciplined with taps on the nose, occasional smack :mad2: etc and now they are "great dogs" in their old age and no hassle as a result of this discipline (apparently)...think it's more to do with their age that they're calm then anything! Because of this my OH thinks that a hard approach is the best way. It does drive me mad because I have been the one trawling the net for help and advice, weighing up pros and cons of positive reinforcement vs dominance theories etc, clicker training...we obviously do have different approaches.

    Trying not to have any tension in the house at the moment but it's hard. When Arnold growled at OH this morn, I could tell he was miffed for a good hour and even stopped talking to me as "it's your dog.." even I could sense the annoyance from him so goodness knows what Arnold picked up on. This evening I've tried to make things a little more lighthearted- when Arnold has been growling and disappearing off with his toys we've been joking that he's off to plot against us with his own evil lab in the bathroom! We've at least managed a couple of giggles over it.

    As a breed, Pekes are super sensitive like you say, and I feel they do pick up on things. I did research the hell out of them when we were considering adopting Arnold so I knew to expect a slightly stubborn greedy dog with an above average level of food love, so much so they protect like crazy. So I think some of his issues are breed typical as well as a product of his beginnings.

    Anyway, will keep persevering and trying out all advice.

    Thanks again once more!
     
  6. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Messages:
    31,990
    Likes Received:
    1,634
    Glad you think it might help, seems your OH ignorning him and giving treats seems to be working already as he is showing interest now and not growling at him at least not like he did. It also seemed to work yesterday didnt it with you so looks like its the way to go.

    Good luck and keep us updated.
     
  7. MollySmith

    MollySmith PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 7, 2012
    Messages:
    7,581
    Likes Received:
    1,091
    I don't have much practical advice but I wanted to say how much I empathise with the training ethics. My husband has had dogs who have been brought up in a rough, dominant way and all I can suggest is that clicker training does work but I had to prove it did. Luckily for me Molly thinks so too.

    I do think your OH is onto something with time out though. Separating from us behind a baby gate instantly stops Molly in her plans for world domination.

    I hope you manage to find a solution, it's tough but it will be worth it. :)
     
  8. lemmsy

    lemmsy PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    2,349
    Likes Received:
    487
    Did the vet check thyroid function and bloods? :)
     
  9. MissPeek

    MissPeek PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2012
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    1
    Haha it's so difficult to persuade someone that their old fashioned tactics are in fact, ineffective! The clicker book is on its way but my OH is just as stubborn as Arnold to be honest so I'll have to hammer it home!

    A baby gate is a grand idea, we have the kitchen separated from the living room with no door so perhaps if we popped a gate up in there then that would serve as a good time out..i'll look into this weekend.

    Thanks!
     
  10. MissPeek

    MissPeek PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2012
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi,

    I told the vet about the recent aggression and I agreed for a blood test to be run but that wasn't because of the aggro, it was to do with him being ok with anaesthetic and checking allergies I believe. It's a box you tick on the admission form. She did however run an xray on his back as she said back issues are common with Pekes and she wanted to make sure he wasnt in pain with that, hence the aggression. It came back clear but she did prescribe him some painkillers in case it was muscular and he had pulled something? I'm obviously no vet but I didn't think so..he's still full of beans and chasing birds running around etc..

    No thyroid test conducted to my knowledge- would you recommend this for aggression?
     
  11. lemmsy

    lemmsy PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    2,349
    Likes Received:
    487
    Hi OP,
    Yes, TBH I probably would recommend getting a full thyroid panel done. :)

    I think generally speaking, medical problems often get dismissed (but vets etc) quite quickly in dogs with problem behaviours without the proper tests. The affect that medical complications can have on behaviour or aggravating existing problem behaviours is very often overlooked.

    You sound as though you have done a great job so far checking medical problems :) Checking for something like thyroid (which you can't always see) would be a good idea IMO.

    Some people argue that thyroid problems are the illness de jour ATM but, there is a reason for this as there has been a surge in papers/books documenting the correlation with thyroid dysfunction and behaviour and pushing for more thorough testing in dogs experiencing problem behaviours.

    Check out articles by Jean Dodds and her team; she is a thyroid expert and has done lots of research and work on the subject.
    DODDS-BEHV-THYROID
    DODDS-BIZARRE-BEHAV-THYROID
    Thyroid-Articles

    I'd suggest getting a full panel done at Dr Dodds labs in America. I quite recently sent off a sample for one of my dogs.
    Alternatively have your vet do a full panel (T4, free T4, T3, free T3, TGAA) and have him send you the results. You can then forward these to Dodds by email to interpret. She has case specific ranges that vets and labs here do not have. So a dog that reads within normal lab ranges, may be outside the optimum ranges for his breed, age and type and will therefore be in need of a small dose of medication to sort this. His sub-optimal case specific results may also be linked to his problem behaviour.
    Check out Dodd's website at hemopet.com, for instructions and information.

    Even if his thryoid function comes back as normal the results may help point to other problems.
    My dog's thyroid function came back as normal, although his T4 was a little low. Low T4 can point to other medical problems. We have since discovered that the same dog has Inflammatory Bowel Disease and B12 deficiency.

    All the best :)
     
  12. MissPeek

    MissPeek PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2012
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi Lemmsy,

    Thanks so much for this- really useful :)

    I've been on the Jean Dodds site and I'm going to get my vet to do a full panel and send the results to have them interpreted. This may sound a bit thick, but please can you let me know which test am I requesting Jean Dodds to do, based on what my problem with Arnold appears to be? There's a list and some of the tests seems quite similar to the next- I'm assuming it's the one thats 135 dollars? Sorry, this is all a bit new to me! :confused1:

    Thanks so much!
     
  13. househens

    househens Guest

    Have you tried throwing some chicken or frankfurt at your OH, when stroppy? Or give him a big grin, and click? Don't hold his eyes, tho, or approach his plate... Just thought you needed a lighter moment. Or tell him if the mood doesn't lift, you'll get his thyroid checked, too. And then, if the mood doesn't lift, its the... SNIP!

    Or if he's being particularly nice, say, "Wait there," and get him some frankfurt...
     
  14. lemmsy

    lemmsy PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    2,349
    Likes Received:
    487
    Not at all... it took me ages to get my head around which test I was asking for etc... :)

    I think I did the $80 (Thyroid Profile 5™) one which as I understand it is pretty well covered for assessing basic thyroid function. This test measures:
    T4, free T4, T3, free T3, TgAA.

    Sending to Jean Dodds' labs is a bit of a muddle if it is your first time (like it was mine) for a number of reasons:

    1. The instructions for vets on her website (i.e. separation of serum etc) is a bit confusing for our British vets because they use different colour bottle/tube tops in USA. My vets emailed Dodds' team for clarification.
    2. You have to send the bloods by courier which is a bit pricey (not too bad) and organize pick up from the vets etc.
    3. You have the paperwork to fill in (her online form and a form stating that it is non-contagious animal bloods for diagnostic purposes to attach to the parcel box, for when it goes through US customs)

    On the plus side the results do come back very quickly and the service you get from the Hemopet team is fantastic.

    Another option, which equal amounts of people go for is to get your vet to send off for the full panel (specifically tell them that you want: T4, free T4, T3, free T3, TgAA). This may take a bit longer as the local UK labs will not be able to do this, so will have to be sent further afield or to multiple labs. But it would avoid the courier etc complications.
    Once the results come in, you can email them and your questions to Dodds for her interpretation in comparison with her case specific measurements. I would do this, even if the results come back within normal lab ranges because he may not be normal case specifically and Dodds' interpretation may help to sway things and push for treatment.

    Make sure that he is fasted 12 hours before the blood draw for the test too.

    Do you have insurance for him? I wonder whether you'd be able to claim if so?
    Some policies have a behavioural allowance, otherwise, seeing how the results come through and claiming accordingly?

    Good luck :)
     
    #14 lemmsy, Aug 9, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2012
  15. MissPeek

    MissPeek PetForums Junior

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2012
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi lemmsy

    Thank You for the clarification, that seems much clearer now. I'm actually in Dubai so it may be a bit trickier but we do have a British vet so I'm sure it's easily sorted, I'll print off the relevant info and get my vet to liaise with the JD team if necessary. The processes and procedures here tend to be in line with what you get in the US rather than the UK so maybe it'll be a bit easier! I'm off to the vet tomorrow anyway so Arnold can have his post op check up, I'll discuss it with her then.

    Thanks so much for your help once more!!:thumbup:
     
  16. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Messages:
    31,990
    Likes Received:
    1,634
    I would also ask for TSH Thyroid secreting hormone. It also helps in the analysis. AS in a Hypo Thyroid dog where the gland is struggling TSH will be high so thats another indicator as well as low T4s and T3s

    The thyroid gland produces two hormones T3s and T4s, The TSH (thyroid secreting hormone is sent by the pituatory to tell the thyroid to make the hormones. The body cant use T4s imediately, T4s have to be changed to T3 which is what the body uses although the gland also I believe makes T3 as well. In a dog thats hypo thyroid not only will the T3s and T4s be low the TSH will be high so it gives a full picture. The TGAA (thyro globulin auto antibodies) will be present in high numbers if the dog is hypo thyroid and its the Auto Immune version. The auto immune version is genetic and often seen in dogs before 3 years old or younger. The other version is idopathic (unknown cause) By doing they whole profile including the TSH you get the full picture.

    A lot of vets wont start treatment until the T4 and T3 has dropped off the reference range. By which time the dogs have many problems, or they say that low normal is OK, A young dog shouldnt have low normal readings. Without double checking and going from memory they should be in the upper third of the range. A lot of vets also dismiss the idea in very yong dogs and ones who havent got the classic fat and lethargic look. Even an older dog shouldnt be low normal just about clinging to the end of the reference range come to that.

    Ive had a total of 4 dogs out of six with it, got two now one with Hypo thyroid in older age and the idiopathic version, but the younger has the auto immune version and her only clue was seizures just before two years old, knowing its a problem in the breed and can be linked with seizures I asked for a Thyroid panel and that was what she had, and no seizures since after being on the thyroid replacement. To cap it all I was diagnosed with Hypo Thyroid as well just before christmas last year.
     
Loading...