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Formerly laid back dog becoming aggresive

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by Slambden, Apr 17, 2011.


  1. Slambden

    Slambden PetForums Newbie

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    I wonder if anyone can help me. We have a lovely 7 year old Portuguese Water Dog who has always had the most tolerant and laid back temperament. However, over the last year he has got increasingly bulshy and has started to show aggression to other dogs and now to people.

    We have just returned from holiday leaving Kev with some friends he has known and stayed with many, many times and sadly they told us that he bit a young girl quite badly and drew blood. Luckily the girl is ok and she and her parents have dogs and are very understanding. But, we are very concerned and puzzled and really don’t quite know what to do next. He has also started showing signs of aggression to the vet and she now insists on muzzling him.

    Does anyone have any words of wisdom as to what might make a normally laid back chap turn aggressive? I feel quite sick at the thought that I can no longer trust him and am desperately worried about him.
     
  2. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    Did he have a Vet checkup for some underlying medical condition, when his personality changed?

    That and a well qualified behaviourist as mentioned in the sticky, would be the normal responsible response in the forum.
     
  3. noushka05

    noushka05 Unicorn denier. Snowflake. Activist ;)

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    firstly as has been said get him checked over by a vet incase he has an underlying medical condition.
     
  4. tripod

    tripod PetForums VIP

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    He needs a full medical evaluation first and foremost.

    Your vet then needs to refer him to an APBC behaviourist for a behavioural evaluation - this is covered by most pet insurance.

    Aggression is rarely sudden, out of the blue or beyond predictability - just our interpretation and understanding of this behaviour is often mistaken, misguided or just missed.

    Your dog now has a bite history toward a child and this is the hardest to deal with due to society's perception of this situation. Evaluation is essenital. Your behaviourist should take a complete history of all scenarios that have led to bites or other 'aggressive' behaviour.

    Best of luck :)
     
  5. Slambden

    Slambden PetForums Newbie

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    Feeling a bit better now. I've been to see the lady concerned and the story isn't quite so bad as it was first re-counted. Although still pretty bad and not at all condonable, but maybe slightly more understandable. Kev has got a problem with his ears and it would seem that this child wanted to stroke him under his chin (which he normally loves) but she approached him side on and he made a warning snap which unfortunately connected and left her bruised and grazed.

    We're all still feeling quite low about it and are having some trust issues but I will speak to the vet tomorrow as generally he has been getting grumpier since he had a bad snake bite last year and I would be happier getting him checked. I will also ask for recommendation for a trainer.

    I've emailed the breeder to see if she has any ideas.

    Thanks for your replies. I hope to be able to join in with the forum with some happier posts soon.
     
  6. tripod

    tripod PetForums VIP

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    Please let us know how you get on at the vets and be sure to be careful about choice of behaviourist here. Am I right in saying that you are not in the UK?
     
  7. RobD-BCactive

    RobD-BCactive PetForums VIP

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    That cannot be emphasised enough!! Unfortunately some very unsound unscientific behaviourists can be referred by Vets, from what I hear from people with rescues, as well as if you read some threads. Unfortunately people tend to reward short term success favourably, for instance one lady walker was happy with advice to alpha-roll her guarding spaniel.
     
  8. tripod

    tripod PetForums VIP

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    And that anyone can call themselves a behaviourist - even though there is a limited definition of this position, there is no legislation (as of right now) on this.

    Please make sure that the vet refers you to an APBC behaviourist, a list is available on their website: APBC Members by Region | Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors
     
  9. Slambden

    Slambden PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for all the replies. We're off to see the vet this afternoon, and I've been looking for a behaviourist locally. The vet's nurse recommended a chap called Russel Becque in Portsmouth but when I goggled him I found some negative feedback. Does anyone on here know of him and whether or not he's any good?

    Or could anyone recommend someone in the SE Hants area?

    thanks

    Sharon
     
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