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Help/Advice needed please!

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by G&R, Jul 2, 2009.


  1. G&R

    G&R PetForums Newbie

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    Hi everyone :)

    Just signed up to the forum as I am really in need of some advice regarding my two dogs - George and Ringo. They are brothers, aged 2 1/2 - jack russell X westies. We've had them since they were puppies (8 weeks old).

    Everything started out really well when we first got them, they were very well socialised, met lots of people, came everywhere with us and met other dogs.

    Things started to go downhill when we had them vaccinated. Ringo had a severe reaction to his vaccinations and suffered an auto-immune response, he was very unwell and we nearly lost him :( He had to go on a high dose of steroids and wasn't allowed to mix with other dogs/ go to puppy classes etc for a long time.

    Once he started getting stronger we began taking him and George out a lot more again. We were visiting a friend of ours who had an older dog. I asked if the dog would be ok around the puppies, and was reassured he was fine with all dogs. I kept George and Ringo on their leads just incase. Ringo went to sniff the dog and before I could stop it, the dog attacked Ringo and picked him up with his mouth - it was awful :( We were (thank-god) minutes from ours vets and took him straight there. His face was punctured, and his mouth was badly damaged with his teeth pushed out of their position. It was a very frightening experience for us and Ringo.

    Luckily, no permenant damage was done and his wounds healed. However, when we went out again after this, he went crazy when he saw any other dogs, barking, crying, pulling, just generally going mental when he saw another dog. George wasn't too bad at first and didn't seem to be affected by his behaviour.

    Unfortunately, this has continued and makes going for walks or taking the boys anywhere with dogs very difficult and unpleasant. They both bark, pull and go mad when they see other dogs. Which i'm sure is made worse by our behaviour, as i'm always very nervous when we see other dogs and i'm sure they pick up on this.

    I really really want to sort this out and be able to enjoy going for walks with my dogs again :( I am thinking of going to see a behaviourist, as to be perfectly honest, I don't know where to start and don't want to make the situation any worse than it already is.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank-you for reading if you've made it to the end of this - sorry it's soo long!

    Thanks so much :)
     
  2. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    Im so sorry that your poor dogs have been through so much in such a short space of time.

    I think you are right in seeking professional help. You sound like you now have a fear aggressive dog (and rightly so after all that) who needs help with his confidence.

    A one to one behaviourist would be your best option in this case. Like you, i wouldnt have a clue where to start, and im sorry that i cant offer you any advice.
     
  3. G&R

    G&R PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks so much for replying!

    That's pretty much what I thought, we need to find a safe and controlled way of introducing them to dogs/situations where other dogs are and I think a behaviourist would be the best way to do this.

    Aside from this, I think they're pretty well behaved, they're very good in the car and sit quietly for long and short journeys, they play well together, eat together, don't have any food aggression issues, know how to sit, leave etc. They do get very excited when people come to our house, but I think this is down to their lack of socialisation and is something I very much want to work on.

    Just want my doggies to be able to enjoy their walks again :)
     
  4. Nonnie

    Nonnie PetForums VIP

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    It is possible so dont give up!

    I have a dog who is slightly fear aggressive. He can make a right racket on the end of his lead, all because he is terrified that other dogs are going to attack him, so acting like that will make them go away in his eyes.

    Good luck, and please make sure you check that the behaviourist you use is registered and qualified.
     
  5. G&R

    G&R PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for the advice. Just want to do what's right for the dogs and for us to all be normal again!
     
  6. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Hi. Sorry to hear about your problem.

    I usually write really long posts on how to over come dog aggression. But because yours is stemming from fear and self protection, you need to de-sensitize your dog to other dogs, and this is where you will need some guidance. Also, because you have two dogs, you will find this more difficult as probably both react the same way. You will need to spend time with the dogs on an individual basis and be around calm, balanced dogs and ensure that the experience is very positive.

    Basically you need to build up their confidence again, and this is a long process.

    GEt in touch with a behaviourist. What part of the country are you in?

    x
     
  7. G&R

    G&R PetForums Newbie

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    Thank-you for replying :). I am in Hertfordshire, South East.
     
  8. goodvic2

    goodvic2 PetForums VIP

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    Do you have any nice doggy friends you can meet up with?
     
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