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Advice needed.

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by Billie18, Jan 25, 2021.

  1. Billie18

    Billie18 New Member Registered

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    I have a bullmastif x presa canario, he is 4 in October, a big boy he is too! He’s been a brilliant part of our family but some very challenging and testing times. Ever since he was a puppy he occasionally had blood in his stools and sick. We took him to the vets for this, it got treated and left. It has been an on going reoccurring issue for the last few months which for now I’m treating with probiotics, his behaviour is abit all over the place. He knows basic commands and will wait for his food etc, but it’s as if he never grew out of the puppy stage. He barks at the slightest of noises outside, he is still occasionally eating things that aren’t his and the general hyperness with visitors, and sometimes just when it’s just us at home, he still also has the occasional nibble but he doesn’t know when to stop. This is only with me or my partner or adult visitors.I have a 2 year old and due my 2nd child in April. He has caused a lot of strain on us as a household and family. I’m concerned there is an underlying health problem linked to his stomach which is causing the sometimes bad behaviour. I keep considering looking into rehoming him into a bigger home, more space, and someone who can give him more 1-1 time. But then the potential stomach problems worry me that rehoming him wouldn’t change him and he may forever be like this. I just want some advice with what my potentially best options are for him as it’s breaking my heart to decide on my own. Thank you!
     
  2. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    What are you feeding him at present? Please give the exact brand & variety (including whether grain free), and also all treats and 'human food' he gets. Did the vet ever investgate for underlying problems rather than just treating the symptoms?

    You say he's occasionally eating things that aren't his - dogs have no concept of ownership, beyond possession being 10/10ths of the law, so I'm afraid the solution to this is that you have to keep all food you don't want him to have out of reach (not easy with a big dog, I know).

    How much walking/exercise/training does he get? When you say he has the occasional nibble, do you mean he's mouthing/biting you in play? If so, this post on puppy biting should help (even if he's not 'meant' to be a puppy any more): Puppy biting
     
  3. excuseme

    excuseme Well-Known Member Registered

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    You say your chap has never grown up, and that it is as if he is still in the puppy stage, have you had him neutered, and at what age? o_O
    You have a 2 year old and another on the way. How was he up to the point of you having your first child at his age of 2.
    How much time did you have for him after your first child was born?
    As mentioned by @JudyN , what type of food are you feeding.
    Food can affect stomach issues and the resulting poo. Food can also sometimes be related to temperament issues.
    .
     
  4. Billie18

    Billie18 New Member Registered

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    He was neutered at 8 months old. The vets gave a list of things it could of been with his stomach but they didn’t want to investigate the first time due to he was so young and thought it could of been something to do with the breeders as there were more in his litter with the same problem. We struggled finding a diet that suited him for a long time, it was a constant battle with diarrhoea. For the last year and half if not a bit longer he has been having a can of euro shopper wet food for dinner (chicken/beef) with 2 chicken legs and is offered his dry food throughout the day. I’ve had people say mixed things about this food as yes it is cheap but it is/ was the only thing he was happy eating and his stomach dealt well with it. Sorry I should of worded it differently, he doesn’t take our food it’s my little ones toys or our jackets if there left lying around. This isn’t very often. He goes out every evening, sometimes it can be every other day. We got him the middle of December and I found out I was pregnant with my 1st around 4-5 weeks later and it wasn’t planned so it was a case of getting him and then we turned into a bigger family. He was at his worst up to having my first child and I think that would be down to age a lot, he was so young and the ‘puppy’ stage was in full swing. He’s always been very loving towards the little one but I definitely feel like he doesn’t like not having the attention as much as I’d like to give him, especially as my partner works all day so it’s just me and soon to be 2 babies at home by myself. I’ve been trying to look online for behaviourists/trainers that have experience with big dogs that may be able to help before I make the hardest decision I didn’t think I might have to face but it’s proving abit difficult with Covid thank you for your responses
     
  5. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    OK, there's a few things going on here...

    He was neutered very early for a dog of his size - there's a shedload of different opinions about this, but it could well be that being neutered when he was a puppy has, to an extent, locked him in that phase.

    His food is rubbish. It's true that sometimes, food that is on the face of it poor quality still helps some dogs with digestive issues - Chappie comes to mind, though I can't remember if it's their dry or wet food this applies to. But a better quality food may suit him. Given that he's a big dog, would feeding a high-quality and more expensive food be an option? But if there is an underlying condition, this may not help anyway, so you might want to ask your vet about further investigations.

    It sounds like he's certainly underexercised and understimulated, so I'd be surprised if he wasn't making his own fun at times. This isn't ANY judgement on you - for starters, you weren't expecting to have a child when you got him, and you have a lot on your plate. Given that you are expecting another child, could you, realistically, make sure that he is walked daily (twice a day would be better...), and spend more time giving his brain something to do? Sometimes these activities can fit easily into your daily routine - if you can persuade him to pick up toys etc. and bring them to you in exchange for a treat, he can 'help you tidy', if you open a drawer, you can teach him to push it shut again.... (these are a couple of the things I've done with my dog, but then I don't have a young child and toys strewn everywhere). Or could you afford a dog walker to take him out once a day or so?

    When you talk about 'bad' behaviour, what do you mean exactly? Are there any specific behaviours you'd particularly like to address, or would you settle for him just generally not bouncing around so much?

    You do need to be honest with yourself about what you are able to afford in money, time and energy.
     
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  6. Anouk

    Anouk Member Registered

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    He is a big dog, needs lots of exercise and training to calm down. Unlimited kibble buffet is never smart with a dog. Twice a day or since he has sensitive stomach you can do 4 times smaller portions.
    In the petstores you have commercial kibble/wetfoods which are specially made for sensitive stomachs. You could try that.
    But tbh if it were my dog I would be at the vet to investigate what he really has, its much eassier to solve the problem than with food.
     
  7. excuseme

    excuseme Well-Known Member Registered

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    If you wish to change his food a grain free, (this includes RICE which is also a GRAIN) would be the best. Grain is very difficult for so many of our dogs to digest and is causing many different problems these days.
    I see you are giving your chap 2 chicken legs, is this daily? and are they cooked or raw?
    Raw legs would be by far the best.
    If you considered going grain free you could also possibly make some improvement to his temperament and behavior.
    .
     
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  8. Anouk

    Anouk Member Registered

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    Not only that my late furry? Turned out he was allergic to rice and than you get HUGE bag of Royal Cannin elimination dieet with the main ingredients chicken and rice at the vet to exclude with :confused:
    Found out after I mailed Royal about the chicken. But they work it into very small molecular pieces so boom hello rice.
    Dont know about there but most of the sentive stomach kibble/wetfood are with potato or sweet potato.
     

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