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Aggression due to anxiety

Discussion in 'Dog Behaviour and Training' started by kumho, Jul 9, 2015.

  1. kumho

    kumho New Member Registered

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    I really need some help! My boyfriend and I have a 18 month old Old English Bulldog named Moya and she is an absoloute wreck.

    We don't know exactly what has happened along the way to make her like this but now we are struggling. We have had her since she was 14 weeks, she did have an owner before us so we never met the breeder or Moyas parents. Over time she just became more and more anxious. She hates going out for walks, she lunges at any dog that we pass, she lunges at most people. She HATES kids, which is terrifying. She has also bitten my boyfriend and myself when we have been trying to prevent her from attacking other dogs. We can no longer have guests are our flat because I am scared of how she would react. We have another dog, Kumho a 6 year old pug who she gets on with brilliantly. She is very attached to him and seems to be quite protective of him. Kumho is SO laid back, he loves other dogs and people and absoloutly loves going out for walks. We hoped that Moya would feed off him and see that there is nothing to worry about but that doesn't seem to have happened.

    We have been seeing a trainer one a month for a while, when she is with him she is ten times better. But as soon as we try and do what he does it's hopeless. He did seem to think that her worries have stemed from a fight she got into with another dog in the park when she was still very young.

    My boyfriend seems to be living in a fantasy land, where if we just do nothing she will just magically get over it and go back to being a happy dog. My boyfriend works 5 days a weeks and does long hours, I don't work and I spend all my time with the dogs so it's me that has to deal with this all the time. It's got the point where I can't walk the dogs alone and I can only walk them when its quiet. I used to take to country parks and to the dog park to run about and now that can't happen. I am worried that our pug is bored and isn't getting the attention and exercise that he needs and of course I am worried about Moya. I hate to think of her being miserable and worried all the time it must be horrible. I just don't know what to do. I have tried to talk to my boyfriend about rehoming moya if we could find someone who would be able to help her. Believe me, as much as she is hard work I would so sad to have to let her go but I think that it's selfish to keep her around if someone else is going to be able to make her happy again. I have also suggested trying out a new trainer, but he doesn't seem interested in that either.

    I live in Glasgow, does anyone know a trainer that would be able to help us. Or someone that could suggest somewhere to rehome her. I am terrified she is going to attack someone or kill another dog and then she will be put down. I am positive that she can recover from this with the correct help. I am just not sure I am the right person to provide it. Has anyone else had a dog like this? How did you cope?

    Any adivse would be so much appreciated.
  2. goldenbear2013

    goldenbear2013 New Member Registered

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    You poor thing! This is such a sad story that your baby girl is like this!

    First off, you need to muzzle her when you go out. This will obviously stop any biting which in turn means she doesnt get put down. No one wants that! plus it will make you feel a little more at ease when you do walk her.

    The fact that you are at home all day is the best possible thing for Moya. You have the time to spend with her. It is not likely that someone will take her on knowing what she is like, and putting her into a rehoming centre (dogs trust, RSPCA etc) may just mean she stays there for a very long time, as they would not put the dog up for adoption if she has aggression issues.

    I'm not sure what your trainer has been doing but you are doing the right thing by having one. As you are scared of her, or unsure or uneasy she is ultimately feeding off your anxiety as well which will be making things worse.

    You will need to walk the dogs separately for now, so your pug gets the one to one time he needs so when you are at home, he can just potter about and do his own thing while you focus one Moya.

    Another thing I would suggest is an actual training class with other dogs. She would be muzzled of course so she wouldnt cause anyone or any other dog harm, and it will be a safe environment for her to get used to other dogs and realise that the world isnt as bad as what she thinks it is.

    It is such a huge commitment to rehabilitate a dog, it take time, patience and a lot of sacrifice.

    You also need to realise when Moya needs alone time. By that I dont mean shutting her in a room on her, but just leaving her be. Letting her do her own thing. By observing her body language you will be able to see when she is uneasy, and due to her reaction over anxiety it may be best that she is left alone. Sometimes trying to reassure a dog when they are in that state can make it worse which can lead to a dog attack.

    If you chose a muzzle, then just one that is, gives her room to pant (baskerville dog muzzle). You will need training advice on how to break her in to this as you cant just put it on and go she needs to know that this isnt a bad thing and it is all ok when she has it on.

    There are other people on here that will also give you additional advice; I'm afraid this is all i can give as without seeing your dog and what she is like it is very hard to give you specifics on what do.

    I really hope that you work with her and keep her, as it would be such a shame to send her away when she so desperately needs your help.

    This is going to be a long journey and i hope that things start to improve. Please keep us posted.

    Sophie x

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