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User Topic: Old dog question
wifehad5
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Member # 15162
Question  Posted: 10:39 AM, December 15th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

When my Dad died last year we adopted his one year old cat and his 14 year old dog. Ace is an English Setter that my Dad got when he was about 18 months old. We've spent a lot of time together, and are great friends. When my Dad came to visit, or we went to visit him Ace always came to me, and would climb up to sit on my lap. Nothing like a boney 50 lb. dog making himself comfortable on you

Where he lived, Ace used to run free. Not just a little, but all day. He loved to be outdoors and run. If you walked a mile, he'd run 5. The transition to our house was made a little easier in that he has slowed down considerably the past couple years. Heart problems and arthritis have taken their toll. His hearing and sight are going too. He spends most of his days on the couch now.

So to the purpose of this post. About 3 months ago his demeanor towards me changed. He appears to downright hate me. He sees me and starts growling. Not just a little, but he ramps it up puffing up his chest and making himself as imposing as possible, until he gets tired (which luckily doesn't take long).

I've tried everything. We put him on medication for the arthritis in case it was pain. I've tried showing him who's boss, I've tried ignoring him. He'll come up to me wagging, and then realize who I am and start with the growling. So far it's just me that he does this to. Nothing happened to start this. My big concern is that it's going to ramp up at some point, and with young kids in this house, that's not good.

Dog people, any ideas?


FBH - 42
FWW - 43 (BrokenRoad)
2 kids 7&12

The people you do your life with shape the life you live


Posts: 36488 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: Michigan
caregiver9000
♀ Member
Member # 28622
Default  Posted: 10:45 AM, December 15th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

If his sight and hearing are going, he is at a disadvantage in his world. Is his spot on the couch a position that protects him on three sides? Just curious.

Maybe you smell weird? If he can't see or hear well, he is living even more in the scent world. Try carrying a dog treat in your pocket?

I would caution the kids to move slowly and not pop up out of nowhere. A blind deaf dog is easily startled.

Good luck. I hope you can get some answers! I commend your family for taking in the pets.

[This message edited by caregiver9000 at 10:46 AM, December 15th (Sunday)]


Me: 43, independent, happy, despite co-parenting with a lower muppet
FT "Stretch" (and Skew!) ;)
DS 13 DS 10
S 5/2010
D 12/2012

Posts: 5611 | Registered: May 2010 | From: a better place
wifehad5
♂ Moderator
Member # 15162
Default  Posted: 11:29 AM, December 15th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

You saying I smell?

That is a good point about the couch. It does protect him on 3 sides

We have warned the kids. There have been a couple of incidents that ultimately turned out OK, but they are very careful around him


FBH - 42
FWW - 43 (BrokenRoad)
2 kids 7&12

The people you do your life with shape the life you live


Posts: 36488 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: Michigan
debbysbaby
♀ Member
Member # 32962
Default  Posted: 12:01 PM, December 15th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Well I'm sorry that your dog has entered this phase of his life. It could be that he is becoming senile. Dogs get dementia as well as people. I would also put some high-value treats in your pockets and make a habit of detouring by him and giving him a treat every time you go near him. Maybe you could recondition him to thinking of you as a pleasant person. I would caution against using any negative approach like "showing him who's boss". I think this is the time for totally positive reinforcement training. You don't want to give him more reasons to dislike you.

[This message edited by debbysbaby at 8:22 PM, December 15th (Sunday)]


-betrayed almost my whole almost 15 yr marriage
-divorced since 2004

Posts: 844 | Registered: Aug 2011
DixieD
♀ Member
Member # 33457
Default  Posted: 12:12 PM, December 15th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

WH5,
Just some thoughts I had, are you the one giving him medication? Or any other procedure he may not like, so he's associated you with something unpleasant?

I also thought of smells, of another animal or chemicals or anything he wouldn't like.

Is it happening only around certain areas, such as the couch, that could be associated as his territory now?

Is it when you walk into the room? If his eyesight is going....ummm, you cast an intimidating shadow (no offense!), and he can't see it's you. Does he respond positively to your voice? If so, maybe talk to him when you enter the room.

He'll come up to me wagging, and then realize who I am and start with the growling.

This is the odd part. I agree with Debby about positive reinforcement and maybe he is going senile. But if you start to look for patterns of what happens just before he growls at you (does he sniff you, are you sitting or standing, is it in the same part of the house or all areas?), maybe you will see what his 'triggers' are, if any.

It's a shame, he's a cute little guy.


Growing forward

Posts: 1763 | Registered: Sep 2011
wifehad5
♂ Moderator
Member # 15162
Default  Posted: 12:28 PM, December 15th (Sunday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Thanks for the feedback everyone

He's sleeping peacefully on the couch next to me now.

With regards to the medicine, this behavior started before we started him on the medicine. I do not give it to him. Usually BR or the kids do after he's eaten. He takes it like a treat, and seems to like it.


FBH - 42
FWW - 43 (BrokenRoad)
2 kids 7&12

The people you do your life with shape the life you live


Posts: 36488 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: Michigan
tushnurse
♀ Member
Member # 21101
Default  Posted: 2:27 PM, December 16th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Seems something about you is offsetting to him. Do you use anything that has a strong odor to it, like BenGay, or Absorbine Jr, or even alcohol? All of these have amazingly strong scents for a dog. It may hurt his nose.

The only other thing I can think of, and non dog people will say I'm nuts, and I am, but do you sound like your dad? He may be confused as to dad's abscence,and your presence. Usually when they bristle and growl it's because they are frightened. IT's their way of saying I don't know what's going on, and I don't like it, so stay back.

Can you be the good guy and feed him and give him his treats to see if that changes his tune. I would be very leary having a dog like this around with kids. Even though he isn't huge he is big enough if he got pissed off and bit he could do some real damage.

(((and strength)))


Me: FBS
Him: FWS
Kids: 15 & 17
Married for 22 years now, was 16 at the time. .
D-Day Sept 26 2008
Fully R'd, and Happy Happy Happy

Posts: 7807 | Registered: Oct 2008 | From: St. Louis
wifehad5
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Member # 15162
Default  Posted: 2:56 PM, December 16th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Nothing has changed scent-wise. I'm very sensitive to any perfumey type smells, and don't wear any cologne. No topical ointments either.

I do feed him and give him treats. As soon as they are gone, he goes back to snarling when he realizes I'm sitting next to him.


FBH - 42
FWW - 43 (BrokenRoad)
2 kids 7&12

The people you do your life with shape the life you live


Posts: 36488 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: Michigan
Catwoman
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Member # 1330
Default  Posted: 3:39 PM, December 16th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Get a blood panel done. Haywire thyroid levels can cause aggression like this.

Cat


FBS: Married 20 years, 2 daughters 25 and 22. Divorced by the grace of GOD.
D-Days: 2/23/93; 10/11/97; 3/5/03
Ex & OW Broke up 12-10
"An erection does not count as personal growth."

Posts: 29541 | Registered: Apr 2003 | From: Massachusetts
TrulyReconciled
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Member # 3031
Default  Posted: 3:53 PM, December 16th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I only looked because I was *sure* this thread was about YOU


"In a time of deceit, telling the Truth is a revolutionary act."

Posts: 20927 | Registered: Dec 2003 | From: Hell and back, way back :o)
gardenparty
Member
Member # 12050
Default  Posted: 7:12 PM, December 16th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Have you been sick or changed YOUR medication lately. My friend from way back had a golden retriever that got mean at 9 years of age but only towards the father of the house. Turns out the father was quite sick and the dog sensed it.


divorced!

Posts: 2643 | Registered: Sep 2006 | From: newfoundland
million pieces
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Member # 27539
Default  Posted: 8:01 PM, December 16th (Monday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Nothing to add other than I am soooo happy that you took in a dog that old. You and your family are awesome


Me - 42
2 kids, 9 and 11
D-Day 2/5/10, separated 3 wks later
Divorced 11/15/11!!!!

Posts: 1231 | Registered: Feb 2010 | From: MD
Bigger
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Member # 8354
Default  Posted: 8:58 AM, December 17th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Are you by any chance still wearing that chess dress when he growls at you?


"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

Posts: 5485 | Registered: Sep 2005
wifehad5
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Member # 15162
Default  Posted: 12:29 PM, December 17th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Bigger, you're not supposed to tell anyone

I'm on no medications, and recently saw the Dr and was given the all clear


FBH - 42
FWW - 43 (BrokenRoad)
2 kids 7&12

The people you do your life with shape the life you live


Posts: 36488 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: Michigan
nowiknow23
♀ Guide
Member # 33226
Default  Posted: 12:36 PM, December 17th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

(((Ace))) I don't have any dog advice, but I hope you are able to figure out what's going with him quickly, wh5. This has to be difficult for all of you to deal with.


You can call me NIK

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.
- Plato


Posts: 24437 | Registered: Aug 2011
wifehad5
♂ Moderator
Member # 15162
Default  Posted: 3:58 PM, December 17th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Nothing to add other than I am soooo happy that you took in a dog that old. You and your family are awesome

Million Pieces, there was never a question that he had a home. There were actually some other people who would have taken him if we didn't, but that wasn't an option


FBH - 42
FWW - 43 (BrokenRoad)
2 kids 7&12

The people you do your life with shape the life you live


Posts: 36488 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: Michigan
Deeply Scared
♀ Administrator
Member # 2
Default  Posted: 8:55 PM, December 17th (Tuesday), 2013View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

WH5...

I just wanted to add that you have our full support no matter what you choose to do. He's a really great dog that has had a wonderful life


"Don't give up, the beginning is always the hardest." My Mom:)

My tolerance for stupid shit is getting less and less.


Posts: 196518 | Registered: May 2002
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