If you care for an elderly, injured or special needs pet, you've come to the right place!
A little history...
We have had Wicket since he was a pup. He was such a cute puppy and I think we let him get away with a bit too much and at about 2 years of age he started to get nippy. We took him to obedience classes, but without much luck. Fast forward several years to 2008 when he was paralyzed in the back legs. He was still nippy, but we could handle it. Within the next 2 years we built a house, moved and had a baby. Now, our son is 2 years old. Wicket does not like our son and we have had to go to great lengths to keep the 2 separate. In the past few months Wicket has become very anxious and will go through spells where he barks constantly. For instance, today he has barked for almost 3 hours. We had a trainer come out and I have been working with him, but it does not seem to be doing much to help him. I also have a prescription for him for Clomicalm, which I admit I give to him irregularly. In addition, he just had diarrhea for the past couple days. My husband has pretty much checked out of the situation, leaving me to deal with everything Wicket related.
I guess my question is, what would some of you do in this situation? We can't rehome him because he is an aggressive, paralyzed dog. I really don't want to have to make the decision to put him down as he was my first dog and I was super attached. On the other hand, we have totally had to modify our life to accommodate his paralysis and aggression. We aren't happy right now and I question his quality of life too. I have done the questionnaire about when it is time to euthanize, but I think I skew the answers based on my feelings. I am so upset about this and feel like no one else understands. I am sure many of you have faced tough decisions like this I had always got good advice when Wicket was first injured. Thanks in advance for your help.
I'm not sure how helpful this will be or if you've already figured something out, but there's a book that might help you. It's called "Control Unleashed". It is geared towards agility dog owners but it deals with how to get dogs to calm down and lower anxiety levels and stuff like that. It might be worth a try
What breed is the dog?
The med u r using is mainly for separation anxiety. Is the dog barking for 3 hours because he is locked up alone in a room somewhere? If he's with you all the time then there may be other calming meds to consider. Also you have to make sure you give the meds as prescribed for them to work effectively.
I suggest looking at other trainers. You have to find one that works well with the dog and makes progress otherwise it is wasting time and money. Some are good and some aren't. Your husband tuning out doesn't help as the dog needs discipline from everyone. Everyone in the home is in his pack, even the 2 yr old and he needs to know he's not the alpha. Wonder if that was the original problem when you both were letting him get away with things. Also the 2 yr old actually needs to be taught how to (forcefully) give commands to the dog to show the baby is alpha. I assume the issue with the baby is jealousy.
It is great that with his temperament and paralysis you want to help him as you are correct he'd have no future with anyone else. For the diarrhea try some rice or ask the vet for Flagyl. Lasting for a couple of days means something is wrong and it needs to be checked.
Though no longer a puppy make sure you do give him treats when he does behave well to re-enforce the positive instead of always trying to correct the negative. The language, i.e. tone of voice you use is also important. High pitch for good/praise and low/deep pitch for when he's naughty. Remember dogs want to please their master but be sure he see's you as the master and not the other way around.
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