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Advise? Dont think Im going to like responses


deerhunter

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I have a 9 year old lab who for some reason doesn't like my wife and has recently started to growl at her and it makes me nervous I also have a 10 and 7 year old but he doesn't growl at them just curious what some of you would do

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How does your dog just start disliking your wife.

Have they both been around the same time?? or is one fiarly new to your life / family?

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Yes they have been both around the same amount of she helped pick him out. He isn't around her much he is in the kennel and im the one who lets him out and takes him hunting

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THis could be a stretch but is she this way when your wife is having her monthly visit? Could it be the hormones your wife is giving off that is setting the dog off?

I told you it MIGHT be a stretch...

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Does the dog just growl when you are around? If so, maybe let your wife take him out and start making a bond.

If it's all the time, you may not like my response...

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Tonight I let her throw the tennis ball for him just to show him she is not that bad and no its not her time of the month. I was just wondering if its because he is getting old. I have ben around labs my whole life my dad and I use to raise them but I have never dealt with this

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Dogs are pack animals, my guess is that hes trying to make himself second in command after you. She needs to spend more time with him and you, take him for walks, with her on the smart end of the leash, have her show him some discipline. Do it soon, the kids will be next.

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Did this start all of a sudden with your dog not liking your wife or has it been gradual? The only other thing I can think of is if your wife somehow did something to either hurt, scare, or threaten the dog. The dog may be remembering this and since she has limited contact with him that negative feeling is all he associates with her now.

If nothing like that happened then I'd agree that is more of a socialization thing and that your wife needs to spend more time with the dog. The dog needs to know that all humans are above him in the pack hierarchy. Its possible that the dog thinks you and him are the only two in the pack since you're the only one to interact with him. He would then see your wife as an outsider interfering with the pack. Either way it shouldn't happen and needs to be corrected immediately.

There are trainers around that can help you work on this specific issue if you really want to avoid the last resort option. They'll give you the tools you need to fix the issue and will give you ideas on how to re-socialize your dog to your wife.

If the worst comes around and you find yourself needing a new puppy make sure your wife and kids are involved with the dog as much as possible. The dog needs to know that you are not the only other person in the pack.

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Black Jack hit it right on the head. Nice job. Alphamanship is the key to a happy pack. I could fill up a couple of pages on it. TO start have your wife start taking over the feeding and the play time. She needs to start and end all dog games. Be the first one in and out of the door.

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Thanks everyone I have been letting my wife interact with him more she of course played with him when he was a pup but then that ended and I think that's why we had a baby shortly after getting him

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X3 with blackjack I have had hounds and have seen this with a hand full of them. I have included my famley in on most to all the hunting, feeding, play,ect, I still have a bit of a problem with my 9 year old daughter and one of my plotts, However he has "hard headed" come to reason that she is also higher rank in the pack. Let you wife work the dog not just for play for everything from sit and heal,come ect.

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  • 2 weeks later...

x4, she needs to be the provider, to get reacquainted with the dog.

Make sure she doesnt show weakness to the dog when it growls at her. I have a hound that after a good nights hunting, he gets an attitude on the ride home, and doesnt want to go back to his kennel, and will get growly at times. I make sure he knows who the boss is, I will grab his snout, and squeeze firmly, and tell him "NO" with a stern voice. He seems to learn from it. I am not into being rough with animals, but I do make sure if any of my dogs start thinking they are in charge, they learn very quick, that they are wrong.

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x4, she needs to be the provider, to get reacquainted with the dog.

Make sure she doesnt show weakness to the dog when it growls at her. I have a hound that after a good nights hunting, he gets an attitude on the ride home, and doesnt want to go back to his kennel, and will get growly at times. I make sure he knows who the boss is, I will grab his snout, and squeeze firmly, and tell him "NO" with a stern voice. He seems to learn from it. I am not into being rough with animals, but I do make sure if any of my dogs start thinking they are in charge, they learn very quick, that they are wrong.

Our 8 year old Vizsla "Jersey" will do this sometimes to me when I bring her down to her kennel when she doesn't want to go. She will growl all the way down the stairs, put her legs in the kennel with her head out not wanting me to close the door. She is pretty hard headed also. She does back off after a firm squeeze, but still does it from time to time. She does get that look in her eye that shes gonna nail me, but she hasn't - as of yet. And if she did, I think she knows good things wouldnt happen. I can't let anyone else kennel her besides me, otherwise she thinks someone, or something is in the house that isn't supposed to be. She will snap if she cant protect the family. And if shes out and we're not home...there's NO way you would get in our house. She has always been like that. Her loyalty gets her in trouble sometimes - ie: curtains on the front window getting destroyed...etc.

My other 4 yr old Vizsla wouldn't hurt a fly and wants to be on your lap all the time and wants nothing to do with hunting, or even pointing at a bird for that matter. Funny how different dogs can be of the same bread.

My advice would be for your wife like everyone says to spend more time with the dog - have her do the feedings, etc etc. If it comes to the point where he wants nothing to do with her, and snaps at her - sorry, but I wouldnt have one problem getting rid of it. Understandable the dog is like a family member, but this is your wife, and a threat to her and your kids. Thats #1

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  • 2 weeks later...

Agree with the dominance thing. The dog, no matter how much you may love him/her needs to understand that in the hierarchy of things, it's on the bottom of the totem pole.

Wife should work with dog on her own plus whole fam damily work with dog together.

If dog maintains an aggressive behavior with the missus after a while of this..........well..........you're not going to like my suggestion but I think you know what it is. My opinion only here, there's no room in a house for an aggressive dog especially with young-uns running around. If the dog thinks it's more important than the wife, and it isn't corrected, the kids are next in line.

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Eric, I guess that all depends on if you want the wife, or the dog more smile

I would like to hear how the dog is doing now? Have you been working with it? Wife been feeding it?

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  • 5 months later...

We have been working with him and well today he had another moment launching at our house dog he saw him when I opened the door my kids were right by are house dog which is a little morkie. My dad says you have given him enough chances. This sucks I wish someone could tell me the right thing to do I already talked to the vet and he said he wouldn't blame me for my decision

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Boy that is a tough deal... My cousin had an absolute p-rick of a lab. Constantly getting in dog fights and twic causing vet bills to get them stitched up. He tried to bite me once when I went over to his house and he wasn't home. I said put that dog down before something really horrible happens... he said he was just protective. I reminded him about his aggressive behavior around other dogs... he said he was keeping him. I quit hunting with him, twice he attacked my dog, neither time was there more than a tooth mark... but still. I found out through another cousin he had to put the dog down AFTER he attacked one of his children. I guess the decision was easy then. but th kid needed to go and get stitched up. Same with an old boss of mine, he held on to an aggressive pointer... ended up putting a gash across his son's face before he went bye.

You have to ask yourself... do you really trust this dog?

Good Luck!

Ken

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You nailed it. I took my son and this dog out for youth opener last year and I was constantly watching the dogs behavior because I don't trust him I will not let my son let him out because I don't trust him and that seems wrong to me.

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That is wrong! Imagine how your family probably feels around a dog you don't trust. I would imagine they are borderline fearful. Bye Bye..however you decide to do it.

My suggestion is get a new one and let the family take it to puppy obedience classes. Great way to spend time with family, and a fantastic way to socialize a pup.

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How have things been going with the training prior to this latest incident? Was the dog getting better around your wife?

Can you think of anything that might have triggered the latest outburst?

If you have a mind to keep trying with the dog I'd get some outside assistance that will be able to bring a new perspective to the situation. A professional trainer may be able to see something you are missing on what may be triggering the dog. They'd also be able to give you some specific things to work on to curb the behavior. If all else fails and you still have to put the dog down you at least can rest easy knowing you did everything in your power to give the dog a chance.

With that said a trainer won't be a cheap fix and its certainly not going to be a quick and easy fix so I don't think anyone would blame you at this point if you opted for the permanent solution. Like you said there is something wrong when you feel like you can't trust your dog.

Good luck with whichever way you end up going. Certainly not an easy decision to make.

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At 9 years old, I wouldn't stick much more into a dog with a temperament issue. From my experience, they don't seem to get much better and more often than not, get worse.

I was going to ask if the dog was spayed/neutered? I would think the vet would have brought that up, though.

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I think you already know wha the answer is in this situation. No....it is not pleasant, but you know it has to be done. You simply cannot risk a family member getting bitten, perhaps in the face with terrible consequences.

Do it now and have done with it. All of us here understand the pain. We wish you well.

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Good point. I forgot that its a 9 year old dog. Probably not worth a large training expense at that age.

After thinking about it from what you describe it sounds like the dog is most likely not wanting to accpet its place in the pack which right now is at the bottom of the pecking order, even behind the other house dog. If it sees the house dog as being above him in pack order I can see it wanting to assert dominance and challenge that position. It sounds like it was doing the same with your wife.

If that is really the case I'm out of answers as to how to make the dog accpet its place. I'm guessing some dogs never get it and will always be looking for a time and place to challenge.

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Tough to do something like this to an animal you have invested most of a decade into, but I think this is a problem that won't go away until you make it go away permanently. I have been there, and I wasn't going to wait for my 10 yr old dog to maul my 2 yr old daughter, so I made the decision after the 3rd strike of aggressive behavior towards her. It isn't fun and my wife was pretty upset with me, but I am going to pick my kid(s) and family over my dog everytime.

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Thanks guys you have been a lot of help he is not neutered but the vet said since he is ten now that his testosterone level its going down and that would probably not help. I just talked to my dad and he said I think you knew the answer the whole time. He is right. This sucks

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Went through this about 7 years ago, mine was more of a fear aggresion with strangers but doesn't matter still a problem. I look at it this way if my dog bites someone out of the blue and I never seen it comming I'm going to blame it on the dog if I know something is wrong and it happens then it's my fault period. If the dog bites someone in your family thats one thing but if the dog bites someone else and you knew this was going on EVEN in your own house or yard your screwed, you stand the chance of loosing every thing. Even more so now that you have posted this on the internet. It sucks but it's one other part of being a responsible dog owner.

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I am wondering if he has an underlying health issue that hasnt been detected. I could see him acting like this towards people other than the primary care giver. He doesnt want to be angry at you because he knows you take care of him.

You are in a tough spot.

With kids around and not feeling comfortable about what how he will react to them that is a dangerous situation.

You certainly dont want something REALLY bad to happen to force your hand either.

Not a fun deal for sure.

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I brought him to the vet this morning actually I had my dad do it I tried but I couldn't do it not a good day

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Sorry you had to make such a hard decision. It takes a strong man to make one like that. I for one, respect your decision.

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