Jump to content
Roseready

DESPERATE HELP NEEDED PLEASE!!!

18 posts in this topic

Hello! Im here as I desperatly need help with my Chuiwaha. 
Tilda came into our life about 6 months ago as a rescue that was surrendered by her family that moved interstate. She is 10 years old. When brining her into our family we knew she had aggression problems and have been vigilant in given her a secure loving home and daily training. She has not improved, she bites people and other animals. Ive spent hundreds of dollars on trying with dog behaviourists and training schools, nothing has helped. Im desperate and even thinking of sending her to one of those stay intraining centers (ive heard they are hopeless but will try anything now). She loves us and we love her, we just want to help her relax and have the ability to give her a good life. We cant take her outside the home as she is so dangerous to herself and others. Have joined this formun to get ANY advice please. Im a dog lover, trying to be a responsible trainer and doing what Im told, but feel like I am failing. Thanks, Rose

Details: Family of 4. Kids 10 and 5 yr old. 

We use positive reinforement training.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome....

 

Has your dog had a thorough vet checkup..blood tests etc ?

What was her lifestyle like before she came to you ? 

 

Has her aggression stayed the same, got less, or increased? 

 

Where are you located?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rebanne   

Do not send her away for training, no matter how desperate you are. Has she seen a vet? There are drugs that can help. Your dog can't learn anything when living in such a state of high arousal all the time and it can't be much fun for her. Where abouts are you? DOL members may be able to recommend someone you can see. I can't believe the behaviourists  you have seen have not suggested medication, unless it is something you have forgotten to mention.

Also you are not failing, personally I think the dogs first family failed by dumping her. 10 years of very bad behaviour may prove impossible to change. Is she biting your kids?

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tassie   

Assuming you are in New South Wales,  Sydney Animal Behaviour Services and specifically Dr Kersti Seksel would be a "go to" for me.   As a vet behaviourist specialist, she is best placed to assess your little dog and advise what treatment routes would likely be best.  With such a stressed little dog, I personally would not even consider a board and train.   I would also have expected some pharmaceutical intervention before any training solutions were attempted .. but I am not a vet and can't see your dog.   And I totally agree with @Rebanne … you are not failing your poor little girl.    You are doing the best you can, and I'm sure you will continue to do the best you can for her and for the family.

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Snook   

My heart breaks for your family and for the level of stress and anxiety your poor dog must be under, to be behaving so aggressively (assuming a medical cause has been ruled out). It sounds like you need the help of a vet behaviourist, as they specialise in behavioural/anxiety issues and look beyond just the training side of things. As Rebanne has said, medication may be necessary to reduce your dog's stress levels before there is a chance of training having some effect. It's hard to know what the prospects of success are without a thorough assessment by a vet behaviourist though. Please don't feel like a failure. This is a really complex and challenging situation and, again echoing Rebanne, the failure is on the part of previous owners who let down a senior dog with serious problems, not you. 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
asal   

I do detest the practice that is so common, automatically assume,  the owner or the breeder is at fault.

 

decades ago one of Nancy Gates girls, Gates Winifred,

had to our utter astonishment ten chihuahua puppies.  The first was stillborn but the other nine and their mum were cared for by me as Nancy had a heart attack some months previously and was still very unwell.

 

I noticed early that the little black and tan girl would not come out of the nest and play outside with her siblings. She would stand inside on the bedding and bark at them to come back and play with her.

when I picked her up and put her outside with her siblings she would run back to bed shaking and didnt relax for quite some time... I am talking  two almost three week old puppy.   At first I thought let her make the first moves but another week passed and she was if anything more fearful. I spent hours with her daily to bring her out of the shell none of her siblings exhibited...

 

even by 12 weeks she was "different", wary of anything new, wary of visitors.

 

She finally matured into a great little dog but she was always wary.

 

Nancy was well aware she was different to her siblings in temperament and kept her as a pet.  

 

She decided to breed a litter from her because she sure was a stunner and to our delight none of her puppies where wary or shy in any way.

 

Only she knew why she was different but she was that was from her first learning to walk...

 

and remember there were 8 others who were outrageously outgoing. I kept her blue and tan sister Bluey and she would race to any visitor for hugs and cuddles.

 

I really wish you well with your girl, and they help both you and her.

 

 

Edited by asal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dogsfevr   

At her age i doubt there will be any change in her behaviour  & i would imagine most of the training places & trainers would have made that very clear  which may not be what you wanted to hear results wise .
What they most likely suggested was modifying this one's lifestyle so its always safe & not able to do harm to people  & teaching you to understand her body language when she is not happy
The drug path would be more based on allowing the dog to settle down  & have better coping skills but the chances of modifying such behaviour at 10 years plus add the dog is likely to start losing hearing & eye sight over time means i would be concentrating more on setting up for a safe success into geriatic age .

I would not send such a dog to an away training facility & any that guarantees you results i would run a mile from .Any decent trainer also can not guarantee success BUT a good trainer teaches you very important skills to be a good dog owner .
Your not failing this dog ,sadly there are alot of nastys Chi's out there often due to owners who think there pocket pet doesn't need to conform to normal dog manners or there so small its no real trouble.

What i would suggest is changing your expectations .That may mean you will never have the perfect dog BUT there are certainly things you can do to give this one fun in its own way .

If it hasn't had a basic vet check ie bloodwork then do so that would also include checking teeth or lack off ,Dogs with awful rotten teeth can be quite nasty .
Stick with a trainer that is very honest about what is trainable & manageable .
Look at a consult with a vet behavourist who can maybe suggest meds but all aspects of pros/cons should be discussed
 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
~Anne~   

Your problem is that you took in a dog, that was known to have aggression issues, and you have young children. Emotions ruled the day I’m guessing and you thought you’d be able to save her and you’ve obviously bitten off more than you can chew. 

 

A ten year old Chihuahua is not going to suddenly change, even with training. Chis are feisty little dogs and at 10 years of age, that pattern is set in stone. The age and the breed are against you. 

 

You will either have to manage the dog to ensure everyone is safe, including the dog, or you find a home that can manage it. Both options will not be easy but can be done. 

Edited by ~Anne~
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anne is right.

 

The environment is always a factor and she just isn't the right fit, not your fault or the dog's. I'm surprised trainers haven't advised you you're pushing poo up a hill.

I'd never send a senior toy breed off to a boot camp either!!  Please don't even consider it. Drugs yes, crate training yes, but not sending her away. 

 

Happy to help if you need to find a rescue group who won't be rehoming her to an inappropriate home. Depends on your area/state, just message. 

Edited by Powerlegs
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have been given a lot of very good advice, please please get her checked over thoroughly by a competent vet, make sure they check everything, eyes, ears, teeth, bloods etc.

 

We had a little chi who had very similar behaviour which gradually got worse, she had a nasal tumour that spread to her brain, we luckily knew about it before the behaviour escalated.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
~Anne~   

I have a friend who adopted an old cranky Chihuahua 18months ago. She was used to laid back, amicable old pugs. After 18 months I can happily say it’s working out for her as far as I can tell, but there have been many moments of despair.

 

She’s also in the fortunate position of having no children, and no other pets. It’s just her and her partner. They can afford to be patient and it’s much easier for them to manage his moods and deal with his geriatric health concerns. It’s a bit different to your scenario though. You need to make a few decisions. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Rose! Please consult a veterinary behaviourist as others have said. Here’s a list of them – scroll down to see others in NSW who have further qualifications but aren’t registered specialists if cost is an issue. Some travel or do Skype consults.

 

I disagree that things are set in stone. My chi mix was finally diagnosed with anxiety disorders at age 10 and has made remarkable progress with anti-anxiety medication and continued behaviour modification (all positive). He’s now 13 and much happier than he was at 10! Environment plays a part too, his is altered to reduce his day-to-day stress. Just like you’re doing with keeping your little one at home.

 

Definitely a thorough vet exam including bloodwork. Many behaviour vet websites have information for referring vets that you could pass on. Anything that may be physically wrong will have an impact on her behaviour, for example if she is in pain. If exams are difficult because of her fear, a vet behaviourist can prescribe anxiety medications or a sedation protocol to assist.

 

Until you can get help from a vet behaviourist, can you keep her world smaller? It’s a lot to ask of the kids I know, but limiting guests, keeping things calm, quiet, and relaxed at home – as much as is possible with a 5 and 10 y/o! – will help in the interim. Here’s an article about cortisol vacations from a trainer who also has an anxious dog.

 

Best wishes. It may be that you need to make some tough decisions, but I think you owe it to yourselves and your dog to get professional advice from a vet who has further qualifications in behaviour medicine. Definitely DO NOT do the board and train thing.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
stellnme   

A ten year old Chihuahua may very likely have pain issues from patella problems, dental, or any manner of medical events, which could be causing aggression. I helped a little chi from the pound with such severe dental issues that his jaw had broken.  No one had noticed.  I agree a thorough vet evaluation would be the first thing to do, if not already done.  If all checks out okay, you will need to manage your little dog with its own space and being kept away from situations that increase anxiety.  Ten year old tiny dogs may very likely not want to interact a lot with visitors, children etc. and that's okay.  It may just come down to making sure all the medical needs are covered and management, if you are prepared to do so.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This little dog was adopted, bringing her aggression along.
Perhaps you thought a new and loving home could make her better?  :kissbetter:
She has since been subjected to several different training scenarios and will be feeding off your anxieties and worries, as well as being upset at being separated from her home territory/lifestyle, which, even if it was not perfect was what she was used to.
She has had a LOT of upheavals, and it would be surprising if deep-seated aggression improved during this period. :( , so, it isn't really a 'failing'  of yours. 
The only 'failing' was offering to take on a very high maintenance dog who may live another 10 years ..and for whom you need to construct a suitable management plan.
There have been some very sensible and informed suggestions given ... hopefully, you can find something which will lessen the anxiety and worry for you all.
 

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first question would be - has she had her teeth checked out?   Pain could cause the aggression but so could fear - Chihuahuas and other toy breeds are not suitable for young children.  I also don't put elderly dogs with young children. 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×