Desperately Animal Behavior Advice for Couple Caring for 9 year old German Shep. Dog Multiple Issues

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by mattfulleroc, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. mattfulleroc

    mattfulleroc Songster

    Aug 31, 2010
    I need immediate advice for an elderly couple caring for a 9 year old German Shep. neutered dog. Several events have effected the dog and the loving and willing caregivers have sought the advice of several animal behaviorists without success. I was asked if I could possibly offer advice but this is way out of my zone of knowledge or experience. The course of events and history of dog are:

    * Rescued as adult est. Age 8..believed to have been caged most of his life
    * bonded well overcame anxiety and abuse issues, does well with other animals
    * owner lost job forced to work away from home dog displaced to New home in country with man's does well adjusting initially..bonds with other dog and caregivers
    * dog has accident while running in neighbors field...shocked by electric fence
    *afraid to go outside trembles cries terrified from incident forward
    *companion dog wanders aimlessly throughout house, whines quite often..appetite not changed..sleep not change
    *dog shows sign of agression toward stranger (New symptom) afraid he might overpower them while on leash.

    They are concerned and live in a rural isolated part.of Illinois. They have seen two animal behavior specialists...the dog shows no signs of improvement after a year..and thousands of dollars...

    I am at a loss on this one...Opie.ions would be greatly appreciated. Owners are willing to continue seeking help but need to try to understand the best course of treatment..asked about another dog for gets along very well with mini pig and rabbits

    Willing to take dog to obedience/

    Opinions and advice would be greatly appreciated.


  2. FiveHens

    FiveHens Songster

    Apr 7, 2010
    I don't pretend to have much experience with this, at all, so this is just my opinion and best advice. It seems like that dog has been through a lot. It might not be capable of returning to a normal, human-friendly role after its tough and changing life. Perhaps it would be possible to give the dog a new role in the household? You said it got along well with pigs and rabbits...perhaps the dog would honestly be happier living out wherever the livestock live, so that he could have a calmer life and have less exposure to humans that aren't his masters. I don't think trying to make him return to a normal, sociable doggy life would work, whether through training, therapy, whatever. Maybe what he really needs is stability and love (not saying they haven't been giving him any, I'm sure they have) and maybe a lifestyle away from humans all the time would work better. Perhaps he could also have a limited territory; fence, electric fence, etc. so that he would be guarded against getting into any more stressful incidents. He might also benefit from getting a new companion dog; a younger one--I know that can perk up unhappy older dogs. Not knowing the dog, it's really hard to say. But that's my immediate impression from your post.
    Best of luck, Hazel
  3. Skyesrocket

    Skyesrocket Songster

    Mar 20, 2008
    Hmmmmm.....Are you sure that he didn't become afraid of going outside after the companion dog died? That would make more sense than getting shocked by an electric fence. I'm sure the shock hurt like heck, but doubt that it would make it afraid of being outside in his owners yard. It should just make him weary of the area he was shocked in.
    If they haven't already the dog needs a good vet exam. He could be going blind. That would explain the being afraid of being outside and even the agressiveness towards strangers. He might have to go to an eye specialist. Loss of hearing could also explain it. The owners could check that for themselves by saying his name quietly when he isn't looking at them.
    How is he when the owners go away for a while? Any signs of seperation anxiety? Any before or after the companion dog died?
  4. Mrs. Feathers

    Mrs. Feathers Songster

    Apr 2, 2010

  5. mattfulleroc

    mattfulleroc Songster

    Aug 31, 2010
    Dear Hazel,

    Thank you so much for replying to my post about the German Shep. dog. I am afraid I somehow didn't subscibe the right way as for some reason it didn't alert me to the fact you had replied.

    The people caring for this dog are willing to do whatever it takes and actually live a bit closer than I thought to things...they do live in the country but are about an hour and a half from there surely will be some behavior specialists or trainers who have dealt with this sort of thing...I actually know the woman via rabbits as she is the club president...this dog is in good hands..and has been seen by multiple specialists...the poor guy simply has some issues and time and patience seem to be the one thing he unquestionably recieves and responds to.

    Thank you so much for your advice...I will pass the information along right away...Sincerely, matt

    [email protected]
  6. mattfulleroc

    mattfulleroc Songster

    Aug 31, 2010

    Sorry I am so bad at the Internet and did not sign up for the subsciption correctly evidently...I just happened to log on and saw your kind response to my post. Thank you so very much...I truly appreciate your advice and will pass it along to the couple who is caring for this dog. Sincerely,


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