Wednesday, June 2, 2010
I don't want to do this, but I just might have to.
Let me start off by saying that I love my dog. I got him as a beautiful ball of white fluff from a breeder, who breeds poodles and cockapoos. I wanted a cockapoo after endless research last year led me to believe that they were great with kids and social dogs. At ten months old, my puppy has been anything but friendly to many. Oh sure we go on nice walks and have our cuddle time on the couch, but ANYTHING could set him off and that mood changes in a bipolar instant. The sweet moments are becoming few and far between. I try to make sure that he has everything he needs. I took him to training class beginning at 9 weeks and continued with it and (still) work on it everyday. I brush him everyday, bathe him regularly, am always trying to play with him. He goes on walks three times a day. I feed him Halo. I take him to the dog park every weekend. I've socialized him with every person within a 50 mile radius. But, I've finally come to the conclusion that something is very wrong. When his agression issues began (gaurding paper, growling and snapping) I worked with a trainer ASAP to try and curb it. But starting last week, it got alarmingly worse.
The first time was when I got on my knees to clip his leash on. Noah bit my hand. HARD. It put a small hole between my index finger and my thumb. I came to the conclusion that it was my fault (maybe I startled him) I told him "OW! NO!" and he backed off. The second time was out of nowhere: He bit me while I was petting him. I put him in his crate to cool off. The third time, he bit my father as he gave Noah the drop it command while Noah grabbed mulch. On Saturday, while I was at a wedding shower my stepsister invited her friend and her little girl over for lunch. Noah let out a low, threatening growl to the 2 year old, (who made no move toward Noah and was just near her mom) and my stepmom quickly put Noah into his crate. But he continued to growl until she put a blanket over the crate. Tonight, I put my hand under Noah's mouth and said "drop it" in a calm, but firm, voice after he got in the trash. He growled low, snarled at me. I smoothed back his hair to look at his eyes, and it was like a strangers dog staring back. They were wild.
At the beginning of last week, I contacted a behaviorist, who is coming to see Noah this week. I've also been in contact with my vet, who will check Noah to see if anything is medically wrong. That's today. Noah is also no longer around children. I can't take a chance with little ones. He is on a leash with adults. I know I need more help with Noah at this point then you anyone can give, but am I doing the right things? I might be missing some steps to take? I just want to try everything I can to help my dog. I'll do so much for him.
That said, If this behaviorist or the vet can't help, Noah might have to be rehomed. I haven't told the breeder the steps I'm taking yet, but I did let her know that there is a major problem.
This is what she wrote:
"Hi Katie, So very nice of you to send me the pics and the update on Noah !
I have never had anyone say anything like this before so i am stumped but your trainer should be able to work on this issue and it does concern me that he bit you as they are very affectionate dogs."
I don't know what else to do. My dogs are my babies, but it's clear that Noah needs more help then I might be able to give.