Labradors Forums banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, I am new to this site and really need advice.

We have a male labrador who is 3 years 2 months old. He had an operation to remove cataracts at 15 months old just after our son was born (he was 3 weeks old at the time).

Ever since then we have noticed real changes in his behaviour in relation to aggression towards strangers/visitors to our home. We have had him at training classes and a trainer out to our home. I walk him with a muzzle after he gave someone a real fright. He barks when people come to our home and wevput him behind a stairgate in the kitchen so he can see whats going on. We thought we had control of the situation (although I say this I feel likd we have barely been getting by).

At the weekend though things escalated. We had friends staying (they have stayed before) and everything was going fine, the dog was accepting treats from my friends son and generally wasnt bothered by him. On sunday however i was in the kitchen doing dishes and Miller was with me. The kids were at the other side of the gate. I turned round as I heard him growl so I went over and my friends son was putting his hand toward Miller really slowly and he just snapped. Thankfully no harm was done but I have been so upset ever since.

I really try and keep him away from people but i feel he is worse when people approach him slowly.

I have got an appt with a behaviourist in Dec (the quickest I could) but I really feel so sad and at breaking point. Can anyone relate to this/help?

Has anyone had a positive experience in changing their dogs behaviour after using a behaviourist?
Many thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,113 Posts
Can't comment on the behaviourist but was his sight damaged in the op? Just wonder if that is making things worse if he can't see clearly?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,019 Posts
Hi

Have you discussed this with your vet ?

I would be concerned for his health and want a proper check.

I think that managing till you can get a professional to observe and help is as best as you can do. Is this someone you have used before, or vet recommended ?

Mandy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,626 Posts
Hi lanikins,

I have had a positive experience with two dogs that were aggressive both for different reasons. One was manageable eventually and the other seemed totally turned around and she was the one that was especially bad to start with. I didn't use a behavourist but I would have done if I knew about them at the time and would if I rescue a nervous dog in the future. I prefer not to discuss all the details on a forum but I can encourage you that there can be light at the end of the tunnel.

I know how low it can make you feel when you are going through a particular bad patch and I want to offer you support, you have done the right thing to ask for a professional to visit you and with hard work you will come through this. In the mean time try to reduce your stress by keeping him calm and avoiding situations where he can get himself into trouble until you have your appointment.

I made a lot of mistakes and I think I had a steep learning curve. The one thing I will mention until you see the behavourist is that I also kept one of mine behind a baby gate in the early days. I soon learnt that in my case it a mistake. My intention was to be kind so he could still see visitors as I didn't want to shut him away. I felt I was keeping guests safe as he couldn't get to them. The reality was though he was anxious because he could see them, his barrier became his new territory and he protected it fiercely. You may be able to keep him in but I found people never believed me that he needed his space and when I left the room went to stroke him thinking they knew better. Eventually I didn't need to shut him away from guests but it definitely helped his anxiety in the beginning if I just shut the door and let him have a sleep when I had visitors.

The same dog I mentioned above also went on in his later years to have glaucoma and eventually had to have both eyes removed. Problems with their eye sight can really effect their temperament, I hope he has got any scar damage on the eye. When my dog was first having problems he was easily spooked when we walked up behind him he couldn't really see us out of the corner of his eye so it was almost like we made him jump. I don't know anything about cataracts, does the cornea harden up again?

Please let us know how your appointment goes, good luck.

Amanda
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,785 Posts
Sorry to hear this. Must admit before I consulted any Behaviourist I'd be getting his eyes checked out too.

Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
244 Posts
My first stop for this would definitely be a vet. Could be his eyes, or anything else that might be causing pain or making him anxious.

Good luck, I hope you get him sorted, and as Tumack has said, I'm sure you will soon find the light at the end of the tunnel.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top