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Thread: Hank aggression

  1. #1
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Default Hank aggression

    We need your help. Our Great Pyr, Hank is almost 7 years old. He was an extremely shy puppy, I would say to the point of fearful. At the age of three, he attacked me twice. We spoke with a behaviorist and Hank and I regained our trust with one another. That is until just recently. He has again become aggressive with me. He has not been aggressive with my husband. This recent event occurred when I went to pet him, he got in my face and growled, I kept still and he circled me growling the whole time, I only said, "Hank, it's okay, over and over, my husband was telling him no. Hank then left the room. The next day his behavior was normal, wanted my attention and what my love'n. The other agressive growling occurred today, I was just going to let him out, and for no apparent reason, he began growling at me. Same scenario as before, but this time I told him no and after about 15 seconds, he stopped growling and stepped away from me. At this point he seemed almost confused, unsure of me. We are scheduling an appointment with the vet, regardless of the fact that there has been nothing to indicate he is in pain. What do we do? We love him so much, please help.

  2. #2
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) SebastiansMom's Avatar

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    I am so sorry you are having these issues with Hank.

    I do think that a trip to the Vet is in order with him. Make sure your vet is aware that you are there for sudden onset behavioral changes, as the testing that s/he is likely to order is often not part of what s/he would have done as part of a routine check-up.

    In the meantime, I would strongly advise keeping a detailed journal of his behavior to see if any patterns emerge. Write down everything - the events leading up to an episode, what the weather was doing that day, what you were wearing, what room you were in, anything that might have been different, anything you can think of.

    Also, if you haven’t already, I would strongly advise learning to read Hank’s body language, as there are usually very subtle signs of discomfort that lead up to a dog snapping. I like the app DogDecoder (for Android and iOS), and also found the book “For the Love of a Dog”, by Patricia McConnell to be immensely helpful.

    Please keep us posted
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  3. #3
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Shaggys Mom's Avatar

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    I am so sorry. I can tell of 2 different things similar, but involved golden retrievers. Our first golden started growing at the boys next door over the fence (6 foot wooden fence). They ere BRATS when little and we thought perhaps they were throwing things at him over the fence--they had a picnic table against the fence on their side. He didn't actually get testy with us, but became stand offish. Turns out he had low thyroid. Got him on meds and his temperament changed back, he lost the weight he had put on, and his fur thickened back up. The other involved another a golden belonging to a lady on my golden forum. Robin actually trained dogs and had the 2 goldens. When Molly was a bout 6 she took to growling at the dogs coming to the house for training and Roblin had to keep out of the training room. Then she started growling at Reason, Robin's other golden, and then at Robin. Finally she nipped Robin. After each episode Molly would go around with had and tail down as if she was sorry for what she had done. She started attacking Reason, but he would not fight back. Finally after many tests, etc it was determined Molly had a "short circuit" in her brain and nothing could be done and since she was so miserable--it seemed she knew she was doing wrong, but could nto stop--they sent her to the Rainbow Bridge.

    This is two entirely different things, but both are woth checking out. Good luck with you boy.
    Jerry and Moose

  4. #4
    Puppy (New Member)

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    Thank you both for your kind thoughts and suggestions and other examples. They are all very helpful and appreciated!

    We took Hank to the Vet yesterday, our vet did a very complete physical exam to see if he may have been experiencing any pain. Thankfully he is in excellent physical condition. The next step is the blood work. We should have the results early next week. If those come back clean, they are leaning towards dementia. We will be watching him closely and walking him regularly (like we have before and more) to see if a dementia diagnosis fits. If it does there may be some medications that will help.

    Thank you again for your support, I just wanted to provide an update.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

  5. #5
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Brayjj's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanks Mom View Post
    Thank you both for your kind thoughts and suggestions and other examples. They are all very helpful and appreciated!

    We took Hank to the Vet yesterday, our vet did a very complete physical exam to see if he may have been experiencing any pain. Thankfully he is in excellent physical condition. The next step is the blood work. We should have the results early next week. If those come back clean, they are leaning towards dementia. We will be watching him closely and walking him regularly (like we have before and more) to see if a dementia diagnosis fits. If it does there may be some medications that will help.

    Thank you again for your support, I just wanted to provide an update.

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

    Thank you for the update. We had a dog once the developed dementia. His started with extra barking. Then acting strange around our one daughter. Not aggressive just different. Then he started drinking more. All these things were very slow to come on. Eventually he started getting stuck behind the toilet (he was a 80 pound dog). Then he started pressing his head into walls. Then he started to fall into our Pond ans would wonder off. The end was not pretty and looking back wish we put him out of his misery earlier. He eventually came to the point he didn't know who we were, no aggression, just no realization and blank eyes. He lost control of both his back legs then and once the seizures started we put him down.
    He was a dog that never had an aggressive bone in his body. My parents were the most heart broken because the last time he saw them he didn't know them at all snd they were his favorite people. He lived till 16. He had a good life. If it is dementia it's good to catch it early. By the time we really put two and two together there wasn't much to be done. I pay way more attention to signs then ever once we experienced that.

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