Thinking of giving up Oakley

Dreeza

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#1
I just don't know if I can do it anymore. I feel like the worst owner ever, as you could say I am giving him up for my fiance, but...it isn't that Adam doesn't like him or want him...it is that Oakley is just a different dog when he is around. Same crap as always - 90% of the time, he is great. But the 10% is bad & just driving me crazy. It is just something every day. Whether it is just incessant whining/barking when we are trying to have a conversation/watching TV/im trying to work; or his just bad attitude when he feels like being a jerk, it is just getting to be too much.

It is so hard, cause right now Adam & I aren't living together, so even though he isn't perfect when it is just him & I, he is way better, and it just makes me reconsider every time. The funny thing is...Oakley is also much better when it is just him & Adam - which made Adam reconsider when they had a bonding experience the other week, haha.

But that won't be how it is once we move in together. I just think the busy roads are just too much for him with the constant buses going by, etc.

If Adam's parent's take us up on it, he might be moving to Kentucky...he would have to be an outdoor dog though (with garage shelter & a heated bed when it is cold), but he would have the freedom to run around, chase deer/animals/play & play & play...cause they have like 100acres of land for him to have free range of. But they're worried about taking him now that he has bitten someone (oh yeah, did I mention he sent someone to the ER biting their calf? Happened with my dog walker while i was away for thanksgiving...)

I don't know what to do if they don't agree to this though. Thoughts? Other options I haven't considered? Training tools?
 

Laurelin

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#2
It sounds like a tough situation. I am not sure you can really give up a 9 year old biting dog though to someone else. :/ Especially since it wasn't a minor bite.
 

meepitsmeagan

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#4
I'm not trying to be rude, but it honestly doesn't sound like he's getting enough exercise/mental stimulation? I haven't been here too long and I don't know the history.. but that's screaming at me.

I also think that we need some more specifics on exactly what's going on in his behavior rather than just whining.
 

stardogs

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#5
I know you've dealt with lots of anxiety-related behaviors in the past. Is Oakley medicated? If not, has that been tried? Have you had him evaluated by a vet behaviorist?

The KY home sounds like a really bad situation to me: new people he doesn't know, limited interaction, and free running? When he has a serious bite history? No. That's asking for more issues and/or serious injury to him or someone else (like a UPS driver, the mailman, etc.).
 

Taqroy

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#6
I know you've dealt with lots of anxiety-related behaviors in the past. Is Oakley medicated? If not, has that been tried? Have you had him evaluated by a vet behaviorist?

The KY home sounds like a really bad situation to me: new people he doesn't know, limited interaction, and free running? When he has a serious bite history? No. That's asking for more issues and/or serious injury to him or someone else (like a UPS driver, the mailman, etc.).
All of this. I know it's a heart rending decision but how can you hand over a dog with a bite history and massive anxiety issues? That sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.
 

Dizzy

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#7
I sometimes feel you've grown out of Oakley, and not the other way around. I feel you are in a different place in your life and he doesnt fit it anymore.

He has needed 100% attention for a long time and I hope he can find someone who is devoted and able.

And I'm not saying that in a critical way or horrid way... People change. Life changes. Circumstances change. Dogs don't always change with us. That's nobodies fault, but a huge reason people should think before getting a dog.

Hope you work something out, and don't be too hard on yourself. But do try to find him the perfect match as a home....
 

AllieMackie

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#8
Whether or not you feel you can care for Oakley is ultimately your decision and your decision alone. Sometimes it's the right decision to rehome a dog, and it doesn't make the individual a bad person or a failure. Good dog owners have to make tough decisions about their dogs sometimes.

What I will say is that your current rehoming plan is a disaster waiting to happen. Oakley needs more work and attention, not less of it. More land won't make him better. It's a lot of change, and based on your past posts here he's always at his worst when there is change in his life.

He's an older dog with a bite history, and you need to seriously consider those things if/when you decide to rehome a dog like him.... and that sometimes you just can't rehome a dog like him.
 

Dreeza

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#9
Thanks for the thoughts on the KY situation...definitely reconsidering it now that you guys have brought up those points.

But what do I do when I am becoming scared of him? If I can't rehome him and DO NOT have the time for him, then what? I definitely agree he needs more time, but I have NO clue where to get that time from!?

I know he needs more attention, but when he is consistently getting it - his behavior isn't any better. It actually tends to be a little worse. Don't get me wrong, whenever I can, we go to the open area to throw sticks/let him run, etc (about to right now), but then once we get home, he is so wired for like an hour, that he is biting my feet anytime I try to walk, jumping up, grabbing my hand etc. At the park, he gets so tired that he just lies down, so it isn't like I'm not running out his energy. We usually go for a walk after the park too. But to be realistic, I cannot do it everyday (he obviously gets walks everyday & gets to run around in the yard though)

I have a fulltime job that required ~50 hrs/week at work + always extra time at home, and I am now about to start school again, and will be doing that 15-20 hrs/week on top of work. What am I supposed to do? This situation is NOT ideal for him at all because I don't have the time for him...and that is one of the hardest things for me to admit.

And for those who don't know the history, it was NOT my choice to get Oakley. He was my family's dog & I took him in when they were trying to give him back to a shelter for being too aggressive...which I knew would be a death sentence for him. I would have never chosen to get a dog if it were my choice, as I know it isn't fair to any dog. That being said, that doesn't mean I don't love him to death and want to do what is best for him.

I just don't know what my options are.

Here was a previous thread on some of his behavior issues: http://chazhound.com/forums/showthread.php?t=261541

Since then, he has been to a vet & a homeopathic vet...I've probably spent over $1000 in supplements & visits. I do think it helped bring him back down to his baseline before I wrote that thread, but I just can't afford to keep doing it. Money is a huge issue...I can barely pay off my student loans + my own health costs since I was in a bad accident a year ago (and am still having to go to vision therapy, which is insanely expensive). Had to pay the guy $500 cash that he bit.

The only thing I can think of is getting a dog walker, but I don't trust them, as the bite happened under one's watch...even though I was insanely specific about passing strangers (i.e. don't do it), etc. I can't afford these mistakes again, nor do I want anyone else getting hurt.
 

Taqroy

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#10
I just don't know what my options are.
Come on. You know what your options are. Figure out a way to spend time and money on Oakley, or put him down.

I should say responsible actions - you could add rehoming to that list but IMO that would be incredibly irresponsible and likely a death sentence for Oakley.

Are you posting just for validation? I'm sorry I'm trying not to be mean but this happens every time you post. You KNOW what your options are, you just want other people to tell you it's okay. And really the only person that matters that should KNOW what the right answer is...is you. You're the one who has to live with your decision.
 

JessLough

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#11
Come on. You know what your options are. Figure out a way to spend time and money on Oakley, or put him down.

I should say responsible actions - you could add rehoming to that list but IMO that would be incredibly irresponsible and likely a death sentence for Oakley.

Are you posting just for validation? I'm sorry I'm trying not to be mean but this happens every time you post. You KNOW what your options are, you just want other people to tell you it's okay. And really the only person that matters that should KNOW what the right answer is...is you. You're the one who has to live with your decision.
This.

Do not hire a dog walker for your dog that has a bite record and you're afraid of. That's just asking for more people to get hurt.
 

Laurelin

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#12
He's an older dog with a bite history, and you need to seriously consider those things if/when you decide to rehome a dog like him.... and that sometimes you just can't rehome a dog like him.
Yes this is what I was trying to say.

I just think you need to be realistic about rehoming a 9 year old anxious and biting dog... it's probably not going to happen. And even if it could, is it responsible to send a dog like that to someone else? What if something happened?

In my mind there's only two options: figure out how to make it work with you or put him down.

Have you tried actual anxiety medicine vs homeopathic stuff?

I don't think anyone has a magic fix, unfortunately. One thing sticking out to me is that he's over-aroused when you get home from exercising him. Have you taught him to go to a spot to cool down? Mia is often very apt to be VERY annoying after exercise because she's overstimmed. Having a 'go to your place' and having them lie down till they relax is in my opinion a lifesaver.

I would not put a dog like that in a dog walker's hands. I think that's asking for another bite.
 

Dreeza

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#13
Come on. You know what your options are. Figure out a way to spend time and money on Oakley, or put him down.

I should say responsible actions - you could add rehoming to that list but IMO that would be incredibly irresponsible and likely a death sentence for Oakley.

Are you posting just for validation? I'm sorry I'm trying not to be mean but this happens every time you post. You KNOW what your options are, you just want other people to tell you it's okay. And really the only person that matters that should KNOW what the right answer is...is you. You're the one who has to live with your decision.
I actually never thought of putting him down as an option. That is an awful thought.

I'm willing to somehow spend more money, but I need it to be cost effective. Right now I just feel like I'm throwing money at any possible remedy or whatever, or whatever the vet happens to recommend...and it just hasn't been working. He has been medicated...it didn't help, and both vets (both normal & homeopathic) recommend against it, as they think it would lead to an increased likelihood of him biting without warning.

If I somehow manage to spend more time, we'd be talking about like...20-30 minutes more?? And it would be at the expense of me doing my own vision therapy exercises/other things like that. I don't watch TV..and yah, I go on the internet at times like this to post, but I really don't do that much either. I can't just quit my job & stay home? Like, I get that that would probably help a lot,but I mean...that is obviously not an option!? What is the average time people are spending with their dogs? And how is that time spent (walks vs training vs just hanging out)

I posted in hopes of coming up with options I haven't considered. Not for validation. I guess I was just a bit exasperated when I posted.
 

Zoom

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#14
If Adam's parent's take us up on it, he might be moving to Kentucky...he would have to be an outdoor dog though (with garage shelter & a heated bed when it is cold), but he would have the freedom to run around, chase deer/animals/play & play & play...cause they have like 100acres of land for him to have free range of. But they're worried about taking him now that he has bitten someone (oh yeah, did I mention he sent someone to the ER biting their calf? Happened with my dog walker while i was away for thanksgiving...)

I don't know what to do if they don't agree to this though. Thoughts? Other options I haven't considered? Training tools?
No. Just no. Either you figure out a way to continue managing Oakley--get him on some anxiety medication already!--or put him down.

He's a dog with a serious bite history and his ENTIRE history has been one of near-bites and unpredictability. I can remember ONE thread out of however many you've posted where you were happy with how Oakley was behaving and that was years ago.

Whether or not you've "outgrown" Oakley like Dizzy suggested or he's honestly getting worse with age is beside the point. You have known for years that you have a relatively dangerous dog and now you want to send him off to parts unknown where he has zero structure, little interaction, etc? Just put him down and save him the mental anguish and save someone else a trip to the hospital.
 

Beanie

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#15
If the meds didn't help, he's not on the right med. Anxiety meds for dogs aren't really that much different than anxiety meds for people. There's not just One Med that will work for every person or every dog.
Oakley needs a veterinary behaviorist.
http://www.dacvb.org/

I agree with everybody else. The options for Oakley are you find a way to help him or you put him down. Absolutely there is probably a home out there who could help him work through his issues, but it's hard to find what is essentially a special needs home, and the safety of people in that home will be your responsibility, even if they know what they are getting into.

He is a special needs dog. Everybody has their breaking point on how much money they will spend trying to fix their dog. Maybe you have reached yours.

Dumping him off somewhere else to basically be a free-running dog is not an acceptable answer. There isn't going to be anything that will be cheap, and there's no guarantees that spending more money is going to resolve everything either. If you aren't in a position where you can continue to spend money to try and help him with whatever his demons are, you need to do right by him and let him go.
 

Saeleofu

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#16
I'm willing to somehow spend more money, but I need it to be cost effective. Right now I just feel like I'm throwing money at any possible remedy or whatever, or whatever the vet happens to recommend...and it just hasn't been working. He has been medicated...it didn't help, and both vets (both normal & homeopathic) recommend against it, as they think it would lead to an increased likelihood of him biting without warning.
What medication did you try, and what one(s) were they telling you decrease bite inhibition?

Gavroche is on fluoxetine. I started it because he grinds his teeth every winter (but not this winter! It fixed that! WOO!) , but it's had some other very nice results on his behavior, too. I can now take him into pet store and he doesn't shut down. It's $4 a month.

As far as post-exercise, stick him in a crate? I feel like a lot of what you're talking about could be fixed or at least managed by crate training.
 

PWCorgi

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#17
Vet Behaviorist stat!

He has been medicated...it didn't help, and both vets (both normal & homeopathic) recommend against it, as they think it would lead to an increased likelihood of him biting without warning.
Your human GP isn't going to be walking you through therapy and giving you Prozac. You shouldn't be listening to your regular vet for b-mod drug advice.

To the bolded...um, no? Are they talking about like...Acepromazine? That's not what I would consider a b-mod drug...or at least not a good one.

He needs to be evaluated by someone who does this for a living, not a general vet.

Being on b-mod drugs has changed Frodo's life. I seriously hope you are able to do the same for Oakley.
 
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#18
Actually fluoxetine CAN disinhibit bite inhibition and make a dog more likely to bite. That happened to Pip, actually.

Having said that, there are many other options for behavioral modification drugs that DON'T have that effect.
 

*blackrose

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#19
Coming from someone who has owned a dog that suffers from anxiety and various forms of human aggression, I just want to reiterate what everyone else has said. Either find a way to make it work...or euthanize. That was our conclusion with Chloe, and luckily my parents are saints and were okay with her staying with them when I moved out and their living situation is as about as ideal for Chloe as it can be. That being said, my mother and I have talked at length and we are both in an agreement that it may not always be that ideal place...and when that time comes, if my parents aren't willing to go the extra mile for her, we will euthanize. Not because we don't love her...but because it wouldn't be fair for her to live a life that she is unhappy in and that people are at risk in. No way would I even consider rehoming her. That would be more than unfair towards her and whomever we placed her with.
She's actually gotten a lot better with age and further training...but she's also worse in some respects. Not as many things trigger her anymore and she's able to cope with more stresses, but when she does react her reactions have become much more severe (repeated bites that break skin).

Try to make it work. Try different medication therapies. Enlist the help of a behaviorist who can help you work with him through his issues and maybe find triggers that you aren't aware of. And when you have done everything you can and it still isn't enough...humane euthanasia isn't a wrong thing.
 

noludoru

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#20
I just think you need to be realistic about rehoming a 9 year old anxious and biting dog... it's probably not going to happen. And even if it could, is it responsible to send a dog like that to someone else? What if something happened?

In my mind there's only two options: figure out how to make it work with you or put him down.
This. He's 9. He's had a long life and he's getting more dangerous. It sounds like he isn't very happy, either. Would you want to be miserable and anxious all the time? I wouldn't. I don't.

Seek out medication (Listen to PWC - she's turned Frodo into a different dog) and if it doesn't work, euthanasia is a 100% valid option. If money is that big of a worry, I even think going straight to euthanasia is a valid option.
 

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