Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Chloe and thyroid

coppperbelle
September 19th, 2005, 07:52 PM
AS some of you may know Chloe my 5 year old golden was recently diagnosed with a thyroid problem. She has lost weight over the summer and at about the same time started showing signs of aggression.
She does have some past aggression problems, she bit me last year when I touched her tail. She had cold tail and I thought she had recovered. I touched her tail and she bit me. It broke the skin and my heart. A few months prior she bit my nephews girlfriend. He let her out of our truck and she flew out somehow managing to bite his girlfriend on the cheek. Thankfully the skin was not broken but she did have a bruise.
In a dog park one day I noticed a young girl come in and she right away was attracted to Chloe. She eventually made her way over to us and when she stuck her hand out to pet Chloe she jumped at the girl and barked. No bite but it scared the girl terribly. These incidences have all occured in the past year. When I first adopted her she did show her teeth on occasion but seemed to get passed it . Fear aggression, I believe.
She is now showing her teeth on a regular basis and last week nipped a neighborhood boy . I stopped to talk to some kids and one of the boys reached out to pet her and she nipped him. There was no warning. She knows this boy and we regularly meet kids on our walks and she has never done this before.
She is extremely nervous and anxious. I believe she may have been abused as a puppy but have not history on her. We all love this dog and have been through hell and back with her but would not consider trading her for anything. I am hoping that the escalating aggression issues are because of her thyroid. When she does show her teeth we don't back off.
I cannot seem to get information on how long it will take if the aggression is a result of her thyroid.
Perhaps her problem is a behavioral one. I am so discouraged. I thought we were doing so welll.

Lucky Rescue
September 20th, 2005, 10:35 AM
Have the meds regulated her thyroid and are the levels near normal and stabilized? If so, it should take a few weeks or maybe more for her behavior to improve.

It's hard to say if her aggression is medically induced, or if it's her temperament/genetic. Goldens are so overbred/badly bred that aggression problems are showing up in them.

She is anxious, nervous and she snarls, nips and has already bitten more than one person, so I'm not understanding why you are taking her to parks and allowing kids to approach her?

If you want to keep this dog, you can do so safely by keeping her out of the public and away from people, or you could find yourself being sued and maybe someone really getting hurt.

TobsterMom
September 20th, 2005, 11:45 AM
That's so sad. I really feel for you...I truely do. Maybe when you get her meds regulated, perhaps you can consult a behaviour specialist.

It's a downright shame what's happening to this breed...as with others. There is a pet store just up the street from me with 4 Goldens...I want to steal them. They will be sold with no history or spay/neuter contract, who knows who will buy them and do what with them. They'll have some behaviour/health issues and probably end up at the HS whithin a year and perhaps euthanized because no-one will want to deal with their problems.

I wish you luck with Chloe, have faith in her.

MIA
September 20th, 2005, 12:42 PM
I agree with Lucky, please don't put anymore people at risk with this dog. Get a muzzle if you are planning to take her into public, not only for the publics safety for yours as well.

Keep a close eye on the thyroid as yes that can be part of the problem, also be sure to discipline her when she is naughty. Keep her on leash when people come to your house and at this point I wouldn't trust her at all.

Goldens as any dog can do damage and so far you have been lucky, I personally wouldn't push it.

I do hope your situation improves for you.

coppperbelle
September 22nd, 2005, 09:05 PM
Have the meds regulated her thyroid and are the levels near normal and stabilized? If so, it should take a few weeks or maybe more for her behavior to improve.

It's hard to say if her aggression is medically induced, or if it's her temperament/genetic. Goldens are so overbred/badly bred that aggression problems are showing up in them.

She is anxious, nervous and she snarls, nips and has already bitten more than one person, so I'm not understanding why you are taking her to parks and allowing kids to approach her?

If you want to keep this dog, you can do so safely by keeping her out of the public and away from people, or you could find yourself being sued and maybe someone really getting hurt.

I am not sure how to answer your questions so that it does not sound like an excuse. I do not take Chloe to parks. Since the incident with the girl last year we have not been back. Rest assured that I have not walked her since the incident last week and have been looking for a muzzle. When we do walk again she will be muzzled.
Her anxiety and nervousness occurs when we leave her or she fears she will be left behind.
Perhaps it took me too long to realize that she has a problem. Because so much time elapsed between each incident I guess I felt that they were isolated and wouldn't happen again. When I think back at everything that has happened I realize that there have been a number of signs. Hindsight!! I now have faced the fact that she has a problem. I am giving the medication time and will have her re tested in 6 weeks to see if her levels have normalized.
I honestly don't know what to do.

LoNScamp
September 24th, 2005, 05:30 PM
Some questions for you: How long have you had Chloe? How have you dealt with the bites? Are you scared of her yourself after the bite incidents? Have you done any work with her i.e.sit/stays, down/stays, recall? If so does she listen to you and how often? Is her behaviour both on and off territory?

coppperbelle
September 25th, 2005, 07:03 PM
Some questions for you: How long have you had Chloe? How have you dealt with the bites? Are you scared of her yourself after the bite incidents? Have you done any work with her i.e.sit/stays, down/stays, recall? If so does she listen to you and how often? Is her behaviour both on and off territory?

I have had Chloe for 4 years. She was about 10 months old when we adopted her. I was not around for the first bite, in fact I didn't hear about it for a few days. My nephew and his girlfriend didn't want to upset me as they felt responsible. The second time she bit I reprimanded her verbally and she knew she did wrong. She has bitten twice, the other times she has shown her teeth, nipped or barked and jumped at people. I always put her in a sitting position and tell her NO. She knows she has done wrong but can't seem to help herself.
I am not afraid of her. Her bad behavior happens both at home and away from home.
I have worked with her on her sit, stays, recalls and she is excellent with all these commands.

LoNScamp
September 25th, 2005, 07:39 PM
I have had Chloe for 4 years. She was about 10 months old when we adopted her. I was not around for the first bite, in fact I didn't hear about it for a few days. My nephew and his girlfriend didn't want to upset me as they felt responsible. The second time she bit I reprimanded her verbally and she knew she did wrong. She has bitten twice, the other times she has shown her teeth, nipped or barked and jumped at people. I always put her in a sitting position and tell her NO. She knows she has done wrong but can't seem to help herself.
I am not afraid of her. Her bad behavior happens both at home and away from home.
I have worked with her on her sit, stays, recalls and she is excellent with all these commands.

IMO - the aggression problem you have now could in part be from the health problems, but I suspect it is more than that, particularly as she has bitten in the past. In almost all instances a dog can control its behaviour, but chooses not to when it actually bites. The showing of the teeth, nipping (which actually is a bite) and lunging will most likely escalte into more bite incidents.

If I was in your situation I would enlist the services of a trainer to help deal with the aggression. I suspect that for whatever reason Chloe thinks it is ok for her to behave the way she is. I think that you need firmer methods of dealing with the behaviour other than sit and no, and I don't mean hitting the dog etc. I good trainer will provide you with the skill base you need to work on correcting her aggresive behaviour.

Keep me posted on how it is going. I hope her meds are regualted soon and she is feeling better, you too.

coppperbelle
September 26th, 2005, 07:15 PM
IMO - the aggression problem you have now could in part be from the health problems, but I suspect it is more than that, particularly as she has bitten in the past. In almost all instances a dog can control its behaviour, but chooses not to when it actually bites. The showing of the teeth, nipping (which actually is a bite) and lunging will most likely escalte into more bite incidents.

If I was in your situation I would enlist the services of a trainer to help deal with the aggression. I suspect that for whatever reason Chloe thinks it is ok for her to behave the way she is. I think that you need firmer methods of dealing with the behaviour other than sit and no, and I don't mean hitting the dog etc. I good trainer will provide you with the skill base you need to work on correcting her aggresive behaviour.

Keep me posted on how it is going. I hope her meds are regualted soon and she is feeling better, you too.

Thank you for your advice.