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Old 16.10.2019, 06:04
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At the end of my rope.. husband, two dogs..

So, I have been in Switzerland for almost 3 years. I have two dogs. A rescue from the states and a Great Dane from a breeder in Germany. I have taken dog training classes in the USA, I have completed the Junghundkurse and my dog trainer is confident in my abilities. I follow all laws, have my dogs leashed, walk them separately to train out different issues, but if together under close control.

This is a bit about my Great Dane. Going in, I think I made a mistake in choosing a dog with her temperament. I met her when she was potato size and could curl up in my arms. Both my husband and I went to the breeder and met her whole litter when she was small. I noticed that she would yelp if my husband tried to reach for her, but I thought ok it is a puppy and a small pup experiencing unknown grabbing hands probably has reason to help. Anyway, I was of course smitten with the pup and even moreso after she fell asleep on me. We agreed after exchanging questions with the breeder about this pup and at 13 weeks she came back with us.

Now, when she was a younger dog, she would sniff other dogs, play with other dogs, gets along fine with my 4 and a half year old mutt. She goes to dog daycare and has a Great Dane friend and some Livestock Guardian friends.. as the people there only allow her with the big dogs. She does great. They said they can see the progress she makes in training and that she has good dog manners.

She is around 15 months old. She has surpassed the standards for her race as a bitch. The minimum race requirement is around 45kg at 18 months. She is 60 kgs and 33 inches at the shoulder.. the vet says she is still growing. This is of course, ok to me, but for my husband unexpected as she was the last and smallest puppy in the litter. Stupid logic, because any dog person knows size in a litter is not determinant of adult size, the genetics of the lines ARE. Her mother was about 70kg and the father in the 95kg range so no shocker here. The mother was also on sight and we saw her size and the breeder indicated to expect her to match her relative's size, but he couldn't really say how big she would get. All ok. I even asked for the inbreeding co-efficients because I didn't want a dog with high inbreeding.. she has less than 1% at 0.83.. so a few common ancestors, but nothing alarming..

My problem is that around sexual maturity, before her first heat and thereafter, she has become an absolute nightmare. Her temperament beforehand was shy and reserved. I did as the breeder instructed and took her to places, showed her dogs, let her interact, minimized her excerise as indicated when owning a giant breed. I have worked with my trainer who is lovely, really a nice person and 100% on my side as far as responsible ownership goes but says maybe I flooded her with too many experiences, that this exposure stuff is old school dog management and we now know that less is more. The trainer is right, at least in my dogs case.

I KNOW I am 100000% responsible for my dogs and their behavior, BUT I do remember mentioning to the breeder that she was shy, very shy, and was told to give it time. I have owned several large dogs and a few giant breed dogs growing up and I have never had one with such a skiddish temperament. She used to react to plastic bags blowing in the street, leaves, little robot lawn mowers, and so on. She is always stopping, looking behind her, just on guard all the time until she gets in the groove of the walk..

I have come to know that my dog has the potential for aggression, as all dogs do, but most of her reactivity is barrier frustration. But with over 60kg of lunging "puppy" you cannot communicate that to passers by on the road, and I have stopped trying to do so. It is more important that I control my dog.

She was on a harness, and with education on head collars, safety, and dog neck anatomy, we went to a harness and Halti combo, whereby she has the chance to choose a correct choice and when she does not, or goes over threshold I will force her out of the situation by guiding her with the Halti on a double clipping leash. Then then trainer and I decided the Halti was peanuts due to her size and so I switched recently to a leather Dogmatic. It has given me much more control, but she has a funny head or snout and so I have modified the clip underneath with the Halti attachment to keep it back so she cannot chew. Per the instructions it says the collar is too big if she can get the loop in her mouth, but it is not too big and the size down would be too small.. so far I am happy with it I guess.

So now it has been advised that perhaps I flooded my pup when she was young with too many experiences. Before I met my trainer we tried out different groups until I got the recommendation for the trainer we use now. Her serious education began around 8 or 9 months and she had a few lessons at 5 months before this. So I feel like I failed my dog in some way, by not taking her when she was younger which I am really sad about.

So anyway, she is a monster on leash. She cannot handle seeing any dogs. She got a bit better, but her behavior is scary. She is baying, barking, screaming, making noises I have never heard before. We have moved towns, so we live out in the middle of nowhere, but we are in an apartment and today my husband had both dogs and my Dane started to react because they were in tight quarters with the neighbors' dog, as they were entering and he was trying to get into the garage.. we have to pass through a series of doors.

We don't know which dog truly made contact with their dog, but that dog had to get 4 stitches, and will have a vet bill, which we will of course take care of. My dogs or dog have been reported to the vet office, also fine, the vet must do this. My trainer basically told me to relax as I have proof of having trained my dogs, am not a first time dog owner, have complied with the laws, have never had any incidents whilst the dogs have been under my care.

I am frustrated because I feel like I've done EVERYTHING I could and yet, I still have a reactive dog. Sometimes it is a joykill to even be out with her, and people look at you like you're crazy to have such a big and "dangerous" dog. I am certainly not an owner that would choose a breed of dog based on its "street cred" or any nonsense like that. I have enjoyed the Danes I have been around, and my dog, in house, is one of the most empathetic and loving dogs i have ever owned. She has separation anxiety and is a velcro pup, but I knew going in this could be the case given the clinginess of the breed.

I am just upset at the situation, myself, all. I know in the dog world it is ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS the owner and so on and so fourth. I have never blamed anyone for my dog's behavior, but there have always been things about her temperament that were a bit off, to me, since she was a pup. My other dog was a wild street rescue, serial wild animal killer, reactive, and so on when I rescued him at 9 months, but I made a reformed dog out of him.

My dane has had some problems, hormonally, after her first heat the reactivity worsened and she is now in the stages of a pseudopregnancy which I have treated with Galastop. We wait to see what her next heat cycle is like, and if this happens again we will spay her to prevent Pyro and the like. Her hormonal imbalance is perhaps also reason for her behavior, but I never wanted to take her sex organs from her as a giant breed she needs these to regulate growth so the goal was if they needed to go to take them out well after 2 years.

Some more information is that we had her thyroid tested, ALL panels, not just the typical 3 and they all came back normal. She has no pain, she is healthy, except for the pseudopregnancy she eats like a huge family at a buffet. She has a completely raw diet, with a BARF vitamin, veg on the side, bones from the butcher, suppenhuhne, liver, and extra virgin olive oil. The dog eats better and more than anyone in the house. My other dog, he is eating a limited ingredient whole food diet from a health company in Germany, as he cannot tolerate raw due to living a hard life of malnutrition. Literally this has been the only food to give him proper stools, not to TMI.

Anyway, I love my dogs, but I am sad for my neighbors. There is a Rhodesian Ridgeback and a Giant Schnauzer that all live in our complex, but my dog is of course the scariest, or was because of her size... now that she has been in an altercation, makes a shit show when seeing another dog, she is living up to this shit stereotype. I am sad for my neighbors, because I don't ever want to be the cause of a child or an adult acquiring a fear of dogs. Insurance aside, taking responsibility aside, I consider myself an ambassador for large dogs. I have nothing against the small ones, but I myself would never own a little one. Given how I've grown up, it is just my preference.. I guess the exceptions being Shar Peis, Corgis (Pembroke), and a Cattle dog... but I specifically picked a mastiff type dog like my girl because they are large, but low to moderate energy.

She is pretty lazy and will roll around in the grass or sit when she has had enough. Meanwhile, my mixed breed dog is a hunting dog and he will hike with you all day. He is not allowed off because he is a little bit of a murderer of small animals. As a hound, I really cant fault him if he follows his nose, so we just do that on the long leash because he likes to pick up scents. He is around 38-40kgs, smaller but has different energy requirements. With him I can walk the whole village and he is going up until we get home where he can curl up and nap. I knew I wasn't cut out for a high energy dog, so chose accordingly.

Our apartment is large, 130 square meters. We have an elevator and we are at the grass in less than 2 minutes. Still, we have been looking for a house, but at this point I pretty much have nothing to say to my husband, because he has been disrespectful to me, to the dogs, to my concerns, and has really had his foot in my ass because he is supporting us while I look for work. As you know Switzerland it is not easy, I am 31 now and have had a small job, but nothing to shake at. I am at B2 level German and it is my desire to teach, as there are a shortage of teachers here but this requires C2 German and it will take me another year to reach this goal.. which I am absolutely broken up about... because I feel like a geriatric entering training for the workforce at 32.. I must take this route or I will be stuck in the service industry at McDonalds and Burger King. Both of which I apply to and patiently await at least a 30% job. I am not arrogant and have no illusions about my lack of marketability here and I would clean toilets, but even those jobs are not easy to get.. I am also learning to drive so am dependent on the SBB.

So this is why the dogs were important to me. Switzerland is a beautiful and lovely country, full of lovely people I am sure of it. However, as a foreigner, with a less than stellar marriage and having moved away from my original Dorf to one with less than 2,000 inhabitants.. my dogs are all that I have. I have taken great pride in training them, in giving them the nutrition they need, the socialization they need, the training they need. No expense is spared. I would say on my Dane pup alone we have spent upward of 10,000 CHF and I wouldn't have it any other way. I don't care that I can't go on spontaneous vacations, that I cannot spend nights out without prior arrangement, that I cannot leave her alone for any period of time, that I cannot even leave her outside of a Coop or Volg.

In hindsight would I have agreed to live my life like this? Probably not. Do I feel at times like a prisoner to my dog? Of course. Has this caused me stress and anxiety, of course? I am not the Mother Theresa of emotions. I am a staunch believer in the whole Lilo and Stitch mantra "Ohana means family.. nobody gets left behind." So the suggestion of rehoming my dogs is just met with defensiveness and dismissal on my part. Baring any health or financial tragedies, I cannot just throw my dogs back to the wild. I also want to add that my breeder is responsible and of course would take my Dane back no questions asked.. but to me it is still throwing her to the wild.

So now I am awake, I have to walk my dog. Somehow I feel like a criminal for owning her, like we are an imposition upon our environment, like I am an irresponsible dog owner. Having a reactive dog is not for the faint of heart, and if I could go back in time I would have taken a professional with me to help choose the best puppy out of what would have been available. I just now feel like I have raised a little (well very big puppy) into an unruly (giant) teenage monster and I feel like a shit owner despite the reassurances from my trainer. My husband doesn't take any of this seriously.. but that is par for the course as he has refused to hop aboard the theory or SKN courses offered here. Talking to him is like talking to a rock anyway, so I now work exclusively with my trainer and confide my feelings into my therapist.

Anyway, I am at my wit's end.. with Switzerland, with my neighbors, with my dogs, just with all of it. Later today we will give them to the Hundehort because I just need a break. I'm going to hit up Volg, get some wine, flowers, dog treats, and go try to talk to my neighbors to see exactly what happened. I have begun muzzle training with my dog, but the largest Baskerville muzzle size 6 doesn't even fit anymore with her head harness. and when she is under my control the head harness is more important than any muzzle because with the control it offers I can prevent her accessing any dog.. I fear even with a muzzle she can do a lot of harm just if she jumps on someone or some dog.... and I am still not certain which of my dogs actually bit. Not only this, but I do not feel my dog is made safer by use of a muzzle that cannot fit whilst she is in her Dogmatic. The Halti, she can slip out of it--we have sized up and the one that actually fits she can just back out and you cannot see it through the basket muzzle before it happens.

The last option, and I mean the very last, is to put her on medication. My trainer has good contact with a vet behaviorist so I trust my dog would be in good hands. My trainer and I have talked about this, but we have, so far, thought she does not need it because she has made SOME progress.. it is just slow moving like in millimeters and of course it is NOT linear.

I know at this point I am rambling. The saddest thing is that my dog is uncomfortable and maybe she doesn't even know or understand why.. I know my dog is not being difficult just because, something inside of her is not right and at least I as a human can KNOW why I feel bad, but maybe she cannot... and it is like watching your best friend have a complete panic attack or meltdown and you can't do anything but redirect them..

I just need some solid advice on what to do, how to process my feelings around this, how to protect my dogs, navigate the stand off with my husband and so on. My trainer is not worried about my ability to pass the Wessentest and is 100% on my side. Has offered to talk to anyone who needs extra reassurance and knows I have gone above and beyond to do the best I can for my pups..

If you made it this far, thank you for reading.
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Old 16.10.2019, 07:31
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Re: At the end of my rope.. husband, two dogs..

Sorry to hear you're having such problems and hope you get them sorted out soon. Hopefully Meloncollie will be along in a little while and may be able to point you towards some solutions, but I see you talk about your trainer but have you talked with your vet about all this? Honestly unless you planned to breed from your Dane you should have had her neutered at around 6 months. This might have helped stop her developing some of her problems. I would not delay having this done, it might be a start towards altering her behaviour in a more positive direction. Talk with your vet to see what options they can suggest asap.
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Old 16.10.2019, 08:04
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Re: At the end of my rope.. husband, two dogs..

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Sorry to hear you're having such problems and hope you get them sorted out soon. Hopefully Meloncollie will be along in a little while and may be able to point you towards some solutions, but I see you talk about your trainer but have you talked with your vet about all this? Honestly unless you planned to breed from your Dane you should have had her neutered at around 6 months. This might have helped stop her developing some of her problems. I would not delay having this done, it might be a start towards altering her behaviour in a more positive direction. Talk with your vet to see what options they can suggest asap.
The vet, breeder, and trainer told me to wait as long as possible for the health of my dog. We definitely want no puppies from her!! In America this is also the norm, neuter at 6 months with regular size dogs and at 1 year with the giants.. but here it seems that castration/spaying is frowned upon and has now only been recommended because of her false pregnancy, because of the stress it causes if she continue to go through it. If not they expect me to keep her intact.. I don't get it..

Yes, I need Meloncollie ASAP. Thank you for your reply!
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Old 16.10.2019, 08:26
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Re: At the end of my rope.. husband, two dogs..

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here it seems that castration/spaying is frowned upon and has now only been recommended because of her false pregnancy, because of the stress it causes if she continue to go through it. If not they expect me to keep her intact.. I don't get it..
No, that is not correct, spaying/neutering is the norm here.

Tom
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Old 16.10.2019, 08:42
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Re: At the end of my rope.. husband, two dogs..

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... but here it seems that castration/spaying is frowned upon and has now only been recommended because of her false pregnancy, because of the stress it causes if she continue to go through it. If not they expect me to keep her intact.. I don't get it..
In my experience, spaying is not at all frowned upon. Castration, on the other hand, seems to be seen as having fewer health benefits.

All dog bites which are reported are investigated and since you do not know which of your two dogs made contact with the other dog, you have, in my opinion, a serious problem.
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Old 16.10.2019, 09:25
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No, that is not correct, spaying/neutering is the norm here.

Tom
I have met more intact dogs, of both sexes, in Switzerland and Germany than I have ever witnessed as an American living in the states. Normally dogs are all castrated as puppies and by at most one year in America. In some places you cannot even adopt or buy a dog from a breeder without a spay/neuter contract stipulation. When I adopted my shelter pup, his castration was mandatory before I could even take him.

All advice I have been given, in Switzerland, by Swiss and German vet and training authorities has been to keep her intact until she is officially done growing, spaying ONLY in the case of health problems as she is a giant breed at risk of urinary incontenence. After treating her false pregnancy I was even told to wait until her next heat by her vet. It is not as heavily practiced as it is in the states and therefore it seemed to me that the norm is either/or and certainly at a more advanced age. But what is normal and what is not depends on what country you are coming from.

Respectfully,
RSC

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In my experience, spaying is not at all frowned upon. Castration, on the other hand, seems to be seen as having fewer health benefits.

All dog bites which are reported are investigated and since you do not know which of your two dogs made contact with the other dog, you have, in my opinion, a serious problem.
For me, I was always told it was best not to let them experience the rush of hormones from being left in tact so typically all of our dogs were neutered or spayed before sexual maturity or the first heat.. in America. Here it seems to be about the size of the dog/rate of growth and its propensity for health problems. The risk of pyro is too high for me to feel safe leaving my dog intact, with a history of false pregnancies, and as soon as my vet clears her after the second heat we will have the procedure done... the one that fully removes all of the tissue so there is no more risk.

We have just established that it was my smaller, rescued, and castrated male dog who bit. The owner was coming in while they were going out. So they met at the same time at the door. Their dog came barking and charging and ours barked back.. then the smaller of the two bit.. all three on leashes and no time to pull back.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 19.10.2019 at 14:37. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 16.10.2019, 09:39
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Re: At the end of my rope.. husband, two dogs..

The same stipulation applies here when adopting from a shelter, you must undertake to have the young one spayed/neutered as part of the adoption conditions. Certainly here in Fribourg canton that's the case.

"Conditions de placement:
Lors d’un placement, nos animaux sont toujours vaccinés, porteurs d’une puce électronique et castrés/stérilisés (sauf les chatons et chiots : le nouveau propriétaire s’engage à les faire castrer/stériliser à l’âge de 6 à 8 mois)."

"Conditions of placement:
During placement, our animals are always vaccinated, carrying a microchip and spayed / neutered (except kittens and puppies: the new owner agrees to have them neutered at 6 to 8 months old)."

https://www.spafribourg.ch/index.php...ment/exigences
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Old 16.10.2019, 09:49
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Re: At the end of my rope.. husband, two dogs..

I would say, spaying her at about 6 to 8 months would be fine and give her a little break and possibly a longer life. But it depends a little on the breed, maybe large dogs like great danes need a bit more time, that is surely possible. I would trust my vet there and if you don't trust him then change him asap.

But be aware, this is an adolescent dog. They are all unruly, just like teenagers are. Once they are out of thas phase, they quiet down quite a bit. So I would give her a little time and understanding, but never let off on training. With consistency and perseverance in training you will always win; be more stubborn than your dog

Good luck!
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Old 16.10.2019, 10:12
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The same stipulation applies here when adopting from a shelter, you must undertake to have the young one spayed/neutered as part of the adoption conditions. Certainly here in Fribourg canton that's the case.

"Conditions de placement:
Lors d’un placement, nos animaux sont toujours vaccinés, porteurs d’une puce électronique et castrés/stérilisés (sauf les chatons et chiots : le nouveau propriétaire s’engage à les faire castrer/stériliser à l’âge de 6 à 8 mois)."

"Conditions of placement:
During placement, our animals are always vaccinated, carrying a microchip and spayed / neutered (except kittens and puppies: the new owner agrees to have them neutered at 6 to 8 months old)."

https://www.spafribourg.ch/index.php...ment/exigences
Ok, that is good to know. I have only had experience here with purchasing a dog here, not rescuing. I just thought it wild so many intact dogs were about. Even in my training course I'd say 70% are with all bits n pieces..

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I would say, spaying her at about 6 to 8 months would be fine and give her a little break and possibly a longer life. But it depends a little on the breed, maybe large dogs like great danes need a bit more time, that is surely possible. I would trust my vet there and if you don't trust him then change him asap.

But be aware, this is an adolescent dog. They are all unruly, just like teenagers are. Once they are out of thas phase, they quiet down quite a bit. So I would give her a little time and understanding, but never let off on training. With consistency and perseverance in training you will always win; be more stubborn than your dog

Good luck!
Yes, I trust him.. he said he based on when her first cycle started and her overall condition. He is a friendly guy and has Great Dane experience, having grown up with them. A lot of vets and trainers didn't have large dog when I went looking so I really value his insight.

Yes, you're right.. she is mentally very young and having a rebellious stage. I do hope she settles down, really. I am strict with her training, and when she is a space cadet I have to change environments, redirect, and regroup.

I have confirmed it is my older dog that bit. He is well into adulthood, and he can be rambunctious if he sees an animal but he has never bitten any dog before. I am thinking he was triggered by her barking and immediately encountering a dog coming as he was going.. Alone, without my pup maybe he would have barked, but never this.. he has been very easy to handle on leash after training, and goes on public transport, we have been sitting in trains with dogs and he doesn't even react.

I am not someone who makes a human out of my dog. He is by no means perfect and I know to expect the unexpected out of any animal. However, to me, his triggers and strengths and weaknesses have mostly been apparent. Now it is like I am back to the drawing board.

My trainer says it was an issue of the dogs being in a small space, with no way of escaping a head on conflict.

My husband is off buying a muzzle for him now. My neighbor has plastered signs all around our house saying forgive her dog for barking in common spaces but she is traumatized. The dog has always barked at us, when we come and go, in common spaces and so on.. it has been an ongoing thing before the conflict.

I have tried to make contact to apologize and ask what she would like from us, but so far no luck knocking. Perhaps she is not home. So I will keep trying.

RSC

Last edited by 3Wishes; 19.10.2019 at 14:38. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 16.10.2019, 10:46
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Re: At the end of my rope.. husband, two dogs..

You have 2 dogs, one of which is a Great Dane (clue is in the name) plus a husband, in a small 130SQM apartment with no direct access to outside and you wonder why your dog is going crazy ?


Try keeping the dog in conditions suited for the animal.
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Old 16.10.2019, 10:58
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Re: At the end of my rope.. husband, two dogs..

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You have 2 dogs, one of which is a Great Dane (clue is in the name) plus a husband, in a small 130SQM apartment with no direct access to outside and you wonder why your dog is going crazy ?


Try keeping the dog in conditions suited for the animal.
The OP is looking for help, not a beating.

No advice from me as I have no experience but I feel your frustration and hope you’ll get the advice /help you need to resolve your dog issues.
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Old 16.10.2019, 11:04
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Re: At the end of my rope.. husband, two dogs..

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You have 2 dogs, one of which is a Great Dane (clue is in the name) plus a husband, in a small 130SQM apartment with no direct access to outside and you wonder why your dog is going crazy ?


Try keeping the dog in conditions suited for the animal.
Actually Great Danes don't need a lot of exercise.


OP, I don't have any advice, just wanted to say that you are not alone.

I have an 18 months old male shepherd, 40kg so a little smaller than yours, but then I'm only 50kg so he is pretty strong for me.

I am having problems too. He is totally intolerant of having anything done to him; vet treatment, tick removal, claws cutting, being bathed etc. I can't take him anywhere because he won't sit still or behave. I can't let him off the leash at all. Leave him outside a shop or toilet, forget it he has a melt down.

I blame myself all the time, despite training him more than any other dog I've ever had (but then he's always been like this, and my previous dogs weren't). I also blame LACK of situation training as a puppy (he had to have surgery at 5 months and was housebound) so the opposite to you. I've also said "next time we will get a girl"

We castrated him in the hope it chilled him the hell out.... it didn't. Now after castration he sometimes gets aggressive towards other male dogs when on the leash, which didn't happen before.

The frustrating thing is that is is super friendly and loving, he's just an absolute headstrong handful.

I feel your pain!

Oh one bit of advice with muzzel training ... put Le Parfait in it. My dog sticks his head in right away now, as soon as he sees it. We use Le Parfait to get a lot of things done!

Last edited by Island Monkey; 16.10.2019 at 11:17.
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Old 16.10.2019, 11:42
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Re: At the end of my rope.. husband, two dogs..

RSC,

I am about to board a plane so cannot reply in full, but just a quick note and from one who has been through hell and back several times and understands...

I have several suggestions, will write more tomorrow.

All the best
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Old 16.10.2019, 11:51
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Re: At the end of my rope.. husband, two dogs..

Not giving a beating, just saying it is a very large animal, with another one to have in a small apartment and maybe worth looking to move out to the sticks into a house where the dog can go out and lose a bit of excess energy, which may go partway to solving the problem
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Old 16.10.2019, 12:07
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Quote:
You have 2 dogs, one of which is a Great Dane (clue is in the name) plus a husband, in a small 130SQM apartment with no direct access to outside and you wonder why your dog is going crazy ?


Try keeping the dog in conditions suited for the animal.
Leave my thread if you came here to snark. I have had my house inspected by my breeder, and the cantonal authorities that know more than you about my situation. My apartment is larger than some houses. Kindly back off.

RSC

Quote:
Not giving a beating, just saying it is a very large animal, with another one to have in a small apartment and maybe worth looking to move out to the sticks into a house where the dog can go out and lose a bit of excess energy, which may go partway to solving the problem
We are moving. She is the size of a human being, and we live comfortably here. She does not have large exercise requirements and would not stay in a yard if we had one. She is a house dog. Please do your research before you respond as you have done here. This is a sensitive topic and if you are going to mouth off to me, please leave. I have no capacity for this. I came here for suggestions, not an unhelpful criticism of my living space.

We already live in the sticks. We have access to trails.. we are TWO MINUTES from grass. She is able to lose plenty of energy here. Her walks top out at 1 hour maximum. She does nosework, and when it is hot she is not interested in doing much outside, also not when it is cold. She is not the first nor last dog to live in an apartment. We are not the only people here with large dogs either.

A breed's exercise requirement determines what it needs, not its size.

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The OP is looking for help, not a beating.

No advice from me as I have no experience but I feel your frustration and hope you’ll get the advice /help you need to resolve your dog issues.
Thank you very much. I am admittedly touchy right now, because I am already under enough attack as it is, despite doing my best to deal with all that I have to manage.

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Actually Great Danes don't need a lot of exercise.


OP, I don't have any advice, just wanted to say that you are not alone.

I have an 18 months old male shepherd, 40kg so a little smaller than yours, but then I'm only 50kg so he is pretty strong for me.

I am having problems too. He is totally intolerant of having anything done to him; vet treatment, tick removal, claws cutting, being bathed etc. I can't take him anywhere because he won't sit still or behave. I can't let him off the leash at all. Leave him outside a shop or toilet, forget it he has a melt down.

I blame myself all the time, despite training him more than any other dog I've ever had (but then he's always been like this, and my previous dogs weren't). I also blame LACK of situation training as a puppy (he had to have surgery at 5 months and was housebound) so the opposite to you. I've also said "next time we will get a girl"

We castrated him in the hope it chilled him the hell out.... it didn't. Now after castration he sometimes gets aggressive towards other male dogs when on the leash, which didn't happen before.

The frustrating thing is that is is super friendly and loving, he's just an absolute headstrong handful.

I feel your pain!

Oh one bit of advice with muzzel training ... put Le Parfait in it. My dog sticks his head in right away now, as soon as he sees it. We use Le Parfait to get a lot of things done!
The Le Parfait is an excellent idea. I will use this to condition my male. He is around 40kgs and the one who bit according to my husband.

It is really hard to have a dog who has problems, despite trying your best to be a responsible owner. I have had so many people just accost me for having a large dog because they are afraid, because they have children, because why would you get a dog like that and so on. People has asked me if I have abused my dogs, if I ever did the dog training, why I don't practice Ceasar Milan style training on my big dog.. and the list goes on. Meanwhile I have been bitten here by a Yorkie, and the people didn't even exchange information with me because it's "probably not a big deal".

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RSC,

I am about to board a plane so cannot reply in full, but just a quick note and from one who has been through hell and back several times and understands...

I have several suggestions, will write more tomorrow.

All the best
Thank you so much for stopping by even though you're in transit (safe travels by the way). Looking forward to your suggestions.

RSC

Last edited by 3Wishes; 19.10.2019 at 14:39. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 16.10.2019, 13:24
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Re: At the end of my rope.. husband, two dogs..

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Sorry to hear you're having such problems and hope you get them sorted out soon. Hopefully Meloncollie will be along in a little while and may be able to point you towards some solutions, but I see you talk about your trainer but have you talked with your vet about all this? Honestly unless you planned to breed from your Dane you should have had her neutered at around 6 months. This might have helped stop her developing some of her problems. I would not delay having this done, it might be a start towards altering her behaviour in a more positive direction. Talk with your vet to see what options they can suggest asap.
This.

Spay and neuter your pets. It can prevent all sorts of nasty problems and there are already plenty of them waiting for homes (and shelters are very fussy about which homes they go to).

As for personality, our neighbours used to have a beautiful black and white Great Dane who was the sweetest thing, we would actually ride on him and dress him up, he was cool with all of it. However, he would get "the random crazies" where he would suddenly start running around our garden at speed and mow down whatever was in his way, so we would just all head for high ground. After five minutes or so he was back to his chill self. He was also very protective of us when strangers came to the house, he was basically our nanny. No idea how old he was but he was not a puppy when I first remember seeing him, probably a rescue, like all our neighbours' animals, including their horses. So hopefully this really is just a case of the terrible teens.
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Old 16.10.2019, 13:38
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Re: At the end of my rope.. husband, two dogs..

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Leave my thread if you came here to snark. I have had my house inspected by my breeder, and the cantonal authorities that know more than you about my situation. My apartment is larger than some houses. Kindly back off.

RSC

I did not come to "snark" just pointed out from your very long post the house is fairly small with no garden for a 70kg + dog and another fairly large dog of 38-40kgs who " He is not allowed off because he is a little bit of a murderer of small animals" so obviously a handfull already.


I have no interest whatsoever about your situation, my comment was an observation on a public forum

Last edited by Today only; 16.10.2019 at 13:59.
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Old 16.10.2019, 15:58
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Re: At the end of my rope.. husband, two dogs..

Oh my....I feel very sorry for the situation you are in, it does sound quite similar to what we went through with our dog, a now four year old beauceron, while not as big as your Great Dane, still plenty of pound for pound puppy!

He became extremely reactive to other dogs and people at around 12-18 months of age. Like you, we tried harnesses so we would have multiple points of connection, we did private lessons, we tried to socialize as much as possible and none of it made much difference. He's now largely through his teenage years and is much better - for us the thing that made the biggest difference was taking him to group, not solo, dog classes. We used Canidos in Versoix, where the trainer Laurence is super with big and troublesome dogs in particular, she appears to be the trainer of last resort for most of canton Geneve and Vaud. From when we started her group classes to today, its been two years, and we still go minimum 3-4 times a month to one of her group obedience classes.

We took him early enough in this process to see a dog behavioral psychologist, Dr Joël Dehasse, who confirmed for us that our boy was perfectly normal, displaying perfectly normal herding dog tendencies to guard, protect etc. This was reassuring but didn't help - he offered drugs if we wanted to bring his intensity level down, but we felt at the time that this was not a solution for us.

If there are group lessons available from your trainer I would discuss with them if they think it an appropriate course of action, I know that for us, they probably saved our dogs life, or certainly his life with us. It was also clear from having discussed with many other beauceron owners that our breed in particular takes a long time to mature and goes through MANY fear phases - its possible that its the same for the great dane?

Hope you can find a solution that works.
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Old 16.10.2019, 19:56
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Re: At the end of my rope.. husband, two dogs..

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Not giving a beating, just saying it is a very large animal, with another one to have in a small apartment and maybe worth looking to move out to the sticks into a house where the dog can go out and lose a bit of excess energy, which may go partway to solving the problem
The problem, as I see it, is not the apartment itself but the access outside, which is through common areas. This problem can also exist with houses which are built in groups.

Moving out "to the sticks" is not always a solution. You may have farmdogs who have never been trained and a farmer who thinks it is okay for the dog to be loose all the time. You have dog owners who view the countryside as an excuse to keep dogs off leash despite the fact that the dog has no recall ability. Then there are the dog owners with big fenced gardens who keep the dogs outside most of the day, with no walks, and these dogs bark at everyone and everything.

In apartment buidings where dogs are allowed it is up to the dog owner to assess how suitable the dwelling is. When the property manager/building owner starts allowing many tenants to own dogs, things can get out of control.
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Old 16.10.2019, 20:05
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Re: At the end of my rope.. husband, two dogs..

Castrate the lot!

Tom
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