My dog is unhappy….

I’ve come to a realisation that my Dobermann isn’t a happy dog. Not because he’s just been castrated but because he is just an unhappy dog.

Fear and anxiety make him unhappy. It’s common to see him with a waggly tail, but also very common for his tail to be tucked between his legs and his hung low. It’s sad to see. He is so unhappy he becomes aggressive. I’d never really clicked on before. Obviously I knew he wasn’t perfect but I didn’t know he just wasn’t happy!

I need to try change this. Much like the way my T helps with my fears and anxiety. I have been doing some reading, and am awaiting a new book to come in the post. It’s called behaviour adjustment training. It’s meant to be a good read. Hopefully it will have some good information to help us spot signs with our dog.

I never realised how new things or things out of the ordinary made him nervous but they do. If people visit that don’t usually he plays up. Or if we move things round, he plays up. He doesn’t like changes it makes him fearful.

I have no idea why. He even gets nervous at being stroked. It’s strange. We’ve had him since he was a little puppy. He’s never been bad done to. Never been abused or neglected. So it must be his genetics.

Now we just need to figure out how to show him he is safe! It is going to be hard but I want my dog to be happy. If he’s happy my other dog will be happier.

Had anyone got experience withfear aggression in dogs, or can point me to some useful resources? They’d be much appreciated.

I’m going to try sleep now, dog on my mind. Listening to said dog snore. (He’s been in our bed since his op) night.

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16 thoughts on “My dog is unhappy….

  1. my last dog was always scared and nervous. we got her from a shelter tho, and she was already 5 then. she did come out of her shell somewhat with us, but the only time her tail ever waggled was while on a walk. inside, always tucked between her legs, even tho she was by then comfortable with us and had ‘let her inner doggie out’. i’m no expert, but i would just give extra tlc all the time to help him learn he is always loved and always safe. good luck with him!

  2. You should read on talking terms with dogs. I cant remember the name of the author. But its a really good book. It might help you. I hope so. Wishing you good luck with him. Let us know how it goes! XX

  3. One of my woofs is fear aggressive too. Ive only ever heard good things about BAT training. We are using methods of counter conditioning to help ours but we know directly what is causing the fear because of her previous home. How old is your boy now? Sounds like he needs lots of confidence building games like hide and seek with treats, those treat toys (or a homemade one out of a plastic bottle!), and trick training that always makes him feel hes achieved xx

    • I was going to say as well that a drooped tail is a sign of relaxation. Tucked underneath obviously is anziety like you said but dogs dont always have their tails in the air. Im wondering if its strangers he doesnt like stroking him, or even just people close to him?

      • And one more thing lol. Our fear aggressive dog is also incredibly sensitive to change. Incredibly. She is scared of the dark and a light that is just a tiny bit dimmer will set her off. A dog has “buttons” on the roof of their mouth that secretes dopamine. So anytime hes looking anxious or low, giving him a long lasting bone or similar should help. Sorry to bombard you with comments! X

  4. Hi Bonny. A book that I recommend reading is ‘The Dog Listener’ by Jan Fennell. It explains why dogs behave the way they do and what we can do to turn things around to help our dogs become relaxed, happy and stress free. It’s all about communicating with them in a way that they really understand and is natural to them. ‘The Practical Dog Listener’ by the same author is specifically written to give a step by step guide in how to put the method in place, which is where I started. Jan also has a DVD ‘The Dog Listener’ which is great because you can see how much of a positive affect the method has on our dogs. ‘Actions speak louder than words’ 🙂 This method became a life saver for me (and my dog!), especially when I was in the worst part of ME/CFS. Anyway, I hope things have been improving with your boy. Take care, Linda 🙂

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