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Dr. Loretta
Dr. Loretta, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28082
Experience:  25 years of experience in surgery and internal medicine.
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5 years ago I adopted an abused 1 year old chow/border

Customer Question

Hello, 5 years ago I adopted an abused 1 year old chow/border collie. It took about 2 years before he was comfortable around the family. He is very protective of his home and family. That said, about a year ago my daughter couldn't keep her 4 y/o lab/pit so we took her in. My dog (Boo) lost his solitude. Just recently my daughter moved in with her baby and her boyfriend (Boo dislikes the boyfriend). Boo doesn't like strangers in or around the house. Tried training, doesn't work. We have gates everywhere, but he still gets a nip now and then when strangers come over. Is there a drug that could work here?
Normally, when it's just the 4 of us (4 humans and Boo), he's happy and bouncing like a puppy.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 4 months ago.

Good Morning and welcome! I am Dr. Loretta, a licensed veterinarian and I am happy to answer your question.

I am so sorry to hear about your situation with Boo Boo. YOu were so kind to take him in and there are ways to help Boo Boo past this. Abused dogs have a hard time trusting and when a baby is introduced, this makes it even harder for him.

This is a common problem with rescue dogs. The best thing to try is an ultrasonic collar. Use it when you are present and it sends a high pitched signal that the dog dislikes and will discourage this behavior. I have also had very good results with the collar combined with a drug called Reconcile. I have also had good results combining Reconcile with a DAP Collar, available at the pet store. This is a canine pheromone that acts as a calming agent. Reconcile or Fluoxetine is a prescription medication that acts as a calming agent and will, along with the collar, retrain your dog so the aggression is minimized. I know this sounds severe but this is a very serious situation and you do not want to put your family or others at risk. Call your vet about this product. The package insert will have behavioral modification techniques that will help.

It is also recommended that you have your vet examine Boo Boo to be sure there is not a medical reason for this change in behavior.

Here is a website that has more information that might be useful for you: LINK

Does that make sense to you?

Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please REPLY so I can clarify for you.

Sincerely, ***** *****

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I will talk to his vet and give it a try. I've always thought about collars, but it seemed mean to use on a dog that was abused.
There is no change in his behavior. He's always been like this. He only likes me, my son, my daughter, my wife and will tolerate my wife's mother. Oh and the guy that lives behind me (Dan) for some reason.
Strangers come, he barks. He wants them out.
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 4 months ago.

Good for you....even the DAP Collar could help...

Boo Boo is frightened of everything because of his past and it will take a very patient person to work with him to decrease these urges that are stimulated by a lack of security. You might consider talking to a Veterinary Behaviorist that can prescribe the medication and work out a "Desensitization" plan for Boo Boo. This LINK can help you find one near you. They also do video consults.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok, next step will be the ultrasonic collar.
I feel a "shock collar" especially on a previously abused dog is cruel.
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 4 months ago.

Yes, I agree that the shock collars are cruel but the Ultrasonic collars are less invasive ...give this a try along with medication. It can be very effective.