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Dr. Loretta
Dr. Loretta, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28283
Experience:  25 years of experience in surgery and internal medicine.
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Our cockapoo make has growled and snapped at our 9 month old

Customer Question

Our cockapoo make has growled and snapped at our 9 month old grandson twice, the second time when he jumped down from the couch and our grandson turned to see him, and he left visible teeth marks on our grandson's chin although he did not break the skin. I was right there with my grandson at my feet playing and the dog up on the couch away from him. We are expecting another grandchild in 5 months ( they live with us) and have 4 dogs- he is the only aggressive one. He hates other dogs and runs up and down the fence at the neighbor's dig, but before this he was the most loving dog with all of us and totally non aggressive. You can take his food or his toys and he doesn't care, he shares his food bowls with the other dogs. He loves company. He us my shadow and sticks by me like glue. I assume this is jealousy and possessiveness over me ( I am handicapped and I know he is protective of me). Short if finding him a new home without children ( which we are looking into), could using a muzzle allow us to keep him without causing him psychological problems? We out him in his crate now when the baby us crawling, but realistically with another on the way, we can't lock him up all day.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 1 year ago.

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

Many dogs have territory problems with babies and especially new babies. A muzzle will not help in this situation because there is always a chance that the muzzle is not on or that this still will frighten the children.

This is a common problem with some male 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 hates and will discourage this behavior. I have also had very good results with the collar combined with a drug called Reconcile. It 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 this dog to be sure there is not a medical reason for this change in behavior. Take this dog back to Obedience School so you will have better control over Humphrey so your grand children will be safe. It is not worth the risk of someone getting hurt.

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

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, ***** *****

Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 1 year ago.
Hi Wendy,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Humphrey. How is everything going?
Dr. Loretta

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