Dogs/Dog aggression after trauma
I don't know if anyone can help me, but it's worth asking. My dog suffered a traumatic experience in my vehicle, he got his back feet stuck under the back seat through the crack/divider in the seat, he has badly bruised back paws. I was the only one with him and I tried to get his paws unstuck by physically touching him and I kept trying to get him unstuck and he bit me every time I touched his paws when they were stuck. He has never growled or bitten me or anyone prior to this, he is a gentle black lab. Now, when I am alone with him, he growls at me, hair stands up, lowers his eyes/head, doesn't make eye contact and now I am scared for him and me. He is ok with me when my husband is there, but he has always been very attached to him more than me. I have tried treats, playtime, lots of attention, etc....But it is still happening. Last night he was ok with me, but my husband was home, but this morning prior to leaving for work my husband put our dog in his crate and left. I woke up after he left and the dog was in the cage and I went over to say bye and he started to growl at me and was shaking in his cage. I just want him to be ok again, obviously....we love him so much and he means the world to us. I dont know if you can provide any assistance. If you cannot, do you know of any certified pet behavorist in my area (Pittsburgh or Erie PA vicinities), I am from Butler PA. Any help or guidance would be greatly appreciated. As a note, I did take him to the vet after the accident to have him checked out. Nothing is broken, but they did give him anti-inflammatories and said that he was traumatized and he would "most likely get over it".
I am so sorry this happened. It is going to take time for him to get over this. What you need to do is spend some time with him doing new things without your husband. First do it with your husband if you are afraid, but I would prefer it without. Put a leash on him and take him to a dog park and walk DO NOT LET HIM OFF LEASH. Just spend time. Take him to a beginner agility class and make sure the trainer knows what happened. You have got to invest some time with him on some new memories for him and you.
When you are walking him, if there are places you have been before where he has happy memories with you, take him there as well. If this makes him too nervous in the beginning, ask the vet for a mild tranquilizer . Make sure you are very calm, as well, if you are nervous of him this will not work. Remember, he is afraid, that is why he is shaking.
Now, I want you to ignore all the shaking and dramatics and distract him with a ball or some other idea, like going out etc.
Let me know how you are doing with this.