Dogs/7 year old corgi
My husband and I have a 7 year old corgi, Destro, who we've had since he was 9 weeks old. We have a second dog, an 8 year old pomeranian/keeshound mix that we just adopted this year.
Destro has always been aggressive on leash but trustworthy off leash. I've taken him to the dog park recently and he's been more snippy and barks non-stop which are new behaviors. A few weeks ago he was barking in the house like normal but I went to shut his muzzle and he bit me! Then a few days later I was feeding him, normally I tell him to "leave it" then set the food down, wait a few seconds then tell him to "take it"... when I set the food down this time he started eating it and I told him to "leave it" and he fully bore his teeth and growled at me while looking me in the eye.. I felt like this was a confrontation. So I took the food and left him in his pen for awhile. Later I tried re-establishing dominance by giving commands and allowing him to choose where he wanted to lay, then telling him to move to a different spot in the house.
Since he is very aggressive on leash and he pulls too hard, we don't walk him. Now that he's been very snippy at the dog park we don't take him to the park either. So he's not getting any exercise. The other dog doesn't seem to mind not having exercise and is a lot easier to handle which means she gets slightly more praise/affection than Destro does.
Because he bit me, my husband wants to get rid of him and I'm starting to agree with him - mostly because we can't give him what he needs. I contacted a no-kill shelter and they said they don't take many senior dogs because they're hard to get adopted.
So my question is, do we try putting out an ad to give him up to someone who can give him everything he needs or do we keep him, knowing we aren't fully fit parents?
Any guidance is appreciated,
Sometimes people won't be strict enough with a dog and then the dog ends up being put to sleep. I have seen this time and again. Not only don't the humane societies not take senior dogs, they very rarely take aggressive dogs. Take your dog for walks again and put a prong collar on him. This collar (which looks like a torture device, but isn't) was designed to simulate the mother's bite on her puppies. She would never harm her puppies and the pressure of her bite around a pups neck, both reassures the pup and corrects him. If you get a prong collar and use it correctly, your dog will calm down during the walk. Also, whenever you see him start to get interested in an oncoming dog, you should turn quickly and walk in the opposite direction. Eventually they will get tired of going nowhere. Of course you will too, but hang in there. I never use a shock collar, but in cases where the dog is already biting the owner, I have. You will probably only have to shock him one time. Remember timing is everything and set him up to bite you around the food scenario. If that seems too harsh, remember the consequences for him could be death, an alternative to that would be pepper spray, but be careful you are not downwind, it is nasty stuff to get in your eyes or mouth. Some people have put extremely hot tobbasco sauce in a spray or on your hand. Unfortunately, if you put it on your hand, you have to wait to get bitten to have it get on the dog.
Never put the food down for your dog unless he is in the down position; never let your dog go out the door first, make him sit and stay then you walk out. He must wait till you invite him out.
You didn't ask me why he is doing this. I feel it is the other dog being brought in that has made him escalate aggression. However a history of getting away with minor aggressions without getting consequences for them, has been the major reason.
Please don't give up on him. Please be strong enough to go to a harsh extreme so your dog can live in your home for the rest of his life in harmony and without anxiety and aggression.
By the way if you use the pepper spray, in the future you will only have to show him the can and he will behave.
Last, but NOT least: If you give the dog away and he bites someone, you could be sued for giving them an aggressive dog. This happened to a local humane society that I know of. It applies to individuals as well.
I hope there is something here you feel you can use. You may need all of them.