Please Help Us. We Really Need Advice and Help

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Julius' Mother
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Please Help Us. We Really Need Advice and Help

Postby Julius' Mother » Wed Oct 25, 2017 3:54 am

Hello Everyone,

I am new on this forum and am asking for more than just advice. I have been a dog lover my whole life and in July 2016 finally had to let my best friend, Harvey a15 year old labradoodle go. I have a 13 year old daughter who was devastated to lose her best friend and brother. After lots of research, visiting dog shows and numerous phone conversations with the President of the Chow Chow Association, we were introduced to a reputable breeder. We visited the breeder on three occasions and met their Chows and finally we were advised that a litter was on its way. We were involved with the puppy from before its birth and on my daughter's 13th birthday, we were advised that our Julius and his siblings were safely born.

Julius is now 8.5 months old and he is breaking our hearts. I don't think he likes us and we are at the point where we love him but don't like him very much. From the day we collected him and brought him home, we noticed that his behaviour was very strange. His biting, aggression and disobedience was shocking. He growled in a frightening manner when he didn't get what he wanted. We took him to puppy pre-school, we introduced the NILF method of training and still, I would be out in the backyard at 11pm in the freezing Winter begging him to come in, with him thinking it was game and racing around the backyard, almost laughing at me.

Our vet treats 6 other chows and says that he only puts Julius in a muzzle when at the clinic. All the other chows are fine. We have been in touch with our breeders constantly about his behaviour and are told that we are not strong enough and we should smack him with a rolled up newspaper. I was against this but tried it over and over again and all that happened was Julius thought it was a game and it only encouraged his biting, growling and crazy running dangerously around the house more.

The vet has diagnosed him with hip dysplasia (50% displaced in his left hip) at only 8 months and recommended that we put him on anti-inflammatories, have him de-sexed and then put him on Clomicalm (half a tablet twice a day) at $136 for 3 months, to adjust his aggression. We have employed a professional ex Police dog trainer to help up and he has told us that Julius is the 1% of dogs that will not respond to normal dog training. We have a special program and he attends to Julius with us every Friday afternoon for one hour.

The Clomicalm worked for two weeks and our training program was really working well. We had some peace and fell in love with our baby all over again. We were strict, firm and rewarding good behaviour with his daily amount of food throughout the day. We could even invite friend over for dinner last Saturday night. This week he has reverted to his old personality. He is biting, growling, barking in a high pitched, scary manner and jumping all over the furniture, eating cushions and peeing wherever he feels like it. Today was so dangerous as he jumped up on our outside setting and could have fallen over the balcony.

He will now only go on his bed when we ask him to, if he is sure that we have food. I mean absolutely sure that he will be getting food so the NILF has stopped working.

My 13 year old has gone to bed in tears (again). I am sitting in a fortress on the couch with all the dining room chairs around me protecting the leather couch that is scratched, with all the cushions in a cupboard whilst I type this post.

We desperately love Julius but he doesn't seem to love us. We did all the research on Chows, met the breeder's dogs including his mother and have tried everything. Our training has been consistent. I have tears welling up in my eyes as I type this. I think that we are going to have to find a new home for him for send him back to the breeder. I just don't know what to do so that we can all be a happy family.

On a side note, we have formed a friendship with Julius' brother who lives in another state and his owners have advised me that he has severe Uveo Dermalogic Syndrome (UDS) and may be blind in his right eye before he is a year old. This poor pup had a bleeding nose, weeping eyes, peeling skin and a pink tongue with hot spots from the auto-immune disease. My Julius is showing some of the early symptoms (weeping eyes, whitening of the fur and around the eyes) and I have made an appointment with a canine ophthalmologist for Monday for a biopsy and diagnosis.

Do you think that we are not suitable for our Julius' strong personality? Maybe he needs a male in his household? Maybe he just doesn't like us? I don't want to give up on him but he makes us cry, increases my anxiety because he is so silly that he does dangerous things and I am frightened that he will bite someone other than us and then be ordered to be put down. Today, the bites on my arms are very painful. I can't even look at him sometimes, I am so hurt and angry.

I am so sorry for the long post. I am just at my wit's end. I want to protect my daughter, protect others, protect Julius and for us all to be happy together. How could a breeder sell me a dog with hip dysplasia so bad at such a young age? How could his brother have severe Uveo at such a young age? These breeders were recommended to us by the Chow Chow Association. How could we have been given such an aggressive puppy?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much.

Julius' Mother

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Re: Please Help Us. We Really Need Advice and Help

Postby Chowmom56 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 5:45 am

Just to be clear just because there 's an association involved doesn't mean the breeder is a smart one. You should of went to a recue and got a chow chow!!! they could of inbreed the pups check your papers on the family tree!!

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Re: Please Help Us. We Really Need Advice and Help

Postby loxton21 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:02 am

There are a lot of back yard breeders, people usually get puppies from them because they are a few hundred dollars cheaper but they don’t insure the dogs. If it was a true registered breeder with the kennel club, they usually insure the dog for the first 2 years of its life. So if a genetic disease is found they will give you a new puppy if you want one.

To me aggression is not from the breeders, it is either how it is raised or just like children some just are born that way. But chow chows in general are a more aggressive bread they were bread to be guard dogs in China. If you haven’t got him fixed, I would do that because that may calm him down a little. I adopted a chow and he can growl so he’s a little scary until he warms up but biting isn’t acceptable. When I had a lake land terroir, if she nipped you just put your hand over her nose and close her mouth and say no. You may have to stick with positive reinforcement with only giving treats when he does something good

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Re: Please Help Us. We Really Need Advice and Help

Postby ghostance » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:41 pm

Well, it's been awhile, so I can only hope that you're still around checking replies, so that you'll see this.

I'm fairly new to owning a chow, but I've owned several aggressive guard dogs in the past, and it all starts when they're young.

First off, let me say that hitting your dog WILL NOT WORK. There is a reason there are so many studies done on just how bad this is. It does not discourage aggression - it makes them scared of you, and you only. Hitting your dog might make it stop biting at you, but it won't stop biting at others because you're the only one hitting it, and that causes fear, not for them to stop and think about what they're doing.

I'm a woman, and that has never really been an issue with dogs, so I don't think having a man of the house will mean anything. You need to make it VERY clear that YOU are the leader - it's YOUR house, YOUR rules.

My current chow, Chub, is VERY stubborn, and can be quite aggressive. He loves biting at hands and feet. Yelling 'no' at him does not work, neither does shoving my arm towards the back of his throat that so many others suggest. What does work is barking! Yep. When I bark at him, loud and aggressive, he STOPS. He backs off, and he figures out that what he's doing is wrong. You have to be consistent with this too - don't accept a few bites just cause it's cute or he's playing. Also remember that this isn't going to be an instant fix, especially since he's older - you will have to do this for weeks to get it through to him.

For the first week and a half, Chub would attack my feet and hands. And every time, I would bark at him. Now, he doesn't.

Next - time outs. I know some say to put them outside for time outs, but this has never worked for me, because dogs love going outside! Of course they're going to think they're doing the right thing! They're outside playing!

If you don't have a crate, get one. Anytime he disobeys you, into it he goes, with a water bowl ONLY. No food. Let him stay in that crate for however long depending on the crime. This can be 30 minutes to an hour. And when he's in that crate, leave him alone. Do not give him any attention! I suggest taking it a step further and not being in the room with him. He might howl and bark and whine, but let him - once he realizes that you're not relenting, he'll stop and figure out it's a punishment.

As far as him running away from you while going outside; is he leash trained? If not, this is a serious issue. Already it's obvious that he's not listening to you indoors, so of course he's not going to listen to you whilst outside on his own. Even though it might seem like more of a bother having to put on some pants and actually walk around in the snow with him on a leash to potty, you're gonna have to do it until he finally relents. My own Chub is good about returning to me without a leash, but if he weren't, he'd be on that in a second!

Finally, really think about the breed you've chosen. Yes, chow chows are cute. They're absolutely adorable! But they are a lot of work. They need a lot of exercise, and good training to make sure they don't run wild, like yours. While you seem to be getting good training, I think the issue is that you, like plenty of other people, hand over your dog to a trainer and expect them to fix everything, do all the work, with you getting a well trained dog with no effort. There's nothing wrong with that expectation - I myself thought the same thing when I first started with dogs. But training outside of the trainer has to be done. If you don't enforce rules and let your pet know that YOU are the boss, they just won't listen to you. So I leave you with this:

Are you willing to spend not only more time/effort into training and taking care of your dog, but more money too? By the sounds of it, you're already spending a good chunk on various trainers.
Are you willing to be trying to fix this for possibly months? He's older now, and most likely stuck in his ways.
Are you willing to pay for the medical expenses he'll need? Are you willing to possibly have to take care of a dog with special needs? And are you aware that this might cause a shorter life span?

I'll be honest with you - if you aren't willing to deal with these various issues, rehoming might be what you need. And that is perfectly fine! You've done your best, but a chow chow just might not be with you. They are, after all, EXTREMELY stubborn. There is nothing wrong with you realizing this, and deciding to do what's not only best for you, but for the dog as well.

If you choose to continue training him, great! But if not, please make sure you rehome him to the right person! And, when looking for your next breed, I STRONGLY recommend adopting! There are so many dogs out there looking for a family, that would fit your needs. Whether it be a puppy or an older dog, I'm sure they would love you either way!

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