Dr. Jean Dodds' Pet Health Resource Blog | Aberrant Behavior and Thyroid Dysfunction
I've recently come across a blog by a pet sitter in Montana, Melissa Freer, called http://nodogaboutit.wordpress.com/. The blog that caught my attention was http://nodogaboutit.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/the-burden-of-euthanizing-an-aggressive-dog/.
If you visit that blog, it becomes apparent rather quickly that these people never engaged the services of a real-world, works with a pack of dogs, saves hundreds of lives, balanced trainer/behaviorist/rehabilitator. They got stuck at the veterinary behaviorist level and followed the advice of putting the dog down. One was a foster. This was very painful for these folks, so I thought I would try to help them by helping others in the future. Wow, what a mistake and exercise in futility!
I started by asking if there were any medical diagnoses made. Rarely did one speak of a brain tumor or other disorder. The rest were either "out of the blue" or something that began and got worse. This brought me to possible thyroid issues, many of which go undetected by the routine tests performed by most traditional vets. I ventured some advice out there about Dr. Dodds and her intricate Nutriscan testing for thyroid issues, because many dogs show signs of dog-human aggression, or rage, and then look like they come out of a trance. That is the link above and the point to this story. Prior to EVER deciding to put your dog down for what appears to be severe aggression issues, I urge you to seek these simple tests that could literally save your dog's life with proper medication and perhaps complete reversal with diet and exercise changes.
The story by Phyllis which is linked into Mel's blog, is where this travesty actually originated, and was fraught with lack of leadership and humanizing issues. I wrote on her blog and none of my comments were published, I guess because I pointed out that if her dog was wearing a path in the yard from anxiety five years ago when he got there, why it would take her five years to hope something better happened. Why wouldn't you look for help outside of some Prozac?
I then ventured suggesting on Mel's blog some wonderful trainers that have rehabilitated and saved hundreds, if not thousands, of dogs - Jeff Gellman, Sean O'Shea, Tyler Muto, of course Cesar Millan, Cheri Lucas and Brian Agnew, and Blake Rodriguez. Here is where I got shut down, comments no longer published and banned, and this is when I saw what kind of person the author is and some of the commenters. They would rather put a dog down than suggest the help of any one of these trainers/behaviorists/rehabbers because they've drank the Kool-Aid of the Purely Positive cult who swear all these guys use aversive measures to obtain rehabilitation and obedience, and it's neither long-lasting nor transitional...
One of the commenters is Debbie Jacobs, who believes she is some type of Canine Behaviorist in VT and has the Fearful Dogs website and blog. She posts that she would rather put a dog down than offer it help via a "wannabe dog whisperer." Really, Debbie??!!! Wow, that speaks volumes! As you can probably surmise, I am not allowed to comment on her blog, either, since I tried to explain to her and several others what is meant by "living in the moment." She still questions how I know her dog doesn't sit there and pine about her horrible past or dreads the future...okaaaaayyyyyyyy, Deb. These Purely Positive cult members usually don't take on aggressive or "hard" cases because they know their bag of treats and clicker isn't going to work, they are too arrogant to fail at something or suggest someone who can truly help, and usually side with the vets that the humane thing to do is put your dog down...he's suffering. Oooooh that grinds my gears and makes my sphincter twitch!
It seemed that these people on this and Phyllis' blog just wanted a place to go to pat each other on the shoulder and say that they did everything they could, don't feel bad, I can't take it, I killed my dog, don't beat yourself up about it, and it's okay. I cannot tell you how frustrating it is to have someone write that they're on the fence about putting their dog down and this idiot blogger won't let my suggestions or advice be published to save the dog. I would have tears in my eyes and feel my heart pounding and my stomach twisting - like watching a train wreck coming that you can't do anything about. And now, these dogs are dead. Dead is forever, folks. There's no coming back from that.
Please people; do everything in your power and go outside the box to save your furry loved ones. Veterinarians, especially traditional ones, are not the be all, end all for not only health, but especially for behavioral issues. At least seek the help of an holistic vet if you see these signs in your dog, but you should really go seek out one of the professionals listed here who deal with true aggression every day. And, if the symptoms suddenly appeared, go get those thyroid tests. Look at the stats in Dr. Dodds' article - they're quite staggering. Just think how many dogs have probably been put down when they could have been saved for the want of a simple test :(