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Patterdale seeking some desperate help..!!

Hi there, new to the forum but desperate for some help...!!

I own Patsy, an 18 month old long haired Patterdale Terrier.  I love her to bits though she is a typical, highly energetic terrier....!!  We have had our difficulties in the past - being my first dog I got the boundaries all wrong but after watching a bit of the god that is Cesar Milan started along the exercise, discipline, affection route.  We now get up at 7 every day and go for a good hours walk or 40 mins jog out of our back door which opens straight onto an amazing common.  I work with horses so she spends all day following me round and coming along on any rides that I go on.  She gets one main meal in the morning and some biscuits in the evening and 90% of the time sleeps downstairs in the kitchen, though occasionally sneaks upstairs and hides under the bed when I go to bed earlier than my boyfriend..!! She's not been spayed.

Now thats where the trouble begins... my boyfriend.  He wasn't keen on Patsy from the start - thought she was totally unruly and untrained.  Which to be fair she was, but with the walking and bonding is sooooo much better - comes to call and everything!  But recently she has started getting hyper aggressive towards men.  She has bitten the postman and the next door neighbour.  When he walks her she runs up to people and threatens them, once nipping someone.  She lies on the sofa growling and has real issues with one of our housemates who is actually really meak and mild.  And now to top it off she seems to be having house training issues, although again worse if I'm not around.  He took her out with a muzzle on and apparently it made her ten times worse.  She has always been fine with me but now I take her out on a lead as have lost a little confidence in her but its a pain for me and horrid for her as living by the common and being the terrier she just wants to chase squirrels and scents the whole time!!!

Anyway, tonight he has had enough and says she has to sleep outside and if ever she puts a paw wrong again (which is inevitable really lets face it..!!) she is not welcome in the house ever again.  Its all because his housemates came in drunk and she barked at them and then got told off and messed in front of the front door.  I was in bed unfortunately but am writing this sleeping next to her on the sofa...!!!

Any any hints or tips as to the aggression, how to tame it, how to make her a happier dog within her environment please please suggest.  I don't want to lose either patrat or my boyfriend!

Leah aka Patsy pat x

I havent got a lot of time to reply at the moment, however, you sound quite young and the one bit of advice I would give you is that if push comes to shove, lose the Boyfriend and keep the dog.

Really, Im nearly 40 and speaking from experience.

Your Boyfriend sounds horrid and I hope he reads this.

Im not finished yet........

He comes in drunk
He tells you that your beloved dog must live outside against your wishes
He berates the dog so badly she sh1ts herself

Honey, thats abuse, you need more help that we can provide on this website.
Tina D

I am very far from and expert but I think it really does ound that your dogs is very unsure of herself. It sounds like her biting/growling/nipping at people is in defense and she is "getting" them before they have a chance to "get" her. The fact that she was previously housetrained and has now stared having accidents also supports this.

I personally would get her spayed as her hormones running around her system might not be helping her. I would also not let her on the sofa or any of the furniture, probably consult a behaviourist and start with positive training. Try and keep your voice positive and treat when she does good things-not punish the bad.

As Nicky said, I am not sure you will be able to resolve the problem keeping both your boyfriend and the dog. If he wasn't keen on her from the start, it sounds like he was looking for things to be wrong with her that he could moan about. I never fully understood about a terrier's personality until I got Lucie (jrt/collie). They are full-to-the brim of personality and feisty-ness and are possible the most stubborn dogs ever! What people see as naughtyness and willfull behaviour is just them being a terrier and doing what they have been bred for hundreds of years to do. From what I know about Patterdales, they are the most stubborn of them all but are packed full of character. As a terrier "owner" you (and your boyfriend) really have to accept that you may never have a perfectly trained dog. Sometimes their chase instinct will override their ability to hear you calling them to come back-I had to lear the very first physical sign that Lucie was squirrel-hunting as, if I missed that first second or two window to call her, there was no way I could compete with her instinct. It would be the same with the attacking people, if you make her comfortable in the home and sort out her fear, she may stop her aggression but if not, it is up to you to watch her and recognise the first signs that she is stressed and take steps to manage it (getting the dog to focus on you, rather than her target etc). It would probably help you to see a behaviourist and/or go to training classes so that you can build up trust with her and learn how to recognise her signals and manage her behaviour

I am with what has already been said....    You do sound younger that most of us older fogies on here but there is bit of experience behind us! Your house sounds like a house share set up with lots of comings and goings, noise and disruption which is very confusing to a dog - most of whom thrive on stability and routine and boundaries that everybody adheres to.
Your boyfriend is issuing you with an ultimatum - not very nice and your Patti will pick up the negative vibes he has towards the dog.  Your dog sounds confused and very insecure.
My instinct would be to dump the boyfriend but I accept that you may feel differently! I do think your current situation is untenable so it maybe that you have to decide between the boyfriend and the dog.  You dont say how old the dog is but terriers (and others) do go through teenage strops  - get her speyed straight away and have a good think about whether your lifestyle is really in the best interests of your dog. Smile

Sorry you do say how old Patsy is - and yes she is at the right age for asserting herself very forcefully  - so even more important that you stick to firm boundaries and consistency in her training. Smile


I would speak to your boyfriend calmly and assertively and tell him that if he doesn't give you a hand with helping you with your dog then he will be the one disciplined and definitely won't be receiving any affection.
If your dog has only just developed problems with men then you can get it sorted out and also perhaps ask yourself where might this have come from.  Is she receiving negative energy from men all the time?  Dogs, especially intelligent ones are pretty sensitive.  Ask your male friends to go for walks with you and ask them to treat her with tasty titbits while out on walks.  She will learn to trust men if her experiences of men are positive.
As the others have said dogs are not perfect.  No dogs are perfect, so her training will probably never be 100%.  However, getting her speyed is essential, it will also help her to be less hormonal.
In addition to this you said that her house training suffers when you are not around.  I would question your boyfriend and your housemate as to whether they let her out when you are not around, or are they doing something that makes her anxious.  It seems odd that her behaviour changes when you are not there, and that she is only bad with other people on the lead when your boyfriend walks her.
My Mum always told me that there was something very dodgy about people who dont like animals - she said that it is a sure sign of a lack of compassion for others.  My Mum is always right.
Just to put it into perspective for you, I have a pet ferret that bites my husband everytime he picks her up.  He has never questioned whether we should keep her and even though he wouldn't necessarily have chosen to have ferrets he helps look after them every day.  I have a foster dog who has just thrown up and had an upset stomach on the floor in my house, and my husband has said that we can let him stay longer as he deserves a break.  In addition to that he was the one who wanted to adopt our last foster dog (which we did) even though at times she can be a complete pain in the butt (as well as lovely and perfect the rest of the time).  She was sometimes aggressive with other dogs and had various other issues, we both took her to training classes and worked together to get her better, which she is.  So trust me, have another look about as there are some really nice men out there, just not the one you have unless he can be kinder once you have pointed out to him the error of his ways, and what he needs to be doing to make you happy.
I also agree, if she has started to growl at people when she is on the sofa, she needs to be sleeping in her bed on the floor.  
I really feel for you.  It's a horrible situation to be put in, however your boyfriend shouldnt be making you and your dog feel like that.  He should be supporting you to reach a solution.  That's what a decent bloke would do.

Re: Patterdale

[quote="Olivia"]My Mum always told me that there was something very dodgy about people who dont like animals - she said that it is a sure sign of a lack of compassion for others.  My Mum is always right.

All physcopaths and narcissists lack empathy - which is the ability to understand how another living being feels

It is a know fact that murderers often start their career with cruelty to animals.

Like Olivia said, a decent bloke would support you with this.  My hubster loves his garden and last night he came home to find his daffs scattered and a bloody great hole dug in the flower beds, by the new collie which I took in only 2 weeks ago, which he came home to after a long days work as a total shock and surprise. poor man.

He just went and got his fork and tidied everything up, and later I found him somewhere in a pile of 3 dogs having a pack hug in front of the fire.

It would have been so easy for him to point the finger and shout at us all, and say he "didn't want the dog in the first place" (which would have been true, he didn't even get asked his opinion)

Please dont get bogged down by a nasty bloke when there are some lovely ones out there.

My ex got jealous of my dogs/pets. I put up with it for so long until we had an argument and he threatened to come round my house with a baseball bat and kneecap my dogs with it. He very quickly became my ex after that comment.

Boyfriends come and go. Dogs are loyal to the end. Sounds like she was doing her job by barking at a load of drunken yobs. And then showed what she thought of them by taking a poop in the hope they might step in it...sounds a pretty clever dog to me! seriously though, this was a sign of stress. She was scared and, lets face it, you were asleep, so what did they do to scare her? Drunken people can be very worrying!!!

Having her sleep outside will not improve her behaviour at all. Getting her spayed WILL improve her behaviour. I would have done this when she was 5 months old, but getting it done now is just as good.

She has had a bad experience with men. Dogs are not stupid and she has received the vibes from your other half and he has (not intending to) given her reason to be wary of men.

It happens all the time. I have lost many a boyfriend due to my dogs. But you feel better for it in the long run. Especially because on hindsight I would have ended up getting rid of him anyway if he had insisted on me getting rid of the dogs!

The way I look at it (in your case) would be that there are many men in the world, but only one Patsy!



Hey guys, thanks for all the replies - you have had me laughing, cringing, facing facts and reflecting all day!

I have left Patsy at her best friends house tonight (my mum's with her labrador!) and am sitting down with the boys tonight to discuss about her recent changes in behaviour.  They are all sweet at heart but maybe we need to make a united front about rules, boundaries and routines that fit in with all of us.  Yes I may have to sacrifice my midnight snuggles (with the dog on my bad that is lol!) and make her sleep in her bed in the kitchen, but also so can they help with letting her out at nights and keeping her off the furniture!

I am also definitely booking her in to have her spayed, should have done it long ago but better now than never.

I don't know what classes as young or old fogie, but I'm 28.  So old enough to sort this and only got Patsy's best interests at heart.  Dom is also 28 and we've moved into his house.  He tries his best to tolerate her and when I had to go away on work for a week they were bosom buddies and went out on 2 walks a day!  Its all started after that and now muddy paws on a clean bedspread don't go down so good - but then thats where her being allowed upstairs comes into play isn't it!  All makes sense when you think about it.

Anyways thanks again for all the help, will keep you posted on how tonight goes...!!

Paterdale's are very intelligent dogs. So your's may have picked up your BF doesn't like her so she is giving him back the same. However, as she's biting that should be stopped or you might find you are in very deep trouble.

If it is males she goes for. I would start looking for a male who likes her and doesn't mean being on the rough end until she twigs not all men are horrible. Cesar did do a program on this particular problem, I just can't recall the breed it was with the man problem.

I would train the bf to behave and interact with her as it is you and the dog, one package, not you.

I do remember when his anal glands played up he got a bit grouchy and that was intermittent at first until the glands became too painful then he was areal grouch. Quick trip to the vet and one happy dog was returned if not undignified at having his bum squeezed.

My pat went mad, unfortunately it ran in his family which I learnt after the fact. But he went for anything and everything, not picked on one certain thing.
Pooch zzz

Hi, I know I shouldn't really be sticking my nose in, but.... From past experience, GET RID OF THE BOYFRIEND. I'm nearly 50 and I speak from experience. Dogs don't suddenly develop a dislike of men! My first dog developed a 'wariness' for a boyfriend and ended up being banished to the stables. One day my dog was all wobbly on his feet and the vet found a large swelling on the back of his head which looked like he had been bashed with a plank. I believed the boyfriend and presumed he had knocked himself on something in the stable. Several days later he had a small wound in his thigh. Vet found a 22 bullet! Again boyfriend denied anything. I then caught boyfriend hitting dog with a stick. I walked!
Funny, my beloved dog was fine after I moved out. In fact I found him an excellent judge of character and have used my dogs reactions to people as a good estimate. None of the many I have had in my life have ever been wrong so far!
As many above have said, you sound quite young. Trust your dog. They don't suddenly turn nasty without a VERY GOOD REASON.

hi sweet,my ex once said that I had to get rid of my dogs and horses,we miss him lol xx

I told Karl I was leaving him so that I could have Frank....... Laughing

Bud wrote:
I told Karl I was leaving him so that I could have Frank....... Laughing
who wouldn't cheers  cheers  Smile  :laughing5:
SharonR - Admin

Bud wrote:
I told Karl I was leaving him so that I could have Frank....... Laughing

Are you packed?  Laughing
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