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Barking geriatric dog again

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#1 Guest_LeChatNinjah_*

Posted 26 February 2013 - 10:10 PM

I did post a few weeks ago about my terribly old Jack Russell barking non stop, but it has escalated.

I was away for a week, did have a house sitter, but she had the police show up the other night because the neighbours called and said he had been doing it all day.

She was home until 11am and he barked a bit so she brought him inside, she then came home again on her break late afternoon and checked on him again and refilled his water, checked his bed etc.

The police were very nice about it, but said neighbours were just fed up.  I work full time and he very rarely does this when I'm home, but enough that I know he does it.

If I were to leave him inside all day he'd bark just as much and get distressed.  He only likes being inside if we're there.

He's 15 years old, nearly blind and totally deaf, but he seems so happy other than his apparent dementia that makes him bark at invisible foes.

I don't want to upset my neighbours, obviously, but I don't know what to do.  I was thinking of putting flyers in neighbours' letterboxes explaining his age and dementia and giving my mobile number to text or call if he does it while I'm out.  If I have to I could pop home from work or ask my mum to pop round and put him inside for a bit, or give him a cuddle, or whatever he needs.

I've done some googling and it seems this is quite common in very elderly dogs, and I haven't seen any non-barking tips anywhere.

Anyone?  I love this boy, but have to respect my neighbours as well.

#2 FurryTongue

Posted 26 February 2013 - 10:22 PM

My parents have a jack russell who barks when they are out. After the ranger turning up a number  of times due to complaints they bought a collar which gives him shocks when he barks. They haven't had a complaint since (3  or so years) but they are retired and he is left for only very short periods of time. I am not suggesting it at all as I don't like it but it seems to have solved their problem.
Goodluck with it all.

#3 sedawson

Posted 26 February 2013 - 10:49 PM

You wouldn't like my suggestion.

15 years old you say? Had a jolly good innings then, the old chap? Going to get much more out of life, is he?
How much longer is he going to trot about before inevitable health issues make his life increasingly uncomfortable?

OR do your neighbours want to participate in passing him around for daytime babysitting? That might be nice for some of them, lots of people would like to have a part-time dog. Serious suggestion.

Edited by sedawson, 26 February 2013 - 10:50 PM.

#4 Guest_LeChatNinjah_*

Posted 26 February 2013 - 10:57 PM

Sedawson, I wouldn't have posted it if that wasn't an option.

I'd hate barking to be the final straw.  We've been blessed that he's had no harsh and painful symptoms of old age so far.  I do know he's arthritic, but he takes things easy.  It does bother me that there is a chance that he's barking out of pain.  They can't speak.

He's as mad as cheese, but seems so freaking happy in his dementia.  He doggy smiles all day.

Am so torn.  I won't be doing anything drastic at the moment, but I need to realise what he's doing.

This sucks sad.gif

#5 Guest_LeChatNinjah_*

Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:37 PM

Temporary stop gap in place.

former housesitter needs somewhere to live, so am going to let her stay for a while, I work days, she mostly works nights, so someone will be home most of the time to pander to sooky demented dog.


#6 Ant2131

Posted 27 February 2013 - 12:01 AM

Hey I have one too, she's 17 deaf, blind, demented but happy as a lamb.  Has taken to standing in front of the kitchen cupboards and barking at them without stopping.  When I finally cant take it any longer i have to pat her dear little head and she shakes her shoulders as if to say "What was I doing again".

So afraid it will be me in a few years wink.gif

#7 sedawson

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:16 PM

QUOTE (~*Twilight~Zone*~ @ 27/02/2013, 04:51 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sedawson - that's the second post I've seen of yours this week recommending someone put their dog to sleep.  Seems to be the only solution you have for people.

I don't think I'm as terrified of euthanasia as other people are, certainly. I think in some cases it's a reasonable option.

I think with a 15-year-old dog, it's one option, yes. As I mentioned, how much more is he going to get out of life? And I think most dog owners already know that there's not much you can do with a chronic barker.

The other time I made the suggestion was in response to a poster who has spent a small fortune trying to rehabilitate a very psychologically damaged dog which has been bolting through traffic. This can kill not only a dog, but a human child if a car has to swerve.

Death by euthanasia is almost instant and there is no more suffering for the dog or the owner aside from normal grieving. I support it for humans and I don't feel it makes me inhumane to support it, in certain circumstances, for animals.

I eat meat daily as I suspect you do too and have been indirectly responsible for the suffering and death of thousands of animals over my lifetime because of it. I feel that most people would rather selfishly continue to keep a physically or mentally suffering animal alive to save their own tender feelings, and that this is not always in an animal's best interests.

Love your suffering dog, feed them their favourite food, spend the day with them, hold them close and give them the things they crave but aren't usually allowed to have. Then if it's the best choice, have them painlessly put to sleep. They do not know.

#8 JackiOT

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:26 PM

You sound like you have a good temporary solution.

My (now departed sad.gif ) labrador did the same thing.  We took him to the vet who recommended some anti-anxiety meds and also we got an automated feeder, which could be set to deliver a small amount of food at a specific time (or times).  Our dog seemed to get quite barky around 3ish - so we set the feeder for then, and also left treat balls and other things to do and that did seem to help (He was very food motivated though!).

#9 Feral*Spikey*

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:31 PM

Hi OP,

I'm guessing the source of the barking is anxiety-related, and that may be arising from dementia. Doggies do get old, sadly. Your short term solution sounds perfect, but I'm wondering if you should also investigate medicating your dog.

Have a chat with your vet. Perhaps some anti-anxiety meds will have a calming effect on your little guy, and he can have a few more years as a mellow fellow, even if left on his own.

I wouldn't recommend a citronella or sonic collar as he's already confused - don't add to it by jamming up the few senses he has that are still working. I also don't recommend shock collars as they are painful, and in most states, they're also illegal.

#10 Zarlias

Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:32 PM

Old doesn't have to mean suffering.

I, too, am part of the geriatric dog owners club. My little one is 16, deaf, almost blind and slightly demented, NONE of which involve any suffering.

Every time I take the monster to the vet, I expect the worst, yet every time, Dr Dan laughs at how damn healthy he is considering his age.

Sure, he forgets what he's doing halfway across the room. Yes, he barks at walls. Annoyingly he is incontinent and needs to be carried up and down stairs, but he is happy as a proverbial pig, and I will make sure he spends the rest of his days this way.

#11 sedawson

Posted 27 February 2013 - 06:51 PM

You are right - old does not equate to suffering, not at all.

I think the suffering here belongs to the poor neighbours. Constant noise pollution drives people absolutely nuts.

#12 la di dah

Posted 02 March 2013 - 07:17 PM

I only support shock collars to save the lives of young dogs who would otherwise be put down in the prime of life.

I think doing it to an old blind demented dog would be more cruel than the cruelty of shock collars themselves.

And if his brain is bad enough he won't even make the connection nor remember if he barks he's zapped, and that would be a very sad way for him to spend his final days. He could also get seriously hurt if he flips his sh*t and won't give in. Terriers can be VERY stubborn.

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