I’ve got an old man dog who’s 11 this year, and just starting to really show/feel it. He’s a cattle dog mix, who had a rough start as a puppy (we rescued him when he was 5 months old), so between breed characteristics and early experiences, he’s always been a wary sort of fellow. As typical of livestock breeds, he’s very suspicious of…well, everything, but absolutely loves his people.
All that to say, he’s a big-ish dog (65lbs), but an absolute sweetheart who would let me do anything I wanted to him, because he knows I know best, and that his job is to serve. The last couple of years, though, I’ve noticed a change. Specifically around medication, baths and nail clipping - all things he easily tolerated in the past. Heck, they’ve even started muzzling him at the vet, when he used to be a perfect gentleman there.
What prompted me to post, though, is the issue with meds. In the past, I could put anything in a hunk of cheese and he’d eat it. Then he started balking, so I did the muzzle grab/throat stroke maneuver. That worked for a while. Now he’s not having it, and he’s getting downright angry. The last time I had to give him something, he growled, bared his teeth and almost bit me. He absolutely would have done it. He would have hated himself afterward, but he would have done it and he really scared me for the first time ever. When I’m not doing any of those things to him, he’s the same sweet, people pleasing guy he’s always been.
As he gets older, he’s going to run into meds more often, I’m guessing. I’ve had friends with little dogs who got snappy as they got older, but like I said - he’s a big boy and could hurt me. I’ve never been afraid of a dog of mine, and I don’t like the feeling. Has anyone dealt with this? What did you do?