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Our male pug/beagle/sharpei is 10. He was put on anti-seizure medication a few months ago and his anxiety is through the roof. We had to stop his anxiety medication to get him on seizure meds. Ugh.

For about 6'ish months we've been gating him upstairs because he nipped at a friend's son over the winter. We think the dog was sleeping when it happened. At the very least he was curled up on his bed and unexpectedly poked or touched, and he startled. It seems like his whipped his head around and a tooth caught the little boy's forehead near his eye. Not a chomp - but his tooth or maybe his paw got him. So while nothing like this has happened with DS and they share the same space pretty much 24/7, we now gate the dog when other kids are around.

It's stressful for the dog, and becoming really frustrating for me. Looking forward - I feel like we can't have impromptu play dates unless I plan days in advance and DH drops the dog off at his parent's house. Man, I don't want to live that way. Up until recently I could shove peanut butter and frozen chicken nuggets (lol) into multiple Kongs and that would keep him occupied when I had him gated upstairs. But it didn't work today. He barked. Constantly. I let him outside onto our deck, and then into our fenced in backyard. Again, he barked. So I let him in. I don't want to bother the neighbors.

Does anyone have any amazing tricks that I haven't tried? I hate keeping him locked up because he's such a social dog, but it seems like the right thing to do. How do we manage the excessive barking with a 10 year old dog who historically hasn't been much of a barker? He used to whine / cry when excited. Now he barks.

I just want to get back to our happy place where we I could have friends over whenever, and visit without barking in the background. So. Loud.
 

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Lately, I've seen many pet bloggers posting about "thunder shirts", these are shirts that "hug" your dog, so they tend to be less anxious! I have never tried it before, but it might help? Couldn't hurt to try, right?
 

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my reply might not be directly what you are looking for. But here goes.
It sounds like the nip was a total once off accident that really only happened because he was startled. is it really necessary to now always gate him because of a once of incident? He does not sound aggressive or moody at all. Maybe he is having such issues with the gating now because he is so social and really just wants to interact with everyone. Kiddies included? Cant u slowly, and with kids you know and trust to not startle him, try and rather get things back to the way it was before the incident?
I think both you and him will be much happier if you could pull that off?
Trust my answer does not offend you!
 
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