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Crazy Dog Behavior ----- I need your thoughts/advice

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posted on Nov, 25 2011 @ 09:00 AM
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I have a behavioral problem I've not experienced before, and I'd like your input on how to deal with it.

I have a two year old West Highland terrier "Sims". She has had three "heats", and the first two came with false pregnancies. (Milk, large tummy, and everything ---Yes, I think she might be a little on the crazy side). Unlike any other dog I've ever had, she doesn't like anybody but me. I have accepted it, and work around it, although I find it distasteful because my other dogs are so loving to everyone, and everybody who meets them loves them. Not her. Anyway.

Four days ago I bought her a stuffed animal, which is a red puppy dog. Since I gave it to her, she won't leave her bed. She stays in her bed, grooming it, licking it's ears, and little butt. When she sleeps, she uses it as a pillow. If anyone goes near her when she's with it, she growls at them.

I have to force her to go outside, and then as soon as she's finished, she barks at the door wanting right back in and runs at high speed back to her "baby". Last night, and again this morning, I couldn't get her to come out of the bedroom long enough to eat. She has a water bowl in my bedroom, where her bed is, but I refuse to take her food dish in there. She won't leave the thing except to go outside and tee-tee.

This has to stop. My dilemma is in taking it away. I mean, she obviously loves it so much, I feel almost cruel in taking it away.

I've thought about taking it this morning, and provided she doesn't have a full blown nervous breakdown, just letting her have it at night, to sleep with. Or should I just throw it away and be done with it?

I know it sounds like maybe I should let her have a litter, and I want to, but the vet-tech thinks some of the characteristics she has (hating people), could be passed to the puppies. So, I'm not sure.

But mainly, any thoughts on what I should do about this damned stuffed-animal? Let her keep it until she gets bored with it? Trash it and be done with it?

Thanks guys. Advice appreciated.



posted on Nov, 25 2011 @ 09:11 AM
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I would suggest, since you are not going to breed her, have her spayed. That will over about a 6 months period, cause her hormone production to to level out. Some of her hypervigilant behavior will adjust, as she is not in constant "I'm a mommy, and I must protect my babies" mode.

As to the current situation with the stuffed toy, I would take it away, replace it with some outdoor walks to work off some of her stress. She has become "obsessive" over the toy, which is creating more of the bad hormones, and stress.

Good Luck, she sounds like an otherwise sweet little dog.




edit on 25-11-2011 by Destinyone because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 25 2011 @ 09:16 AM
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Originally posted by ladyinwaiting
I know it sounds like maybe I should let her have a litter, and I want to, but the vet-tech thinks some of the characteristics she has (hating people), could be passed to the puppies. So, I'm not sure.


Do not be unsure about breeding a dog with an emotional problem or instability. She should NEVER be bred. She should be spayed ASAP.



But mainly, any thoughts on what I should do about this damned stuffed-animal?


She's obsessive and possibly compulsive. Take the stuffy and throw it away.. I have done the same thing with any toy that my dogs obsess over. They do fine now.

Third, what kind of exercise is she getting?



posted on Nov, 25 2011 @ 09:22 AM
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reply to post by Destinyone
 


Thank you. She is a sweet little dog as long as there is no one else around. If there is someone else in the house she barks at them until I have to put her in the bedroom and close the door to get her quiet. She knows the word "quiet", and will stay quiet for a few minutes once instructed, but soon starts up again. Sigh.

The idea about the spaying is probably a good one. Truth is, I really would like to have a litter! I've had dogs all my life, yet have never been a "dog grandmother". lol.

What are your thoughts on her undesirable traits being passed a long to her puppies? I'm thinking if I socialized them in such a way I could prevent it. However, she came from a single "mom and pop" home, and I know there was nothing wrong in the environment there that could have caused this.



posted on Nov, 25 2011 @ 09:26 AM
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reply to post by Benevolent Heretic
 



Okay. I'll go take it now. I'll be back in a few to let ya know what happens.

ETA: Exercise is fine. She's a small dog who lives in a big house and has a fenced in back yard where she chases squirrels and butterflies on a daily basis. Plus, goes for walks on the leash a few times a week in the hood.

When I first got her she was a biter. The Vet said she was "fear biting". But she stopped that about a year ago.
edit on 11/25/2011 by ladyinwaiting because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 25 2011 @ 09:43 AM
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Get her fixed. You can always get another dog or puppy.



posted on Nov, 25 2011 @ 09:51 AM
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reply to post by ladyinwaiting
 


I just want to stress how important it is that you don't breed your dog. If there's ANY doubt about the stability of the dog, the answer is a resounding NO. You may have lovely puppies who all end up in the pound and PTS because they're not registered and have emotional or hormonal problems.

Why do you want to breed her, anyway?

Finally, walk her more OFF her property. Dogs need the MENTAL stimulation they get from walking around, smelling the other dogs and animals who have been there before. If they don't get proper mental stimulation, they tend to obsess and misbehave.

This is the best dog board on the Internet in my opinion (and I've belonged to a LOT) Go there and ask the wonderful experts about your concerns. You'll get a lot of good advice. Be prepared for them to beg you not to breed her, though.


www.prodoggroomingsupplies.com...

Good luck to you!



edit on 11/25/2011 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 25 2011 @ 10:03 AM
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reply to post by ladyinwaiting
 



Hello...again,

I've come back to answer your question, but I see you got the same answer on breeding her, that I now give you.

Don't do it. She is in a continuous state of hypervigilance. The driving emotion of hypervigilance is paranoia. Thus the biting, on guard all the time behavior.

Imagine if you will, living on the edge of total fear. That is her life at the moment. You are not the reason she has this disorder, some are born with it through inbreeding, and other factors. But, you can help her by having her spayed, to stop the overproduction of hormones, a big factor in the cause of her actions.

And, don't feel bad about taking away the stuffed toy...it's not a toy in her mind anyway. And keeping it only makes her cross over from being obsessive, to being compulsive...compulsive behavior is much more difficult to deal with in dogs.

Do try the blog suggested by one poster...I belong to several animal blogs, one for my goats, another for my goat guarding Great Pyrenees...blogs can be so helpful.


edit on 25-11-2011 by Destinyone because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 25 2011 @ 10:09 AM
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Wow! Here's what happened.

I couldn't decide whether to let her see me throw it away, or whether to sneak it away. I typically let them see me when I trash an old worn out toy, but this time I opted for the latter. I took her outside, and did my dirty work while she was away.

Of course she was barking to come back in, and I followed her to her bed. She had a few minutes of frenzy looking for it, and her ears were flat on her head like they are when she's upset. She laid down on her bed and I left the room. I went back in there about five minutes later to check on her, and as I approached her bed, she growled at me. I held her snout closed saying "no" like I did to get her out the biting.

Here's the good part. I left her, and came back to the computer. About five minutes later, she shows up by my desk, obviously having invaded my bathroom garbage, because she had an empty toilet paper roll in her mouth. She wanted to go outside, where she immediately performed her self-assigned duty to make sure our yard is free of all manner of birds and squirrels. lol.

Then she went to the way-back deck, jumped on a lounge chair, where she is now sunning. Her favorite thing.

So, it's like everything is back to normal. I had taken the red puppy dog to another room, just in case she had a meltdown, but now that she is outside this time, I've taken it the trash OUTSIDE, so she can't even get a whiff of it. It's gone for good.

Thing is......when she was running around outside doing her usual play a little while ago, it was almost like she was relieved. I don't know any other way to express it. She seemed happy.

This has turned out to be such a simple thing, I feel almost silly for posting it, but I don't care, I'm glad I did. I'm "funny" when it comes to my dogs. And this was over so quickly!!!

Thank you guys so much. I do feel better and your support was so very much appreciated.

And the other thing......Sigh. I will have her spayed.
I don't want to, but I guess I need to. Her sisters are spayed, (my other girls) but they had to be for medical reasons. I guess this one will be for mental reasons. ha.
I make the arrangements right after Christmas, and before her next heat.

Thank you guys!



posted on Nov, 25 2011 @ 10:23 AM
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Destiny One and BH, thanks so much. I have taken your advice, and I will have her spayed.

I wanted to breed her simply because I want to experience having a litter. I've always wanted to, but there has always been some parent, or some husband, or somebody who didn't want me to. I just want to experience that. I love dogs, and puppies, as you guys do, and just want to be a dog grandmom. That's the only reason. All my friends are dog lovers, (except for the cat lovers) so I know in advance they would all have great homes.

If I continue to feel this way, I'll get another, better suited puppy. I won't try it with her then, promise.
And thanks for the link. I will bookmark it.

You guys are great, by the way.



posted on Nov, 25 2011 @ 10:24 AM
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Good job. I'm glad it worked out. Once she doesn't have that to obsess over, she can be a dog, sniffing, and chasing birds, like dogs are supposed to do.



Originally posted by ladyinwaiting
Her sisters are spayed, (my other girls) but they had to be for medical reasons.


Even more reason to spay her. If her sisters have bad medical genes, she could very well pass them on to any offspring.

Good decision.



posted on Nov, 25 2011 @ 10:44 AM
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reply to post by ladyinwaiting
 

First of all don't take the toy away from the poor thing,she would be extremely distressed if you were to do this,
secondly,why have you not had her spayed? if you do not intend breeding from her,that would almost certainly eliminate the phantom pregnancy symptoms that she displays with her heat cycle and would almost certainly cause her to become a much more settled and less anxious pet.



posted on Nov, 25 2011 @ 10:54 AM
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Originally posted by ladyinwaiting
If I continue to feel this way, I'll get another, better suited puppy. I won't try it with her then, promise.


If you decide to get a bitch to breed, definitely research your breeders to ensure that they are doing the proper genetic testing for the breed. I don't have any issue with well-bred dogs reproducing, as long as they're not going to pass on any undesirable traits.

If you ever want any additional breeder information, let me know.



posted on Nov, 25 2011 @ 10:59 AM
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Oh
My
God.

I've let her in, and she's gone back to her bed. Before I brought her home at six weeks old, I bought her a big green frog. It's almost her size. She has always been "normal" with it. Just sleeps with it. Sometimes drags it to the den to play with it at night. She's had that frog all her short life. No problems.
It lived under the bed during the "red puppy episode". She forgot about it.

She now has that frog on her bed, has flipped it upside down, and is "grooming it".

She has lost her mind.

I'll go ahead and schedule the surgery for next week. My poor little Sims. She is as neurotic as neurotic can be.

Oh, her "sisters" are not biological ones. They are wire fox terriers from different litters..... different states.
One of them will be 14 Dec. 1.



posted on Nov, 25 2011 @ 11:19 AM
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reply to post by ladyinwaiting
 


I would take up all of the toys and get her some good hard exercise as soon as you can. And I would go to ProDog and ask about it. I could give you several things to try, but asking there will get you a more comprehensive response from people who know more than I do. They are really nice people.



posted on Nov, 25 2011 @ 11:25 AM
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reply to post by ladyinwaiting
 



She now has that frog on her bed, has flipped it upside down, and is "grooming it".


I have a Shihtzu that has an obsession with a 6 inch stuffed ball. Anytime he's feeling anxious, it's in his mouth. I have 2 larger dogs that are a bit of a handful, well trained and brilliant, but strong personalities. If I get mad at them for anything, he gets a bit anxious.

I let him obsess when he needs to, it gives him a lot of comfort. He carries it all around the house, and if for some reason he needs calming immediately, there are other small stuffed animals that fit into his mouth. Not all the way in his mouth, that would be a choking hazard. They have no small parts that could ever come off, they're built very sturdy, and they're about the size of his head.

Maybe get her a smaller stuffed animal that she can carry around with her. Maybe she'll obsess less if it's small enough to comfortably walk around with?



posted on Nov, 25 2011 @ 11:56 AM
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reply to post by ladyinwaiting
 



but the vet-tech thinks some of the characteristics she has (hating people), could be passed to the puppies


Ha ha, sounds like a typical Westie to me. My (ex) wife had one and it hated everyone but her.

As someone else suggested, spey.

ETA: Noticed further on.


Plus, goes for walks on the leash a few times a week in the hood.


Um excuse me but Westies are not lap dogs. They walk miles and miles. Ours would hack a 25 mile walk regularly with no bother, even through deep snow in Scotland.

They need a lot of exercise. A few times a week is not enough. A few times a day would be more appropriate.


edit on 25/11/2011 by PuterMan because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 25 2011 @ 12:17 PM
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Originally posted by PuterMan
Um excuse me but Westies are not lap dogs. They walk miles and miles. Ours would hack a 25 mile walk regularly with no bother, even through deep snow in Scotland.


Thank you for posting this. I don't know much about the breed, but if a dog is unable to do some work similar to what they were bred for, they can resort to obsessive behavior. Herding dogs need to herd, so I provide proper exercise twice per day. They don't exercise themselves well - they need our help.

And dogs that don't get enough exercise many times end up with behavioral issues. She needs to have 2 walks per day, plus some running and chasing play.



posted on Nov, 25 2011 @ 12:27 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

Originally posted by PuterMan
Um excuse me but Westies are not lap dogs. They walk miles and miles. Ours would hack a 25 mile walk regularly with no bother, even through deep snow in Scotland.


Thank you for posting this. I don't know much about the breed, but if a dog is unable to do some work similar to what they were bred for, they can resort to obsessive behavior. Herding dogs need to herd, so I provide proper exercise twice per day. They don't exercise themselves well - they need our help.

And dogs that don't get enough exercise many times end up with behavioral issues. She needs to have 2 walks per day, plus some running and chasing play.


Agreed here. I'm training a new 5 1/2 month old Great Pyrenees goat guarding puppy. He's already over 70 lbs, and very opinionated, as that particular breed is by heredity. He requires a lot of exercise time, excluding work time to keep him focused when it comes to work time. The heritage of the breed's temperament, is very important when choosing a pet. If they are from a breed that is from a working class, they must have some form of work to do, in order to feel balanced and happy. Exercise is the key to solving a lot of personality disorders in some breeds of dogs.
edit on 25-11-2011 by Destinyone because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 25 2011 @ 01:30 PM
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reply to post by ladyinwaiting
 

This guy is so good understanding dog behavior...read this, then read about how to be the "pack leader"....many times we encourage this behaviour by trying to apply human emotions to dogs. They can't reason like we do...let me know what you think....

www.cesarsway.com...



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