Mothering Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,447 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi there. I have posted here before about a dog we adopted. She is german shepard/boxer mix & has a lovely disposition for the most part. We have had her now for about 6 months & she is about 2 years old. She has nervous tendencies & we are pretty certain she was abused by a previous owner. If it is just my husband or myself around, she's laid back & sweet, but if the kids begin to play around her or there are people visiting, she freaks out. By freaks out I mean she'll pee & start jumping & shaking. She cowers & pins her ears if someone raises their voice (just in general not directly at her).<br><br>
She pees & poops all over the house when she's alone for even 15 minutes. This behavior has gotten consistently worse. She even started urinating in her crate at night if someone knocks on the door. We took her to the vet & he said there appears to be no underlying physical problem & thinks it's an anxiety issue & she isn't tolerating a house with children well. That she would do better in a home with a single adult where she was the primary recipient of attention. I am hoping that is NOT the case & that there can be something else we can do as our family has really fallen in love with her but honestly, cleaning up after her daily (sometimes multiple times) is wearing on both myself & husband. I really appreciate any help or ideas!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,019 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">he has nervous tendencies & we are pretty certain she was abused by a previous owner.</td>
</tr></table></div>
What you describe is not necessarily the result of abuse, it can and usually is the result of a inherent temperament issue the dog was born with.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">We took her to the vet & he said there appears to be no underlying physical problem & thinks it's an anxiety issue & she isn't tolerating a house with children well. That she would do better in a home with a single adult where she was the primary recipient of attention.</td>
</tr></table></div>
I will probably get flamed but *I* would not keep a dog like this around children it is an accident waiting to happen. You can work with dogs like this to a certain degree but you will never have a " normal " well adjusted dog. If you really really want to try you should contact a behaviorist who can come in your home and see first hand everything that is going on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,134 Posts
Our shep had separation anxiety, but that was if we left overnight, not nearly as severe as your dog.<br><br>
I think i'd read something in this forum previously about anti-anxiety meds for dogs? Hopefully someone with some experience will chime in. In all honesty, your vet may be right, the dog might not be happy in an environment with children. Although i'd still see if something more could be done, because even adult-only households have company sooner or later, and a knock on the door is hard to avoid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,134 Posts
Another thought....my sister adopted a lab, he was around 2-3 y/o at the time, and it took him probably a full year and a half or so to feel comfortable there, and really be at ease with some things. It might just be a longer process for your pet?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,019 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">think i'd read something in this forum previously about anti-anxiety meds for dogs?</td>
</tr></table></div>
<br>
You are probably thinking of Clomicalm, I have used it for my old dog that had very severe sep anxiety. It is not a magic pill, it does not work for all dogs, and you must work with the dog while they are on it to modify their behavior. It did not work for my dog but I do know other people that had great success with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,642 Posts
I agree that this doesn't sound like abuse.<br><br>
I would absolutely try clomicalm before rehoming the dog, but there are a lot of red flags to your post; this is a VERY fearful dog.<br><br>
You can make some progress--and I would do this in conjunction with some medical therapy--by reprogramming her in relation to humans. Make every contact with humans not just positive but a jackpot. When someone is coming over, put a bowl of tiny treats outside the door. They knock, dog cowers, door opens, a shower of treats comes through the door onto the floor, door closes again. So not only did no people come through the door and scare her, but ohmygoodness some food came through! Work on repeating this until she's looking eagerly at the door, then progress to the people actually coming through the door while she's snuffling for treats.<br><br>
When people are sitting on the couch, they should have treats in their hands. No eye contact with the dog; just have them open their hands and drop food on the floor. Once she's happy with sniffing at their feet, they can put the treats on their open hands. Still NO EYE CONTACT, no touch, no talk.<br><br>
And so on. You work to try to first say "when humans exist, you are happy." Then "when you are near humans, you are happy." You move VERY slowly to "when humans are touching you, you are happy."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,447 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Just wanted to update with a HUGE thank you to the women who put us on the right path with our dog. We have been working really hard with her & have made a TON of progress. We can leave her now & she doesn' freak out. We put a baby gate in the kitchen so she has 3 rooms to herself & keep her crate open at all times & she hasn't had an accident in about 3 months!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
We did the reorientation with humans recommended by thekimballs & it honestly really worked. She'll look us in the eye & nudge our hands for pets now & doesn't shake & quiver at new people. It's been 8 months of working & we're still working with her for sure, but we've made what seems to be leaps & bounds.<br><br>
Just wanted to say thank you & let you all know someone benefitted greatly from your suggestions. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,447 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Here's some pics. Our vet's opinion of her was "So, THAT'S what happens when a bat breeds with a dog 'eh?" lol<br><br><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2736048912/" target="_blank">http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2736048912/</a><br><br><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2736043310/in/photostream/" target="_blank">http://www.flickr.com/photos/1383205...n/photostream/</a>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,195 Posts
omg, those ears ! LOL<br><br>
Congrats on the progress <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> That is awesome!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,289 Posts
Congratulations on your dog's progress. Fearfulness can be a long road to travel! But she is such a cutie--love those blond sausage doggies.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,642 Posts
What an awesome look--she's like a superhero dog with UltraHearing. Put her in yellow spandex and she'd solve the world's problems.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top