New dog and obsessive toy behavior

Tricks, obedience, behavior, and more.
User avatar
heather
Addicted to PBF
Posts: 8830
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 10:55 pm
Location: Geneva, NY

New dog and obsessive toy behavior

Postby heather » Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:50 am

Hi everyone. Haven't posted in a long time (except in laws). A week ago I adopted a super smart for year old pitbull named Max who had been in a shelter nearly three years. They managed to teach him basic commands and took him to many talking events. My husband attended a winery benefit and meet him there.

At first, we weren't sure about how he would get on with our cats, but we separated them and allow them to see each other through a fence and he never messes with them now unless they act overly defensive and he now averts his glance. he is also learning the word no. He was on Prozac and he had a couple doses and now its off completely..they said his kennel stress got worse.

When he was in the shelter, they let him burn off steam with a jolly ball and a plastic kong (hard) and last year he ate a kong and had to have surgery. I think he is obsessive about these toys because he gets that eyes glazed over look and he breathing really heavy and he won't let anyone take it. he doesn't crawl at us and the shelter workers said he never growled at them.. it's just very difficult to get it from him. He has no issues with dogs, but he did snap at my dog when she showed interest. he pretty easily gives up nylabones and antlers. The problem is there's no intermediary object between a low value object and this high value object that I can do trades with. if you offer him food for trade for the antler or something like it, he completely ignores the object. if those two items he's obsessed with her around he has no interest in food whatsoever or anything and it says if the rest of the world doesn't exist. the other day he thought that my daughters swing set with a toy and dove up and knocked her down. so, now I'm afraid to even take him on a walk for fear he will see something and try to go for it acting crazy on leash or something.

I just feel very discouraged because I want to help this dog and have him as a family member, but I've never dealt with anything so difficult. I would also like to have my daughter be able to throw a ball for him and no he won't eat it or be possessed.I'm sure that part of this is because in the stressful situation he was in these toys were some of the only outlet he had. he remembers where my husband put them in last night jump in the back of the truck to try to get to it.

I ordered the book "mine" and in a few weeks I'm eating with the trainer here in our home to help with this problem. I guess I just want to hear that other people have overcome something this serious and how they did it. in the meantime, I don't really know how to get his energy out in tire him out enough. he doesn't seem very interested in walks and when we walked by our house he tries to go back sometimes. He's been playing with my other dog but she's getting old.

Any insight or experience is appreciated. Heather

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk [url='http://tapatalk.com/m?id=10']now Free[/url]

User avatar
heather
Addicted to PBF
Posts: 8830
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 10:55 pm
Location: Geneva, NY

Re: New dog and obsessive toy behavior

Postby heather » Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:58 am

Sorry there are so many typos...it would not let me make edits.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk [url='http://tapatalk.com/m?id=10']now Free[/url]

User avatar
GoingPostal
Forum Junky
Posts: 3055
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 9:08 pm
Location: MN

Re: New dog and obsessive toy behavior

Postby GoingPostal » Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:27 am

You can buy a lunge whip and use it as a flirt pole or make one yourself, if you search there's a thread on thatno but basically a giant teaser toy like cats use, they chase it around and tire themselves out pretty good. I have a springpole as well that only one of my dogs loves but that is a great workout. Walks don't really do much for tiring dogs out ime. Since he is fixated on those certain toys I would consider removing them for the time being while you work on teaching him trust and manners, otherwise can you buy a double of each? Using an equal item to trade but also a really high value treat, raw meat, bully stick and teach him to offer the toy or at least drop it on command. FWIW my male was pretty guardy obsessive about his favorite goodies when I adopted him but we worked through it and can take whatever from him now without problem.

User avatar
heather
Addicted to PBF
Posts: 8830
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 10:55 pm
Location: Geneva, NY

Re: New dog and obsessive toy behavior

Postby heather » Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:42 am

when I try to jog with him, he grabbed the leash and wants to tug, but he does let that go for me. so, maybe a flirt pole would work. he does have two toys he seems to value just as equally and is obsessed about them. I'm going to read the thread above about the command OUT. I want to know the difference between using the one toy method vs the 2 toy method.

User avatar
UnconventionalLove
Bully Lover 4 Life
Posts: 1131
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 12:08 am
Location: Kalispell, Montana

Re: New dog and obsessive toy behavior

Postby UnconventionalLove » Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:00 am

"I ordered the book "mine" and in a few weeks I'm eating with the trainer here in our home to help with this problem. "

That's exactly what I was going to suggest! Just make sure you get a force-free trainer that is up do date on science and won't make it worse by using punishment or aversives. http://www.petprofessionalguild.com/DogTrainingMembers is a great resource.

User avatar
heather
Addicted to PBF
Posts: 8830
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 10:55 pm
Location: Geneva, NY

Re: New dog and obsessive toy behavior

Postby heather » Sun Oct 13, 2013 4:22 pm

I used one aversive to get him to calm down when I had a toy. I had a spray bottle with water. when I showed him the toy and held the spray bottle he calmed down enough to at least stop and wonder what was happening. then I was able to calm him down and actually give him the toy and trade it for a treat. after half an hour I had him playing fetch with me and letting me take it easily. I plan on doing this every day now without the water bottle. in the beginning. He wouldn't even look at me when I tried to trade and he had this glazed over look. I could have used a loud noise or something but I felt like the water bottle was more mild. it definitely took things down a notch to the point where he would listen a little better. after that I didn't need to use it anymore for the rest of the play session. I'm kind of ashamed I used it but I needed something to get his attention because he just go so crazy. at the end though, he was tired out. now I hope that it will get easier and I'll gradually be able to work our way up to the other toys. I've decided I'm not going to use the water bottle again though because I don't want him to be afraid every time I pick up a bottle.

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk [url='http://tapatalk.com/m?id=10']now Free[/url]

User avatar
heather
Addicted to PBF
Posts: 8830
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 10:55 pm
Location: Geneva, NY

Re: New dog and obsessive toy behavior

Postby heather » Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:30 pm

I feel so terrible about this whole situation. I had to return Max. Things got much worse as he settled in. I started thinking he just needed tons of training, but his problems may have had to do with the large amounts of Prozac he was on (80mg). I am just starting to feel like I can write about this now b/c I did something I never thought I would do. He is in a no-kill shelter where people love him, but it felt HORRIBLE. I feel very discouraged about fostering or adopting now at all. I feel like I just committed a crime or something.

He just kept doing things that were unpredictable/unexpected. We wanted to go through a rescue so we wouldn't be in this situation, but we felt he deserved a chance. We offered to pay obedience for any future adopter, but they haven't responded. I think I am just going to volunteer and think about adopting next year.

My husband me Max at a benefit for dogs, loved how mellow he was. He said he was calmly laying down with a bunch of commotion and other dogs. We didn't know that he was on all those drugs though. We were told that after they told us we could adopt him.

To explain, we were told he was great with all people, kids, dogs and tested well with cats. When he got here, someone knocked at the door (that he had met the day before and wasn't concerned about) and he dove into the door and body slammed it. I was in total shock. I just figured he was startled, but it concerned me that, unlike other dogs I have owned, he would go towards the thing that startled him instead of backing up or planting and with such force. The woman was terrified. Then, he was sleeping and he startled at my dad's voice. He had been there a few days and was find. He got up and charged my dad, stopping about two feet when he recognized him. He didn't seem too at ease meeting people. A few times after not even seeming to notice the cats, he tore after them really fast. He played with Jade (my female) for the first two days and then totally ignored her. He didn't seem to be protective of places or bowls or anything, but we took precautions anyways. The day we decided to take him back, he had gone after Jade twice. Once, he was just playing fetch and I thought his excitement just turned into chasing her b/c she seemed fine and not afraid. Later, he jumped on her very swiftly b/c she was near the water or an empty food bowl. There wasn't a growl, bark, stiffening or covering that we could see. In any case, she was submitting and trying to run away and he was holding her. He broke her skin. She was terrified (she is 11) and hid for the rest of the night. With my other dogs, we supervised when there were high value items, but when one was threatened there were signs that WE could see.. sideways glance, lip licking or a growl. My female is SUPER submissive and backs off at the slightest sign of conflict. If she had any fight in her, I fear the fight would have been much worse. We have four cats and then we started thinking he might be threatened by them or our two year old daughter.. we were afraid she would get caught in the middle. It is hard to control the movement of the cats near dogs b/c my daughter was opening the gate. We just felt like we were never being able to determine his triggers, everything we were told about him was slowly unraveling and something about him just put me on edge, even though he was very cuddly. He never relaxed. He was either super intense or asleep. You could have him in the yard with you for hours and he would never sit still. He paced. I don't know. I just had to be honest and we didn't feel that we could give him what he needed and protect everyone else. So horrible. All my experiences with dogs up until this were things I could definitely handle.

I also feel like I am damaged goods and no one will ever want to adopt to us even though we have adopted two and rescued one off the street who is now a therapy dog. We also had three other successful fosters. Now we have a house and land and room and are afraid to try again. The shelter wrote me and said that they didn't really know what he was like off the meds and said they were glad they knew the caution they had to use if he is placed again. I guess that is the only good thing. If he was in another home that took what they said at face value, they could have had a mess. We took him very slow simply b/c of his lack of obedience and drive, but we knew we had to figure him out.

User avatar
mtlu
Addicted to PBF
Posts: 5843
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2008 2:32 pm
Location: san francisco

Re: New dog and obsessive toy behavior

Postby mtlu » Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:42 am

Wow, what an awful situation. I don't think you should dwell on feeling like a failure but really question what the organization he came from is doing to the dogs in their care. Prozac is one of those drugs that one should not stop taking/administering cold turkey but rather taper down/wean off. It really makes me question if these people know what they are doing or simply drugging up the dogs to make them appear more adoptable.

User avatar
TrainTrax
Bully Lover 4 Life
Posts: 1086
Joined: Tue Sep 23, 2008 5:11 pm
Location: West Palm Beach, Florida
Contact:

Re: New dog and obsessive toy behavior

Postby TrainTrax » Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:16 am

mtlu wrote:Wow, what an awful situation. I don't think you should dwell on feeling like a failure but really question what the organization he came from is doing to the dogs in their care. Prozac is one of those drugs that one should not stop taking/administering cold turkey but rather taper down/wean off. It really makes me question if these people know what they are doing or simply drugging up the dogs to make them appear more adoptable.


I agree with this 100%. My personal dog is on Prozac, though not such a high dosage. She's 45 pounds and is on a 40mg pill of Prozac once a day. I was told that was a high dosage. I'm not sure what size this dog was but 80mg seems like a lot to me. It really makes me question if they are just doping up the dogs to make them more adoptable like MTLU mentioned. And the fact that they didn't say anything about just taking away the Prozac sends up a lot of red flags for me.

I'm not sure if this was mentioned or not but did they tell why he was on Prozac? Was it for the obsession? It all seems really odd to me.

But to repeat what MTLU said, don't feel like a failure. It sounds like you did everything you could but the dog didn't stand a chance and neither did you. I mean, you take in a dog based on what the description of the dog is like on Prozac. You take that away and there's no telling what that drug was controlling. I would definitely be questioning the rescue a lot more than myself in this instance.

User avatar
heather
Addicted to PBF
Posts: 8830
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 10:55 pm
Location: Geneva, NY

Re: New dog and obsessive toy behavior

Postby heather » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:12 pm

The girl spoke with after applying for him told me that she just found out that they put him on Prozac. When I got his records they have had him on it for almost three years. They said it was because he was was trying to escape. Having this dog there weeks, I think there was A LOT it was masking, whether they knew it or not. Then the president told me that his weaning off just happened to coincide with his adoption. She said he had recently "shown improvements". In what, trying to escape? The main shelter volunteer told me that many of the higher ups and staff were afraid of him. Some had since come around. It all was very confusing and I didn't want to see what else his meds were masking. So sad though. It isn't his fault. I don't seem to be able to find a very informative description of what an unstable dog consists of. does anyone know of a website that has a trustworthy description? I know that animal aggression isn't a sign of unstable behavior, but what would be considered an unstable dog in terms of rescues pulling pitbulls from shelters and such? I am also sure that the humane society probably has a much more limited temperament test then let's say a rescue that specializes in a breed.

User avatar
Nickdawg
Addicted to PBF
Posts: 7050
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2006 7:15 pm

Re: New dog and obsessive toy behavior

Postby Nickdawg » Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:40 pm

don't have alot of time to post right now- but TOTALLY not your fault, and I am sorry you had that experience- so many things done wrong and alot of really really worrisome behaviour (especially towards people- not a breed trait at all).
you were right IMO to return him, though I am sorry for him, you and your family as it should never have unfolded that way-

wanted to add will try to post later re: the signs of stable/unstable/what to look for etc. or I am sure someone will chime in...

User avatar
heather
Addicted to PBF
Posts: 8830
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 10:55 pm
Location: Geneva, NY

Re: New dog and obsessive toy behavior

Postby heather » Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:57 pm

Thanks. I will check back again.

User avatar
heather
Addicted to PBF
Posts: 8830
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 10:55 pm
Location: Geneva, NY

Re: New dog and obsessive toy behavior

Postby heather » Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:10 pm

He was pretty underweight, all my family comnented. You could see every rib, fully. I would say 60 pounds or so. He was taller than my female who is 60, but without any body fat. He put on quite a bit off weight in three weeks here. That is another sad thing. The things that go through my mind. It is so hard. :crybaby:

User avatar
Nickdawg
Addicted to PBF
Posts: 7050
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2006 7:15 pm

Re: New dog and obsessive toy behavior

Postby Nickdawg » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:06 pm

http://www.badrap.org/what-expect
http://hugabull.com/home/pit-bull-breed-profile/

the above are some good links – the pit bull rescues I am familiar with look for the best of the best when selecting pit bull type dogs for adoption- no human aggression tolerated and in fact prefer the confident roll with it love love love people type dogs (not shy, not guardy, not possessing behavioural issues that require meds etc.) If a dog comes your way as an owner and has issues you can safely manage and this includes meds that is completely different OR in some rare special cases a dog with “issues” is taken in and assessed/worked with for a long period of time and issues are resolved b/c it was really about environment or major sickness or whatever and then adopted fine but these types of dogs IMO should not be part of the few being accepted by a rescue for placement for adoption. As sad as it is, rescues IMO should be choosing the best of the best, breed ambassadors and most importantly SAFE dogs.


Dog aggression is to be perhaps expected to some degree or another – but many rescues avoid taking on dogs with over the top (will go through a window) dog/animal aggression and most certainly talk about proper management, keep in touch, offer classes etc. AND most importantly offer a comprehensive picture of the dog being adopted.

And cold turkeying or quick withdrawl of Prozac is not OK and will lead to major w/d and issues IMO.

User avatar
heather
Addicted to PBF
Posts: 8830
Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2004 10:55 pm
Location: Geneva, NY

Re: New dog and obsessive toy behavior

Postby heather » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:57 pm

I adopted him from a local Humane Society. I honestly had this gut feeling that he could be unsafe. Usually, you can find triggers and such and everyone we thought something would trigger him, it didn't and when we thought he c would be fine with something (like a visitor or cat), he would not do well. It was a bit unnerving.

My husband says I am making it look like the shelter was horrible and I don't mean to portray them that way. I don't know why he was so thin, perhaps Prozac. The girl I spoke with most had taken him on as her project and had given him some basic obedience and he was a quick learber. She cried when I picked him up, and I know she cared. I just am not a fan if no kill shelters for many reasons.


Return to “Training and Behavior”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests