Dog digging indoors. Stress?

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jacksdad
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Re: Dog digging indoors. Stress?

Post by jacksdad » Thu Aug 08, 2013 11:44 am

wow. poor Lainey.

It is very possible Lainey isn't just "wired right". But it is also just possible Lainey is a naturally fearful/anxious dog and being misunderstood (not the same as true abuse), 4 re-homes etc are all coming together to create a "very messed up dog" that needs some very special help that sadly may not be available to her. In the best case she is a serious project that will be measured in months or even years...more likely years due to her history you just shared. There are NO quick fixes, only LOTS of patience and time just accepting what she is able to give each step of the way as you work through a plan to help her overcome and being willing to not push her to move faster than she is able. again, she is a project, verse being just a pet you can adopt and go have fun adventures with the day you bring her home.

I know they have said they tried training, behaviorists, drugs etc. But I would love to know more details, but that would require talking to them directly. The first thing I would try and figure out is if they have actually talked to a true behaviorist. There aren't that many true behaviorists running around. On top of that, was a Vet board certified vet behaviorist (another branch of true behaviorists that are also small in number) on the right medication, dose etc. And what was the training protocols for helping the dog while on medication. medication by it's self is not a solution. it's purpose is to "open a window" so things like counter conditioning to a fear trigger and such can take affect.

Moving forward......
Lainey needs a complete medical work up, we are talking looking for hidden pain, hidden health issues, a complete blood work, look at thyroid etc.

Lainey also needs a behavior assessment beyond what the average trainer is qualified to give, and sadly typical rescue group is even less qualified to properly assess a dog like Lainey. The type person your looking to do this work up isn't the type that is going to suggest tethering her so that she can't remove her self if she is feeling stressed. this goes back to my comments about finding a specialist verse just a trainer.

In my opinion, for what it's worth...the HARSH reality is this. Lainey needs FAR more than love. If either the current owner or the immediately previous owner are going to hold on to her simply out of love, but not feel they can do anything else for her, the MUCH kinder thing will be to euthanize her.

IF she turns out to be "just not wired right" and has unpredictable behavior, history of sudden aggression etc. there are safety and ethical issues that come into play making euthanizing the only choice.

IF she is just a dog with a "naturally" (as in it is just who she is) shy/anxious low confident disposition, but through misunderstanding of her needs and being bounced around from home to home has gotten worse and developed some unhealthy coping strategies, there is quality of life concerns that have to be considered. Simply loving her isn't enough. she NEEDs help. And to give it to her, whoever she is with HAS to commit to this. they need to be willing to work through the ups and downs of helping her. and willing to go the long haul with her. which means, even in this case, euthanasia has to at least be discussed. It would be WRONG to ask Lainey to continue to live in a state of fear/anxiety/stress with no active help and only "we love her". It would be FAR more loving to euthanize than to re home her one more time with her ending up in absolutely the wrong place for her OR to ask her to continue to just "be as is" even though she is "being given love".

I wish she was closer to me. There are absolutely the right type of resources in my area to help make the right choice for her.

Liz & Koa
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Re: Dog digging indoors. Stress?

Post by Liz & Koa » Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:01 pm

Hi Jacks dad,

Lainey has had a complete work up and is on thyroid medication at this time. I am sure you will get scolded for suggesting euthanasia, but I agree with you. Myself having a fear aggressive dog, it has to be considered for the well being of the animal.

I hope in this case a different meidication will help Lainey.

Thanks.

Liz

jacksdad
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Re: Dog digging indoors. Stress?

Post by jacksdad » Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:19 pm

Liz & Koa wrote:....I am sure you will get scolded for suggesting euthanasia....
if so, so be it. I am not suggesting anyone rush out and do it simply based on my thoughts right this second...but the more information you provide the more it has to be at least discussed/considered.

I know you know, but for anyone doing a drive by on this thread....

I also have a fearful dog, I am also putting in a LOT of time, money and energy working to be a specialist in this area. fearful dogs...they have a special spot in my heart, even bringing up euthanasia isn't easy for me because I know there is so much that can be done to help fearful dogs. BUT I also know there is still more people who don't understand how to help fearful dogs than there are those that do. In the wrong hands....lets just leave it at there are fates worse than euthanasia.

specifically to this case (again for anyone driving by this thread), the previous owner and the current owners sound like wonderful people, caring etc. BUT that isn't enough....IF they are for any wide variety of very legitimate reasons can't help this dog. again...fates worth than death await this dog in that case and euthanasia would be the most loving thing they could do.

what I would LOVE to hear is that one of them is able to put the time in, they are able to find the right vet and behavior qualified person, the dog is assessed and it be found to be safe and possible to help her. followed by a report a year or two down the road of her happy and bouncy and having adventures with her people. But life doesn't always give us what we wish and so we do the best thing we can do given the options and circumstances.

DianeLDL
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Re: Dog digging indoors. Stress?

Post by DianeLDL » Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:19 pm

Jacks dad and Liz,

I have learned so much from you, Jacks dad and everyone else on this forum on how to deal with our chihuahua, Sandy, who we rescued from the Albuquerque city shelter.

We believe (although no one would have told us at the shelter) that we are Sandy's third family/home. All we were told was that he had been in a home with a cat and that he had to be the only pet in the family. We have found that he has acted agressively which we believe is fear based, too. He is my first dog and for the first few months, I was ready to return him to the shelter as I was at a loss as to handle his aggression towards other animals and certain people. My husband said that if we had returned him, chances are he would have been euthanized. And that wasn't an option with him. We decided that we would put in the work necessary to do what we could to help Sandy.

It has taken a quite a bit of change in our lives. I had imagined a dog that I could take to an outdoor cafe and have him sit or lie at my feet while enjoying a meal. NOT :shock: Instead, we search for places where there are no other dogs, always alert of the dog or bicyclist or jogger coming around the corner. Always ready to act to remove Sandy from what he sees as scary. And we do a lot of driving across the United States between our homes in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Maine and my parents' in the San Francisco Bay Area, staying in hotel rooms, using rest stops, truck stops, and dealing with any weather from desert heat to rain to snow. And everywhere, there are dogs and some good owners and some bad ones. All of this we have had to learn to adjust our thinking and actions to include Sandy and his fears and habits.

I found this forum after having Sandy for two and half years and at the point of total frustration. I only wish I had found it much earlier. It would have saved us a lot of agony and frustration and having to undo a lot that we had been doing the wrong way. We still have a lot of work to do, but I can already see many successes which give us hope. And, we can see it in Sandy's behavior. :D

So, I know that if Jacks dad mentions euthanasia. He doesn't say it lightly or easily.

It would be great if your friends would get on the forum and help in this discussion since so much is at stake for them, especially for poor Lainey. :cry:

Diane
Sandy, Chihuahua mix b. 12/20/09

Dibbythedog
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Re: Dog digging indoors. Stress?

Post by Dibbythedog » Thu Aug 08, 2013 2:33 pm

jacksdad wrote: IF she turns out to be "just not wired right" and has unpredictable behavior, history of sudden aggression etc. there are safety and ethical issues that come into play making euthanizing the only choice.
I agree with all you are saying but just want to point out the previous owners said this-
" She became agressive toward my children if they came between me and her. "

this sounds like resource guarding to me and I wouldn't say this is unpredictable or sudden aggression.
We also dont know in what way she was aggressive.



Euthenasia is a very difficult choice , sometimes it might be kinder to do this but like you said in your post , a proper assessment by a qualified and experienced dog behaviourist would be needed before making any decision.

Alison

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Nettle
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Re: Dog digging indoors. Stress?

Post by Nettle » Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:29 am

As she has a thyroid issue, all bets are off until she stabilises on her meds. Can make one helluva difference once that is corrected.

I am deeply unhappy with the advice to tether her where she is uncomfortable and so take away her decision-making for her own safety in her own mind.

Aggression towards children I always take with a mountain of salt. If we haven't viewed the actual circumstances we don't know what the children were doing to cause an aggressive response - because aggression is a response. It does not stand alone. It needs a trigger.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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Liz & Koa
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Re: Dog digging indoors. Stress?

Post by Liz & Koa » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:48 am

Hi Nettie,

She has been on thyroid medication for about a month and there was a slight improvement at first, but then I think it went backwards a little. Also they gave up on the tethering idea not long after they started.

Thanks for your input.

blackdog3
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Re: Dog digging indoors. Stress?

Post by blackdog3 » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:11 pm

Hi Everyone,
This is Lainey's mom weighing in since many of you said it would be helpful if i did. Thank you all for the comments and concerns, it is a very sad and stressful situation. The information we got from the previous owners substaniated our worst fears. Rest assured we are not tethering her to the couch, we tried thatn 1-2 times and it did not feel right for us or her. We are using a behaviorist and not a trainer but has been pretty stumped. it is difficult because she has panic attacks in the middle of the night and the only way I can get her not to hurt herselt is to leash her and put her near the bed. I don't want to crate her because then she would be crated all night and then when we leavae for work. My other stress point is that i have 2 other dogs, 9 and 13 and it has created some stress for them. It's a very sad .

DianeLDL
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Re: Dog digging indoors. Stress?

Post by DianeLDL » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:58 pm

Lainey's mom,

Welcome to the forum. I hope you aren't upset with some of the discussions that have been going on.

The part about Lainey having panic attacks is new information for us. It sounds like you are all under a lot if stress.

It might be helpful if you gave us more details on a typical day for your family and for Lainey. What and when Lainey is eating? How the other dogs in your family are reacting to Lainey?

The more detail about how your day goes and how the reactions are will give us a fuller picture of the situation in your household.

There are many others on this forum who will be able to give you more feedback and ideas on what might help, but I do know that it will help everyone if we could get more details from you.

Once again, welcome. :D
Diane
Sandy, Chihuahua mix b. 12/20/09

jacksdad
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Re: Dog digging indoors. Stress?

Post by jacksdad » Fri Aug 09, 2013 7:52 pm

blackdog3 wrote:Hi Everyone,
This is Lainey's mom weighing in since many of you said it would be helpful if i did. Thank you all for the comments and concerns, it is a very sad and stressful situation. The information we got from the previous owners substantiated our worst fears. Rest assured we are not tethering her to the couch, we tried that 1-2 times and it did not feel right for us or her. We are using a behaviorist and not a trainer but has been pretty stumped. it is difficult because she has panic attacks in the middle of the night and the only way I can get her not to hurt herself is to leash her and put her near the bed. I don't want to crate her because then she would be crated all night and then when we leave for work. My other stress point is that i have 2 other dogs, 9 and 13 and it has created some stress for them. It's a very sad .
Hello, welcome. Please feel free to ask any question you may have.

The one thing I would like to stress, ANY health issue HAS to be resolved first before you put too much effort into behavior modification / training. It was mentioned she was being treated for thyroid issues. is that still on going, under vet supervision etc?

I recently had to have some dental work done on my dog that looks to have gone back to before I got him but was missed until recently. minor compared to what your dealing with, BUT affected the training and work I was putting in to help him with his fear issues. It was also starting to affect him in other ways health wise.

so do not underestimate the affect of pain and/or other health issues on behavior and responsiveness to any work suggested by your trainer. Your priority right now is her medical needs and health.

I want to applaud and encourage you to continue to go with your "gut". if it doesn't feel right...there is NO reason to not get a second opinion. if something suggest is the right thing to do, it will still be so tomorrow. But if it's wrong, it could set you back. A good guide, would you do X to a 2 year old fearful child who just lost their parents? if the answer is no, odds are you probably also don't want to do it to a fearful dog with health issues.

I can imagine the stress you are going through, I know what I went through with my dog (the teeth issue was minor even for him), but helping a fearful dog can be highly rewarding too. Please feel free to just check in, vent, express frustration, fears, whatever you feel comfortable doing or need....people here get it and will understand.

It speaks volumes that you are trying to find some way to help your dog. she is lucky to have you.

again, welcome to the forum.

Liz & Koa
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Re: Dog digging indoors. Stress?

Post by Liz & Koa » Sat Aug 10, 2013 8:15 am

Hi Diane,

I know how you feel. It's hard when all you have a dog like this, but you do learn to deal with it. After my 1st GSD died, he was great with people, I decided to adopt another one, and man what a difference. It has been one long learning experience. I do feel like Koa was brought to us for reason and I feel very safe walking down the street :lol:

Welcome Lainey's mom. I'm glad we sucked you in :D. See you in the good!

Thanks to you all for your input. I feel you can never have enough info.

Liz

blackdog3
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Re: Dog digging indoors. Stress?

Post by blackdog3 » Sat Aug 10, 2013 4:10 pm

Thank you all for welcoming me......it's nice to have an outlet. Yes the panic attacks have been since almost day one and it was good to hear the previous owner confirmed them. We know it's not us or our home that is causing them. She has pretty full days, walks in the am, lunch at often again at night. right now my husband is home a lot of the time because he teaches school, this is why we adopted early summer so the new pup could acclimate wiht someone at home. We have taught her to crate which is a must when we are not home. There seems to be a real pattenr of panic attacks at nightime starting as ealy as 5:00pm. The go in fits and starts throughout the night. I think I can attach a picute which I can show you what happens when she has them. Jack: she has had a full workup and vaccinations....she is currently on thyroid meds 2x a day. Att his point i speak ot my vet weekly and we are monitoring her closely. We started her on a lose dose of Xanax, i'm giving her 1mg at dinner and 1 mg about an hour before we go to bed. Too early to see if that works yet. She is great on a leash, heals and is happy. There is just so much inconsistency in her behavior it is so hard to cleary define any triggers. she looooves the 2 other dogs and her and one of them play every day , wrestle, play bite, it's a joy to see that.
again, thank you all for proving input and any shared expereinces! lainey's mom.

ps. photo would not load?

Erica
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Re: Dog digging indoors. Stress?

Post by Erica » Sat Aug 10, 2013 5:40 pm

This thread has instructions on how to upload pictures. :)

(Sorry I don't have any advice for you beyond what's already been mentioned!)
Delta, standard poodle, born 6/30/14

Liz & Koa
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Re: Dog digging indoors. Stress? Medication question

Post by Liz & Koa » Fri Jun 06, 2014 1:48 pm

Hi all,

Well, it's been a year since my post about my friends dog Lainey. They had the "behaviorist" the rescue league suggested come back to follow up. He pretty much said he was stumped and could not help. Kind of funny for a guy whose been all over the world and "helped" every dog he encountered. Oh, we'll. They discussed medication for Lainey and tried Prozac, with no effect at all. They eventually put her on Xanax and once the dose was adjusted. WOW! A happy, loving, dog. Few panics here and there, but still great. Enjoying her home and family. They got a dog walker so Lainey could get additional walks. At this point she would still be in her crate for three hours then the dog walker would leave her out and her dad would be home 2-3 hours later. No problems. Honestly I kept thinking time, love, and great owners have done it for this dog.

Until two weeks ago. Lainey, per the vet, has built up a tolerance to the Xanax. Out of the blue, panic city. Urinating in the house, knocking over water bowls, digging up the carpets. She can be alone for 20 minutes, total freak out. Spends hours and hours in the basement. The vet tried another medication about a month ago. No help and the vet is at a loss. Pretty much will stand by their decision whatever it might be.

I feel so bad. My friend really feels that she might have no choice but to euthanize Lainey. Obviously they can't keep living like this. You know the stress. Your at work, worrying, watching the clock hoping all is well at home. Her husband has been off for a few weeks and he goes out to mow the lawn and Lainey piddles all over the place in a panic. Having said that, her husband is having no part of uthenizing Lainey. He would rather re-home her. My friend feels this is cruel. Poor Lainey loves them and what if the next person does not have the patience.

My friend has been in touch with the rescue league only for them to tell her Lainey is not getting enough excersize or treated correctly and maybe she needs another dog in the family. Obviously not listening. I think rescue groups are fantastic but sometimes it seem get the dog into a home no matter the consequences. Sometime it's just not fair to the dog. Anyway after many tears and 3 e mails to different people, they are going to send out another "behaviorist" to help.

After all my longwindedness my questions is, does anybody know of another medication like Xanax that can be long term? It seems to me that that is the only chance of poor Lainey's brain getting a break from the turmoil it's in.

I feel so bad. My dogs crazy, but now that I am used to it and deal with the fear aggression with day care and medication we have learned to live with it. Although there are days when I wonder and when I tell people I could be at my wits end they say "oh, give him a way". People just don't get it.

Any input would help.
Liz

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Nettle
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Re: Dog digging indoors. Stress?

Post by Nettle » Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:43 am

You have to wryly admire the dog rescue's tactics "never mind the owner or the dog: let's get another dog homed and devil take the hindmost".

It would be totally irresponsible to rehome this dog even if such a home could be found - and it can't. People who can manage dogs like this already have too many of their own.

Time for a referral to a vet who specialises in these issues. Otherwise, euthanasia has to be considered. There are fates worse than death, and living in constant terror is one of them.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

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