Anxiety over chews

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Shalista
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Anxiety over chews

Post by Shalista » Thu Dec 03, 2015 9:40 pm

Bax loves edible bones and bully sticks but when they start getting smaller he gets really anxious over them. he runs from room to room whining over and over. He'll pause occasionally to try to bury the bone in a couch or a chair. Sometimes he'll tuck it somewhere and settle down only to leap up, grab it, and rush around again whining and scratching at things. I know it's normal for dogs to want to bury bones and it must be distressing when there isn't anywhere suitable. Is it healthy for him though? he sounds so anxious and unhappy. would it be better for me to take the bones away from him when he gets this worked up? Sometimes i don't even give him certain bones because i know he'll become distressed over them right from the start, he doesn't even chew them, he starts whining and carrying on as soon as i hand it to him. He does eventually finish them all off so I'm hesitant to discontinue their use entirely. Thought on diminishing his anxiety? Another small consideration is that our couches are rather elderly and its not good for him to try to dig a hole through the upholstery.

TLDR Bax gets anxiouse when he's given a chew. Should i still give him chews?

EDIT: unsure if related but a reminder that Bax is HIGHLY food aggressive vs other dogs. is it possible he's hiding it from them?
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

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Nettle
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Re: Anxiety over chews

Post by Nettle » Fri Dec 04, 2015 8:36 am

He is anxious because he doesn't want the other dog to get at his treasure. If any of your family makes a habit of teasing him with his chewies, he will be anxious about that, too.

So when this hiding behaviour looks imminent (look out for it when he has a chewie) swap the chewie for something that can be eaten right up, such as a biscuit. Hold the biscuit above his face so he has to look up for it, and as he opens his mouth to take it, use your other hand from underneath his jaw to ease the chewie away and don't let him see you have it - hide it in your pocket or similar. While he is eating his biscuit, put the chewie somewhere safe where no dog or person can get at it.

Or he can only have chewies in your room with you present.
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Shalista
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Re: Anxiety over chews

Post by Shalista » Fri Dec 04, 2015 9:15 am

Yeah, he does it when no other dog is present and even when he's locked in here with me =( He's doing it right now actually. last night i gave him a consumable bone (He almost always does this with these bones) and he went all of the house with it. i thought he finally ate it but apparently not. hes running around my room huffing and whining, pausing to scratch at things, then huffing and whining some more.

Thankfully no one has EVER teased him about food and I'm always super careful to trade whenever I need to take anything away from him. (Sometimes i have to, those chews are pretty big for such a little guy. i don't want him to get sick and eat the whole thing cause if i let him he'll sit and do nothing but chew until it's all gone)

Should i just not give him chews? or should i just take it away if he starts whining about it?
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

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Nettle
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Re: Anxiety over chews

Post by Nettle » Fri Dec 04, 2015 12:55 pm

There IS another dog around! :lol: Your sister's dog. It may not be there right then, but he knows it exists and he is afraid it will take his chewie.

You can try just giving him stuff he can chew up and eat all in one go. Saves stressing the little fellow. Or if it's possible, you can give him smaller chewies that he can finish all in one go.

Don't give him the opportunity to cart one all round the house. :wink: Saves displeasing your parents too.
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JudyN
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Re: Anxiety over chews

Post by JudyN » Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:00 pm

If you do give him chews, I'd aim to swap them for something (he sees as) better before he shows signs of stress, rather than once showing stress. But if there's any chance that he feels stressed or reluctant about letting you take the chews, then I would stop giving them. You don't want him to start thinking that he needs to protect his food from humans as well as from dogs.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

Shalista
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Re: Anxiety over chews

Post by Shalista » Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:56 pm

He's never shown any stress or displeasure about swapping but all the same id like to minimize how much i have to do it, just in case. I know of at least one chew i will just flat stop giving him, as soon as he gets it he starts whining.

And i hadn't thought Ki being in the same house would matter if he was upstairs but your probably right.

Poor Bax, i often wonder how much of his little quirks is his upbringing before he came to me. surrounded by his twenty odd cousins/mother/aunts/brothers/sisters he probably never got a chew to himself :cry:

Oh well, at least this stuff won't go to waste. when the chews start getting small he can hand them down to Ki. waste not want not.
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

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Nettle
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Re: Anxiety over chews

Post by Nettle » Sat Dec 05, 2015 4:52 am

Nooooooo you throw them away! If you give them to Ki you will stress him even more because now Ki has got his chew and he can't even figure out how.

Dogs aren't just visual beings - his sense of smell and his hearing will tell him that Ki has his chew.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

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Shalista
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Re: Anxiety over chews

Post by Shalista » Sat Dec 05, 2015 3:35 pm

WOAH! hadn't thought of that! good catch thanks! into the garbage they go.
I went shopping today because I have to study for finals and i want Bax to just chill with a chew. I got him that chew that always makes him whine but BIG this thing is huge and he's happily gnawing away now with zero whining. ill keep an eye on it as he gets it down in size but looks like a size increase is a nice workaround. (OF COURSE its more expensive big... sigh :roll: )
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

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