Smell of lamb - anxiety trigger??

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I am becoming- quite the- countersurfer!

Barked: Sun Feb 11, '07 6:26pm PST 
The wierdest thing happened this night - I need some opinions.

Dion is our foster dog, and as happy as can be. Neglected, we thought, but not abused. He is very sweet and very confident and has been wonderful and happy at home.

Tonight, my husband was cooking dinner and I was holding the sofa down. He was cooking lamb chops - as soon as he began working with the meat Dion began pacing and smelling th air anxiously. He usually stays in the kitchen when we cook but he stayed far away from the kitchen. He continued to sort of anxiously sniff the air, pace around, and look uneasy.

I took him out, I checked for anything caught in his teeth or in his paws, felt him all over, but I saw nothing physical. Then, he calmed down and dozed off.

Fast forward 30 minutes later - we are doing the dishes - he again begins to pace frantically- sniffing the air, pacing around the house, sniffing the floor, all the while stopping just outside the kitchen to stare warily. If we tried to call him in he would wheel around and leave. I let him in the yard, he did the same thing. He came back inside and still did not relax. He could not be calmed or distracted. I finally out him on the leash and tried to train him a little to get his mind off..whatever... and he was totally preoccupied, and kept looking around me like he was trying to see something.

I took him into the kitchen and he looked like he wanted to bolt the whole time. He is still pacing as I type this, sniffing the air.

What is this??? He seemed to start the behavior when we pulled out the lamb, and is he is acting very suspicious of our kitchen and dining room table. He also kept avoiding my attempts to pet his head, ducking away. My hands kind of smell like lamb, and went I let him smell he he inspected it closely.

This is the FIRST time I have seen him look fearful, anxious, and preoccupied. He has NEVER acted like this - he is normally happy and loving and goofy. We are so sad, and confused!! What on earth could be the cause? The lamb??? Is that possible??

ETA- Kiona and Indy are totally unconcerned and nonchalant about everything, so there is nothing in the air, I think!

Edited by author Sun Feb 11, '07 6:28pm PST

Cowboy (We miss you bud)

Barked: Mon Feb 12, '07 11:11am PST 
That is SO weird. I don't know what's going on, but I'll bump this for ya...I'm curious as to what it might be. Cowboy doesn't like the smell of Cheerios or apple juice. It's a little kid thing, I think.
Kiona CGC

The Prettiest- Princess

Barked: Mon Feb 12, '07 12:29pm PST 
I bumping this for my foster brother. Any ideas??

He finally calmed down after awhile, and was fine this morning. It was the weirdest thing.

The only thing that was somewhat illuminating is that we let him outside to go potty, and I stayed and watched him. He scurried off to the corner of the yard and lay down in a very hunched position. Well, I walked over there and saw that he was hoarding - we had given all the dogs Nylabones today (we were in the yard doing stuff), and he had all three (we heard no squabbles so I am guessing it was a peaceful transfer). Since we has the screen doors open all day, he had also brought out his two favorite squeeky toys. So, he had a doggie treasure chest there- 3 nylabones and 2 squeekies- all high value to Dion.

He smiled at me nervously and wagged his whole body when I noticed all of them, and took the largest nylabone and begin to slink away. Well, I called him, and he politely stopped and dropped the bone. I picked everything up and brought it inside, and he was very concerned about his big bone. So, I gave it to him as soon as we got inside, and gave the other two back to Kiona and Indy, and put away his squeekies.

He seemed totally fine after that. Maybe there was a cat, or a racoon in our yard? Though he did not seem concerned about outside noises, only inside smells? I have no idea. Maybe the idea of having such a secret treasure was too much for him??

Sadie- Lickin's

Lick 'em all!
Barked: Mon Feb 12, '07 12:34pm PST 
The dog I had as a kid did that 30 years ago. Never could figure that out. Hard to believe someone else noticed that.

Wonder if it smells like cooked dog?

Will Take you- On!
Barked: Mon Feb 12, '07 12:48pm PST 
I was just reading today, about a dog who was once kicked by a pizza delivery guy. The smell is what the dog retained about the incident, so every person that came to the door after eating pizza got bit. The book said they worked the dog through it by bringing pizza to the door, and giving it to the dog.

I definitely believe it's possible that lamb upsets him. The only person Belle ever really, honestly, hated was my beer-drinking, cattle-owning uncle. He's not a drunken jerk or anything, he just has a beer with lunch and dinner and happens to enjoy raising a small herd of cattle. He's really very mellow and loves dogs, so there's no reason she should have disliked his personality. There was nothing specific to his look she would have disliked - she knew other men with beards, she knew people who wore hats... We'd been told she came from a farm, and we knew she was deathly afraid of bottles, especially beer bottles. We figure a guy having a drink after working with cows kicked her out of the way when she was a puppy, or something.

i fit perfectly- in your lap...
Barked: Mon Feb 12, '07 6:17pm PST 
I think some of the other posters are right- with dogs sometimes it doesn't take a big event, like being abused, to trigger a reaction.

I remember reading in a training book how the people couldn't figure out why the new puppy kept using the bathroom on the porch, but it turned out that the puppy thought it was supposed to go on the snow, and as the snow melted, there were less places to go potty, so it went in the only snow it could find. That triggered my realization of why all the training classes and trips to pet stores didn't help Random’s leash walking: he was trained just fine on tile, it was cement that he'd already learned to be a jerk on.

The smallest things, that we don't even think about, can stick out to them. Maybe Dion got in trouble for counter-surfing lamb? Maybe people had a fight or argument and lamb was in the house?

I would wait a few days and try cooking it again and see if you get any reaction. Let us know if you try it?

I am becoming- quite the- countersurfer!

Barked: Mon Feb 12, '07 6:31pm PST 
We think more now that it had to be a lamb/abuse issue. He does, now that I think about it, hate yelling - my husband and his friends were getting riled up about a football game when we first got him and he was SO nervous and upset and kept trying to appease them by wiggling up to them and trying to sort of licking the air in front of them

One sight of that, of course, I made everyone shut up, and we have not raised our voices again. (we are mellow so it is not like this is hard).

Maybe he was abused... or in a home where abuse occured to someone other than himself, while lamb was being cooked. Who knows...

He leaves this weekend for his new home so I do not think we will have lamb again, but I will tell his new owner...
Khola- CDX, CGC

R plus and- paitence what a- shocking idea
Barked: Tue Feb 13, '07 12:02pm PST 
Ohh... I love trying to figure out crazy things like this!!! Of course, it could be a combo of the things going on. I tcould be that something bad happened when lamb was being prepared, and that Dion isn't the best sharer in the world and likes to horde things.
Were either of the other dogs outside when Dion was inside??? That could make for an uncomfortable time, thinging about the horde being unprotected outside!

Congrats on the forever home!! Tell the owners to keep his page active so we can all know whats going on!

Eat. Sleep.- Agility.
Barked: Tue Feb 13, '07 12:08pm PST 
I'm not sure about the lamb anxiety situation. But the "licking the air" thing is a sure sign of your dog saying, "I don't like this situation, get me out of it." Good for you for noticing. Do not comfort this behavior however, it will only intensify the situation. Best of luck though. The lamb chop thing gets me though, I don't what that could be from. Was it a, "oh, that's really yummy i must EAT!" or panic state? I know my dog Abby get's very exciting when she's about to eat her dinner, and she does spins and prances her paws and does a little dancesnoopy

I am becoming- quite the- countersurfer!

Barked: Tue Feb 13, '07 12:19pm PST 
Thanks Khola! There is a hold up on his adopter's home inspection, so we MAY get to keep him a bit longer- fingers/paws crossed!!

No, the other two were crashed out inside when he was hoarding, and they really do not care about his squeekies, or their nylabones if they let him them take them. Hmmmm....

And no worries, I do not molly coddle my dogs, even the abused fosters. We just acting like nothing was wrong, and just tried to refocus his attention. (even though inside it was really hard for us to be reminded that he has a hard life up until now)