New Behaviors

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

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Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Mon Aug 26, '13 1:24pm PST 
The new things that have happened in our life:
- Pregnancy
- Moved to a new home in third trimester
- Had baby August 1st, came home that following Saturday night with baby

A lot of stressful things to happen with my pups in a short period of time. That said... These things are throwing me off a little.

Charlie has always been a bit of an anxious, stress-out dog. Examples: dependent on vehicle and driver, he can stress right out, shake, shed, pant, whine and drool in a car ride; also dependent on situation, he might show stress behaviors(most are understandable and result in me removing him from the situation).

Anyway... After moving here, Charlie, who has NEVER had an issue with ANY noises other than fireworks or gunshots, began showing HIGH stress signals and anxiety over thunderstorms. Thunderstorms, for the past five years up to this point, have been such a non-issue with him, he's slept right through them or ignored them!

And now, recently... Whenever my neighbors(any number of neighbors who have a loud vehicle really) start up their vehicles(if they're louder than normal) or rev their engines, he starts panicking!

The behaviors he displays: shaking, attempting to climb into my lap even if I'm standing(which isn't always a good thing as I'm often carrying my three week old son around!), panting, whining, whale eye, shedding, ears back, and likely others that I can't think of off the top of my head.

This happens the INSTANT the noise starts. And he'll pace my house searching for the source of the noise, but even if he found the source, he would still attempt to escape it or climb into my lap. I'm worried that the stress from these things is going to trigger seizures, but I can't exactly prevent him from hearing these things, or prevent these things from happening. Thunderstorms are unpredictable, and no matter where I live in the city, there will always be people with loud vehicles.

The last time it happened when I was still pregnant(has happened since then, but I've been busy feeding my baby most times that it happens), I tried distracting him with treats and running him through his training commands, but as soon as I finished, he went right back to being a stressed out mess.

I don't like seeing Charlie freak out and stress over things that NEVER used to be an issue... And I'm not exactly sure how to approach fixing it, or at least making these things less scary and more tolerable.

Ideas? Suggestions?

Do you think that all the sudden changes in such a short span of time is what has caused this to come about?

With the third trimester and new baby, he also began pushing buttons(not listening right away anymore, sometimes blatantly ignoring me, doing things he normally wouldn't have such as digging in the garbage or stealing off the table). That said, Ria has been completely unaffected by any of this and absolutely adores the baby. To Charlie, the baby is just another baby, save for the sudden stress and change in behaviors. My dog used to behave and I used to get constant compliments about him, and now I'm pulling my hair out. He also regressed to peeing on his dog bed(which I expected anyway as he seems to do it whenever my brother spends the night, so I expected it to happen when the new baby came - nothing new).

He is also perfectly healthy other than his epilepsy.


I've tried getting him out at night(when it's cool enough) for walks, both with and without the stroller/baby to try to help ease some of his tension and energy because I know the sudden change in routine is likely part of the cause... It's hard when you're exhausted, but I don't want this to negatively impact him more than it has.

I love sitting- in laps
Barked: Mon Aug 26, '13 1:33pm PST 
cheercheer Congratulations on your new baby! partyparty

Lenny -The- Wrecking Ball
Barked: Mon Aug 26, '13 1:36pm PST 
First, congrats on the new baby smile hug

Second... I wish I had some advice for you, I do think the behaviors might get better as he settles into a new routine in the new place with the baby though. But as far as things to do in the now, I'm at a loss. Do puzzle toys help distract him at all, does the food win out? Maybe giving him a toy with food in it would help distract him?

Josie- *Forever in- Our Hearts*

Happy to work
Barked: Tue Aug 27, '13 11:32am PST 
Congrads on the new baby!! party

I wish i had some more advice but Lenny said what I was going to. I have 2 puzzle toys for my pups and they tend to distract them if I put high value, smelly treats in it.

Barked: Tue Aug 27, '13 2:11pm PST 
Congratulations on the new baby!! party

Have you tried DAP or a thundershirt to help with the noise anxiety? Does he have a special place that's quiet and secluded where he can go to just relax and get away from the rest of the household for a while? I also like the suggestion of giving him puzzle toys if he likes them.

When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Wed Aug 28, '13 12:55am PST 
Sadly we live in a bit of a valley which amplifies sound. If you look down the street it is also a bit of a tunnel effect. Those things coupled with an old house that has rattly windows and creaky beams create some odd sound effects for dogs. I also suspect that the older wiring creates some kind of electric charge that the dogs are sensitive to. Try taking him outside during storms, I do with Sabs and it seems to work.
The misbehaving is pretty normal with a new baby taking up your attention. That should level off on it's own once things settle. It's been pretty busy and some one on one time probably wouldn't hurt. Remember that for Ria not much has changed except that W has been home more which is fine with her. But for Charlie EVERYTHING has changed. HE I supposed to be your baby. I know your tired so kick everyone else out of the bedroom for half an hour and snuggle down with Charlie and a good book. I suspect it would do you both some good.
As for the cars I have a solution for that but you won't like it. Let me take him for a walk while the guys are working on the cars. I can move away if he gets too stressed, he doesn't have you to feed off of and he should be focused on the walk not the noise because ME taking him is new and different. Told you you wouldn't like itlaugh out loud

Now give Sabi that baby! She's having a fit down herelaugh out loud

I\\\'ll do- anything for a- treat!
Barked: Wed Aug 28, '13 6:21am PST 
Congrats on your new baby!

You can definitely use all the help you can get right now, and if Sabi is offering, I say; take it! I haven't had a baby, so I know it's not the same at all, but we do still have a family living with us (since the flooding) and they have 4 kids. It's made things really hectic, and with other stuff going on as well, Lupi's walks were getting pretty neglected. And it showed! I'm protective of her as well, but I've been letting another trusted friend and Doxie owner take her on walks lately and it makes such a difference.

I think dogs, even more than us, really need to get out and exercise to relieve stress. Especially smart dogs-they need the mental stimulation too. If you can have someone you trust walk Charlie at times it will be so good for both of you.
Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Thu Aug 29, '13 1:15am PST 
Congrats on the birth of your son!

I definitely would take Sabi up on her offer and let her walk him while its noisy outside. Hopefully Charlie will calm down some as he gets used to your new routine. Other than that you could try the usual thundershirts and DAP. It's a huge upheaval for him, so hopefully he just needs time to adjust.

blue/brown eyed- girl!
Barked: Thu Aug 29, '13 11:53am PST 

Congrats on the new babe!!!! Such an exciting time! Mine are 3 and 10, and I wish they were still babies sometimes BOL!!!!

I would just hope that as things settle back to normal he will settle a bit, I apologize for not having much advice on that one
Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
Barked: Thu Aug 29, '13 3:41pm PST 
Dap, Thundershirt, perhaps learning some T-Touch or massage.

Others have great suggestions.

Congrats on your baby. big grin
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