Bit of advice?

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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When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Tue Oct 22, '13 10:08am PST 
I don't think Shadow is coping very well with losing Sabi and I am beginning to get worried.
She isn't eating well, and has gone 2-3 days at a stretch without anything at all. She is pretty tiny to start with, as tiny as 65lbs can be, and I dislike her skipping meals. This has been going on for a few weeks now.
She is whining a lot. Sort of a scared, low moaning as she circles through the house searching. I have broken lots of my own rules for her, to comfort both of us I guess but it isn't working. I have been letting her on the furniture, I tried letting her sleep in my room with me, I even broke my number one rule and tried letting her play with Bud. I do not allow them to be loose together because Shadow gives no signs when she is coming in heat, but I thought it would help them both. Sadly not. Bud was annoyed with her and Shadow reverted to over the top puppy submission, wiggling and whining on her belly, cowering and rolling, licking her lips, and his chin. Bud was irritated and finally snapped at her, then jumped on her and grabbed her by the head before I could grab him.
Shadows social behavior has gotten worse again, she has been fighting with the dog next door through the fence, she has tried to bite a few of my friends and neighbors(she was muzzled) and when she's outside she has started alarming at every little sound.
She is also showing signs of separation anxiety, and that has never been an issue before.
Bud isn't very happy either, he seems to be coping a bit better though. He mostly just wanders around checking all of Sabs usual sleeping spots and kind of frowning. He is not young and he and Sabs were together a very long time. I was really worried that in losing Sabi I might lose him to, but other then some confusion and a bit of loneliness he seems ok. I am keeping a careful eye on him for now.
But I really want to help Shadow, it isn't getting better if anything it's getting worse. Any tips for grieving dogs?

I love sitting- in laps
Barked: Tue Oct 22, '13 1:22pm PST 
I've never had to deal with losing an animal when there are two of them in the house, so I just want to relay my experience with a client.

About 8 years ago I walked onto our job site and an incredibly emaciated Weimaraner came inside from the back. It took my breath away with how skinny this dog was.
I asked his owner if he was sick and he said that he had a broken heart. His litter mate, approx. 6yrs old, had died and he was in serious mourning.
The owner said that he hadn't eaten for a week and he couldn't even get him to eat his most favorite, raw hamburger.
My heart just broke for this poor pup. As I was petting the Weim, I just bent down and whispered into his ear that he had to eat. His daddy loved him and please eat.
Every single time I had a free second, I'd call the dog to me and love on him and let him follow me around. I just felt like fawning all over him and he seemed to like it.
Well, the next morning when we arrived on the job site, the owner greeted me with a big smile saying that his dog had eaten for the first time in a week and seemed to be getting his appetite back. I was so happy I almost cried.

I think what brought him back was having new energy in the house. His daily routine was just to lay around the house while his owner worked on the house and the dog had nothing but time and same old routine to remember how heart broken he was.
I think new energy, new things to look forward to for the day as we were there, helped his mind move on a little.

I know Shadow isn't one to introduce new things to, but maybe if there's a way to change things up in her play or outings, if that's possible.
Is there one thing that she likes, play wise? Maybe do more of it?

I know my story is regarding a dog who didn't have issues and I know Shadow is a special case, but if pampering isn't working, maybe doing some nose work with her might help distract her.

I hope she feels better soon.


Black dogs rock!
Barked: Tue Oct 22, '13 2:40pm PST 
hug for you and Sabi. I have always been a believer in keeping routines the same in times of change , at least with my children. I think it helped. Maybe giving her so much slack is making her insecure? I certainly understand why you feel that your both need it though hug

Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Tue Oct 22, '13 10:45pm PST 

When I let Maya go, Charlie moped for weeks on end. He sulked, he whined, he lacked any energy or usual gusto, he would go lay in his kennel, or hers for no reason at all, other than to lay in there and be depressed, he wasn't eating as much, and he was just in general, incredibly miserable. The ONLY things that pulled him out of it was sticking to routine, and distracting him with other things(getting out of the house, etc). It still took him several weeks to go back to being himself.

Shadow seems to like Charlie and have no issues with him, so I think we should definitely try to get them together again, more frequently(sorry about the other day btw), and even try a playdate in one of the yards to see how they do(I can clean mine up and get rid of any dangerous obstacles that Shadow might think are new friends, lol), because I think having a buddy to play with a distract her a little will help, and as Charlie seems to help calm her anxieties a little, I think he would be the perfect candidate. smile

Don't ever be afraid to ask for my help! As long as I have someone to watch D, I can come help and I enjoy our walks together when we get the chance.

Shadow will find herself again, she's probably thrown off by the change to her environment and pack with the anxieties that she has, and is trying to learn how to cope too. Just like you, she will find her way and she will learn that it's okay. You'll both be okay. hug

When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Wed Oct 23, '13 9:28am PST 
Thanks guys.

Bunny, I'm not fond of bending rules, but she seems so lost right now I just want her to feel better. And I certainly need the cuddling.
Even Bud seems really subdued right now. He has been forgoing his patrols of the fence and simply sitting looking around. He's finally acting his age, and that's scary.
Charlie, she even gave Ria a kiss the other day, I think she just really desperately wants dog company. And she sure does love Charlielaugh out loud
I thought her and Bud would gravitate to each other but that isn't happening and at this point I'm a bit concerned about adding the puppy to the mix. I'm going to give it a bit but I may ask the breeder about the next litter. These two seem to need my attention right now.
Should I keep baiting them to eat or just let it be until they're ready? Should I keep to the rules or cut them some slack?
Moose, I keep telling them both it's going to be ok and I love them and need them.
Kali earned- her wings- 10/21/14

She's game for- anything that's- fun.
Barked: Thu Oct 24, '13 5:00pm PST 
Kali was depressed for moths after we lost Jax. She raised Kali from 8 weeks old and now she's 9. I think what Moose said is good advice. That's pretty much what I did with Kali. It didn't work right away. I think it took about 5 months for her to get back to normal. So, play dates with Charlie might be a good idea. Good Luck with Shadow. Even now, if Kali hears Jax's name, she will go looking for her. It's really heart breaking. hughug
Jackson Tan

Lad about town
Barked: Thu Oct 24, '13 10:15pm PST 
When I was younger one of my cats died and my other female took it really hard. She wouldn't move off the grave and seemed in pretty serious mourning. She did come around after a few months with extra food and attention but I really had to just give her time. It must be so hard on Shadow, poor baby, and Bud too; I hope they feel a bit better soon. hug
Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
Barked: Fri Oct 25, '13 11:48pm PST 
I found sticking to my normal routine, but adding a little more exercise, adding a little more personalized time/attention, and giving Charlie things to distract him helped(more exercise, training, playtime together, etc). We should get together for a play and a walk Saturday night, and maybe Sunday night too if we can. Chuckles could use the time out of the house, especially before this snow falls. Hoping she is doing okay.

Akita Pals- Always.
Barked: Sun Oct 27, '13 1:21pm PST 
I really can't offer any helpful advice but do hope all of you are doing well and know in time things will get better. It does seem from your post that Shadow is feeling a bit more insecure without Sabi to look to and I think Charlie and Moose both gave some good advice. I will just add that both Shadow and Bud are likely picking up on your added anxiety as well. I think you may just need to give yourself and them some time to get over your loss.hughughughughughughughughughug|: to all of you and you are all in my thoughts.

Better watch- yourself!
Barked: Sun Oct 27, '13 8:36pm PST 
Hey this may seem a little out there but thought I would offer it if it hadn't been a thought before. I'm sure you've heard of using essential oils for people and pets for many different ailments/emotional problems. Specifically back when I was in the world of horses, I was fascinated reading about the Bach flower rescue remedy, then I found out it applies to all animals. I personally have not tried them YET, but am getting a couple for Sasha, as she has low self confidence and is constantly on edge. I mean it couldn't hurt for Shadow right?

Things like; Clematis- for 'No apparent interest in the world around them: animals who sleep all the time, have trouble paying attention, or seem to live more in a dream than in the present'
Honeysuckle- 'Homesickness or over-attachment to the past. Loss of owner or home'

There's also ones talking about being more tolerant of other animals, for any change, loss of purpose, etc etc. Again, wild stab at it, but I know some people use them, and it's natural healing. I'm looking forward to seeing any changes with Sasha. But I hope there has been improvements since your last post, and that you all are helping each other through this rough time hughughug
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