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Anxiety attacks and Strange behaviour

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This topic contains 22 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Meadow 5 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #66974

    Meadow
    Participant

    *Very sorry this is so long. I am a wordy person! lol Sorry!!! πŸ˜‰

    Faith is my first dog, as most of you know, so maybe this is something familiar to someone else… but to me, this is just weird and puzzling.

    About 4 days ago, Faith started acting very differently. She is looking for things to get into, though those same things have been there for years, and she has shown zero interest. She is tearing up paper, stealing clean laundry from baskets and tearing them up, trying to get into closed doors, etc. She is asking to go outside, inside, outside, inside. When she’s out, and at the door to come in, I open the door and she looks at me but doesn’t come in. I say, “Okay!” “Come in!” and she turns on a dime, runs back into the yard and stands there.

    Every day she has been having full-blown anxiety attacks. She will start with one of us – putting her paw on us, then boom – she’s full-up, scratching our chest (made Keira bleed) and persistent no matter if we tell her “down” or ignore her. (We’ve tried both methods.) She followed me through the house yesterday, jumping on me over and over and over, panting – tongue hanging out – and just after me relentlessly. It was almost scary, if you know what I mean… I wasn’t afraid of her… but she seemed out of control.

    I wondered if she was bored because due to temperature warnings, it’s not good to walk her right now (only been 2 days with no walk). I tried to do some fun training with her, with treats – all she did was try to barrel into me to grab the treats from my hand. It seemed to make her anxiety 10x worse. πŸ™

    Then, yesterday, I saw her pawing at a frozen poop outside – like really after it till she freed it from the snow – then she tried to EAT it!!!! My hubby ran out and brought her in. Faith hasn’t eaten poop since she was 14 weeks old! I have heard that sometimes they crave a nutrient they detect in the poop. Or… is she trying to get my attention??

    Yesterday, she went to the key rack where we have a metal shoe horn, and she touched her nose to it, so that it made a noise, then she jerked her head to look at me. It’s like she’s desperate for attention. Keep in mind that we all give her a LOT of attention ALL the time. Seriously – we all call her to us and stroke and pet her. She is brushed, which she loves, and petted and spoken to softly. She is beloved here, and treated as such all the time.

    I don’t want to take her to the vet and spend $300 on unnecessary tests that could also cause her more stress… so I thought I’d ask you guys if you have ever experienced anything like this with your 4 yr old Golden. Faith gets so out of control with her scratching, jumping, and obvious anxiety attacks. In the heat of her anxiety, she paces, pants, hurts us in her panicky state, and then turns on little Haven and steps on her and bites her and she makes Haven scream. I have been putting Faith in the sunroom alone behind the baby gate until she falls asleep. I hate leaving her alone when she’s obviously struggling, but when she gets like that, it’s like she’s just wild in her eyes – there is nothing we can do to help her. πŸ™

    Possible triggers: All 4 of my kids were here on Christmas Break, and the boys have returned to University/College now. The weather has gone from cold to unseasonally, ridiculously cold. There has been stress in the home with my husband’s job hanging in the balance – still not a great situation – maybe she’s picking up on that?

    70% of the time, Faith is Faith. Resting, being sweet, playing with Haven, being loved by her peeps. Does this seem utterly strange to you long-time dog owners, or is this one of those “phase things” that Faith is going through? She has been only 2 days with no walk due to the severe temps here. But she has gone longer than that before and not behaved like this.

    Thoughts? (thanks!)
    ~Maureen

  • #66976

    goldengirl
    Participant

    Hi Maureen,
    Sorry to hear about Faith’s strange behaviour….I don’t have much insite into this but maybe it is the weather. It is ridiculously cold here in Niagara and Murphy hasn’t been walked for a couple of days either. I did take her this morning for a 15 minute walk as I was feeling bad for her but all the walkways are ice and I was afraid of falling and worried about her paws as well. I think you are handling it correctly though by putting Faith into the sunroom by herself, kind of a time out. I agree with not running to the vet yet, it is so expensive and the behaviour may resolve without medical intervention. Anyway I hope Faith returns to her normal self very soon.
    Linda

  • #66977

    Nelson
    Participant

    Maureen to me it sounds like Faith is bored…bored, bored bored. She can still go out it’s not that cold and it would probably do her good to get out walking. it’s been -30+ almost everyday since the beginning of December and with wind chills up to some ridiculous number and Boober and Nelson still go out 2-3 times a day. Old Boober is 13 and still trucking along outside. If you think it’s cold you have a jacket and boots for Faith don’t you? Just my thoughts.

  • #66978

    cheslyn1
    Participant

    Okay – not a vet but do have comments. These can be signs of something physically wrong but I think for a vet to determine if so you need something else wrong – weight change, diarhea, etc, etc.

    Saying that Faith is a healthy pup with lots of energy. I can not get a way with not walking Maci after 2 days regardless of weather. She does not jump up but she is restless, whiny, in your face, plays ‘ I can not hear you’ games, etc etc. And she is 7! Even the boys are like bored 3 year olds…they play but it quickly changes to a fight. Even Harley is back stealing stuff out of closets.

    By walks I mean we run around the block when it is -25 and colder. Yes, it takes longer to put on coats and boots then it does for the walk. But it works.

    I agree with putting Faith in the sunroom though – will let her settle. I really do not think she has anxiety attacks but needs to learn/get more self control. πŸ™‚ yes, Maci is still lacking.

    Oh the poop. At one time or another this extra frozen December, each dog in our house has been caught playing, eating or carrying around some. For Maci is was something that rolled and she chased. The pup thinks they are the best thing in the world (joys of a pup in winter!) and Harley is doing it because Jigar is! Bored, only exciting thing outside or it tastes good – lord only knows.

  • #66979

    cheslyn1
    Participant

    Darn forgot to add —Faith was getting more attention and more mental stimulation during the holidays with the extra people home and some dogs do not like getting less πŸ™‚

    Maci and I think Faith love life to be consistent with clear rules and routines. Maci is fine when our routine (at home we are very boring, predictable people) is broken when we go camping because her favorite things happen then -we are all there for the whole time (no mom leaving for work) and lots of walks. She was not fine when the routine was broken when Scott was in the hospital – she had to run at the park everyday and still was an energizer bunny. I hope learning about Maci helps you and I hope your next golden is like Jake or Harley LOL

    And do not give her more attention (baby her) if you are. With Maci that makes her lose even more self control.
    Time for nothing in life for free. Time to teach her a new trick!

  • #66982

    cheslyn1
    Participant

    Oh no I agree she needs walks, mental exercise something. But putting her in the sunroom in between because she is jumping and being a brat yes. Or people in the household are not going to be happy with her and it snowballs to less time, less walks. I know—I was going to give Maci up 100s of times. Maci in the crate and learning to wait and that she did not determine the schedule is why she is here. (and okay she is cute too:) ) If I did not learn about NILF and self control exercises she would still be a constant in your face, jumping, pulling, whining brat to live with because doing all got her what she wanted- attention and walks/runs.

  • #66983

    cheslyn1
    Participant

    Darn, I typed out a whole bunch of stuff and lost it πŸ™

    http://paws4udogs.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/the-superdog-syndrome/
    This article and the 1 before it are similar in thoughts as one I read when Maci was 1. It was when I quit running Maci 3x a day and consistently playing tug and fetch and added more mental exercises and training. Maci needed to learn self control and how to settle (or stop moving as Scott would say)

    We started using the kennel more for ‘naps’ even though she could be loose in the house and added more classes with an instructor that understood our goals. She learned to do fun things but also learned to settle/wait.

    To this day I still have to watch Maci and exercise. Camping we have an offleash field right behind the trailer. She is put in the kennel if she freaks out wanting to be out there because something else is. We vary the time she gets to run and when we go for runs. I have to watch, if she gets over the top she will body slam dogs and start not listening. And jumping on strangers.

    So yes bundle up and get Faith out there but I think with Faith you need to balance it.

    Sue- not at all saying what you do is wrong! I could never exercise Harley enough – he never gets over the top. But I am concerned about Faith’s behaviors Maureen calls anxiety –really sounds like Maci. If she just started exercising Faith tons I do not know if she would see a decrease in the bad behaviors.

  • #66984

    Meadow
    Participant

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! I feel 100x better!!! I have been babying Faith! And it IS making it worse, rofllll.

    Bored! GOTCHA!! I was worried because my school-going girls said that the sidewalks are either sheets of pure ice or sheets of WAY too much salt – and either of those options would be horrible for dog paws. Well, the ice is horrible for me – chronic back pain – one bad slip and I’d be in horrible shape. But I can send KEIRA to walk Faith, lol!!! I just thought it was too dangerous with the -30C temps. We don’t normally get temps like this!

    Sue, Tammy, Linda!! THANK YOU!!!!

    I just went out with a hatchet, and hacked the frozen poops out of the snow and ice, and bagged them. I saw the one Faith was after – yep – it had ICE all over it!! I am hoping it was the ice that attracted her attention.

    I feel sooooo much better! I thought that Faith was exhibiting some rare disorder of something – seriously – I know squat about dogs, lol! THANK YOU!! I will get Faith out, despite the temps and ice – we can even walk on the icy road to avoid the sidewalk salt if necessary.

    Oh big WHEW!!! I’ll let you know if that changes her behaviour of the last several days, once I get her out there. She won’t get frostbite or anything nasty?? You are SURE?!

    ~M~

  • #66985

    Nelson
    Participant

    I agree Tammy and the jumping up needs to be addressed and corrected. We have to remember that these are not our dogs issues alone as they are looking to us for direction.

    That’s why it’s a forum so we can all have our opinions πŸ™‚ hopefully some of our info is useful πŸ™‚

  • #66986

    Meadow
    Participant

    Faith is just now starting to do all those things – in, out, in, out, running away when I try to let her in, looking for what she can get into. I am gonna bundle up the little one in her winter gear, and head out for a nice walk! I just know that you all are SO right that Faith needs the exercise, despite the weather.

    A few days back (when this all started), due to the extreme cold and snowstorms, we took both dogs to the schoolyard behind our house and let them run. But I think that free-form running in a large area doesn’t “do it” for Faith. She needs to walk – migrate – in order to drain her energy. ALL of this started when we didn’t do our standard walking time, 4 days ago. Being “out in the back of the school” was better than being in the house for her, but apparently, just barely.

    Ok – thank you, my experienced dog-owners!! You have once again come to the rescue!! πŸ™‚

    ~Maureen

  • #66987

    cheslyn1
    Participant

    God yes! None of these dogs are the same – it would be boring then LOL

    Faith, they can but they will be moving and have a big fur coat. Maci gets boots because she hates having snowballs in her feet but the boys nothing. Not even Jigar with no fur yet.

    Now if you go and get a different short coat dog I might have to say more LOL

  • #66988

    Marianne
    Participant

    Great advise…..just want to add that a few years back I found grippesr for my boots at Canadian Tire….they are a wonderful invention I don’t worry at all about falling when walking the dogs.

  • #66989

    Meadow
    Participant

    Well, you were sooooo right, Sue. Bored, bored, bored! My husband and I walked the dogs after my last post yesterday for an hour. Then my daughter went out an hour after that to do her paper route and she took Faith as usual, despite the ice and cold. That was another 45 min. Faith SLEPT allllllll evening, and by 9:30pm she was standing at the girls’ door (the room she sleeps in too) with a look on her that said, “I need my beauty rest, folks!” haha

    Marianne, I will check into CT’s grippers. I slipped a few times yesterday, and just the jostling to keep my balance hurts my back. I was wishing there was something to help my boots to not be so slick on all the ice that I can’t avoid. Thanks for the head’s up on an available product!

    We are all so relieved that Faith doesn’t have some horrible medical problem!! Thank you so much for your experience, girls!!!!! πŸ™‚

    ~Maureen

  • #66990

    Nelson
    Participant

    Maureen I’m so glad to hear all of that. Exercise is the key for both us and the dogs. The mail delivery people use those grippers on their shoes. I have some that I bought from Canadian tire for under $10, there in the ice fishing section of the store.

  • #66999

    cheslyn1
    Participant

    So those grippers things work and comfortable enough? Cool – shopping this weekend. Maybe that will make it not snow the rest of the winter – fat chance!

    Oh Maureen – I am glad you said dogS. A friend breeds goldens and cavaliers and they are all out regardless of temperture for a walk. The old ones not as long of course but they all go – and without coats or boots!! She just said to the little ones to keep moving when they stop and started shivering πŸ™‚

  • #67000

    3Goldens
    Participant

    Maureen, I’ve been following this post…didn’t really comment because Sue & Tammy gave such excellent advice…I would have said Faith was bored too…

    Just wanted to add that for winter walking on the ice, I wear Yaktrax….they slip on over your winter boots and help a lot….I really don’t need to be falling on the ice when walking the dogs..I don’t bounce as good as I used to haha

    I just bought my second pair online, they arrived in less than a week. The first pair lasted for years!

  • #67001

    laurie
    Participant

    Ripley does the in and out thing all the time, it makes me think of a picture I seen of a golden sitting outside at the door and the caption read “hurry up and let me in I got to go back out”. I am glad that Faith just needed the walks.

  • #67002

    3Goldens
    Participant

    I think this is the picture Laurie is talking about…
    My 3 do this constantly, it’s normal for them!

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  • #67004

    laurie
    Participant

    That is the picture I was talking about and it would be really funny if it wasn’t so true.

  • #67005

    Meadow
    Participant

    rofllllllll!!! That picture is sooooo funny and oh my word so VERY true!!! I didn’t know that all Goldens do that! My little Haven doesn’t do that at all. How funny!! πŸ™‚

    ~Maureen

    P.S. Faith got 2 good long walks again yesterday, and all those wacky behaviours never surfaced! Lesson learned – cold, ice, sleet, tornado, tsunami – doesn’t matter – WALK THE DOG! lol

  • #67007

    Cathy DW
    Participant

    “Lesson learned – cold, ice, sleet, tornado, tsunami – doesn’t matter – WALK THE DOG! lol” Face it Maureen, a Golden is more “reliable” then the postman when it comes to walks.

  • #67008

    Meadow
    Participant

    Hahahaha – true that, Cathy!! πŸ˜‰

    ~M~

  • #66980

    Nelson
    Participant

    I still say she is bored and needs more exercise. I take Nelson to the park behind the house everyday after work and he runs like a mad dog then again after supper on a longer faster leash walk. If I didn’t he’d be bored to death and start doing bad stuff. Dogs need to get out and exercise regardless of the weather and so do we as people. The dog poop stuff is out of boredom. I’ve seen it many times before.
    Nelson doesn’t need a jacket in -30 and neither does Boober. I think we think they do more than they actually do. A good dog is a tired dog…exercise makes a tired dog. I don’t think putting her in the sunroom alone is going to solve the issue. She acting out because she’s bored and wants attention. Exercise is what she needs. The dog needs to run.
    Maureen I think that is why Faith is acting out and I highly doubt it she needs to see the Vet.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 9 months ago by  Nelson.

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