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Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat

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Surviving Dog Weird Behavior
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My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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1
15 May 2011 - 6:28 pm
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Some of you know about this, but the behavior continues to evolve so I thought I'd ask for input.

The background for those who don't know - about a week after we let Trouble go, I was doing laundry I found a stuffed toy I had taken from Trouble to save it from certain destuffing death.  I took it and tossed it to Duke.  He carried it around the house and cried for two days.  Slowly he began to allow us to touch the 'baby', but he still wanted to protect it and hide it in a safe place.  Within a few days, he offered it to Bob.  Even though he was improving, the obsession remained.

Now almost two months later, this new behavior with 'baby has begun.

He still obsesses over this toy, wants to make sure it is in a safe place. Really doesn't like for us to touch it, he tolerates it, but doesn't like it. He cries if we make the toy croak. He will carry it and whine until it stops making noise. :crazy2:

Well, now when he needs to go poop, he will run to get the toy and carries it out the the entranceway with us. He's never tried to take it out, drops it when I get his leash, and leaves it there until we come back in. Then I have to tell him to get baby to bring it back in with him.

If there are any doggie psychologists out there, could you share what is going on with this toy? :|

Should we take it away permanently?

My thoughts for what it is worth is to leave him alone as long as he isn't aggressive with his obsession.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

Orange County, CA
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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15 May 2011 - 6:48 pm
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Well, John & I certainly don't have any kind of experience with anything similar.  But I tend to agree with you:  if Duke isn't aggressive, let him keep the toy.  It is obviously important to him, maybe because it smells like Trouble.  Maybe it's comforting to him to have it.

littlemanjake
3
15 May 2011 - 7:13 pm
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There is some stress related to the toy, and most likely not directly related to Trouble. It's very possible that Duke's initial reaction had much to do with your emotions. He may have simply been crying because of the overwhelming environmental stress and the toy was a comfort. Sometimes a behavior becomes a habit. Personally, I'd get him an interesting new toy and permanently remove that one to avoid it becoming a more concerning issue.

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
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28 November 2008
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15 May 2011 - 7:32 pm
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littlemanjake said:

There is some stress related to the toy, and most likely not directly related to Trouble. It's very possible that Duke's initial reaction had much to do with your emotions. He may have simply been crying because of the overwhelming environmental stress and the toy was a comfort. Sometimes a behavior becomes a habit. Personally, I'd get him an interesting new toy and permanently remove that one to avoid it becoming a more concerning issue.

I can see where my emotions could contribute to the behavior, but I really wasn't aware of any emotion when I tossed it to him. True, my emotions have been all over the chart, but I try very hard to keep them under control when I'm with Duke and particularly when I interact with him.

Maybe a new toy is a good option.  Thank you for the input.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

littlemanjake
5
15 May 2011 - 7:42 pm
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I think our dogs are affected by stress in their environment in a way we just can't begin to understand. They have their own ways of attempting to reduce it. Those methods can emerge in odd behaviors, that can ultimately become undesirable and ultimately be a source of stress.

knoxville, tn
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12 February 2010
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15 May 2011 - 8:24 pm
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our two cents:  give the guy a break.  he lost the only sister he's ever know, his 'parents' are running every gammet of emotion, and osama bin laden is dead.  if he likes the toy, let him have it...  we're guessing eventually the smell, the 'special' or the whatever, will wear off and he'll move on to fixate on a new thing in his life....that's what humans do, right??  now, if he starts driving your new car, racing around at night and chasing 'skirts'...that might be a problem..... 

charon & gayle

Life is good, so very, very good!!! Gayle enjoyed each and every moment of each and every wonderful day (naps included).  She left this world December 12, 2011 – off on a new adventure.

Love Never Ends

http://etgayle

On The Road


Member Since:
24 September 2009
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15 May 2011 - 10:35 pm
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Don't see any issue with Duke doing whatever he likes with the toy as long as it does not cause any overtly obsessive or aggressive behavior. If so, remove it or try using it as a treat to reward for positive behavior. Otherwise, it's kinda sweet what that tough guy is doing!

Tripawds Founders Jim and Rene
tripawds.com | tripawds.org | bemoredog.net | triday.pet

My heart lives at Rainbow Bridge
Member Since:
28 November 2008
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16 May 2011 - 4:03 am
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A trainer on PBT posted this link.  She has herding dogs and is concerned over the fixation, because herders can become fixated.

http://www.that.....-her-baby/

I appreciate the comments, still not sure I think it is a real problem as he doesn't obsess over it 24/7, just a couple times a day. I will continue to monitor and remove it or limit it if the behavior changes.

And Charon,  he can't reach the car keys.  New car is safe.

Shanna & Spirit Trouble ~ Trouble gained her wings 3/16/2011, a 27 1/2 month cancer survivor, tail wagging. RIP sweetheart, you are my heart and soul.  Run free at Rainbow Bridge.
The November Five - Spirits Max, Cherry, Tika, Trouble & Nova. 11/2008 - 3/2013 An era ends as Queen Nova crossed the Bridge.

littlemanjake
9
16 May 2011 - 5:46 am
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That's a good article, Shanna. The ultimate undesireable behaviors often start small and can be difficult to reverse as they progress. Duke isn't associating this toy with Trouble the way we might. Another option, if you don't want to permanently remove it, is to rotate in & out of use. This will at least give you an idea of whether it is this particular toy or not. It seems like this is a stress related behavior. It also might be a good idea to use some interactive toys (Nina Ottosson makes some nice ones…just get the more difficult ones….even my cats can figure out the easy ones) to provide some mental stimulation.

California
Member Since:
16 January 2011
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16 May 2011 - 6:43 pm
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Just a thought.....get a few new toys and then see if its "the" toy or "a" toy...

Most dogs will obsess on things for a few months then switch to something new and the old is then forgotten...

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