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Old 10-05-2009, 01:23 AM
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Default Puppy born with mental issues?

Isnt it possible to be born with issues? Before I got Ruckus the breeder did tell me that he wasnt one for snuggling, and he was a shy puppy.

I got Ruckus at 4 months old. He wouldnt move for the first two days I got him. wouldnt play, eat, or even walk around. he just laid in the corner. I pretty well left him alone to give him time to adjust.

I socialized the snot out of this puppy to try to get him out of his shell. And you couldnt tell he had been socialized!

Fast forward two years. Ruckus had aggression issues, NEVER once wagged his tail, and was scared of many many things. After a few vet visits we put him on Amitriptyline, and he is now a different dog. He plays, comes up to strangers in the dog park for attention, wags his tail, etc.

Has anyone else ever heard of a similar case? I am wondering that something didnt happen when he was a puppy! Or if its possible to just be born like that? How common is it for a puppy to be born with a chemical imbalance or the like?

Is it genetic?
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Old 10-05-2009, 01:44 AM
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Romy Romy is offline
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Definitely possible. I've met dogs that apparently could see things that no one else could, and had serious fear/aggresion problems that were like that from birth. One individual was born to a good breeder, and ended up being kept by the breeder her whole life. Her problems were serious enough the breeder didn't want to let her go to anyone, but at the same time they weren't bad enough to warrant putting her to sleep. The breeder did everything like you, tried socializing her a ton, and when that didn't work she simply led a sheltered, safe and pleasant life as a house pet for the person who brought her into the world.

The person who bred her told me that the mother and siblings and father of the litter all had stellar temperaments, but the breeder did find out later on that the lines behind the sire were known for throwing an occasional dog with an "off" temperament. I think it's a hereditary mental illness thing in that specific case. Everybody is fine except for the few affected individuals. Needless to say, that person doesn't breed into those lines any more.

Ruckus is your problem barker right? I wonder if those underlying mental issues are causing him to be more reactive/barky than an average sheltie would be. At any rate he's lucky to have you.
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Old 10-05-2009, 08:17 AM
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Ruckus sounds a lot like Trey. I am pretty convinced something just wasn't wired right for Trey either.

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Old 10-05-2009, 08:38 AM
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thanks for the replies. I figured that Ruckus barking may be linked to his issues. poor guy will never be %100 right! But I am so glad we have came this far. It saddens me to know that he will probably be medicated the rest of his life.
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Old 10-05-2009, 10:51 AM
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TAte was seperated at birth, became severely dehydrated and took weeks to catch up. it left her a little simple in the noggin. Spacey Casey the dog we had when i was married was a total nutball. I do believe he was wired wrong from the get go. I believe that dogs can suffer from the full spectrum of mental illness that people do. I haven't read any studies but am going by my personal experiences. WE got some in the kennels that had way more than seperation anx.

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Old 10-05-2009, 11:46 AM
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I think that dogs can be born with just as many issues as people can. I think that certain breeds are more apt to be born with certain issues, such as dog reactivity with herders and a fear of strangers with the guardian breeds.

I think that some dogs just aren't wired right from the get-go, like Laurelin said, and all of the socialization and patience and kindness and positive reinforcement and obedience classes in the world will never make a dog like that "better" or "correct."

I think that in certain cases just like our Abby, the best you can do is just provide a stable, non-changing environment with a schedule that differs very little and just enjoy the dog for what it is, which is a house pet.
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:25 PM
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I think Daisy was born with something wired a little wrong too. She's from my friend's dad who just bred his dog just because he wanted to (in short, a BYB). Her dam is a very friendly dog; I never met the sire but my friend tells me he's friendly too. When we met Daisy at my friend's house, she was nine weeks old. She wasn't playful, or happy to see new people. She just sat there quietly and looked at us. Daisy didn't really get socialized except for meeting my friends and such (because I was ignorant) and she was always shy with anyone new, and she's always been an anxious type.
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:59 PM
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Its likely genetics. This is why I will never purchase a puppy without meeting the parents. Often times puppies will inherit their parents temperaments. If the dam or sire has an iffy temperament, I look elsewhere.

Ruckus sounds like pebbles and she is a problem barker as well. She feels threatened by the most unusual things.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:10 PM
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My father had a beagle like that. She seemed to have halucinations, was aggressive to both people and dogs, and a fear-biter. Dad figured that it was the canine equivalent of schizophrenia. In that case it was bad enough for her to be put down . . . she was downright dangerous.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:48 PM
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thanks guys!
Ruckus's parents were pretty stable. his mom is a bit standoffish, but thats not uncommon in the breed. his dad was great! never met a stranger.
Ruckus's grandmother on the other hand was said to be a real fruit cake.
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