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Old 09-20-2006, 06:00 PM
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tara tara is offline
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Default Foster's being really wierd lately....

I haven't been here for a while...but lately Foster is acting pretty wierd. He does so many wierd things like:
1) If im sitting on the couch and put my feet on the table and they slide the slightest bit on the table, he comes BOLTING out from his cage in my room and barks and nips at my feet.
2) Gets REALLY nippy and bites hard, hard enough that he scrapes my skin. this is totally NOT acceptable from him (or from any other dog for that matter) and I always immediately stop play and ignore him when he does this but he continues to do it anyway. But only when he gets really excited and needs to go for another walk. (If i do take him for a walk, I wait for a while, so he doesnt some how think that when he gets like that that he gets to go for a walk)
3) Growls and barks, and sometimes bites, when I touch his knees, and elbows, and his back right foot. (His elbows are pretty dandruffy)
4) Tries to jump in my lap if I'm sitting in the computer chair, and licks my face like crazy.
5) Barks A LOT at people on walks, and before we were at a point where he would do a light "bruff" and I'd say "quiet" and he'd stop, but now he barks full out and doesn't stop until we are infront of them.

The first thing he used to do but not to this extent. The others are completely new. Could it be because I am back in school, and have school, homework, and work? I still have a LOT of time to be with him though. Another thing...I'm not sure if this has anything to do with anything, but we recently had to have our family dog (a 16 year old American Eskimo dog)PTS due to health problems and old age :'( I think Foster misses him more than we do! He keeps looking around for him, and laying in the one spot Dakota used to always sleep. I will be taking Foster to the vet sometime this month, or early next month for his regular checkup, so I'll ask the vet about his crazy behaviours. In the mean time, anybody have any other ideas why he might be acting this way?
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  #2  
Old 09-20-2006, 11:53 PM
Herschel Herschel is offline
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He probably isn't getting as much attention now that his old friend is gone.

Take an obedience class and feed a better food to handle the dander. (Science Diet is NOT a good food).
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Old 09-21-2006, 07:50 AM
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Rubylove Rubylove is offline
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I think that perhaps the passing of your other dog may have a lot to do with his behaviour and it could just be a matter of time before he settles back down - and also the fact that he is getting less attention, although as you stay still getting quite a lot of your time. These are two quite big disruptions to his routine and probably have thrown him a little.

The nipping and barking sounds a little like a herding behaviour - is he part collie or kelpie or any other kind of breed that exhibits these behaviours? He looks like he is. It could be the way he played with your other dog and now that the other dog is not around he's trying it on with you.

Also, taking him to the vet to rule out any physical problems is the right move but I would do it sooner rather than later. Physical problems can manifest themselves in strange and out-of-character behaviours so a vet check is certainly on the cards.

It would be worth going back over his training from a more remedial perspective - back to basics, as it were. Reinforce his sits, stays, downs etc... sort of like going back to puppy school with him and reinforcing in his mind that what you say, goes. Get him back into the habit of obeying you and looking to you for leadership. Was your other dog the leader of the two of them? If he has lost his doggie leader he might be trying to become number one over everyone, and re-esablish where he stands in the pecking order. On the other hand, if he was the leader out of the two of them, and his right-hand-man is not around anymore, he could be looking to you to take on that role now.

I feel that the passing of your other dog is a big upheaval and he will settle down in time, once he is grieving less. In the meantime back to some basic training and a vet check-up, and watch his progress. If things don't start to improve you may need to get a behaviourist to make an assessment.

You most certainly don't want him nipping or biting you in any way under any circumstances so that, first and foremost, must be what you address - and again, some regular consistent training sessions with him would be a good start. I mean, you teach bite inhibition and proper manners to a puppy, so you should treat him as though he is a puppy again and use all the same methods to discourage and put a stop to this behaviour as if you were teaching him for the first time. I hope he turns out ok he must be terribly confused and missing your other dog a great deal.
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Old 09-21-2006, 07:29 PM
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tara tara is offline
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Thanks for the suggestions.
Yes he is a herding dog. He's an australian shepherd (although I would say he looks more like an aussie/border cross. I did buy him before I knew so much about bad breeders etc. But they claimed they were "breeding for family dogs with good temperment, not 'foo-foo show dogs' " although I wouldn't mind a "foo-foo show dog" lol)
And we do about 5-10 minutes of basic obedience everyday so that even if we only have a little time together, we're having fun and he's learning at the same time.
I do hope that his weirdness is nothing medical though, and that it is just because his schedule has changed, and he misses Dakota.
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