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  #1  
Old 02-28-2017, 03:30 PM
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Default Doggy Anxiety (Me not her)

(THIS MIGHT GET LONG)

Angel is a rescue, her back story is that when she was pregnant her previous owners one night decided they didn't want her and threw her out of a car, she landed in the yard of some people who took her in. After she gave birth and her puppies were old enough to be adopted they took Angel to a animal shelter. She ended up with a foster family that from what I could tell took great care of her, she had all of her shots, healthy etc... I'm not sure the span of time between her being abandoned and me adopting her but her foster mother said she was very shy and was really attached to her, so it would take a little time to get used to us. It didn't seem to take too long, after a few days she seemed to take to use pretty good.

She has been with us almost 5 months and the first 2 months she was ok, she did whine and cry when she had to be left home but I understood that. From the start I didn't coddle her, I did do what I thought was enough to get her comfortable being with us and to show her I loved her. She was never really clingy or anything like that, she was happy being in her bed as long as she knew we (me and my son) were around somewhere. However, about 3 months ago she seemed to do a 180 and all of a sudden she has become so clingy or what some call a "velcro dog" and it's just with me.

I work from home, and I home-school my son, so she is with us most of the time, my son plays with more than I can. I have a home cake decorating business as well as 2 other businesses so I can't naturally have her around especially when I'm baking or even when I cook. This isn't new either, she has never been allowed in kitchen, she eats in eat-in kitchen area so she isn't far from me and can see me in the kitchen. When I'm baking I move her to bedroom (still upstairs near the kitchen) or my sons room, and he is usually in there with her. However, lately she sneaks her way back towards the kitchen and I'm constantly having to tell her to go back and sit down. I can't go to the bathroom without her being on my tail, she even sits outside my door and whines. If I go in my closet, I have to shut the door or else she follows me in there, then she sits outside that door and whines. I have a split level house so to get my garage, my office or son's room, I have to go down 2 flights of stairs and she is right there. I can't run down stairs to get something out of my office with out her right there. I workout at home sometimes and tried to keep the door open but she would come in and get in the way, so I shut the door now, she will sit there for up to 30-45min until I get done whining. When I'm taking cakes (tiered decorated cakes mind you) downstairs to my truck to be delivered she is right there at my heels. When we bring groceries or bags into the house she is right there in the way. I used to have my son let her out of her crate when we got home but it got so bad with her running up and down the stairs at my feet, several times I almost dropped cakes, fell with bags and even almost stepped on her. Now she has to be put in her crate when I am taking cakes downstairs or left in her crate until I get bags upstairs.

Then it's her eating, I have tried several different brands of food trying to get one that is natural/healthy that she will actually eat. I also, make her homemade food that I mix with her dog food. Brown rice, boiled chicken thighs and either spinach/sweet potatoes or carrots/green peas. She took better to the spinach and sweet potatoes so she gets that more. I finally found a highly rated dog food that she seemed to like (she ate it for a while) but about 2 ago months she started acting funny about it. I thought maybe she got tired of it so found something new, she took it, but I ran out and couldn't find it in stores hear me, so I had to pick another one brand, still natural (no corn, wheat, by products etc...). Again she took to it fine for a few weeks, but now is hardly eating. Some days she does ok and will eat both meals each day, but more often then not she won't eat one or the other. She runs to eat, looks at the food, sniffs it and will sit there and look at the bowl or me (if I am in the kitchen) but won't eat. She will go to her bed and a few times I had to almost force (lovingly of course) her to eat. A couple of time she eventually did but not all. It's not even the dog food she won't eat, it's the cooked food too. Which at times she was eating more than the dog food. On the days she won't eat in the morning I'll leave her food our for about 30min then put it up until her next feeding time. Sometimes she'll eat it at dinner like she is starving other times she still won't eat. She has even taken to getting under the table when we eat just sitting there, before she never did that because her bed is in the line of site to the table. If I make her sit down, she will sit there and stare/glare at me the whole time I am eating, kind of freaks me out.

Next, going to potty, she is almost definite now when it comes to that unless she really really has to go. We can be outside 30min and she won't peepee or poop, she will sit there, look at me and not budge, or try to get up the street when she sees these other 2 dogs. Even on freezing cold days (in the 30's) she will sit there. As soon as I get ready to go in the house she then decides she wants to go potty. Her stools are never hard so she isn't constipated that I can tell. I have her on a schedule for eating and going potty, even when I leave the house, I try to make sure if I can, I get home close enough to her scheduled feeding and potty breaks. Even when she looks like she has to go really bad, I will take her out.

Nothing in my home has changed, nothing tragic or anything to scare her has happened. I don't do anything different that I did when I first got her, I don't pick her up when she is at my heels or whining outside my door. I have done the ignore thing with her and still do it. But the more I do the worse she gets. Like I said she isn't has never been coddled, babied or anything like that so I don't understand what has changed. I do spend time with her just not as much as my son because of working and on top of that being a full-time college student among other daily things. She doesn't appear to be sick, she runs around and plays with no problem.

I do have an appointment set to go get her checked out, but again I am not sure what has changed. She seemed more comfortable when I first brought her home but now not so much. I am kind of at my whits end because I am not sure what to do especially if after she is checked out nothing is wrong. I am so frustrated some days I am like what did I get myself into.

I don't recall having this much anxiety after I had my son and I was a new mommy who knew nothing about being a mom. I love her and she can be a little sweetheart but as of late, what she has been doing it starting to get to me. I don't want to take her back, because that would hurt my son. I knew having a dog especially a small one would be some work, but I do know some small dogs that are independent just not Angel. Right now I am just

Sorry this is so long but I had to get it all out!!
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  #2  
Old 02-28-2017, 06:09 PM
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First of all; take a deep breath.! I would take this dog to obedience classes. Maybe a puppy one. It will help you as well as her. I would get a dowel rod and put it down in front of where ever you don't want her to be, ie, the kitchen. Teach her she can't cross it. As for bathroom rules, I would also teach her 'piddle' and 'poop'. Walk her around, don't let her just sit there and watch you. It sounds as if she wants to be outside, and then you get ready to go in, and she remembers she hasn't gone yet. Keep her moving.
Her not eating is exhausting==for you! Just remember feed her from the same dish, and the same place. She won't starve. Don't let her under the table when you eat--banish her from the dining area

I'm sorry you are so anxiety ridden, that you are thinking of returning her. You sound very busy. Try to carve out some 'doggie' time to just cuddle with her. She may be missing that time that you probably gave her when you first got her?
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Old 03-01-2017, 01:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by susan davis View Post
First of all; take a deep breath.! I would take this dog to obedience classes. Maybe a puppy one. It will help you as well as her. I would get a dowel rod and put it down in front of where ever you don't want her to be, ie, the kitchen. Teach her she can't cross it. As for bathroom rules, I would also teach her 'piddle' and 'poop'. Walk her around, don't let her just sit there and watch you. It sounds as if she wants to be outside, and then you get ready to go in, and she remembers she hasn't gone yet. Keep her moving.
Her not eating is exhausting==for you! Just remember feed her from the same dish, and the same place. She won't starve. Don't let her under the table when you eat--banish her from the dining area

I'm sorry you are so anxiety ridden, that you are thinking of returning her. You sound very busy. Try to carve out some 'doggie' time to just cuddle with her. She may be missing that time that you probably gave her when you first got her?

Thank you Susan!! Most days I am busy and by the time I get a chance to sit down I am exhausted and ready to go to bed. My to rest days are Sunday's after church and Monday's (when I don't have orders early in the week), so I do try to spend more time playing with her. I do still have assignments for school due on Sunday's that I am usually working to get done, but I have more sit down time. So if I am sitting on the couch working I will have her doggie bed next to me on the floor and sometimes (not all the time) I will put her blanket on the couch and she sits/lays next to me.

Also, even though when I first got her (after doing some reading), I tried to make sure I wasn't creating bad habits by coddling her too much. I did give her a little more attention to help get comfortable being with us, but I don't think it was much more than what I do now. I love her and I don't want to take her back, but if things don't improve I'm not sure what else to do. I guess I had gotten so used not having someone that was so needy to look after, (my son is 12 almost 13) that it feels like I have another baby that I wasn't ready for. I'm just hoping I haven't bitten off more than I can chew because I honestly didn't think it would be like this.
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  #4  
Old 03-01-2017, 03:49 PM
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I agree with Susan: an obedience class would definitely help some of the problems you're experiencing.

Kraken wants to be with us whenever we are home, preferably in our laps so we can't leave. Obviously cooking, cleaning, laundry, life! can't happen with everyone sitting on the couch not moving.

What we ended up doing was teaching him to go to his bed when he starts getting underfoot. When we are eating, he has to go to his bed, when either of us are in the kitchen baking, or something where we'll be there for a while, he goes to his bed. When I'm working out, same thing. Running on the treadmill with a dog underfoot = not fun. Trying to bench press with a dog on your chest is only funny for 2-3 reps

I talk to him while I'm doing laundry, or cooking or whatever. I would probably sound crazy to people walking into the room, but it involves him in what I'm doing. It's not "Oh, mom's ignoring me again for other stuff", it's "Okay, mom might be doing other stuff, but she knows I'm here". Tell her what your plans are for the day, what you're doing right now, what you thought of the chapter you read yesterday for school. You've got a lot going on in your life, maybe she just wants to make sure you know she's part of it?

When I'm carrying things up and down stairs, Kraken is put in a sit stay at the top/bottom until I'm are clear of the stairs.

What kind of exercise does she get? Boredom could be adding to your problems, and obedience work could help. I find Kraken way less needy/whiny for no reason since we started working on sit/down/heel/tricks. Using their brains helps tire them out.
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  #5  
Old 03-02-2017, 02:05 PM
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In addition to the wonderful advice above, I wanted to add something from being in rescue for a long time. The foster family said she might take a while to settle in, and I think that is what you are seeing with this change in behavior. I always tell adopters that what the dog is like in the first 2-4 weeks is not necessarily what it will be like later. In your case, it seems that period may have been more like 2 months. Now that Angel feels secure and bonded, she is coming out as a real velcro dog! This is very common, especially with little dogs. My last dog was like this, sitting outside whatever door I was behind, following if I left the room, etc. Fortunately he didn't whine much, but I know how maddening that is!

Absolutely take her to a class, learn to work with her, teach her to go to her place and to stay. That way, she knows there is an end to the exercise and she will get a little attention when it is over.

You have been chosen as the most important person by your dog. Try to feel blessed! Good luck!
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Old 03-02-2017, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraken View Post
I agree with Susan: an obedience class would definitely help some of the problems you're experiencing.

Kraken wants to be with us whenever we are home, preferably in our laps so we can't leave. Obviously cooking, cleaning, laundry, life! can't happen with everyone sitting on the couch not moving.

What we ended up doing was teaching him to go to his bed when he starts getting underfoot. When we are eating, he has to go to his bed, when either of us are in the kitchen baking, or something where we'll be there for a while, he goes to his bed. When I'm working out, same thing. Running on the treadmill with a dog underfoot = not fun. Trying to bench press with a dog on your chest is only funny for 2-3 reps

I talk to him while I'm doing laundry, or cooking or whatever. I would probably sound crazy to people walking into the room, but it involves him in what I'm doing. It's not "Oh, mom's ignoring me again for other stuff", it's "Okay, mom might be doing other stuff, but she knows I'm here". Tell her what your plans are for the day, what you're doing right now, what you thought of the chapter you read yesterday for school. You've got a lot going on in your life, maybe she just wants to make sure you know she's part of it?

When I'm carrying things up and down stairs, Kraken is put in a sit stay at the top/bottom until I'm are clear of the stairs.

What kind of exercise does she get? Boredom could be adding to your problems, and obedience work could help. I find Kraken way less needy/whiny for no reason since we started working on sit/down/heel/tricks. Using their brains helps tire them out.

Thank you for the advice! Angel gets outside 4 times a day, on really cold days I don't try to keep her outside too long because I don't want her to get too cold, but even on those days she will sit there shivering (for whatever reason) When it is warmer I will take time to walk around the yard and let her run around a bit. When it's raining (she won't go outside in the rain) if I can I will take a break and play with her. She and my son can be found running around the house daily. I bought her toys that we try to get her to play with, but she won't touch any of them. When I go to the park to jog I have taken her on the days my mom goes with me and she will let her walk with her since she walks slower and not really long distances like I do when I jog, but Angel after a while refuses to walk. It's like she has these short burst of energy and after 10min she is done. She will sit outside for as long as she can but she doesn't seem to like being active for too long.

I have been working on sit and stay, giving her treats when she does, but because my schedule can get very very busy depending on how much work I have to get done and I haven't been consistent with doing it. That I will try to work on. I will look into training because I really don't want to return her but I know I can't keep her like she is now.
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Old 03-02-2017, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MelodyoftheForest View Post
In addition to the wonderful advice above, I wanted to add something from being in rescue for a long time. The foster family said she might take a while to settle in, and I think that is what you are seeing with this change in behavior. I always tell adopters that what the dog is like in the first 2-4 weeks is not necessarily what it will be like later. In your case, it seems that period may have been more like 2 months. Now that Angel feels secure and bonded, she is coming out as a real velcro dog! This is very common, especially with little dogs. My last dog was like this, sitting outside whatever door I was behind, following if I left the room, etc. Fortunately he didn't whine much, but I know how maddening that is!

Absolutely take her to a class, learn to work with her, teach her to go to her place and to stay. That way, she knows there is an end to the exercise and she will get a little attention when it is over.

You have been chosen as the most important person by your dog. Try to feel blessed! Good luck!

It is funny that you say that my sisters both said that she is starting to come out of her shell now and has gotten comfortable......I want her to be comfortable being here but not like this. I don't want to look/sound like a person that can't handle a little dog, but I guess like I was saying I was hoping for her to be a little more independent.

I will keep trying and I pray things do level out, because my son adores her and I would hate to disappointment him by having to return her.
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Old 03-02-2017, 04:43 PM
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It is not easy having a velcro dog. One thing I started early with mine is that if I was going to leave him alone for a few minutes to run to the bathroom or something, I would say "be right back." He learned that he could wait calmly because he knew I would be back. I know you have to close her away for longer periods of time, but I thought I'd pass the tip along anyway.

I am glad my current dog, my first Chihuahua, is not clingy. He still likes to know where I am, but he will check on me then go relax or play by himself. If you eventually can't resolve things and return her, just make sure the rescue knows she needs someone who is around and ready to snuggle and play pretty much all the time.
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