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  #1  
Old 01-27-2016, 03:03 PM
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Default chihuahua behavior

My 3 year old Chihuahua has been more agitated and ocd in the past 7 months or so. We think we may know changes that could have affected her but none were negative. Until then she was timid but not so agitated (bold when she needs to be but very cautious and afraid to climb small stairs, furniture, etc). Her newest behavior is to lick and 'inspecting' blankets, sheets, our clothes, her own blankets, everything. She sleeps in between us and will do this for hours until one of us finally puts her near our arm and rests her head on either our arm or [head]. Then she can rest. It never stops.

We left my husband behind for a year and a half while we came from another country. The first days we arrived here, she was depressed, wouldn't sleep in the bed but waited by the door and had no life during the day. The third day we found her sleeping on a jacket our son had taken from my husband to use in his closet. After that she was better; with the jacket. He skyped daily (all day) and would talk to her constantly but she would look and listen the becoming extremely upset. Everything was finally in order with our old home and his job, etc, so he joined us back here July 4 of last year. I can't even say how much she became excited when he got in from the airport. She knew him right away. Since then she has been really alive, happy and seemingly very satisfied with both of us giving her the attention she was used to. But then a short time after he got here, this behavior started.

We are worried only because she doesn't get enough rest. She also works with us sometimes at night (trying for less to see if it makes a difference for her sleep). The nights she is with us, she sleeps better and the bahavior is only a few moments then right down but we are afraid she is losing more sleep time that way.

Haven't found anything that could account for this kind of behavior change and the dots don't seem to be connecting here so am baffled how we can help her. Any thoughts can be appreciated.
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Old 01-27-2016, 03:10 PM
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She sounds extremely attached. And it sounds like this is causing her to have separation anxiety when everyone is not home. Maybe you could have a few different little blankets that you can wash, and then sleep with (your hubby sleep with) and then put them in her doggie bed so she has "him" with her during the time's he isn't home.

I kind of understand what you are talking about. I know Dorothy will be "okay" when I am not home but even if my KIDS are home she is happy but will often sit on the stairs and wait until I get home. The stairs, we noticed, are her go-to place to either lay in the sun or to wait anxiously for someone to come home. And my kids tell me that when I'm not home she is often sitting on the stairs staring at the door.
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Old 01-27-2016, 05:48 PM
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I don't know if my advice would help, but I know what you mean about this behavior. My puppy will some nights become obsessed with the front door to the apartment, waiting for any little sound. He would stay up very late unless we either tell him to go to bed or put him in our laps. The only thing I can think to do for him is to distract, but toys and tasty chews will most of the time not work with him. It's like he will not relax. I have to take him for at least an hour walk each day or else I'm sure he'd be even worse.

Does she get enough exercise? I know some dogs will sniff to sort of calm themselves down. Maybe try when she's up on the bed to tell her to lay down right away and then give her a massage.
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Old 01-28-2016, 01:17 AM
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I wonder if a thunder shirt would help? What about rescue remedy? Together maybe they'd curb this behavior. I would also stop this licking behavior. Could you put a crate IN your bed, so that she would have somewhere to sleep, without bothering you two.? I'd tell her, 'time for bed now' and put her inside. Good luck.
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Old 01-28-2016, 02:23 AM
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That's a good idea, you can try D.A.P. (dog appeasing pheromone) some people also say Bach rescue remedy works too.
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Old 01-28-2016, 08:59 AM
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What would happen if when you go to bed you put her in her favorite position right away and told her it's bedtime? I'm thinking she's trying to get your attention it she calms down once she is in position.
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Old 01-29-2016, 02:06 AM
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Thank you for the responses; been working last couple days extra and no time to be back til now. She certainly is attached to us and separation anxiety was something we thought of but not how to fix. We had a very small car until yesterday and the larger load delivery nights were the ones we couldn't take her in with us these last months. Before my husband got here she was literally known with our insomniac customers more then I was; she was with me every night without fail and got loads of attention and treats many nights. Since then we had cut back to only having her with us a couple nights a week. Well the little car died during work night before last and we traded it in for a much larger one with some luxury. We worked some routes during the day and took her with us with a very nice surprise for Lolli. The new vehicle is huge with an entire back area that stays dark; we can put her pet basket up by the window and her pet bed with blankets and toys below. It's close to my husband's workspace and stays completely dark for her to sleep soundly. Which she did the entire time last night. We take her for a walk at the end of our deliveries each morning when she is with us (around 630 am) and it helps to relax her for sure. We have been taking her to the dog park but more sporadically these past months. Otherwise just a walk around our area. When we got home to sleep she did circle for a few moments but the digging was only for a second then down and out til we got up.

The massage and extra time to relax her are great ideas; we will do a little more of that before bed. We're hoping this solved the problem but it's the first time in these past months that she's gone down with us so easily. She wasn't tired at all. We are getting ready in a couple hours to leave again and she seems ready to go and relaxed.

Thank you very much for your help. Again sorry for the delay in thanks. All the pics of your babies are just really adorable-love this forum.
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Old 01-29-2016, 02:14 AM
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Thanks also for the tips on DAP and thunder shirt. I haven't heard of them before but deflinately will look up.

I think putting her in a crate at night would make it difficult for all of us (smile). Lolli is pretty set in her ways by now but the bed is really big (all the more room for her to have been digging) and she usually will work her way to the end where our pet bed is if we bother her. It's a thought to try though and leave open in case she wants if the behavior hasn't been fixed long term.
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