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I don't know that I'm really looking for advice, but rather just venting. I'm so beyond my limits of frustration I can't even tell you. Sorry in advance about the lengthiness of the post, but there's alot to say. I know this is something I'll have to just sit with for a while before making a decision.

Some of you may have read a few of my posts over the past couple weeks and know that I adopted a little 10 month old chi girl from a private owner. Let me reiterate she's only 10 months old so I know some of the behavior is just normal hyper puppy, but the rest of it is "spawn of Satan." We got her primarily as a companion for our other chi male who's 2.5 yrs old and "Mr. Laid Back as They Come"....well even that is starting to change. When I adopted her from the previous owner it was verbally agreed that if things didn't work she'd take her back, we it seems she changed her mind, she's hemming and hawing and has basically said they don't want her.

Let's start here....
To date, Zsa zsa has eaten/destroyed the following:

  • • 3 throw pillows
  • • An IRIS Plastic Exercise (someone here suggested one of these when I first talked about her destroying thing in the house. I put the pen in the kitchen with her in it. THe best I can think is that she attempted to push it through the kitchen door back out into the great room and when it didn't fit...she started chewing. In doing so she also lacerated the side of her face, shoulder and body on the jagged edge as she attempted to go through the hole (1st trip to the ER Vet)
  • • The basket in my living room containing a dwarf planted palm tree
  • • One basket containing dog toys
  • • Every soft dog toy in the house (I stopped counting after 6 or 7, and took the rest away). My little boy has a stuffy that a friend of mine made for him when I brought him home from the pound. It doesn’t have stuffing but has strips of fabric from mine and my boyfriend’s clothing that we were going to take to the thrift store. He loves this thing more than life itself and has it with him or somewhere close by whenever you see him. I’ve had to take that away from him to keep the “Bad Seed” from destroying it. So now I’ve punished him for her behavior. Some may think I’m being over dramatic, but seriously since I’ve taken the stuffy away from Eggz it shows in his level of happiness.
  • • The cushions on 4 dog beds
  • • The bottom of the doors of the bathroom cabinets
  • • The bathroom wall (2nd trip to the ER Vet, follow up the next morning w/primary for blood tests)
  • • The leather ottoman to my couch (the base of it on all corners)
  • • A couple accent rugs
  • • Door jams
  • • A few other things that I’m sure I’ve forgotten to mention.
You guys….this dog weighs 5lbs and has the teeth and jaws of a wolverine. It’s not like she’s just left unsupervised, this stuff happens when we’re home and just in another room sometimes. The idea of having to carry her and keep her in my lap at all times is just ridiculous, but seriously it’s to the point where you can’t take your eyes off of her for 5 minutes. She’s hyper as all hell with no OFF button. My boy chi used to play with her, but now he want’s nothing to do with her. She tries to bait him into play and I can tell he wants to, but I think even he realizes that once she gets going there’s no turning her off, so he just avoids her like the plague. He roams form room to room now trying to get away from her, she has no concept of personal space with people or other dogs…she relentless. We still go for our regular walks but the dog park is off limits for her. There are two sides; one for big dogs and one for little dogs. She tries to bully the little dogs, and the big dogs avoid her (I was thinking back to some of the dog whisperer shows ive seen and as Ceasar has mentioned several time I wonder if the other dogs can tell she’s unstable and that’s why they don’t want to play?) We’ve been going to this particular dog park religiously since I brought Eggz home more than a year ago and since the introduction of Zsa Zsa (which mind you has only been 1 week, as she was healing from surgery before and couldn’t go), we’ve turned into social pariah, people actually leave when they see her coming. We’re pretty candid with one another at the park and make no bones about telling people when their dogs are out of control…..they’ve told me (not that I didn’t realize it on my own). People have also commented on Eggz and his changed personality. At home he’s become a total butt magnet and follows my boyfriend or I from room to room, we cant even use the bathroom anymore without him scratching on the door to come in. If were sitting n the couch he lays in between us, where Zsa Zsa can’t get to him. We can’t play in the house with him anymore while she’s not kenneled otherwise she’ll just keep pouncing on him, and for whatever reason he won’t protect himself; he won’t nip her or anything he just endures the pounching and walks to somewhere he can get to higher ground to get away from her. No amount on of “NO”, physical correction or isolation seems to get through to her. When we kennel her she stays there quiet, no barking no whining to get out ….nothing ( I think she’s plotting), and as soon as you open the door the button turns on again . so we do this in and out of the kennel all evening long, it’s exhausting.

On Wednesday night we play flyball. Zsa Zsa was a wild woman (this is only her second time going, but the first where she was allowed out of her travel kennel to mingle), She ended being put back in the kennel for almost the entire time. When we got home and walked in the door the button turned on again. We put her outside on the patio while we had dinner cause as soon as our attention is on something else she pounces on Eggz or finds something else to chew up. She goes right outside when asked, no fuss no noise and will stay there quietly until we let her back in. After dinner before we let her back inside Jeff thought it would be a good idea to let Eggz have some play time with Whoopy (whoopy being the stuffed toy I talked about earlier)…OMG was he excited, his big bat ears perked up and butt started wiggling 100mph, we played fetch and hide whoopy ( ha can find that thing on the moon), but at the end of it Jeff took whoopy and put it back in the linen closet, Eggz saw him and has now been laying in front of the linen closet since Wednesday looking clinically depressed. It’s soooo sad to see him. Prior to Wednesday I don’t think Jeff really saw the magnitude of change in Eggz personality, and just kept saying we’ve got to give her time to adjust (talking about Zsa Zsa). Jeff who’d take in a homeless rabid rattlesnake if I’d let him, is now feeling what I was already thinking…..She’s got to go.

She’s had tests at the vet to rule out any medical issues in regards to the chewing, turns out dogs can have pica just like people. Zsa Zsa however does not have any medical conditions that would warrant the chewing/ingestion of non-edibles (Im not really sure she’s ingesting anything, though. When she ate the wall in the bathroom they gave her activated charcoal to vomit, and there was nothing in it. I took her to the vet after the wall incident because our condo is a older building and although we’ve have lots of remodeling stuff done, I wasn’t sure about the lead issue so it was best to just take her in to be sure). The vet we go to has been my vet since I moved here to Ventura 6 yrs ago, he sees our bird, our ferret and now our dogs…I trust his opinion. He said to me that just like people some dogs are just unstable they can have chemical imbalances that effect the way things fire in their brain, and even though I know of course he’s telling the truth, part of me started to get upset like he was calling my dog “crazy” without saying it outright, and the other part of me wanted to cry as though he was confirming what I secretly suspected.

Maybe TMI, but I feel like I want to vomit….my stomach has been in knots since the Whoopy incident Wednesday night, I don’t know what to do. And Im definitely not taking her to some shelter or the like or even a rescue a group (I don’t have enough knowledge of the local ones and don’t have the months to research them for legitimacy. Some of the rescue groups I’ve encountered aren’t always what they try to present themselves as being, so they freak me out just as much as the dog pound does). I’ve never had a situation like this with an animal in my life, I’m out of my element and just trying to determine the best course of action that will be in the best interest of everyone; human and k9 (and one that won’t leave us feeling like schmucks for the rest of our lives).
 

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May I ask the reason the previous owner gave you for her decision to rehome Zsa Zsa when you adopted her..especially since you said she originally offered to take her back if it did not work out for your family? Also, did she provide you the name and location of the vet she was using for Zsa Zsa while in her home, and have you contacted that vet regarding the pup's history? And lastly, did her previous owner have other dogs and/or small children?
I will keep your family and pups in my prayers for a successful resolution for all of you.
Deb
 

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Sounds like ZsaZsa is a fireball with boundless energy. You do flyball! Can you channel this wild woman into a ball playing fiend? You could end up with the best fly ball dog out there. Sometimes the wild ones, the ones without an off switch .... are the hardest to live with. But they can make the best dogs when they have a job to do and a place to channel that energy.

There's that saying that a tired puppy is a good puppy. I'd wear her out. I'd take her on long walks, I'd make her chase a ball, I'd let her run her fool head off at the dog park. Grab a clicker and teach her some tricks!

Perhaps this is just a stage that she will grow out of. But it sounds like she needs something to DO.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
When I got Zsa Zsa the owner was originally trying to sell her, she's the puppy of this lady's father's 2 chi's which I saw them both and I saw Zsa Zsa's litter mate who the father kept it's a tan and white little boy. She said they brought Zsa Zsa home when she was 6 weeks old, she was 10 months old when I adopted her, had never had any vaccinations, not spayed or been to a vet ever. I've done all of that since having her since the 18th. It ended up that she gave me Zsa Zsa for free, but said if it didnt work out they would take her back no problem because they didnt want her going to the shelter.

THe dog actually belonged to the daughter whos like 10 or 11 tears old. SHe was there when I picked Zsa Zsa up and was really sad about having to get rid of her dog, so I promised her I'd send her pictures and even bring Zsa Zsa to visit sometime if she wanted. I actually used to live in the area where they live and while there getting Zsa ZSa i told them that I visit there often because i still have lots of friends, so bringing the dog to visit sometimes wouldnt be a problem, they were really relieved to hear that and thats when she told me shed just give her to me cause she knew she was going to a good home. Well since I've brought her home pretty much all communication has stopped. They're horrible at returning phone calls, text messages, etc. I scheduled an appt for to have Zsa Zsa spayed 1 day after I brought her home, I needed to get some information from previous owner that the vet asked...she didnt call me back until 2 days later. THis time when I started calling her about the possibility of taking Zsa Zsa back she didnt answer emails, phone calls or text messages. I called and left a message saying I was going to be visiting friends in Lancaster this weekend and would just stop by her house, I think thats the only reason she called me back.

They have a really huge wolf mix looking dog it's gigantic but super super friendly it just melts in your lap. They told me the primary reason for rehoming Zsa Zsa was because the other dog doesnt get along with her and they cant have them both in the house or out in the yard at the same time without conflict. An incident happened the few days prior to me getting Zsa Zsa where they'd left her in the back yard for a while to let the other dog in, it was getting dark and one of the lady's son's saw coyotes on the top of the ridge coming down towards the yard...it's far away but still it wouldn't have taken more than a few minutes for them to get there to eat her. SO they decided it was best to give her up since they had already had the other dog for a really long time.

These people have a huge huge *** house, seriously its probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 6000sf. they live in a very exclusive area of the valley where the mini mansions are on several acres. The day I was there I met about 10 or more people who all live in the home 4 were adults the rest were children the youngest being about 6 or 7ish (the little boy who was the coyotes). Im not sure how many other people; adults or children live in the home.

Zsa Zsa has a serious licking problem also she licks everything, they told me about this right off even before I went to see her, but they didn't mention any other behavioral issues. Im now wondering if these things were there already and they just didnt say, and possibly the cause of them rehoming her. I don;t know how Zsa Zsa interacted with the giant wolf dog because they kept them separated while i was there, but Zsa Zsa and the brother were running around playing like any puppies would, nothing out of the ordinary and nothing i'd consider odd behavior.
 

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Was this a Craigslist find? Just wondering... It sort of has that feel. One of my pugs was from Craigslist, and we got the whole story about why they were giving her up, and that they would take her back if it didn't work out and ended up giving her to us for free. Of course, we got her home and discovered several issues that we believe were the real cause of the rehoming, including incontinence issues. She has turned into a wonderful (tho hyper) member of the family. When I tried to contact her previous owner to get info, vet records, etc... Never returned a call or email.

It sounds to me like ZsaZsa spent a lot of time being ignored (cage or outside) since she seems to behave ok in those situations. When left alone and unsupervised, she doesn't know appropriate ways to occupy herself, hence the destructive chewing. She was never taught appropriate boundaries or behavior and is completely overwhelmed with excitement with ANY interactions with others, human or furry. My guess from the sound of the story is that this BYB took her away from her mother and litter too soon, too.

I think I would talk to my vet about some behavioral therapy. I know my vet has one on staff, and many of the larger practices do. I wouldn't give up on her yet, as you may be her only and best chance at a normal life. Start over like you would a puppy. If she is out of the cage, I would harness her and clip her to your belt with a lead, so she is only feet away from you at all time and is constantly supervised. Crate her when unsupervised.

Please keep us updated!

That's my two cents!
 

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I'm sorry you are going through such a rough time. I actually went through something similar with my youngest border collie. She couldn't even focus enough to learn new stuff to try to get her more stimulation. She was an agility dog but I couldn't do agility with her anymore as she was such a nutcase.

I actually ended up putting her on Prozac for 10 months. It allowed her to be able to focus so that she could learn new and better behavior. It essentially helped me to reset her brain. As her craziness came more and more under control I weaned her off the Prozac. Today she has been off it for several months and while she is still very very active and needs her jobs to do, she is capable of self-control now and she thinks about her actions and what I want from her before acting. It took a lot of training but she is a much easier dog to enjoy now.

The difference in Sol and Zsa Zsa is that Sol started life nice and normal but had a meltdown due to massive changes in our lives. Zsa Zsa is starting off a little nuts.

I would crate train her like no tomorrow. She would live a life of black and white. She is praised for appropriate behaviors and trained for new skills. Walks, fetching, dog parks, etc would help get some of that energy out. Absolutely no tolerance on the naughty issues. If she is out of her crate she gets no opportunity to chew up stuff, put a leash on her and tie the leash to your ankle or beltloop so that she has to stay with you no matter where you go. If you are sitting on the couch and don't want to watch her then put her in the crate. Make sure she has plenty of chew toys like bully sticks, nylabones, etc. I know it's frustrating not to have stuffed toys but I gave up on that long ago, no stuffed toys here, only durable toys.

Don't be upset that your vet suggested that she might be unbalanced mentally. Just as all people aren't the same neither are all dogs. She's not Eggz and never will be. If your vet thinks that medication might help then give it serious thought. Some dogs can be chemically unbalanced like people. If you are interested in it then I'd recommend contacting a licensed veterinary behaviorist for help.

This is a rough time for you. I remember vividly. I was about a day away from contacting Sol's breeder to return her. I'm glad we worked through our issues, even though it was a long hard road. I'm sending you good thoughts...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Sounds like ZsaZsa is a fireball with boundless energy. You do flyball! Can you channel this wild woman into a ball playing fiend? You could end up with the best fly ball dog out there. Sometimes the wild ones, the ones without an off switch .... are the hardest to live with. But they can make the best dogs when they have a job to do and a place to channel that energy.

There's that saying that a tired puppy is a good puppy. I'd wear her out. I'd take her on long walks, I'd make her chase a ball, I'd let her run her fool head off at the dog park. Grab a clicker and teach her some tricks!

Perhaps this is just a stage that she will grow out of. But it sounds like she needs something to DO.
LOL....I agree with you 100%, she needs something to do thats no destructive. When we play in the house ...things get ugly. You can play for hours and when you're ready to stop she doens't understand it and will just find something else (most often something undesirable) to switch her mind to. Outside it's not so bad, running wild is fine, but at some point we have to come indoors. As long as you're interacting with her she's ok, but I can't do that 24 hours a day. I have another dog who deserves attention too and to deny him just to keep her appeased it's not fair. My desire to own pets has always been for companionship (and...I like running agility courses and look silly doing it without a dog lol). I really enjoy doing things with my dogs, but it's difficult when one is just out in left field and has to be carried to be kept contained. WHen we took her to flyball, of course she would have no concept of what it is she suppose to be doing, but dogs can usually take direction and ques when in a group of other dogs....Zsa Zsa...no concept. She stirred the group up so badly that we had to put her back in her kennel. There's a lady there that has 2 border collies who I swear I have never seen more well behaved, mannerable and intelligent dogs in my life.....30 mins with Zsa Zsa and they were basket cases. There are 26 dogs in our flyball group ranging from a teenie little papillon mix to a giant golden doodle, they all play and work really well together. You could literally stand there the other night and watch the group of dogs migrating from one area to another getting away from Zsa Zsa. There was a couple there for the first time coming to check out the group, they have a spitz and some other hairy boston terrier looking thing with a beard...they were mortified, I don't think they'll be returning. In all honesty it really difficult to capture the true Zsa Zsa in text, she's a marvel you;d really have to witness for yourself. It's like nothing I;ve ever seen. Hours upon hours upon hours of just go go go, if you manage to get her quiet for a few minutes youd better hope and pray you dont have to get up to go to the bathroom or some sound in the distance doesnt catch her ear because once you move, or she hears something she's up and recharged its starts the cycle all over again.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Was this a Craigslist find? Just wondering... It sort of has that feel. One of my pugs was from Craigslist, and we got the whole story about why they were giving her up, and that they would take her back if it didn't work out and ended up giving her to us for free. Of course, we got her home and discovered several issues that we believe were the real cause of the rehoming, including incontinence issues. She has turned into a wonderful (tho hyper) member of the family. When I tried to contact her previous owner to get info, vet records, etc... Never returned a call or email.

It sounds to me like ZsaZsa spent a lot of time being ignored (cage or outside) since she seems to behave ok in those situations. When left alone and unsupervised, she doesn't know appropriate ways to occupy herself, hence the destructive chewing. She was never taught appropriate boundaries or behavior and is completely overwhelmed with excitement with ANY interactions with others, human or furry. My guess from the sound of the story is that this BYB took her away from her mother and litter too soon, too.

I think I would talk to my vet about some behavioral therapy. I know my vet has one on staff, and many of the larger practices do. I wouldn't give up on her yet, as you may be her only and best chance at a normal life. Start over like you would a puppy. If she is out of the cage, I would harness her and clip her to your belt with a lead, so she is only feet away from you at all time and is constantly supervised. Crate her when unsupervised.

Please keep us updated!

That's my two cents!
Where Zsa Zsa came from she was never alone, someone was always with her, dressing her up mostly and carrying her around from what i understand. I sort of thought it was the opposite, anxiety from not having the constant interaction, but now what you're saying makes sense too.....I don't know.
It wasnt CL it was the online recycler (same thing i guess)

I like the idea of the harness and clipping her to me. I admit my faults...I don't kennel her at night but let her sleep on the bed on in the dog bed in our room. When she's in the bed there's no worries cause she won't get out of the bed on her own...she seems to be really leery of heights. but when she's in the dog bed i put on her harness at night and actually attach a lead line that belongs to to my birds flight harness so she won't get into trouble if she decides she wants to venture out of the room.

Although shes driving us bonkers, the thought of giving her up is terrifying actually. Ive got a really high threshold and Jeff's is even higher than mine, I figure if we're going nuts then the average person would throw her in the garbage can after a day or two at best, and where she'd end up is anybody's guess, but Im sure it wouldnt be a good place. And personally I couldnt live with that.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The difference in Sol and Zsa Zsa is that Sol started life nice and normal but had a meltdown due to massive changes in our lives. Zsa Zsa is starting off a little nuts.
LOL...i read this just as i looked over to see Zsa Zsa tongue bathing my entertainment center. And I think you hit the nail on the head.

We actually started reading up on the medication thing after the vet suggested it, but the information on the web in a little overwhelming and alot to take it, but we're at least commited to finding out all we can before we make a decision.
 

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I wonder too if Zsa Zsa has some sort of vitamin deficiencey from her puppy-hood...like maybe she wasn't fefd the ideal diet or something. Maybe she is after some mineral or something --she is going after all these non food objects to get ??

The other thing is a friend of mine from work, lovely person full of patience had two English bull dog bitches. One of them was completely "un balanced" from the word go. The other was the most mild mannered well behaved dog you'd dream of having. Sounded a lot like your situation. She ended up having the dog take prozac.

I'd have to say Brody's mom has the right idea about directing herr energy on activites that you direct--wear her out with activites. That is what I do with my daughter....:D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I wonder too if Zsa Zsa has some sort of vitamin deficiencey from her puppy-hood...like maybe she wasn't fefd the ideal diet or something. Maybe she is after some mineral or something --she is going after all these non food objects to get ??

The other thing is a friend of mine from work, lovely person full of patience had two English bull dog bitches. One of them was completely "un balanced" from the word go. The other was the most mild mannered well behaved dog you'd dream of having. Sounded a lot like your situation. She ended up having the dog take prozac.

I'd have to say Brody's mom has the right idea about directing herr energy on activites that you direct--wear her out with activites. That is what I do with my daughter....:D
It's not out of the question seeing that her diet when I got her was cat food, kitten food rather. They said they had rin out of her puppy food the week or so before and just hadnt gotten out to get her more food so she was sharing with the kitten. They said the food they had for the bog dog was to hard for her to crunch. The medication is starting to sound like a good idea maybe, at least long enough for us to retrain her brain then ween her off. Im thinking it's got to be exhausting for her too, not ever a having a moment of quiet time in her own head or for her body for that matter. Like with people it may be scary for her being this way, so something has to be done fast. Jeff and I are gonna have a sit down when he gets home in a bit and figure something out. I'll keep you posted.
 

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Have you considered a puppy daycare? My vet offers one for a very reasonable price (like $25 a week). The dogs go all day and run around and get basic training, they keep the small dogs and large dogs seprate. It might help wear her out some and get some good interaction with other dogs at least. Just a suggestion. Diet is also really important. My chi is very timid (and by that I mean neurotic) and has calmed considerably since her recent diet change. Good luck with everything :)
 

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Have you considered a puppy daycare? My vet offers one for a very reasonable price (like $25 a week). The dogs go all day and run around and get basic training, they keep the small dogs and large dogs seprate. It might help wear her out some and get some good interaction with other dogs at least. Just a suggestion. Diet is also really important. My chi is very timid (and by that I mean neurotic) and has calmed considerably since her recent diet change. Good luck with everything :)
HI Cambrea...
Well in terms of the doggy day care, My other dog goes 2 days each week to doggy day care, it's where we started flyball and even though we're in the club now I still send him just to get him out of the house for a while. I said all of that to say, that we have plans to send Zsa Zsa as well, but when I got her she had no vaccinations. She only had her first series of puppy shots on the 20th when i took her for spay surgery, so she's got 2 more series of shots and a rabies needed. SHe can't go to day care without the rabies and it will be several weeks before all of her shots are completed.
 
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