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Pet Advice Thread.

rav3n

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I thought it might be interesting to post a follow-up of all of this.

Poppy (the older cat) no longer does the manic cleaning of Colibri (younger) or of herself. Poppy still likes to groom, and is still more motherly, but I think a combo of time as well as Colibri growing older and bigger has given Poppy the proper cues for when to stop. And there's a bit more back and forth now that Colibri is growing older and - Colibri grooms Poppy a bit more (though not a whole lot). Anyway, in short - it seems pretty balanced now in contrast to those early months.
Thanks for the update. Glad to hear that it wasn't a health issue since cats can be so stoic when they're sick, that when one evidences physical symptoms, it can be something serious.
 

cascadeco

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Thanks for the update. Glad to hear that it wasn't a health issue since cats can be so stoic when they're sick, that when one evidences physical symptoms, it can be something serious.

Yes, I learned that the hard way with my first cat; she did live a very long life but it may have been longer had I taken her in sooner. Now I know.

Anyway - speaking of the topic, just moments ago Poppy went up next to Colibri; shared space without overzealous grooming.
Vq6v0zp.jpg
 

ceecee

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Nah but that sounds like fun

@The Mysterious Stranger that makes sense. For attention I've spent the most time with him as I've been home the most. That's changing cause college just started again, but he's been chewing before that.

Yeah I agree with much of the advice that you've gotten. We have a 2 year old Foxhound (American) with some Lab. He needs LOTS of activity - running/walking/chasing/playing outside. A lot as in laying in his bed, totally exhausted at the end of the day. He is very prone to being down and depressed, especially if my husband is traveling for work, which can lead to acting out. For this reason, he is crated anytime we are gone and at night.

The nipping is something he did from early on and we stopped and left the room when he did it. But he's a hound and will put everything in his mouth, including human body parts, for good and bad reasons. It did work eventually (with treats for good behavior) but it took time.
 

Schrödinger's Name

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'Specialists' don't recommend throwing with balls and such kind of things to exhaust your dog. It triggers their hunting instinct, adrenaline gets released and *boom* you dog is good to go... on for hours. If you really want to make sure that your dog is 'exhausted'/fulfilled I would recommend doing some 'brain work'. Just let them sniff a lot. Hide things, let them search it. Make them work for their food.
A sniffing mat is an easy example but there are more 'complex' games you can play that aren't physically exhausting but mentally. (If you search on youtube; brain games for dogs. There are many examples)

And of course, bones to chew on. (Antlers par example, -pig- ears, skin,... will keep them busy for a while. A Kong is also an option, the other 'natural' things tend to be kind of... smelly from time to time. But you dog will enjoy them.)


Most dogs can run for hours, sleep for an hour and then continue. It's what they are made for and like this you also built up a lot of condition/stamina. So in the end they will always need more in order to be/feel fulfilled.

I realized it's an 'older' post you replied to. But nipping may also be a sign of being overworked/stressed.(Not saying this is the case) If your dog is too active and doesn't know when to stop (like a lot of border collies do par example) it's also important to 'force' them to take some rest. You might give them something to chew on, put them in their basket/wherever they prefer to rest and make sure that they stay there/don't come to you to play.
 

ceecee

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'Specialists' don't recommend throwing with balls and such kind of things to exhaust your dog. It triggers their hunting instinct, adrenaline gets released and *boom* you dog is good to go... on for hours. If you really want to make sure that your dog is 'exhausted'/fulfilled I would recommend doing some 'brain work'. Just let them sniff a lot. Hide things, let them search it. Make them work for their food.
A sniffing mat is an easy example but there are more 'complex' games you can play that aren't physically exhausting but mentally. (If you search on youtube; brain games for dogs. There are many examples)

And of course, bones to chew on. (Antlers par example, -pig- ears, skin,... will keep them busy for a while. A Kong is also an option, the other 'natural' things tend to be kind of... smelly from time to time. But you dog will enjoy them.)


Most dogs can run for hours, sleep for an hour and then continue. It's what they are made for and like this you also built up a lot of condition/stamina. So in the end they will always need more in order to be/feel fulfilled.

I realized it's an 'older' post you replied to. But nipping may also be a sign of being overworked/stressed.(Not saying this is the case) If your dog is too active and doesn't know when to stop (like a lot of border collies do par example) it's also important to 'force' them to take some rest. You might give them something to chew on, put them in their basket/wherever they prefer to rest and make sure that they stay there/don't come to you to play.

I like a really simple game for this. I make some little PB/pumpkin balls and just put one in my hand and ask where the treat is? He's learned to just nudge the correct hand with his nose, no pawing. Then he gets it and lots of praise. If he chooses wrong, he doesn't get the treat but no scolding or anything. He really loves this game but we hide stuff around the house and outside too. I put a PB ball under the snow this morning, took him a couple minutes but he found it.

I did hide a little rawhide thing under a rug once but our cat watched us doing this and took the treat lol. She's evil. He use to have a cow hoof that was the most revolting thing ever but he finally crunched it down to bits and I threw it out. And replaced it with a shin bone.

I don't like to give him anything not dog approved, like people food unless it's a specific dog recipe. He's kind of picky and can go all day without eating if he's feeling emotionally down or depleted.
 

Saturnal Snowqueen

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Oops, I'm back. He's still biting me, and I feel like it's only gotten worse. I'm still the only one he does it to, but I'm somewhat deducing why. My anxiety makes me pace a lot, so I think part of it is that he wants to chase me. That's kinda hard to control though, but yeah. Though, he does chew if I'm just sitting. Also, I've heard a lot of it is a deep voice, which I lack so that's pretty hard. But yeah, I'm just irritated, he ripped another sleeve today. It just feels weird, because yeah he doesn't bite anyone else and he's stopped biting furniture and stuff, he just eats me. The mat seems like a cool idea, but yeah, I live with my family so I'm not sure if they'd get that. We did get him this gorilla that has a hole at the bottom to put treats in, but he wasn't too interested in that. It snowed last night but once that melts hopefully playing outside with him might stimulate him some more. I wonder if he knows he's being naughty because he doesn't bite me on the weekends which is when my family is home but he bites me every other day.
 

Luminous

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[MENTION=38618]Bismuth Blitz[/MENTION] so he only bites you when it's just the two of you at home? And largely when you're pacing or exhibiting anxiety? I have to wonder if he's picking up on your anxiety.

Say you're both relaxing on the couch. He starts chewing on your sleeve. What do you do?
 

Saturnal Snowqueen

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[MENTION=38618]Bismuth Blitz[/MENTION] so he only bites you when it's just the two of you at home? And largely when you're pacing or exhibiting anxiety? I have to wonder if he's picking up on your anxiety.

Say you're both relaxing on the couch. He starts chewing on your sleeve. What do you do?

Ooooh, that's a very plausible idea. I think I'll have to track that(like if I'm anxious when he does it), but then again I'm anxious most of the time anyway. As I've been writing this actually I was feeling a little anxious and then came up behind me and starting biting my pants.. And yeah, mostly when family's not around. He can bite if other people are around but not as intense. Also something I should also mentioned is that she's been growling lately. Like sometimes he growls out of nowhere at me, and if he's sitting on me in an uncomfortable position and I nudge him a little so he isn't pressing on me he starts growling. But yeah, if he's starts biting away I shout "no" or "ow" and bat him away, or I'll try to play with him or he likes to chew on bottles so we give them those. I've put him in his kennel a few times and sometimes I just get up and hide in the bathroom xD. I think I should try putting him outside more.
 

Saturnal Snowqueen

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Oop, nope, he started chomping my hand earlier and I was calm. [MENTION=39622]ThisName[/MENTION] I can probably get a video tomorrow.
 

John Catstentine

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Oop, nope, he started chomping my hand earlier and I was calm. [MENTION=39622]ThisName[/MENTION] I can probably get a video tomorrow.

Have you ever considered, that, and I'm sorry, but have you ever considered that you just might be a squeaky and no one has told you up till now?
 

cascadeco

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Ooooh, that's a very plausible idea. I think I'll have to track that(like if I'm anxious when he does it), but then again I'm anxious most of the time anyway. As I've been writing this actually I was feeling a little anxious and then came up behind me and starting biting my pants.. And yeah, mostly when family's not around. He can bite if other people are around but not as intense. Also something I should also mentioned is that she's been growling lately. Like sometimes he growls out of nowhere at me, and if he's sitting on me in an uncomfortable position and I nudge him a little so he isn't pressing on me he starts growling. But yeah, if he's starts biting away I shout "no" or "ow" and bat him away, or I'll try to play with him or he likes to chew on bottles so we give them those. I've put him in his kennel a few times and sometimes I just get up and hide in the bathroom xD. I think I should try putting him outside more.

I am not a dog person so dog people will have to chime on on whether my thought doesn't make sense, but.... I am wondering if, since sometimes your response is to play, you're reinforcing his biting. Iow there's a positive outcome sometimes to him biting or nipping or bothering you. vs being super consistent, and 100% of the time, whenever he bites, he gets X response, whether it is a stern NO and depositing him elsewhere, or straight to the kennel. Etc. Consistency is key when it comes to animal behavior.
 
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Oops, I'm back. He's still biting me, and I feel like it's only gotten worse. I'm still the only one he does it to, but I'm somewhat deducing why. My anxiety makes me pace a lot, so I think part of it is that he wants to chase me. That's kinda hard to control though, but yeah. Though, he does chew if I'm just sitting. Also, I've heard a lot of it is a deep voice, which I lack so that's pretty hard. But yeah, I'm just irritated, he ripped another sleeve today. It just feels weird, because yeah he doesn't bite anyone else and he's stopped biting furniture and stuff, he just eats me. The mat seems like a cool idea, but yeah, I live with my family so I'm not sure if they'd get that. We did get him this gorilla that has a hole at the bottom to put treats in, but he wasn't too interested in that. It snowed last night but once that melts hopefully playing outside with him might stimulate him some more. I wonder if he knows he's being naughty because he doesn't bite me on the weekends which is when my family is home but he bites me every other day.

There are some good YouTube videos about making dogs stop biting people. I saw one where the guy suggested pretending that the dog hurt you by biting you. You make that yelping noise that dogs make when they get hurt. That let's the dog know to stop. I did it with my dog and it stopped biting within a week.
 

Saturnal Snowqueen

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[MENTION=39622]ThisName[/MENTION] Here, kinda short but hard to film when you're being chewed. Edited my voice out xD. I'm trying to remember consistency is key lately.


 

Luminous

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[MENTION=39622]ThisName[/MENTION] Here, kinda short but hard to film when you're being chewed. Edited my voice out xD. I'm trying to remember consistency is key lately.

I'm not a dog trainer, but were I you, I would make a point of always saying No! in a firm nonyelling voice so that he knows this is serious, possibly snapping my fingers at the same time at him. If you must physically stop him, I'd do it as firmly, but gently, and in the way that causes the least amount of interaction. Then I'd tell him to go lay down on his bedding or in his crate (whatever command you usually use for him to go to his space.) Assuming he goes and does that, after a few minutes of him being calm and minding, I would praise him verbally, and pet/play. I'd offer to play tug of war with a toy.
 

Schrödinger's Name

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[MENTION=39622]ThisName[/MENTION] Here, kinda short but hard to film when you're being chewed. Edited my voice out xD. I'm trying to remember consistency is key lately.


It looks like he is indeed just being 'playful'. And I agree with what cascadeco said. It's possible that you reinforced the behavior by sometimes playing with him (and giving him treats if I remember it correctly). It's possible that because of that, he knows that he sometimes gets 'succes' when he behaves like that. And because it is only sometimes, that actually makes it a bit more difficult to let the behavior 'diffuse'. Because he most likely knows; "when I do this sometimes nothing happens but the fifth time I do it... something nice could happen. If it's not the fifth time, maybe the sixth time?"

So yes, consistency is definitely the key because every 'positive' reward (even though it may not be meant as positive) could reinforce the behavior and 'trigger' it again. It's not the end of the world, but I think it's important to stay realistic that the behavior may not stop immediately. Though there is also no need to think that it's unsolvable.
First thing you could try is prevent him from chewing on you. If you even see him look at your shoes/hands/whatever he wants to bite in, 'correct' him. You can simply do this by making him sit. Or if knows what 'no' means, you can simply try to say that. If he doesn't listen to that and he comes towards you to chew on you could try to 'hold' him by his collar so he's not able to reach for your hands/his target. (Don't hold him for too long of course, only to make him follow the 'sit' command par example and let go when he listens. If he tries to do it again, just repeat it,...)

I don't know if your dog is a quick learner? But the command 'touch' has helped me out a lot with many dogs. When you say 'touch' they simply have to touch your hand with their nose. It's a pretty easy trick to learn too (so even if your dog isn't a quick learner, no need to worry...).

Though now I am thinking... If he associates your hand with chewing; if it'll be 'easy' to teach him how to simply touch without biting. On the other hand (haha, sorry) it could be a good way to 'bend' the behavior. No more biting hands, only touching.

Now, I am not a specialist of course... I probably forgot some things and this is not the only way to solve the problem. And again, as before; make sure he gets enough exercise and enough rest.
 
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