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He is my second dog that I got from a reputable breeder at eight weeks old. He is thirteen months old and of a low active breed. The breed does not have a reputation for behavioral issues. He‘s smart, easy to train and strangers will comment on how well behaved he is. People who spent time alone with him all agree that he is the demon puppy from hell. The puppy blues lasted until he was nine months old and I even thought about having to re-home him in the future if he‘s still like this at 1.5-2 years old. I can’t see that happening now though, I love him way too much. He is a lovely dog. But I need help with him.
To describe our problems: the whining, it never fucking stopped. He whined for hours straight when he was little and didn’t get his way or when he got too wound up. Every time I took him somewhere he would whine until we were back home again. It didn’t matter if it was a short walk around the block or taking him to visit my mom for a couple of hours. He whined the entire time. It has gotten a bit better with age but he will still whine at absolutely anything. When he‘s happy, when he’s upset (which is often), when he feels he’s been treated unfairly (also often) when he walks by a stranger, when he hears people talking, if I we stop for five seconds on his walk. He used to whine before walking over to his water bowl to drink. That’s to the extent he was whining. Ignoring his whining has made it better but I can’t help thinking that this is a personality trait that will never go away. Oh, and he also howls when whining isn’t getting him what he wants. Housebreaking was a nightmare, leaving him alone was impossible. I couldn’t even leave the room without him throwing a fit. I kept training him of course and now he can handle being in another room from me for about half an hour before the whining starts. Longer if he’s tired.
Our second biggest problem is how he treats my older dog. The resource guarding, whether is food, toys, the bed ect. I can’t pet my older dog without my younger throwing himself over him or me. My older dog growls and barks at him when the little one is being a dick but my younger dog ignores the corrections and keeps harassing him. I have to step in every time. It doesn’t matter how clearly the older dog signals “leave me alone”, even as a very young puppy he didn’t back down more than maybe two or three times. To be fair, it’s not aggression (unless there’s food/treats involved), he wants to play/get attention from the older dog. I do think it’s weird though that even as a tiny puppy he wouldn’t back off when my older dog was growling, baring his teeth and snapping in the air.
At the puppy course my dog would ”bite” (nip) the other puppies faces when they were allowed to play for a few minutes before going home. That was his greeting. I thought it was very a odd behavior for a puppy to skip the part where they sniff each other and just go straight for the other dogs face. It didn’t look playful but it wasn’t aggressive either. Very rude though. When the puppies played together mine would always come out on top, the other puppy showed his belly over and over, mine not once. I asked the instructor if he was playing too rough and she said that he looked fine and the other puppy was probably too sensitive.
He has now started to lunge at other male dogs when we pass them on on a walk. He barks and growls and hangs himself in the leash. We’re working on it and he’s making great progress. Now it’s usually just a problem if the dogs are walking in a straight line towards each other. As long as he has enough space I can distract him enough so he won’t bark or lunge. He’s still hyper focused on any dog (both male and female) he‘ll see but his behavior can at least be controlled.
I consider his leash reactivity an issue that can be solved by training. It started when he reached sexual maturity and it’s quite common. The whining though? That shit seems innate. If I had to guess I would say that he has an inherent low tolerance to stress. He showed signs of stress as a young puppy but that could of course also be attributed to normal puppy behavior. He would rip things from his toys and swallow them, not just eat the stuffing but actually swallow big pieces of fabric. So big that they couldn’t pass through his intestines, they stayed in his stomach for hours and on one occasion several days before he threw them up. He once threw up a 2 inch chunk of a rope toy, I’m surprised he didn’t choke by the size of it (he is not a big dog). Needless to say he doesn’t have soft toys anymore. The toys he does have he’ll chew on obsessively. My older dog also rips toys apart and chews them but not like this.
Nothing about my younger dog seems normal. I have thought about whether I’m over stimulating him, under stimulating him or anything else that I’m doing wrong with him. He was so incredibly young when I started to suspect he was stressed that I treated the problem as over stimulation. I mean, how would a three month old puppy even get under stimulated? I took away most of his toys, I didn’t allow anyone to make him chase things or wind him up and I stopped taking him to new environments for a while (not that it was a daily thing before). He got much calmer inside and didn’t walk around restless and whining as much. I tried socializing him again when he was a bit more mature and could handle it. He‘s now mostly calm with me but a complete nightmare with anyone else. He’s still really difficult in new environments. It’s like he’s always got this stress in him. He’s also difficult to leave alone. How do you train a dog that whines at every little thing to handle being left alone? Is it even possible? Am I right in thinking that his problems are related to stress? How can I help my dog?
Sorry, this got way too long. If anyone has any suggestion or opinions please share them.
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