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Strange behavior

Discussion in 'Behavior' started by Trek, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. Trek

    Trek Forums Novice

    Apr 3, 2014
    Hi there, im a new member and i have a question about strange behavior my sheltie is exhibiting. A bit of history first about this dog, i've known Riley for about 4-5 years, and his owner recently passed away. I took him in almost 3 weeks ago and everything was going great, until yesterday. I have a 13 year old Cocker Spaniel named Daisy, she tolerates him, no aggressiveness shown to Riley,maybe a look sometimes. Yesterday, i was cleaning Daisy's ears (allergies) and Riley started barking at me, spinning and running up to us. I'd tell him no and he' just bark more. Then later, he started following her everywhere! He's since try'd to hump her (both fixed). It's like he's fixated on her, he will walk along side her, if i take her in another room to clean ears or give meds he barks at the door. My poor 13 year old cant get any rest. I want to nip this odd behavior in the bud before he gets bitten by Daisy. Hes been around other dogs before but just for a few days at a time,and i dont think he was disciplined much. Any ideas or tips on how to stop this would be much appreciated.
  2. Mom2Melli

    Mom2Melli Forums Enthusiast

    Oct 2, 2013
    Central California
    If you don't like a behavior use an interruptor like NO or a sound and redirect to DO something like lay down, sit, get a toy, etc. You may want to separate when you are not there to observe though.

    In any case, stick with it and shape this dog to be what your house rules are. Thanks for taking in a pup who has suffere loss. There will be adjustments. Often there is a "honeymoon" period and then the dog starts trying to actively get a place in the family dynamics. Just praise what you like, don't accept what you don't and keep at it.
  3. ute_fan

    ute_fan Forums Enthusiast

    Jan 23, 2012
    I wonder if there was some odor that Riley could smell from Daisy's ears that's made him react this way. Dogs are so much more sensitive than we are that it wouldn't surprise me -- and what we think smells gross they might find attractive.

    Not any real suggestions, but it is interesting that it didn't start until now.
  4. trini

    trini Premium Member

    Nov 13, 2013
    upstate ny
    It sounds almost as if Riley thinks that your cleaning Daisy's ears represented something about Daisy that needed to be "corrected". The fact that he is trying to hump her (a dominant move) and following her everywhere may indicate his attempt to "keep her in line".

    Years ago we had a sheltie with grand mal seizures. A foster we took in did fine with our dogs until the day our sheltie had one of his seizures. After that the foster's behavior to that doggie was almost identical to what you are describing Riley doing to Daisy. If a dog feels that something in another dog is not normal (either misbehavior or some form of illness), they can view that dog as weak and a potential danger to the order/safety of "the pack".

    I would try having Riley right next to you when you do Daisy's ears...and even though his ears may not need cleaning I would do them too...be very upbeat as you talk to him and Daisy while you clean their ears...and offer a really special treat to both (Daisy gets her treat first, then Riley) once done. If Riley can view Daisy's ears being cleaned as a totally normal thing rather than something "wrong" with Daisy, you will hopefully see him back off on his trying to control her every movement.

  5. Trek

    Trek Forums Novice

    Apr 3, 2014
    That sounds like a good idea, I'll give it a try. He seems to have improved a bit, not doing it as much but he still has his moments. I've also been working on some basic commands because he doesnt do anything unless he wants to. But he is the sweetest most lovable dog. Thanks for the suggestions :smile2:
  6. Caro

    Caro Moderator

    Jan 14, 2009
    Canberra, Australia
    Big upheavals for this dog so I'd give him some time to work out the routines with you. Atm I would say a lot of this is him learning how things work in your household, and how to communicating to you and your other dog that he wants to interact.

    Shelties can be silly barkers, the sheltie spin is usually a sign of excitement. With the ears he may not have known what was going on but he wanted part of it. Humping is used by dogs (esp males) to initiate play - he's trying to get a rise out of Daisy, egg her on to play. Daisy obviously knows how to respond - ignore and it will go away. For your reaction keep it low key, otherwise you are giving him the attention he was after. If you have a slip lead I would use that to pull him away from her, otherwise say 'no' and gently push him away with your leg (don't let him think that's another game).

    The spinning and barking is a pretty standard Sheltie response. It will probably get better as he settles in more. Atm he may also be at a loss what to do with himself - try giving him some Kongs, and give him his kibble in a treat dispenser, let him learn quiet time is okay and give Daisy a break.

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