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 Please help. Sudden behavior change

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Rigbyjek
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Rigbyjek

Join date : 2012-12-18

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PostSubject: Please help. Sudden behavior change   Please help. Sudden behavior change EmptySat Sep 05, 2015 1:10 pm

I'm very sorry this is so long, but I want you all to have all the info possible to give me your feedback. I think I'm just too close to the situation and I need an outside perspective.  

I have a five and a half year old husky, he'll be six in November. He's always been...for lack of a better term, a jerk, but it's been controlled. When I first adopted him he was 8 months old and had been used as a guinea pig by his previous owner. She was a vet tech and in vet school and did unnecessary things to >6 month old puppy. I ended up dog sitting him and long story short, they had him back a week before asking me if I wanted him. She said he was chasing the cats and they were afraid if they had kids he would hurt a child. I am HUGE into dog behavior and although he was extremely dominant the first day I had him for dog sitting, we quickly established rank and he was an absolute joy to dog sit for. I suggested she work with a behaviorist (She had access to NYS finest, and really think about whats best for both of them. If they decided they really wanted to give him up, then yes- I was interested.) So really long story short, I ended up finding out, after they took him back from me dog sitting him (I had him almost three full weeks) he didn't eat for two days, didn't want to go out, just laid around and didn't want to do anything. She had taken him in and the vet said he was fine, just seemed depressed.(We have always joked that he chose me.) I ended up adopting him and when I finally received his vaccine records-she sent me the whole history. I found out he had tried to bite her the week before I had dog sat for him, and also tried biting the mr on the way home. Of course, now that I had adopted him all these behavior issues began to surface. But honestly, I LOVED it. I loved the challenge it presented me.
I ended up changing his behavior to the point that he completed and passed the Canine Good Citizen test. Although he was always "rough around the edges" so to speak, he was well controlled and I've always known I can trust him 110% He's great off leash when we hike, he knows basic obedience and advanced things- like picking up objects or turning off the lights. He also did agility for awhile. The only issue I was never able to resolve is how he behaves when I'm not around- he's just a completely different dog. I know that, I've accepted it- and I don't put him in situations where he has to feel uncomfortable if i'm not there to look for guidance. If you met us on the street, you would never know this dog has any issues. I constantly get complimented on how well behaved he is. Fast forward

About three weeks ago I took him to work with me. I work at a doggie daycare and in a vets office and he goes to work with me every once in awhile. I brought him into daycare and decided I was going to give him a bath. He peed on the floor in our grooming room and I was like wtf? You KNOW we don't potty inside- I mean he NEVER has accidents anywhere- he knows. So I was like wth? and he put himself in a crate. I shut the door and let him sit there for about ten minutes. When I got him out, I went about the grooming process and he was fine- until we got to the blow dryer. I own a velocity grooming dryer, he's used to it and doesn't mind it all- however, sometimes when I blow dry underneath him he drips pee. I talked to my groomer about it at work and she had mentioned "dryer seizures" but  I really didn't think that was the issue, I felt it was more like- the air hit a spot and he "had to go." So anyways, I'm drying him and all the sudden he leans forward slightly and starts peeing all over the table. I was like hello!? What are you doing! And I touched his shoulder like wtf?... as he ignored me and continued to pee. So I grabbed a towel, cleaned that up and continued drying- I figured he was just being an a**hole, but he's NEVER been this way before. A night later he came in from outside and dripped pee on the tile floor. So I talked to one of my vets and she said maybe UTI, keep an eye on him, told me what to look for and maybe bring him in. He was fine, no symptoms, no changes otherwise, nothing.

Last weekend I was super sick, I slept almost all day saturday and when I got up that evening to feed him- he growled at me over his food. This dog has had a million and one issues- food aggression has NEVER been one of them. So I was like wtf? really? So I have been working with him everyday- hand feeding, sticking my hands in the bowl, giving treats, etc. and nothing- no growling, nothing, he's been fine.

Wednesday night I gave him a bunch of new toys and one happened to be this little green ball that has a smaller green ball inside it that squeaks. After he had it for a few minutes I realized that it was pretty small and he had just eaten a rubber toy a few weeks ago so I thought he probably shouldn't have it. He was in his crate with it and as I approached the crate he basically roared and swung into the very back of the crate with it. I stood there again, like really.? So I tried to go about this the right way, and I went and got a tasty treat to trade with him. I knelt outside his crate and talked softly to him- but he wasn't him. It's hard to explain, but I literally felt like I was in the middle of the woods looking at an animal guarding prey- he just looked completely wild. So as he continues to growl, he had bunched up his crate mat in the process. He was in the back right of the crate with the toy and the mat was in the front left. I reached for the crate mat and he lunged forward and bit me. I mean, I have all my fingers, but he did break the skin, and honestly I was just in shock. I have put him in far worse situations were he has been "pissed off" could have bitten me (like when I cut his nails.) and he has never. He's always been mouthy, but he's never been a biter.

So immediately after he bit me, he cowered to the bottom of his crate with a look like "wtf did I just do?" I'm just at a loss. I cried over it, I've replayed it in my head a thousand times. I just don't know what I'm missing. I took him into work last night at the vet and ran blood work and urine to check for any abnormalities. It's awful, but I'm hoping something comes back abnormal- somethings just not right and I have no idea what it is.

I tried to re-create this scenario with him the very next evening with the exact same ball- he played fetch with me and immediately dropped it in my hand every time. I'm just dumb founded. He was going to take my hand off over the damn thing the night before- now we're playing fetch with it... REALLY? Then I gave him a new ball last night- a bigger version of the same ball I mentioned before- so I don't have to worry about him eating it. He had it for about an hour, we played with it, I kept taking it from him both in and out of his crate, etc. I had been sitting for a little bit and needed a refill on my drink- I got up to go to the kitchen and he was in his crate with it. He immediately stared me down and began growling. So, I'm not not one to back down- but I didn't want to put him in a situation where he repeats biting behavior either. I stood there and looked at him until he stopped and looked away, then proceeded into the kitchen. When I came back he was laying down still in the crate, head low over the ball guarding it but not growling. So I waited until he looked away and then closed the door on him. A few minutes later my sister came home and we enticed him out of the crate with ice cream (he was very hesitant) and when I safely had his collar she grabbed the ball. It just doesn't make sense- after an hour he suddenly started guarding it? and this behavior is completely new for him.

I'm just at a loss and feel that I'm missing something. I've literally done everything I can for him. He goes just about every where with me, has been ridiculously trained and exercised his whole life. I mean, he's got it good. For the first time in five years, I feel like I can't trust him- like I don't even know him.
Test results are supposed to be back today, but any insight would be appreciated. And thank you all for reading my book of a post!!!
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amymeme
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Senior
amymeme

Female Join date : 2013-12-20

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PostSubject: Re: Please help. Sudden behavior change   Please help. Sudden behavior change EmptySat Sep 05, 2015 1:24 pm

Mostly I'm at a loss. What I do know, is that such dramatic change in behavior in a human would result in complete workup, probably even MRI of brain.
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RedFlashFire05
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Senior
RedFlashFire05

Join date : 2015-05-19
Location : manteca, ca

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PostSubject: Re: Please help. Sudden behavior change   Please help. Sudden behavior change EmptySat Sep 05, 2015 1:39 pm

yes. i too world agree with the MRI. sounds brain related, its to strange coming out of no-ware.
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MiyasMomma
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Senior
MiyasMomma

Female Join date : 2014-06-26
Location : west Texas

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PostSubject: Re: Please help. Sudden behavior change   Please help. Sudden behavior change EmptySat Sep 05, 2015 3:11 pm

Rig, I agree with the others, get an MRI. Some other things I can suggest are he has some type of injury, maybe in his back end and certain positions may cause pain and when he is in pain he lashes out. Certain toys and items not made in America can invoke aggression in dogs, even basic raw hide. The tests that the previous owner is coming back to haunt you and him.

Sadly though I am going to go in the direction another member went through about a year ago with her female husky. She was poorly bred and she was younger than your guy, but exhibited similar aggression. It is a sad story with not a happy ending, I don't want to worry you, but in your situation a full body, brain included MRI maybe the best route, to rule out any severe trauma to his brain or any other part of his body, that you may not be aware of.

The members dog was named Sheba, and there are several threads on the forum concerning her and her behavior. Because I do not know your resources, as in money available to do the MRI and any other similar tests, reading Kennedy's story of Sheba can give you an idea if this is the same problem you are having. I do not wish that on anyone, but certain animals just are never born "right" or in their previous living arrangements something was done that was detrimental to a pet's overall quality and longevity of life.

Somewhere in those threads I had mentioned about a kitten I was going to buy from a puppy/kitty store. This kitten clearly was a miller kitten, and had bizarre behavior.....hissing at me, kitty growling, paw slashing if too close, and total refusal to be picked up. We are talking a kitten 6-10 weeks old, this is not normal kitten behavior. I mentioned this to the store manager, that this kitten should not be sold. Fast forward a few weeks later and my mother in law bought this kitten. She had no experience with cats at all, and asked her why she got her, and she thought she was pretty. Ugh, she called me over because she was afraid of a kitten. I told her to take it to the vet and see what he thought. Vet put the kitten down. His reasoning was there was something neurologically wrong with this kitten, and at it's age, tests would be more costly than the NO bond that had been formed. He said in a perfect world there would be no kitty and puppy mills, that in nature this kitten would have been ignored by it's mother, because the mother cat would have known something was wrong with it. Instead though we have greedy Millers who breed animals for profit and not for health and then sell animals to unknowingly people who just want that cute kitty or puppy.

I feel terrible for you, because clearly your boy has a very difficult problem, that I think is NOT behavioral, but instead physical, of course, imho. Taking him to someone who can determine if he has a physical issue, nerve damage that is causing pain in certain positions for example, or a brain malformation of some sort, would be my best guess.

I feel like a "bad guy" even mentioning any of this, I wish I could give you simple behavior modification advice. I hate asking you to read about someone else who had similar issues, because I do not want to upset you any more than you are. You do need to go to a vet or a diagnostic testing professional, rather than a behaviorist or trainer, since I really do believe it is a physical issue vs a behavior issue. Please keep us posted, we are all here for moral support. I am so very sorry you are going through this......
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amymeme
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amymeme

Female Join date : 2013-12-20

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PostSubject: Re: Please help. Sudden behavior change   Please help. Sudden behavior change EmptySat Sep 05, 2015 3:49 pm

Damn, Renee - I could NOT think of Sheba's name but that is exactly what came to mind - just didn't have the time (or the will, it is such a sad condition) to search for it. Hopefully this is a seizure sort of thing that can be controlled with meds but I would really worry about either a condition like Sheba or a mass lesion.
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Rigbyjek
Puppy
Puppy
Rigbyjek

Join date : 2012-12-18

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PostSubject: Re: Please help. Sudden behavior change   Please help. Sudden behavior change EmptySat Sep 05, 2015 5:42 pm

Thank you guys so much for your input. Where do I find this "sheba" thread you guys are referring to? I would love to read it. As much as it upsets me to admit, I agree with you. I spoke to another behaviorists today, and after telling him this story he said the said thing- it sounds medical, not behavioral. As I mentioned I am HUGE into behavior, I literally read and watch everything I can get my hands on, so I'm pretty well versed in the material. I'm just at a loss and struggling with the fact that he has something I may be unable to modify. I just really would rather not use a shock collar on my dog, and even if I chose to go that route- without the collar on the other night, it wouldn't have helped anyways.

His blood work and urine came back today. Blood work looked good, but his thyroid was a little low- but not low enough to be hypothyroid. Urine was dilute, but vet says she's not concerned. He did come from a shitty "breeder" and I use that term extremely loosely because I have no idea who in their right mind can call themselves a breeder, and then be unsure of who the father was. I talked to a friend of mine today- he has his littermate and he said when his is in trouble he is the same way, like its not his dog- and he growls at him over bones.. so I definitely think genetics is playing a huge role.

This is so frustrating for me. I am HUGE into dogs, huge into behavior, and I do everything for them. I really just feel like I failed. Sad If one of you could give me the link to "Sheba" or tell me where I can find it, I would REALLY appreciate it. And thank you again for responding, it's comforting to know I'm not alone.
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Artic_Wind
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Artic_Wind

Male Join date : 2014-07-23
Location : San Diego, California

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PostSubject: Re: Please help. Sudden behavior change   Please help. Sudden behavior change EmptySat Sep 05, 2015 6:03 pm

I don't know how to post links from this thing but page 5 in the "medical issues" forum, author is "Sheba and Kennedy" and the thread is something to the effect of " thinking about putting Sheba on behavior modifying drugs" ...do a search by author as well because as it progressed, it may have changed forums accordingly.

Personally, I don't think you are in this situation but you never know. Do the read and then you will know better if this is what you are dealing with.
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aljones
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aljones

Male Join date : 2014-08-18
Location : Terlingua, Texas

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PostSubject: Re: Please help. Sudden behavior change   Please help. Sudden behavior change EmptySat Sep 05, 2015 7:40 pm

Here are the results of Sheba search.

I'd like to think you have a behavioral problem on your hands, but I think the consensus is that it isn't. Unless you con come up with something that's changed in the past couple of weeks, something that's going to cause him to be possessive / aggressive then I'm afraid I'm going to have to agree that an intensive vet examine is in order.

Your comment that his litter brother is displaying the same signs would indicate to me that it is a genetic problem.
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Artic_Wind
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Artic_Wind

Male Join date : 2014-07-23
Location : San Diego, California

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PostSubject: Re: Please help. Sudden behavior change   Please help. Sudden behavior change EmptySat Sep 05, 2015 8:18 pm

From what I remember about Sheba, her behavior was seizure related. Admittedly I havnt gone back and re-read everything but when I had first read a thread about her, my immediate thought was it sounds like she's in a seizure even though it was completely different than the seizures my previous 3 huskies (blood related) had, however there were similarities in the* symptoms*. I don't get that feeling when I read this story like I did when I read Sheba's story. There are a number of things that stand out to me in this OP, if I wasn't so incredibly tired I'd go back and quote (I apologize) but one thing I'll mention is when I read that you got bit, he immediately slunk down like "wtf did I just do" which tells me he knew he did something wrong...a dog in a seizure won't do that, they can't really, they are "gone". There are other things that are just different to me, this was just one example. By no means do I say this is not a medical issue or that you shouldn't get a very thorough vet exam, I would actually say go for it, because things like the peeing are just very strange to me, but it is my opinion, my personal opinion Wink that this isn't similar to Sheba. As far as genetics and things like seizures go, while a dog who has seizures may have littermates who develop seizures themselves, not every littermate will develop seizures, I believe they all do carry (and pass on if bred) the gene but if I remember correctly, it's like 2 puppies out of a 6 puppy litter who would actually develop seizures, while the others carry the gene for it. You could be "lucky" (I don't really mean that literally) and that the littermate you know of who displays similar behavior behavior like I was with getting 3 huskies from the same father all developing seizures, but even then, you said the littermate behaves that way when "he knows he's in trouble" I don't know, to me it's not seizure related.
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adamc.
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Female Join date : 2015-08-26

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PostSubject: Re: Please help. Sudden behavior change   Please help. Sudden behavior change EmptyTue Sep 08, 2015 2:59 pm

Very sorry to hear about the issues that are occurring with your 5 yr old. This post and all of the information and feedback is very eye opening. I hope that if you go with an MRI, you can rule out certain diagnostics and narrow down the possibilities of what can be going on with your boy. Hope to hear of positive things soon.
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NewHuskyOwner88
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NewHuskyOwner88

Male Join date : 2015-10-19
Location : Lubbock, TX

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PostSubject: Re: Please help. Sudden behavior change   Please help. Sudden behavior change EmptyFri Oct 23, 2015 7:51 pm

I had a similar issue when I had my Rottweiler a few years back. When we were outside with a toy and playing she was fine, but as soon as she got into her crate with it she would guard it. It was only when she was within her crate that she became possessive. Eventually I had to have her drop her toy or chew BEFORE she got to her crate. I would take possession of it and would not allow her to have it until she was done napping in her crate or until we were outside. The basic rule was; is she wants to be in her crate, she was not allowed to have anything in there with her.
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AlexSlo
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Join date : 2015-12-25

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PostSubject: Re: Please help. Sudden behavior change   Please help. Sudden behavior change EmptyFri Dec 25, 2015 12:49 am

Hi all! I'm new to this but I thought this thread would be the best place to find some advice and suggestions. I currently have a 3 year old male husky and a two year old male husky. The three year old, Blu has been an amazingly hyper, sneaky, adventurous and wild dog since he was pup. I worked very hard with him as a puppy to train him. I successfully trained him to go off leash on hikes and he listens very well to commands. He knows how to respect humans and he is not food aggressive towards me at all.

However over the past year, he has become extremely aggressive towards other dogs. About three of my friend's dogs have been attacked by him, as well as two of my parents dogs. Half the time it has been food or toy aggression and the other half of the attacks have just come up out of no where. I don't know why he has become so agressive, I don't think he is particularly stressed out. I walk him almost daily, I give him so much love and affection and he has never once been aggressive towards me or another human. Just dogs. Does anyone know where this is coming from? My other husky, Mishka is extremely docile and gentle and would never hurt another being. The two get along very well, as they've been living together for two years.
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TwisterII
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TwisterII

Female Join date : 2013-06-14
Location : Missouri

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PostSubject: Re: Please help. Sudden behavior change   Please help. Sudden behavior change EmptyFri Dec 25, 2015 9:49 pm

Dogs need socialized with dogs just as vigorously as they need socialized with people. It takes about two years for many Huskies to mature so when he reached maturity is about when this started it sounds. Is he fixed? How often was he around other dogs growing up? At your house you have established a pecking order between you, him, and your other dog. There's no outbursts because it is established. With unsocialized dogs or nervous dogs that are put in situations where the pecking order or tolerances haven't been established then he gets to establish them at his own will. If you know he's going to be around other dogs you need to pick up anything he could be possessive over and slowly introduce toys back in setting behavior boundaries as you do so. The Times he has seemingly attacked for no reason, is it the same dog, small dogs only, male dogs? Does he usually posture then pounce or is it an immediate attack?

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