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Canine Behavior/Dog does not like couponing...

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Question
Hi,  I started couponing about a year ago and about 3 months in, my dog started acting very strange.  I use plastic sheet protectors, a three ring binder, and scissors... And of course the newspaper.  

Her first strange behavior was that she started climbing things... Laundry piles, chairs, she even tried to climb on top of a small box leaning beside the couch,  at first, I thought this behavior was her trying to get my attention.  So I stopped, ensured she had food and drink and took her for a stroll around the neighborhood.  When we returned, she tried climbing Me.  I was sitting at the dining room table, and she forced her way on my lap and then proceeded to try to climb on my head.  I gave up clipping coupons for the day.

The next week, I tried sitting on the floor, thinking that if she could be close to me, she would feel satisfied.  I gave her water, fresh food, and took her for a walk and we played a bit with her toy.  As soon as I sat down to start couponing, she again reacted in a way in which she tried to climb on top of my head.  She became hot and started to pant, exhibiting signs of anxiety.  I, in turn, gave up couponing for the time being.

I guess my question is, what would cause my dog to fear binders or page protectors.  She's a jack Russell mixed with a cairn terrier and she's 12 years old.  If I stop, she's fine.  As soon as I start she freaks out.  What gives?

Answer
Something about the sound involved or the articles themselves is alarming the dog.  At 12, cognition can be (even slightly) affected by age. This means a dog can overreact to totally NEW experiences, unable to process the meaning.  I can't see anything from here so I really have no idea what exactly is setting off her fear response, but I suggest you do NOT pursue this activity while the dog is present.  It isn't worth the stress to her.  Perhaps you can set aside a space in another room and spend a few minutes each day in there with a radio playing (a dog's hearing is fairly acute although at 12 she may have some hearing loss, as well).

Canine Behavior

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Jill Connor, Ph.D.

Expertise

I have spent my entire professional life rehabilitating the behavior of the domestic dog and I can answer any question regarding any behavior problem in any breed dog. I have answered more than 5,000 QUESTIONS on this site in the past (almost) eight years. If you are a caring, committed owner and need advice, I'm here for you. I am personally acquainted with my colleagues (Turid Rugaas, Ian Dunbar, etc.) who were members of an elite group in EGroups that I founded: K9Shrinks. THERE ARE NO QUICK FIXES for serious behavioral issues; not only is it unprofessional to offer same, it is also unethical. IF I ASK YOU SUBSEQUENT QUESTIONS, I NEED YOU TO INTERACT WITH ME. More information equals more credible answers and a more successful outcome. If you want ANSWERS THAT WORK, participate in any way I request. I'm quite committed to working on this site for YOUR benefit and the benefit of YOUR DOG. Help me in any way you can.

Experience

30 years of solving serious behavior problems in domestic dogs; expert in dog to human aggression; Internet columnist for ThePetChannel.com for 5 years; former radio talk show host, WHPC.FM, Garden City, NY "Bite Back" (1995 through 2000). List owner, international animal behavior experts, K9Shrinks@egroups.com. Seminar leader: "Operant Conditioning and Learning"; "Aggression in The Domestic Dog"; "Solving Problem Behaviors" -- conducted for various training facilities on Long Island from 1993 through 2000. Former clinical director of "Behavioral Abnormalities" in conjunction with Mark Beckerman, DVM, Hempstead, New York.

Organizations
Member, APDT (UK); Psychologists in Ethical Treatment with Animals

Publications
Harcourt Brace Learning Direct: "The Business of Dog Training" "The Fail Safe Dog: Brain Training, not Pain Training"

Education/Credentials
Ph.D., UC Berkeley

Past/Present Clients
Board of Directors: Northeast Dog Rescue Connection; The Dog Project; Sav-A-Dog Foundation; etc. Pro Bono counselor: Little Shelter Humane Society My practice is presently limited to forensics. I diagnose cause of dog bite, based upon testimony before the Court, for attorneys and insurance companies litigating dog bites, including fatal injuries. I also do pro bono work for bona fide rescue organizations, humane societies, et al, regarding such analysis in an effort to obtain release for dogs being held for death in municipal shelters in the US.

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