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Canine Behavior/obsessive behavior


Well my grandmother originally had 3 yorkies but the female had once attacked the smallest yorkie long before I moved in last November but since than she has done it . its only when we first got home and the little one would come up to my grandmother after she greeted the other dogs then the female would attack him the last attack was terrible allot of stitches and it took over 5 mins of  me sitting on the female while beating her to get her off. So we decided we should get rid of the female so my mom took the dog she has been there for just over a month and fallows her every where  bathroom out side etc. But the issue is she wines and mines barks pant hyperventilates if mom's not home and if mom sits on the bar stool in the kitchen to play on her laptop the dog carries on like my mom has left her. And my other grandmothercame over for dinner and brought her 13 year old Multese and the yorkie on a leash but she was trying to attack the multese for getting to close to my mom but didn't bother him if he stayed away from my mom. The serious issue is mom has another dog a jack beagle mix that's with me but will go home in the next week or so (moms in a new house that needed a fence that's why the jack beagle is with me) the jack beagle is a bully but not normally aggressive but if the yorkie attacks her over my the dogs will try their hardest to hurt each other. What can we do about the yorkie. She hasn't attacked any dogs bigger than her yet but her actions right now say she might  the jack beagle. And either way the yorkie is driving my mother crazy!

When a dog exhibits a behavior in a persistent manner, it has been TRAINED.  Now: to train a dog (let's say, teach it to "sit"), one offers a cue (command, signal) and a reward (food tidbit, praise) continuously until the dog never fails to "sit" on command.  One then staggers the reward(s): ignore some compliance, rewards others.  This sort of random reward system actually creates long term memory in the dog.

The dog you describe (from your report: whines, barks, pants, if mom's not home or ignores her) are symptoms of high anxiety.  Let's say when these symptoms first began, Mom was very concerned and made a fuss over said dog (thereby heavily rewarding, in fact TRAINING, the anxious behavior).  Now, Mom's fed up and would like to spend some time surfing the Net in peace!  So she ignores the behaviors she has formerly rewarded, and the dog is progressing, chaining her reactions, and getting worse.

Best remedy for a dog that's over attached, under socialized, and at a threshold of high anxiety behavior is NOTHING IN LIFE IS FREE.  Since there are more than one dog in this household, this must be done carefully, taking into account who is who in social hierarchy.  Your Mom took a dog that was exhibiting great stress in social hierarchy among the other dogs and therefor making a "statement" to them "This is MINE, stop" by attacking.  She tried to attack the Maltese and she will, I guaranty it, attack your Jack/Beagle whom you describe as a "bully".

This isn't a good plan of action to expect these two to live comfortably with one another.  Even introduction OFF YOUR PREMISES, over and over again with both dogs on leash and being rewarded for calming signals, might not be sufficient.

You need the expertise of a certified applied animal behaviorist to determine how serious this situation can get.  And that Yorkie has been knocked around far enough, she can't take re-homing, there are no homes out there waiting for neurotic dogs.  She will be dumped, or worse.

Find a CAAB at one of the following sites:

Some short term medication to truncate fight/flight response and calm the Yorkie might help.  Remember: this is a living with only one life.  She is not disposable.

Canine Behavior

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Jill Connor, Ph.D.


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.


30 years of solving serious behavior problems in domestic dogs; expert in dog to human aggression; Internet columnist for for 5 years; former radio talk show host, WHPC.FM, Garden City, NY "Bite Back" (1995 through 2000). List owner, international animal behavior experts, 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.

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

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

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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