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Canine Behavior/Obsessive behavior

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Question
I have 3 Rat Terrier/Chihuahua mixes and the oldest one Remy, 12 is not fixed and is the father of the other 2 who are 11 years old. Five days ago Remy became obsessed with his son Koda, who is fixed, and constantly licks Koda's genitalia. If he can't get to him he barks non-stop. We tried to distract him from this and correct him with a firm NO! I've never had a problem with correction in the past with these boys, but Remy ignores this and within minutes he's back at him barking and licking. This has happened for 5 days now. On day 3 he began mounting Koda, we actually found stool on Remy's genitalia. We've even caught Remy trying to mount Koda while Koda's is doing his business. Neither Koda or ourselves have slept much over the last 5 days because of the non-stop harassment from Remy. We've tried separating them, but then Remy barks non-stop and the neighbors get a little upset since they have twin newborns (he has a very load bark for a small dog). Is it a hormone thing or something else. These 3 have been together all their life and nothing like this has ever happened before.  Also Remy has started to dominate Koda, placing his head and neck over Koda's, he also follows him everywhere, to the water bowl to the food bowl outside to go potty. Koda gets no rest from him. Help please!

Answer
This quite serious and sudden change in behavior might very well be the result of physiological problems or sudden loss of cognition.

All dogs need to see the veterinarian immediately.  They should be seen separately.  It is quite possible that Koda has a "problem" Remy literally "scents"; it is also possible that Remy has reached a point in cognitive dysfunction where he is behaving differently as a result; medication is available for this.  Remy's attempt to "dominate" Koda might be a frantic effort to "control" what he "senses" or a response to a change in his own biology.

You need a veterinary internist, not a general practitioner.  Lacking that, second choice Veterinary Behaviorist: I say second choice because it appears to me there is something biological occurring here.  Call your veterinary generalist; do not take "no" for an answer.  Before calling him, call the veterinary college in your geographical area and get names of veterinary internists.  These professionals do not accept clients without generalist veterinary referral.  If you find one, tell your generalist veterinarian that you need a referral and all veterinary records faxed over in time for your appointment.

There are both hormonal remedies and psychotropic/cognitive medications available but a full analysis of this situation must be done.  It will be far from inexpensive.  Remy is reacting to SOMETHING and we need to know WHAT IT IS, insofar as this information is available to us (since dogs can't speak).

Consult the specialist.  Report back using followup feature.

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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