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Canine Behavior/Extreme problems with moodle



My Maltese cross poodle is suffering extreme fear problems. When ever we leave his sight, he acts like an insane dog, scratching doors and ripping the paint off them, lots of barking, Weird impulsive behaviour and some other symptoms.

He is driving us insane and we are about to put him down. We are renting at the moment and with him scratching the paint off doors we are going to have to pay lots money to get a new paint job. Our family of 5 are going crazy please answer and help us!

Thanks for your time.

"Putting down"...euphemism for death sentence. Really?

You have children.  Is this the lesson you want to teach them?  I don't think so.  A child (especially under age 10) takes responsibility for everything "bad" that happens, that's just the way it is. And, that child learns about the world by watching you, his/her caregivers/parents.  I don't think you want to role model in this way.

I have no idea how old this dog is, when this behavior began, how long ago he was vaccinated (yes, vaccinations can cause extreme behavior and neurological problems).  I do very well understand your frustration and the fact that you are not presently in your own home, and so are extremely stressed by the destructive behavior.  However, having said that:

You are far far away in Australia which makes it quite impossible for me to give you a free phone consultation (which I often do in situations such as this and can last up to two hours).  Your dog's behavior is a clear indication that he may be suffering from: loss of sight; loss of hearing; neurological problem (i.e., temporal lobe seizures); reaction to recent vaccinations; dementia; cognitive dysfunction.  Is he suffering?  Far more than you are, and you ARE suffering.

Except for the knowledge of how beautiful and exotic your country is, I have very little knowledge regarding veterinary behaviorists, veterinary neurologists, veterinary internists, and I imagine that there are areas in your country where such professionals may not be readily available (i.e., may be hundreds of miles away).  Will such a professional help your dog and spare you and your family from having to make this decision (which should never be made due to financial loss but rather, due to reasons that pertain to quality of life)?  I believe so, actually.  This is a hands on, eyes on, situation which requires a full veterinary history, a full physical and neurological exam, testing for various acquired problems due to insect bites, etc., complete blood analysis, and interview of everyone in the home.  

There are two internet sources I can offer, neither of which I know personally.

Kathy is in New Castle.  I don't know where that is or how far that is, but SHE WILL be the most likely person to know a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist or a Veterinary Behaviorist in your area.


This site appears to contain contact information for heavily educated and credentialed behaviorists and even, perhaps, veterinary specialists.  Please peruse it.  Even if someone is too far away, that person (or those persons) will most likely be able to direct you confidently to someone near you.

It is a terrible task to put an animal to death, even when that animal is clearly suffering and there really does not seem a choice.  This is not something that leaves you; I have had to do it more than several times and I can remember each dog, each cat, each bird.  So will you.  Before making this decision, give this innocent animal and yourselves (who are loving owners) the comfort of knowing you did the best you could to help.  God bless.

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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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