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heyjude
01-26-2012, 05:44 PM
(Update in Post 17)

So we adopted a dog (Stella). She's a cute little dog, though she was in bad shape when she came home. She'd been beaten and starved and had untreated kennel cough. Fast forward almost two months and we've got a happy, healthy little dog at a reasonable weight who is learning the niceties of living with people who love her.

The interesting thing is that she regressed a fair amount in the weeks after we brought her home. We've dealt with the potty training, food aggression, and chewing (mostly)--all that just took some patience and love.

What I can't believe is the sheer amount of energy she has. We think (though it's impossible to tell for sure, and our vet has serious doubts) that she's a year and a half old. She's got two speeds--hyper overdrive and "She's still breathing, right?" And like I said, she chews everything (though her permanent teeth are all there and in good shape).

Is it possible for a dog to have a second puppyhood? Is it that she never got a chance to have a first puppyhood? What do you do to keep a puppy occupied? I walk her endlessly, she has a ton of toys that we play with a hundred times a day, I expose her to new situations and friends--and she wants more! She's insatiable! Help!

Snowstorm
01-26-2012, 06:08 PM
Well, good for you for taking on an abused puppy! Yeah, sounds like she's being healed mentally and physically.

About a month ago, Hubby and I were seriously of thinking of getting a dog, a puppy. I did a lot of research on how to train a dog since I haven't had one since I was a kid (a LONG time ago), and Mike was an outdoor dog only. I found one site that has a lot of information that might help. They had one particular page about "My dog was abused" (http://www.dogbreedinfo.com/articles/abusedrescuedog.htm)and how to deal with it. Very interesting.

I hope it helps. I can't help much because I'm canine ignorant. Best wishes!

heyjude
01-26-2012, 06:23 PM
Thanks, Snowstorm! That was a great article. We're definitely doing things right according to that (though I do hate to have to tell her no, she cringes and pancakes on the ground. :( Slowly but surely she's coming to realize that it's never followed by a strike).

polleekin
01-26-2012, 06:45 PM
Dogs will test boundaries, definitely, and they can also keep that puppy energy for a while. Some dogs stay in that stage longer than others.

My dog is 3 1/2 and until recently he was still filling out, reaching his adult size/weight. He hasn't gotten taller, but he's gotten stockier, losing that more gangly puppy look. He's also calmed down a lot in the past year.

Some breeds aren't considered adult dogs until they are 2 years old. Add to that the new experiences she's dealing with -- learning how to play, exploring things by chewing, learning her home is safe -- and it's normal for her to be a bit of a handful. She'll settle in. :)

cray
01-26-2012, 06:47 PM
do you know what breed of dog she is, hj?

Zelenka
01-26-2012, 07:04 PM
Not a dog story but - two years ago I adopted a cat from the SSPCA rescue centre, and he'd been very poorly treated, and the more he was in the house and we saw his reactions, the more we think he was physically abused as well as just being neglected (he was kept locked in a room all day with just a bowl of food and litter tray, didn't get to play or exercise or anything, and so was obese by the time I got him, he's now down to target weight!) But, now he's settled, stopped being scared of stuff and comfortable in his new home, he's also started acting like a little kitten, and we've referred to it as his second kittenhood. It's as if he's doing all the stuff now that he didn't have a chance to when he was a kitten. (And he also has the two speeds, 'whoosh, wtf was that?' and 'poke him, is he breathing?')

randi.lee
01-26-2012, 07:04 PM
I've been a dog trainer for ten years and I always fight over whether or not to answer questions I read online because people never want to listen to what I have to say (because it involves work.)

But hey, I'm going to throw you a bone here (ha) and give some advice; you can take my words or leave them.

The first thing I would examine is diet. Are you still feeding her puppy food? If so... STOP. The amount of crude protien in chain-store dogfood is insane and what may be leading to the energy (any leftover protien not intaken by the dog's system turns into excess energy.) This is going to sound odd, but try putting your dog on an adult maintenance food (aka food for an elderly dog). There is much less crude protien in these formulas and making this diet change should help (but will not cure) the energy issue.

Do you always walk the pup in the same place? I'd recommend switching walks up and going to different locations. Dogs are highly stimulated by their olfactory glands and smelling new things can really tire them out. If you take them on the same walk every day they're going to smell the same old things and get bored. However, if you do something as simple as walk them on the other side of the street where they can smell something new, this will help tire them out.

The chewing can be caused by a few things:

1.) Anxiety. Is the dog chewing at doors and windowsills? Something behind those doors and windows might be making them anxious. It could be that seeing you walk out the door triggers loneliness, or the mailman outside of the window makes them anxious and triggers them to try and chew their way out.

2.) Tension. Dogs release tension through their jaws. Try getting some marrow bones or rawhides from your local pet shop to give them something to work that tension out.

3.) Anxiety, again. Do you find that the dog is chewing the last thing you touched? (A shoe, a mug, a book?) They're trying to get your attention. The dog is anxious and needs his mom/dad to pay attention to him. Again, this is going to sound wierd, but try rubbing a raggedy old shirt all over your body to get your scent onto it and then give it to the dog or leave it in its crate. Having that mom-flavored toy to calm him down might ease the chewing up a bit.

Is there a doggy day-care near you? Dropping the dog off once a week to spend an entire day playing with other pups can drastically reduce energy levels throughout the entire week.

Try signing up for an obedience class as well. This is less for the obedience and more for the object of doing something. Training lessons are something that will cause the dog to focus and tire them out and training is something you can do together, which dogs always love.

Hope some of this helps. Feel free to PM me with any other q's.

cray
01-26-2012, 07:13 PM
nice post, randi.

when do you recommend switching from puppy chow to an adult mix?

heyjude
01-26-2012, 07:18 PM
Dogs will test boundaries, definitely, and they can also keep that puppy energy for a while. Some dogs stay in that stage longer than others.

My dog is 3 1/2 and until recently he was still filling out, reaching his adult size/weight. He hasn't gotten taller, but he's gotten stockier, losing that more gangly puppy look. He's also calmed down a lot in the past year.

Some breeds aren't considered adult dogs until they are 2 years old. Add to that the new experiences she's dealing with -- learning how to play, exploring things by chewing, learning her home is safe -- and it's normal for her to be a bit of a handful. She'll settle in. :)

Thanks. :)


do you know what breed of dog she is, hj?

We think a Yorkie mix (Yorkiepoo)? (Yes, after I swore I'd never get a terrier. :tongue)


Not a dog story but - two years ago I adopted a cat from the SSPCA rescue centre, and he'd been very poorly treated, and the more he was in the house and we saw his reactions, the more we think he was physically abused as well as just being neglected (he was kept locked in a room all day with just a bowl of food and litter tray, didn't get to play or exercise or anything, and so was obese by the time I got him, he's now down to target weight!) But, now he's settled, stopped being scared of stuff and comfortable in his new home, he's also started acting like a little kitten, and we've referred to it as his second kittenhood. It's as if he's doing all the stuff now that he didn't have a chance to when he was a kitten. (And he also has the two speeds, 'whoosh, wtf was that?' and 'poke him, is he breathing?')

Oh, bless you, Zelenka. How rewarding it is to watch that, isn't it?


I've been a dog trainer for ten years and I always fight over whether or not to answer questions I read online because people never want to listen to what I have to say (because it involves work.)

But hey, I'm going to throw you a bone here (ha) and give some advice; you can take my words or leave them.

The first thing I would examine is diet. Are you still feeding her puppy food? If so... STOP. The amount of crude protien in chain-store dogfood is insane and what may be leading to the energy (any leftover protien not intaken by the dog's system turns into excess energy.) This is going to sound odd, but try putting your dog on an adult maintenance food (aka food for an elderly dog). There is much less crude protien in these formulas and making this diet change should help (but will not cure) the energy issue.

Do you always walk the pup in the same place? I'd recommend switching walks up and going to different locations. Dogs are highly stimulated by their olfactory glands and smelling new things can really tire them out. If you take them on the same walk every day they're going to smell the same old things and get bored. However, if you do something as simple as walk them on the other side of the street where they can smell something new, this will help tire them out.

The chewing can be caused by a few things:

1.) Anxiety. Is the dog chewing at doors and windowsills? Something behind those doors and windows might be making them anxious. It could be that seeing you walk out the door triggers loneliness, or the mailman outside of the window makes them anxious and triggers them to try and chew their way out.

2.) Tension. Dogs release tension through their jaws. Try getting some marrow bones or rawhides from your local pet shop to give them something to work that tension out.

3.) Anxiety, again. Do you find that the dog is chewing the last thing you touched? (A shoe, a mug, a book?) They're trying to get your attention. The dog is anxious and needs his mom/dad to pay attention to him. Again, this is going to sound wierd, but try rubbing a raggedy old shirt all over your body to get your scent onto it and then give it to the dog or leave it in its crate. Having that mom-flavored toy to calm him down might ease the chewing up a bit.

Is there a doggy day-care near you? Dropping the dog off once a week to spend an entire day playing with other pups can drastically reduce energy levels throughout the entire week.

Try signing up for an obedience class as well. This is less for the obedience and more for the object of doing something. Training lessons are something that will cause the dog to focus and tire them out and training is something you can do together, which dogs always love.

Hope some of this helps. Feel free to PM me with any other q's.

Thank you so much, randi! She's eating adult dog food, and we do all these things (switching locations of walks, bones, etc). The chewing is... well, everything, for a while there. :) And she drags my clothes to the bed she uses while we're out of the house. Silly girl. She's welcome to them if it makes her happy.

We do have her enrolled in obedience school, which doesn't start until next month. I love the idea of doggy day care! Thank you. :)

All in all, Stella is a super happy little doggie these days. I just need to wear her out before she wears me out!

regdog
01-26-2012, 07:21 PM
Three of my four dogs have been rescues. The one who wasn't was found in a parking lot.

I've notice with our rescues, especially those who were abused or neglected, once they learn what is and isn't acceptable they will test those boundaries. They are learning they can do things that won't result in the abuse they suffered before and I think they do have a second puppyhood. They revel in the freedom to run, play and misbehave without being hit.


Training is a must though. They need to learn what is and isn't acceptable. We're currently training our rescue pug.

Good luck and long happy life to you guys

backslashbaby
01-26-2012, 09:28 PM
Aw!! She's having a ball :D

Do give her boundaries, though. Dogs feel better with calmly-imposed boundaries from a nice, strong leader. She'll feel even safer. Make a point to have some things be yours. No, she can't chew on this or that. Let her know it, firmly but nicely. Give her her own things and take others away with a firm voice. She's expecting to not be able to do everything if you are the leader, so go on and let her know how nicely that can work out.

Make sure she knows you are leading on your walks, too. I let my dogs explore because I enjoy that, but I 'order' them to certain trees and things just to let them know I'm in charge. They enjoy those commands, odd as that seems to me :D :D Make it sound like an important task, lol.

heyjude
01-26-2012, 09:50 PM
Good luck and long happy life to you guys

Thanks. :) And I totally count the one found in a parking lot as a rescue.


Aw!! She's having a ball :D

Do give her boundaries, though. Dogs feel better with calmly-imposed boundaries from a nice, strong leader. She'll feel even safer. Make a point to have some things be yours. No, she can't chew on this or that. Let her know it, firmly but nicely. Give her her own things and take others away with a firm voice. She's expecting to not be able to do everything if you are the leader, so go on and let her know how nicely that can work out.

Make sure she knows you are leading on your walks, too. I let my dogs explore because I enjoy that, but I 'order' them to certain trees and things just to let them know I'm in charge. They enjoy those commands, odd as that seems to me :D :D Make it sound like an important task, lol.

She doesn't very often take things that we care if they're chewed--she did pick at my new sneakers one day and I said "Oh, no you don't." She dropped them immediately and never looked at them again. She's desperate to please.

Amazingly, I can take anything out of her mouth now without her growling or snapping, a long way from where we started.

She does need a kind of job, doesn't she? Oh, but keeping the neighborhood free of squirrels seems to be it...

FOTSGreg
01-26-2012, 10:24 PM
Congratulations on a happy, energetic, and lovable dog. My dogs have all been large breeds (husky/shepherd mixes) and retained their puppyhood through about 2 years of age (I still have a scar on one of my fingers to prove it - what happens when you come back from a meeting and a husky/shepherd puppy comes running to meet you on the couch at 90 mph).

My last dog loved to play ball. I would literally have to go out to the parking lot and kick a soccer ball across the way for him. He'd chase it, pick it up (yeah, he was a big boy) and come racing back with it in his jaws to me. Wash, rinse, repeat until he was so tired he'd have to lie down in the grass. I usually wore out before he did.

I could literally put my hand in his mouth and take a ball or bone away from him. He might growl a bit, but it was a playful growl. He never snapped or bit at me once he learned I was the boss (first and only time was the day I brought him home from his previous owners and was trying to give him a bath). I actually had to do this twice when he got a bone fragment stuck sideways in the roof of his mouth. My Shadow loved me as did his predecessor Smokie. Smokie once faced off between me and an angry man twice my size who was yelling at me. Shadow once pressed himself up against the legs of an angry landlord who stood 6'6" tall and used to be a Navy rescue diver. The man looked down, realized what was happening, looked up at me and said "This dog's protecting you." and promptly left the house.

Shadow owned my car though. He went everywhere with me for many years and only one or two people could even get reasonably close to the car when he was in it. Smokie was the same way. She once went across me to try to get at an Ohio State Trooper who approached the car after we'd been pulled over for speeding.

Treat your dogs right, love them like family, and you will receive the love you give ten times over.

I've been without my Shadow for almost 2 years now and I miss him terribly. I can't have a dog at my current residence, but just as soon as I get the chance I'm getting another puppy.

Stlight
01-27-2012, 04:14 AM
One of my rescue dogs had been terribly abused, the vet said he was close to death when I got him. He recovered nicely, but the command he had to learn was 'up' rather than 'down'. He cringed at the word 'boy'. I tried a few other words. All words beginning with the letter 'be' frightened him. I suspect it was from being called bad boy when hit. He cringed for 'no' also.

So for the first six months he heard 'good girl' and don't instead of no. Then I slowly got him used to 'boy' and 'no' because guests often forgot. We never used the word bad in relation to the dogs again.

I admit he was the second dog and the alpha taught him what the house rules and boundaries were. Including that he was to leave her cats alone, which he did even after she died. (He never liked the cats, but worked hard at ignoring them.)

He waited for her to ask for cookies. He only asked for them twice in his life. (She asked several times a day and both got them each time. He was always amazed he got one when she asked.)

It took a year for him to stop sinking to the floor when I or anyone else walked into the room. He did decide he could get up when asked to before the sinking stopped.

ETA since he was head shy and ducked when patted on the head, from being hit I guess, I scratched him under the chin instead. Do it the same way as you would with a cat.

heyjude
01-27-2012, 03:38 PM
Shadow once pressed himself up against the legs of an angry landlord who stood 6'6" tall and used to be a Navy rescue diver. The man looked down, realized what was happening, looked up at me and said "This dog's protecting you." and promptly left the house.

Your dogs sound wonderful. :)

Just yesterday, Stella protected my girl child from a terrible noise (blinds rattling :rolleyes:). It was so sweet. She's up to a whopping 7 1/2 pounds. As one jogger said when she tried to rush him, "Terrifying." :tongue


I've been without my Shadow for almost 2 years now and I miss him terribly. I can't have a dog at my current residence, but just as soon as I get the chance I'm getting another puppy.

:Hug2:


One of my rescue dogs had been terribly abused, the vet said he was close to death when I got him. He recovered nicely, but the command he had to learn was 'up' rather than 'down'. He cringed at the word 'boy'. I tried a few other words. All words beginning with the letter 'be' frightened him. I suspect it was from being called bad boy when hit. He cringed for 'no' also.

So for the first six months he heard 'good girl' and don't instead of no. Then I slowly got him used to 'boy' and 'no' because guests often forgot. We never used the word bad in relation to the dogs again.

I admit he was the second dog and the alpha taught him what the house rules and boundaries were. Including that he was to leave her cats alone, which he did even after she died. (He never liked the cats, but worked hard at ignoring them.)

He waited for her to ask for cookies. He only asked for them twice in his life. (She asked several times a day and both got them each time. He was always amazed he got one when she asked.)

It took a year for him to stop sinking to the floor when I or anyone else walked into the room. He did decide he could get up when asked to before the sinking stopped.

ETA since he was head shy and ducked when patted on the head, from being hit I guess, I scratched him under the chin instead. Do it the same way as you would with a cat.

Oh, bless you. It's so hard to believe people can be so mean with a defenseless creature, isn't it?

BeatrixKiddo
01-28-2012, 01:49 AM
What a lovely thing, taking care of another animal. All our pets were strays. Our one cat never did like being held. Not sure if she was abused when she was little or not, but my mom always suspected she might have been. But we made them feel safe. Tried to anyway.

It just makes me so furious that so many pets are abused. But if humans can abuse their own children, I guess animals aren't that far a leap. Drives me nuts.

Keep up the good work. Truly, a wonderful thread.

heyjude
03-16-2012, 08:38 PM
Update: Doggie day care was indeed the answer! :hooray: Once a week Stella goes to the puppy playroom and plays her heart out for the day. She's happier and less crazy. Still crazy, no doubt, but less so. And I get one day where I can cram in all my errands and meetings so that she's never at home alone for too long...

Thanks again, randi.lee and all the other suggestions. :) Our girl is getting easier to live with. :)

Snowstorm
03-16-2012, 08:48 PM
Well alrighty! I just had a quick question: is she spayed? If not, spaying her might also tone her down.

I'm so glad she, you, and your family are doing better.

heyjude
03-16-2012, 09:18 PM
Well alrighty! I just had a quick question: is she spayed? If not, spaying her might also tone her down.

No. She went in for the surgery and her heart crashed. :( They stopped and we had a full cardiac workup done. She's due to try again next month in a special operating room with all kinds of fancy expensive doodads. ::bites nails::

Archerbird
03-17-2012, 12:25 AM
If she was in a bad shape when you got her, then she probably hasn't been taken care of and brought up in a correct way at her previous owners.

It's not really a second puppyhood, it's that she never learned how to behave like a "proper" dog. Give her some time to settle in and train and treat her as if she was a puppy while you do that.

Snowstorm
03-17-2012, 12:28 AM
heyjude: Oh, man, that's scary! Poor thing (and family). Sounds like she'll be in good hands next month.

Archerbird
03-17-2012, 12:30 AM
Well alrighty! I just had a quick question: is she spayed? If not, spaying her might also tone her down.

I'm so glad she, you, and your family are doing better.


No. It depends on why she behaves/behaved the way she did/does. Spaying/neutering is not the answer to everything.

It is a good idea however, to spay/neuter to prevent puppies. God knows there are enough of them as it is.

Have you talked with your vet about the chemical version?
It may help you to see what she would be like if you really did spay her.

Shakesbear
03-17-2012, 12:34 AM
I wish I could have a play day. Sigh... sometimes being human sucks.

I hope the next visit to the vets is successful for her.

heyjude
03-17-2012, 02:33 PM
Have you talked with your vet about the chemical version?

I looked this up and what little I found scared me! I'll mention it to the vet, but it doesn't sound like it helps prevent the future illnesses, etc, that regular spaying does.


I wish I could have a play day. Sigh... sometimes being human sucks.

I hope the next visit to the vets is successful for her.

I hear you! I want a play day too! :tongue

And thank you. :)

GailD
03-17-2012, 03:48 PM
I'm so happy to hear that Stella is settling down. I think Randi.lee is spot on.

Personally, I'm a firm believer in obedience training. Many years ago I got a Border Collie puppy. Borders are hyper at the best of times but this one was on the extreme end of hyper. As soon as he was old enough I started him on the obedience training and what a difference that made! (I got trained too, in the process.) What I learned is this:

People often make the mistake of treating a dog as if it were a four-footed human. It isn't. It's a dog. It thinks like a dog. Dogs are pack-animals and need to understand their place in the hierarchy of the family (pack). Once they've understood this, they tend to be much less anxious or aggressive. Obedience training helps do that.

My 'hyper' pup turned into the most amazing dog. He won third place in a regional obedience competition. (It would have been 1st but he just would not fetch the dumbell - no matter what. Dumbells were just not his 'thing'. :D)

I can't help thinking that Stella will love obedience training as well as the day care. :)

heyjude
03-17-2012, 08:10 PM
Good idea! She is enrolled--she was enrolled in the last go-round, but my kid had pneumonia, which knocked us all out of whack, so she goes next month.

A hyper border collie... I can't even imagine!

jjdebenedictis
03-17-2012, 10:37 PM
Simple overall health can make a huge difference to one's energy levels. I learned that recently when I started taking iron supplements due to mild anemia. Suddenly I was zippy!

I have to wonder whether your dog's second puppy-hood was simply due to her being well-nourished now. It can make surprising difference.