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Old 04-18-2016, 08:20 PM
MeDrewNotYou MeDrewNotYou is offline
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Explain my dog's behavior

First some background. We got Sophie (a shi-poo) when she was very young- around 4-5wks but within a couple days she was right at home (Possibly relevant- Since I'm up at all hours we put her makeshift bed in my room in a quiet dark corner so I could keep an eye on her. After a couple weeks she was sleeping on the end of the bed and/or cuddled up right next to you in bed.); she's now about 2yrs. Her parents were well treated as was she. She's very friendly and affectionate* and somewhat clingy but in a good way and she loves attention. (She also loves to pretend she's a cat and climb everything. Loud noises scare her though and if she hears one, even if she's on your lap, she'll climb to the top of the recliner and perch there sitting halfway on the top and halfway on your head.) She also gets super excited when people come home almost like she thinks they're never coming back.

Now then. Sophie likes people food and she'll sometimes be a little annoying in trying to persuade you to give her some. To forestall this I often take her to my room and close the door until my parents are finished and naturally she doesn't like this. She'll scratch at the door a little but then she gives up and lies down right in front of it. After she leaves and I close the door behind her she'll almost always return within a minute or two and scratch to be let back in. If I open it, sometimes she'll want to play and will hop around and pounce on your foot or bring a toy. Most of the time though she'll stand there a few moments and then walk back to the living room. If I close the door again she'll keep doing the same thing a few times and then wander off elsewhere. It seems she doesn't like having the door closed while she's in the room with me unless she's tired and wants to sleep.

My question is this- Why the hell does she leave and come back like that? I understand her coming back to play: she left the room, finds out there's no food to be had, and she returns because she's bored and I'm usually her favorite to play with. I can't come up with a decent explanation for this when she doesn't want to play though. Any ideas? Does she think I don't exist if she can't see me?

*- My favorite story is that the first few times she went to the groomers they had to keep stopping because she kept standing up and trying to give kisses. She apparently still does that once in a while but now she more often is too lazy to stand up and getting to her belly and back paws is a pain in the ass.

Last edited by MeDrewNotYou; 04-18-2016 at 08:24 PM.
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  #2  
Old 04-18-2016, 08:32 PM
spamforbrains spamforbrains is offline
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Maybe she's just checking to see that you're not having any fun/eating something without her, and after she ascertains you are not, wanders off looking for something better to do?
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Old 04-18-2016, 09:23 PM
MeDrewNotYou MeDrewNotYou is offline
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Originally Posted by spamforbrains View Post
Maybe she's just checking to see that you're not having any fun/eating something without her, and after she ascertains you are not, wanders off looking for something better to do?
That's possible but why would she keep coming back multiple times once she sees nothing going on? She's simple (to be polite) but her memory can't be that bad, can it?

That explanation would be perfect for our last dog though. Every once in a while he would come up to a room with the door closed, scratch until he was let in, walk around the room in a circle, then leave. He probably thought he owned the house and was making sure his tenants weren't messing the place up.
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Old 04-18-2016, 09:30 PM
TipTapTwo TipTapTwo is offline
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http://dogs-cats.wikia.com/wiki/Shih-Poo

http://puppytoob.com/dog-breeds/10-t...zu-poodle-mix/

I do not know why dogs do what they do, but the shih-poo was specifically bred to be a hypoallergenic companion. Such that they really should not be sent to the backyard to sleep in a doghouse or otherwise spend their days/nights outside. And they crave more social (human ) interaction than some other breeds. so they do need more playtime. It is also recommended to allow your Shih-poo to, if not sleep with you on your bed, at least let them sleep in the same room as you.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_behavior

We can agree that both humans and dogs are social creatures, but research has been done that shows “Dogs from single-owner homes are approximately 2.5 times more likely to have separation anxiety compared to dogs from multiple-owner homes. Furthermore, sexually intact dogs are only one third as likely to have separation anxiety as neutered dogs. The sex of dogs and whether there is another pet in the home do not have an effect on separation anxiety.”
Flannigan, G. and Dodman, N.H.A (2001). "Risk factors and behaviors associated with separation anxiety in dogs". Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 219 (4): 460–466.

We as humans have all the socialization and entertainment that we could ever want every day. We are with other people in school, at work, when we play, interact on the internet, or watch stuff. We only give out fractions of thought and interaction to our pets. What do pets get to do all day everyday? wake up, eat, play a bit with the humans of its pack...then from 8am-3pm as all the people are out of the house... nothing, just stare at a wall and chew a toy alone. Then eat again, play a bit more as the dog’s humans came home too tired to play as much as the dog wants,,,maybe the dog gets pet a bit while its pack ignores it in favor of an incomprehensible glowing box on the wall for hours at a time, Then the humans go to bed. What is that? A whole 3 hours of meaningful interaction a day at best with the same 4 people inside the same 4 walls?

Wow what a fulfilling life for a social animal that was bred from wolves that spent all their time around each other. If your pet is acting weird, maybe it isn’t surprising. If you choose to be more involved in your pet’s life, that makes you better than most owners. I personally feel that 99% of pet owners are just a bit better than the solitary confinement, life imprisonment, that is a zoo.
  #5  
Old 04-18-2016, 10:14 PM
spamforbrains spamforbrains is offline
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That's possible but why would she keep coming back multiple times once she sees nothing going on? She's simple (to be polite) but her memory can't be that bad, can it?
Maybe she's really bored and restless? Does she ever actually do anything other than hang out and wander around the house? One test the dog trainers recommend to see if your dog is actually getting what it needs out of life is: what does your dog do when you sit down and relax in the evening? if the dog happily lies down and goes to sleep, great. If not, your dog isn't getting enough exercise or mental stimulation.
  #6  
Old 04-18-2016, 10:27 PM
MeDrewNotYou MeDrewNotYou is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TipTapTwo View Post
http://dogs-cats.wikia.com/wiki/Shih-Poo

http://puppytoob.com/dog-breeds/10-t...zu-poodle-mix/

I do not know why dogs do what they do, but the shih-poo was specifically bred to be a hypoallergenic companion. Such that they really should not be sent to the backyard to sleep in a doghouse or otherwise spend their days/nights outside. And they crave more social (human ) interaction than some other breeds. so they do need more playtime. It is also recommended to allow your Shih-poo to, if not sleep with you on your bed, at least let them sleep in the same room as you.
I should've been a little clearer. She's inside* the house and my room while the others are eating. Sometimes she'll hop up with me and other times she just ignores me and stays on the floor with a chew stick or toy. As for being left alone, that almost never happens; there's pretty much always someone home and she usually gets any attention or playtime she wants.

*-She doesn't spend much time outside by herself. Other than peeing/pooping she only goes out for the occasional sunbathing on the porch while she watches the neighborhood.
  #7  
Old 04-18-2016, 10:39 PM
MeDrewNotYou MeDrewNotYou is offline
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Originally Posted by spamforbrains View Post
Maybe she's really bored and restless? Does she ever actually do anything other than hang out and wander around the house? One test the dog trainers recommend to see if your dog is actually getting what it needs out of life is: what does your dog do when you sit down and relax in the evening? if the dog happily lies down and goes to sleep, great. If not, your dog isn't getting enough exercise or mental stimulation.
That's a possibility, but then why does she come to the door and do nothing? She makes it obvious at other times when she wants to play or needs something else. Is she asking me to initiate the playing?
  #8  
Old 04-19-2016, 12:46 AM
MeDrewNotYou MeDrewNotYou is offline
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Originally Posted by spamforbrains View Post
Maybe she's really bored and restless? Does she ever actually do anything other than hang out and wander around the house? One test the dog trainers recommend to see if your dog is actually getting what it needs out of life is: what does your dog do when you sit down and relax in the evening? if the dog happily lies down and goes to sleep, great. If not, your dog isn't getting enough exercise or mental stimulation.
I just realized I didn't answer your question. There's usually no problem of being hyper at bedtime unless she spent a longish amount of time sunbathing and/or napping on the porch and she's usually out like a light. I'm not getting the impression she's bored but like I mentioned earlier I might be missing something.
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Old 04-19-2016, 01:23 AM
AmanoJ AmanoJ is offline
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Just a guess, but perhaps she is coming to get you to go out there with her. She may want to be out of your room for whatever reason, but also with you, and is simply torn between the two? Certainly had pets like that. My last dog would always come to where I was and just stare for a few, then leave. Come back a few minutes later, repeat. He just wanted me to go with him and wasn't happy until he was where he wanted to be and with the person he wanted to be with.
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Old 04-19-2016, 09:06 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is offline
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There's a simple explanation. She's a dog. That's the kind of thing dogs do.
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Old 04-19-2016, 09:27 AM
watchwolf49 watchwolf49 is offline
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Wolf packs typically eat together ... perhaps she sees being locked away at dinner time as punishment ... then her behavior afterwards are intended to be insulting. I had a problem with a dog begging at the dinner table all the time, so I'd spit in his food bowl just before I served dinner and he was just happy as anything with his kibble ... he thought we were all eating the same prey it seems.

I know dogs are dogs and wolves are wolves, but they have in common despising being left alone.
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Old 04-19-2016, 10:22 AM
casdave casdave is offline
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When you lock her away, especially from something interesting such as food and new guests, she thinks she is being punished, and is desperate to get back on good terms for whatever it is she thinks you are punishing her for.

She knows that she gets a favourable reaction when she does something such as trying to play, and although she does not have a concept of cute, you sure do and she knows a certain pattern of behaviour - ie cute in your mind - gains her more approval from you

So, you need to find some way to modify her behaviour from begging and also around guests. She sounds pretty insecure - that would not be a surprise since she was taken away from her mom at such a young age.

You do need to do something about likely separation anxiety, if she is never left on her own it will not change.

Suggest you look at a dog behaviour specialist, a clingy dog is not necessarily a happy one
  #13  
Old 04-19-2016, 10:47 AM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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Originally Posted by casdave View Post
Suggest you look at a dog behaviour specialist, a clingy dog is not necessarily a happy one
And a behaviorist will likely key on the early age when you obtained the dog as a huge factor. the socialization stage is generally from three to twelve weeks.
  #14  
Old 04-19-2016, 11:13 AM
Doughbag Doughbag is offline
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You are your pet dogs God - the meaning of their being (the severeness of that depends on the breed).
She's just making sure, that you haven't abandoned her or that your are still there and that everything is OK.

Your dog should always eat after you, preferable sees you eating before the dog gets feed, since you're the alpha (or at least meant to be) and alphas eat first - annoying you is challenging you.

Locking your dog away when there are visitors punishes your dog (in the dogs mind).
It can make them anxious and also anxious around people and/or creates hate in the dog against other people, since they're getting "punished" every time someone comes by the house.
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Old 04-19-2016, 04:51 PM
MeDrewNotYou MeDrewNotYou is offline
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Thanks to everyone for the input. The idea that she thinks she's being punished seems quite possible and it's something that might be pretty easy to test. Next time I'll try actively playing with her the whole time rather than just having her sit on the bed or my lap. Sometimes she does come up and want to play but more often she just waits until everyone else is done. Hopefully she'll look at the whole thing as a positive. Of course ideally she'd be better behaved around food. Maybe feeding her at the same time as everyone else is eating (and maybe a tiny bit of the same thing if appropriate?) instead of just filling her bowl in the morning and letting her eat whenever?

Also, since it was mentioned, she has free run of the house and porch except for when the front door and gate are left open to bring in groceries/move bulky stuff/etc. Someone will stay in the room with her and keep her distracted for a few minutes but she's immediately let out afterwards. Other than getting in the way underfoot she's well behaved and likes visitors.
  #16  
Old 04-21-2016, 09:49 AM
Caldazar Caldazar is offline
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Seems like reasonable dog behavior to me, especially if the dog is very social. The dog wants to ensure that she is fully aware of the locations of her favorite humans at all times, and has access to her humans.

As for begging at human mealtime, reinforce desirable behavior and do not reinforce undesirable behavior. Decide what you want the dog to do during mealtimes. It sounds like the dog enjoys being near people, so be reasonable in your expectations. For example, you might designate a specific location away from the dinner table as the dog's "spot" during people-mealtimes, but have that location still be within view of the table. Reinforce desirable behavior; give periodic treats/praise/toys/whatever-the-dog-values when the dog does what you want during your mealtime. Certainly, if the dog is easily bored, give the dog something to occupy her time while you eat. Ignore the dog and otherwise do not reinforce the dog's behavior when the dog is not exhibiting the desired people-mealtime behavior (i.e., stop feeding the dog when the dog begs for people food at the table!). Teach "Begging at the table is pointless, you get nothing for your trouble. In contrast, doing [X] is worth your time, because you get stuff that way." Time needed to train will depend on how ingrained the dog's current behavior is; the longer you have been rewarding the dog for begging at the dinner table to-date, the longer it will take to replace the current annoying behavior with a more appropriate one.
  #17  
Old 04-26-2016, 08:20 AM
Doughbag Doughbag is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MeDrewNotYou View Post
Maybe feeding her at the same time as everyone else is eating (and maybe a tiny bit of the same thing if appropriate?) instead of just filling her bowl in the morning and letting her eat whenever?
It's best if your dog gets the food directly from you, rather than putting it in the bowl in the morning and let your dog get her own food, whenever she wants.
You as a human can comprehend that the food is from you, even hours or days later, but for the dog this is just a bowl where food magically appears - it needs to come directly from you.

When the dog is done eating, remove the bowl - no second helpings, till the next feeding time.

Also the dog always eat after you.
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