By Sara Tan
May 07, 2012
When my dog rolls over on his back excitedly at the park, is he just trying to get a back scratch from the grassy patch?
We have an Australian shepherd/blue heeler mix and he is extremely timid. We have two other dogs, Cairn terriers, and the male is dominant over the other two. Dusty (the Australian) is not timid at all outside, but inside, anytime anyone tries to pet him, he behaves submissively and piddles a bit on the floor. He has his own little spot where he hangs out all the time. The only time he feels comfortable being with me inside is when I'm lying on the couch. He will come and act very friendly by laying on me, much different than his usual "inside" behavior. What can I do to help him change his timidity?
Sorry I meant to add that we won't leave her outside in our fenced in yard either, it's not fair to the neighbors to listen to her bark while we are gone. For now we have gone to bungee cording the trash can shut, so far she hasn't gotten it open, we did that with trash cans at campgrounds to keep skunks, coons out of them. But she has dragged them all over the house trying to get it opened. We found her with her head laying on the trash can on the couch next to her.. Silly Goose... You would think after so many "belly-aches" and her moaning having bouts of green apple trots, or vomiting she'd stop. If it doesn't sit good with her she will simply urp it up or crap it out...
We have a beautiful 8 year old Chocolate Lab named Cookie. She is good in every aspect but one and it's tough to deal with. She is a garbage can surfer. We can lock the kitchen gate and she will press against it till she knocks it over and tears the trash up all over the house. We have tried putting two gates up, no good. We have tried locking her into the family room only, she gets out. She can open doors and most gates are just a puzzle waiting for her to figure out. She will eat anything she can find on the counters, and stove. She's even pulled the burner grates off to lip any grease or tiny spec of dried food off of them. She's eaten a whole 2 lb tub of margarine, loafs of bread, sugar shaker, some Parmesan cheese- Unopened shaker can out of the kitchen cabinet turntable cupboard. She will eat every box of cereal she can get to. We finally put child-proof locks on all the lower cabinets. One day I came home to find her sitting on the kitchen counter to look out the windows. She's been to Obedience classes and she passes them. We've tried bitter apple spray, all kinds of stuff that is suppose to work great, nothing deters her. My husband says he thinks she is so integrated into food that she just can't stop. The vet checked her, no diseases and she's U.T.D. on shots, flea meds and heart-worm.. Any suggestions??? We tried a static shock collar, put it on her and watched thru a small crack in mini-blind till she went at the gate, We shocked her several times and she'd jump and yip but the garbage was just too tempting. Our only option seems to be to put up a door going into the kitchen and place all trash containers in the kitchen behind lock and key. Our fear is she will eat something that will harm her or kill her. We have talked to other lab owners and have heard similar problems, it's like the obsess with trash. We live in an area that would not be fair to neighbors or her to leave her own as she will howl and bark.. At this point my husbands nonchalantly asked the vet how long do labs live? We have a Teacup Chihuahua, a Min-pin and a Jack Russell and not a single one of them will join her, they won't touch it after I walk them into the kitchen and say LEAVE IT... Even after she's done her dirty mess they won't go near it.. Our only thing left we are going to try is Kenneling her in a wire cage, a large one, and not leave her more then 4-5 hours if we have to. It's not like she will outgrow this, not at 8 years old. My husband thought maybe we could try a wire nose muzzle for her so she can drink water but not eat trash?? What do you think?