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> Need Some Advice Please, foster pup 'spinning'
Devil
post 2nd Mar 2012, 7:27 pm
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Hi all I need some advice please. I have a new foster pup (who actually has a family meeting her on Saturday) and she spins/chases her tail barking. I need some ideas please for how I can stop her doing it, or tips to pass on to the new owners, and advice as to wether she should stay with me longer until 'fixed' or if shed be better off in her for-ever home to address it.

What we know about JESS -

She is about 5 months old, female, not speyed, probably a lab/collie cross.

She has been with her last owner about 10weeks (got from a friend - not the breeder) but the daughter developed allergies. Because of this she has been kept seperate from the family. She was also being left for 8/9 hours a day whilst the owner went to work.

She is a bit nervous of meeting new dogs - but if they ignore her will soon start playbowing etc to get them to interact with her.

Fine with people (inc stranagers) and very affectionate.

She wasnt crate trained but settles in it to eat and overnight without any issues.

When she starts spinning I can stop her by saying her name, or throwing her toy but she almost imediately re-starts spinning. She is doing it on/off for about half hour maybe 2/3 times a day so its not constant.

Shes been to the vets and has a clean bill of health - checked anal glands incase they were causing her discomfort, all joints checked etc, been wormed, vaccinated etc.

The vet thinks that as she has been kept issolated she has started spinning out of boredom and its now become a habbit.

Sometimes she'll stop mid game to start doing it, sometimes she can be laid relaxed and get up and start doing it - I really cant spot a pattern.

She is now getting a couple of short walks each day, as well as some time doing 'training' and some play time/ineraction with toys etc and some time just 'chilling' with me, hubby and the other dogs.

I dont know what she was previously being fed but with me she is getting JamesWellbeloved puppy 3x a day.

Sorry its so long but if i've missed any important info please ask.

As I say I dont know how to stop her doing it, I also dont know if she'd be better staying with me until I get to the bottom of it - or if it would be better for her to be adopted so she doesnt settle in and then possible restart anyway with the 'stress' of moving again in a few weeks.

Thankyou to anyone whos still following this and any advice gratefully recieved flowers.gif
Beth. xx


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Athel
post 2nd Mar 2012, 9:31 pm
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Sounds quite similar to Fleet. We got her at 5 months and she was spending about 12 hours a day spinning (she had stripped her tail of fur and it was sore and infected). She had been through a number of homes and left her litter at 4 weeks. We have had her 15 months and have reduced her spinning to a few short episodes a few times a day that we can mostly bring her back from.

We had a behaviouist see her the second week we had her and were advised to break the behaviour calmly - she wore a house line for the first couple of months so we could move her away from her spinning places (she goes to corners or other slightly enclosed spaces). We also tethered her so she couldn't spin and now clipping a lead on her even if it isn't tied to anything is often enough to ground her. She also had rescue remedy, DAP and zylkene.

Routine is important to her. She needs to run, if she hasn't had a good run on time the spinning increases. Training and using her brain reduce the spinning too - she never spins after training class. As we got to know her better we could identify triggers and manage her better. Although not 100% a settle command has been very useful.

It is very frustrating living with her sometimes and was much much worse when we first had her, if you want to pass on my contact details to her new family I don't mind being a sympathetic ear.

This post has been edited by Athel: 2nd Mar 2012, 9:36 pm
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riotous_uk
post 3rd Mar 2012, 8:11 am
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Scoobs (cocker) came to me as a spinner, he's spent a lot of hours a day shut in a crate.
when he starts we distract him and ask for a sit (very calming). He tended to do it when he was unsure or in times of excitement/stress, so a sit was the best option for him.

If this pup spins quite bad, then it may be an idea to put some more work into him before he goes out to his new home as they may find it too much to cope with, may laugh at him (thus encourage the baheviour) or may not be consistent in stopping him.
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FiggyPudding
post 3rd Mar 2012, 4:50 pm
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I watched Victoria stillwell working with a rescue springer who was spinning, chasing his tail & chewing it. She told the staff to ensure he was walked & worked with every day out of the run, exercising his body & brain. He was also afraid of being in a house as he'd spent such a long time in the kennel, so they worked hard, taking him into the office so he could explore.

A bit of the exact training, but made a massive difference in his stress/boredom levels, which reduced the spinning.
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Pet Buddies
post 3rd Mar 2012, 5:52 pm
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Not sure if it would be a good or bad idea to try and teach a spin command and treat reward for doing this on command only.

I know some people with barky dogs teach their dogs to bark on command and it is then easier to teach them a quiet command too. Could this work with spinning behavior too unsure.gif ? (I have never had this problem with any of my dogs so only a thought)
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Devil
post 3rd Mar 2012, 10:20 pm
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Thanks for the comments and advice flowers.gif

Thankfully her spinning doesnt seem to be as extreme as Fleet, but good to hear how much he has improved.

The family met her today and fell in love - they have twin 10yo boys who were so calm around her and gentle with her. I spoke to them (well the parents obviously) about her spinning and its something they are happy to work on - and they have already been in touch with the local clicker class to make enquiries about signing her up... the lady who runs it is lovely and has lots of experiance with 'broken' collies and rescue dogs so I'm sure they will get great advice from her.

Because they have already been homechecked they have taken Jess overnight to see how she settles - we'll review it with her 'on trial' until I (and them) are sure they are managing before I sign her over.

I'll be speaking to them tomorrow so will pass on the tips about distracting her calmly with a sit or similar.

THANKS again smile.gif


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