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Old 02-10-2010, 06:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Blanket Sucking and OCD

I ran across this link on another list and thought I would share.

For those of us with dogs that do sucky-baby (suck on toys or blankets), the research appears to indicate that there could be a gene for this - hence the tendency for it to run in various lines.

And here I was thinking that it was BCs who were the OCD dogs. Huh. Learn something new every day.

Obsessive-Compulsive Gene in Dogs Could Help Explain Human Disorders - AOL News
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Interesting. Thank you for sharing that. My rescue Dobe carried a sucky blanket with him everywhere he went for his entire life. The rescue group told me it was because he was weaned too early. To be honest, I never had even heard of other dogs doing it, so I never thought to question it.
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thankfully it's not negative!!!! Just Compulsive, Obsessive, a Disorder and Normal??? Ya right, take the blankets away and try a Raw Knuckle Bone, exercise and oh yes............Training, mental stimulation might help !!!! VON.
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
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my 5 month old doberman has been doing this since we got him. just blankets and his teddy bear he sucks on and falls asleep with them in his mouth. dont think its harmful to them.
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Old 02-11-2010, 12:30 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivienne00 View Post
I ran across this link on another list and thought I would share.

For those of us with dogs that do sucky-baby (suck on toys or blankets), the research appears to indicate that there could be a gene for this - hence the tendency for it to run in various lines.

And here I was thinking that it was BCs who were the OCD dogs. Huh. Learn something new every day.

Obsessive-Compulsive Gene in Dogs Could Help Explain Human Disorders - AOL News
Thanks for posting that, Vivienne, very interesting.

This, from your link: "I've had a sneaking suspicion for decades," Dodman said. "Now, we've finally established an incredibly important finding." He predicts that the canine-human link could yield preventive medicine and better treatment for obsessive disorders in both species.

...is pretty much in line with what I've been speculating, since now having my first ever Doberman who does the blanket suck thing. In no way is the frequency or duration of her attempts to blanket-suck affected by exercise, training, diet, etc, etc, etc--it is very clear it's a compulsion and somehow reminds me of back when folks tried to make Tourette's kids subdue their tics and that sort of thing.
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Old 02-11-2010, 08:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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This is a very old topic with certain dogs from working breeds, some people think it's genetics others say circumstances involving early departure from the litter mates or dam. Either way it's a dependance and can be altered in some dogs by a replacement object and can afford the dog a more positive scenario. When I worked with a number of K9 co. and Police departments the kenneled dogs often flank sucked, sometimes this can be attributed to weak nerved dogs (boarding kennels) or simply boredom. In the vast majority of these cases it was boredom when their training schedule was interupted (established working dogs) and their working time was limited. The bottom line is that there are some dogs who can be readjusted to a more positive activity instead of a based negative one. This activity can result in shreading and thats not a wanted behavior by responsible owners. Most of todays owners might think it's cute or simply don't know that there are ways to try and alter this activity. Nothing new if you've experienced this more than once, redirection isn't exactly new either, you don't know until you try. Interesting topic, I guess it depends on how you view the activity, harmless or negative! VON.
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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That is very interesting. My dobe pup did the same thing, and I thought it was just the puppy in him. I had never noticed my previous dogs doing it. I thought he seemed to do it more for stress relief - I have a husky, and especially when we first got Rommel, he would be trying to play with her with all this bouncy puppy exuberance, and she would get tired of it and bark or nip at him, and he would run and get his blanket. We called it his security blanket. I did think it was cute.

But then as he got bigger, the sucking quickly turned to chewing and he started trying to eat his blanket, and he has swallowed chunks before I could get it from him. Then I worried he would get an obstruction - which wasn't so cute anymore! So, he still loves his blanket, so I let him have it to lay on when I am close by to supervise and make sure he has bones to chew. I do often have to redirect his attention from the blanket, but he is finally starting to get it....I think
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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great, I have 3 mentally ill dogs! could be worse. I strongly believe the genetic link, b/c Anna & Rex's father was a sucker, however I think Anna picked up it from watching Rex, she didn't start till almost a year old. Now Abba has a different sire and she started so early! she would suck on my leg at 8 weeks old. Grace is mother to all of them and she has never been a sucker, she watches them with a dismayed look on her face (gotta love how expressive these guys are).
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:46 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Yes I also believe the genetic link. I had one puppy in 1990 who was a blanket sucker. None before that and one after that until my latest 2 puppies (smae litter). Their dam is not a blanket sucker so I know it was not copied from the dam. However, the sire's dam is a sucky-baby (toys, beds). Some of the littermates are also toy or blanket suckers. It is not something I encourage, so I know it isn't me. The breeder also believes it is genetic. This has been discussed on CD as being genetic as well.

I just thought that the research made it much more interesting and the fact that it can have human application is terrific!

Sure, you can remove things to suck on and redirect etc. But that underlying desire is still there. I love working out which behaviors are inherited and which are learned. OCD runs in my family and I know it isn't learned due to who has it and who doesn't (I am not going into family detail here, so forget getting any further explanation Von). I do agree that this behavior is not desirable since, yes, it can lead to shredding. I remember flank sucking males (belonging to others) from the early '70's and people saying that it was not so uncommon back then.
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:53 AM   #10 (permalink)
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What!!! No sharing??? Pics?? hahaa! VON.
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Old 02-11-2010, 10:03 AM   #11 (permalink)
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What!!! No sharing??? Pics?? hahaa! VON.
I have some on my camera, all 4 dogs on my bed, which they think is there, with the 3 kids, each with their own blankies, sucking away. They are good that they do stick to their own, and they only get access in the evening when I decide I want to lay on my bed and read, I like having the "heating pads" with me.
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Old 02-11-2010, 11:49 AM   #12 (permalink)
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There are some studies that suggest PICA is also common in Flank sucking or blankie sucking Dobermans.
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Old 02-11-2010, 01:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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This is a very interesting article. Thank you for posting it.

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Old 02-11-2010, 02:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivienne00 View Post
Yes I also believe the genetic link. I had one puppy in 1990 who was a blanket sucker. None before that and one after that until my latest 2 puppies (smae litter). Their dam is not a blanket sucker so I know it was not copied from the dam. However, the sire's dam is a sucky-baby (toys, beds). Some of the littermates are also toy or blanket suckers. It is not something I encourage, so I know it isn't me. The breeder also believes it is genetic. This has been discussed on CD as being genetic as well.

I just thought that the research made it much more interesting and the fact that it can have human application is terrific!

Sure, you can remove things to suck on and redirect etc. But that underlying desire is still there. I love working out which behaviors are inherited and which are learned. OCD runs in my family and I know it isn't learned due to who has it and who doesn't (I am not going into family detail here, so forget getting any further explanation Von). I do agree that this behavior is not desirable since, yes, it can lead to shredding. I remember flank sucking males (belonging to others) from the early '70's and people saying that it was not so uncommon back then.
Bold, mine.

Exactly, and you stated it better than I did. I remember that other thread we had (or a couple threads), where I was just so startled that some folks thought it was cute or a desirable behavior.

It just never struck me that way, and I've discouraged it from the very first day. And while Whisper and I have a routine established to minimize her attempts to blanket suck, the *desire* or compulsion to do it, is ever present.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adara View Post
There are some studies that suggest PICA is also common in Flank sucking or blankie sucking Dobermans.
I had a PICA Doberman once, too, and that is some fun times, lemme tell ya.
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Old 02-11-2010, 02:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Thanks for sharing the link! I also think it's great that the studies might lead to/help with human application. But geez...yet another gene in the doberman breed that can be problematic!
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Old 02-11-2010, 02:59 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks for posting - very interesting as V is a sucky baby.
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Old 02-11-2010, 06:30 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Thanks for posting - very interesting as V is a sucky baby.
Yeah, Boris had the sucky-baby thing going along with the kneading, Ronin does that too. Yoda likes to hold his toys and meanders around with them - he sucks and will rpogress to shredding on big toys.

He gets obsessed with the bigger ones and those are the ones he loves most and therefore shreds. So I am torn on the big stuffies. I repair them and give them to him to play with for about 5 minutes, then take them away.

I leave out the cuzes and the small soft toys. I love the OTHER CUZ because they are stronger than the good cuz or the bad cuz and the feet are solid and the squeaker keeps on working (not sure if this IS a good thing or not). The octopus cuz is a green version of your fish cuz and the squeaker quit about 2 months ago. But Yoda is very good with his rubber type toys.
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:21 PM   #18 (permalink)
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As promised Von, picture!

what is with them Mom? how can these "sucky" things be related to me?
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:28 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by gracieface View Post
As promised Von, picture!

what is with them Mom? how can these "sucky" things be related to me?
hahahahahahahahahahaha!


or to be more precise:

teeheeteeheeteeheeteehee!!!!!
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Old 02-12-2010, 12:21 AM   #20 (permalink)
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That photo is priceless. I love that look of devoted concentration. Where's Kris and DR and Boogie when you need them?

Those kids have the look of love in their sucky-baby faces. Poor Mom, wondering "what have I done?"
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Old 02-12-2010, 12:29 AM   #21 (permalink)
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That picture is hilarious.
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Old 02-12-2010, 07:18 AM   #22 (permalink)
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OMG!!! That picture is soooooo CUTE!!
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:06 AM   #23 (permalink)
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What a funny picture! I want to crawl in and lay down with a book!
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Old 02-12-2010, 12:22 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Actually Vivienne, Emma is a huge sucky baby.

I don't believe gunther ever did this. I know Max doesn't and Tyra doesn't, so they probably inherited this through their mother.
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Old 02-12-2010, 01:11 PM   #25 (permalink)
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That's interesting. I don't know any of seven's relatives so I don't know if they suck. A lot of our puppies have sucked on toys and the dog beds but soon grew out of it. Seven never did, she still sucks pillows (her own.)
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