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Old 12-12-2012, 10:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Over excitement?

Hi there!

I haven't been on this forum for a few years... but I have a concern.

I have a 3 year old doberman female. She has always been a whiner.. nose whining. I have never been able to train it out of her. She is terrified of getting her nails trimmed, although I am the only person who has ever done it, so I know she hasn't had some terrible technician give her a bad experience. I think I've barely quicked her maybe 2-3 times in her life. She is also terrified of baths. Fights me tooth and nail. I bring this up because in the past this has been the only time she displays the behavior of whole body trembling. She cries, and fights me, and trembles uncontrollably.

We go on walks every day. Its routine that I pack up her and my 1.5yr old rottweiler in the truck and go to the park for an hour of free run time. Recently, whenever I get ready to take them, she starts trembling and whining non stop. Its getting worse and worse. I try to tell her to stop it, try to calm her down by petting her, tried to be stern and not take her in a time when she is acting this way and wait for her to calm down. The problem is she won't calm down. I've tried desensitizing her by putting the leash on her then going about my business so she doesn't know when she actually gets to go on a walk. I have waited for HOURS and she will not stop trembling and crying- obnoxiously so. The same thing goes on at feeding time. She can't sit still for a second and spins in circles even when I tell her to settle down and stay put. Trembling at feeding time as well.

I've seen all of these behaviors here and there when she was younger, but its just getting worse and worse. She can't control her excitement. Is this a case of anxiety????? Also, the dog that helped raise her recently passed a few months ago. So maybe his comfort being gone is making matters worse?? My rotti doesn't act like this at all, but I can see him learning bad habits from her so I want to nip this as soon as possible. I once had a dog on prozac for anxiety, and it worked very well.. but it was aggressive anxiety. Roziel (my doberman) isn't aggressive at all, she is a chicken in fact. Would medication help in this instance?

I'm at a loss of what to do. Any advice is much appreciated!

~Jenn

Last edited by JennZilla; 12-12-2012 at 10:47 AM..
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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27 views, no replies? Any help is good help please!
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm sorry, I don't have experience in this area.

But if I were in your situation, I'd first talk to a breeder, and if that's not an option, I'd take her to the vet.

Not liking nail trims or baths is fairly normal. But being scared is not. Medical intervention may be necessary. But I'm not a vet nor an experienced owner by any means.
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Old 12-12-2012, 12:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi. I helped my neurotic screaming Dobie by teaching her the look.

She too would scream in the car when nearing the woods, scream when getting fed etc etc

The look starts with treats in hand the minute she gives you eye contact treat her. Don't ask for a command just wait till she looks at you. Don't move your hands or try to direct her.
Once she learned the basics I taught her to look on command by raising my finger. Once that was mastered we progressed to her having to stay totally still, no tail wagging,no noise nothing.

This I practise when I throw a ball for her which would normally send her into screaming fits
Now I lift a finger she lowers her front legs on the floor butt in the air and stays very still, no noise she get the ball. Any noise or movement she forfeit her ball.

In the car I just raise a finger and she goes quiet.
It's 90% successful she still has a few issues with reactivity to strangers but we are still a work in progress.




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Old 12-12-2012, 02:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks so much for the tip! She does very well with eye contact. She will stare directly at me and just tremble and whistle with her nose- thats the quietest she gets when she is excited. What do I do if she doesn't stop trembling? Do I still give her a treat for being quiet, if that is achievable? How long do I wait? She is not highly food or toy motivated, so if she continues on for very long she then loses interest in the treat.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:12 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I forgot to mention, she even trembles in her sleep.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Is it possible she's cold? Maybe try a sweater? If I were cold all the timeI'd be on edge.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by JennZilla View Post
Thanks so much for the tip! She does very well with eye contact. She will stare directly at me and just tremble and whistle with her nose- thats the quietest she gets when she is excited. What do I do if she doesn't stop trembling? Do I still give her a treat for being quiet, if that is achievable? How long do I wait? She is not highly food or toy motivated, so if she continues on for very long she then loses interest in the treat.
The look is quiet a common training tool used by most trainers.
A google search will probably be the best route to get the right way to train.
I work on instinct so it's hard to say how long etc.

Have you had her thyroid tested. A lot of dogs who shiver whilst sleeping have been found to have thyroid issues. Could be another reason why she is acting differently.


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Old 12-12-2012, 04:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Interesting.

quincy will do that whining thing when he's very excited while I'm preparing his meal (he loves food). Sometimes if it's getting on my nerves I can calm him with some firm direction to 'quiet' and making eye contact then 'good quiet' when he calms down. The reward is the meal.

your situations sounds a bit more complex - and I'm the least qualified - heck, my dog clicker trains me. There's some good resources in the Portland area for training and working with fear and anxiety. Hopefully some of the area experts chime in.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:33 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I would rule out the thyroid as well.

My rescue Stormy has been like this the whole time I've had her. She definitely got worse when we lost our other dobe this spring. In her case, for whatever reason, she just has issues. She's on Prozac but it's not really doing much so I'm going to talk to the vet about weaning her off.

And yes, she is worse when she is chilly, but she never shivers at night. That would make me wonder if there isn't something medical going on.

Good luck and let us know how you make out.
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:47 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4Dobes View Post
The look is quiet a common training tool used by most trainers.
A google search will probably be the best route to get the right way to train.
I work on instinct so it's hard to say how long etc.

Have you had her thyroid tested. A lot of dogs who shiver whilst sleeping have been found to have thyroid issues. Could be another reason why she is acting differently.


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Actually yes, I have had her thyroid tested. She has been shivering her whole life, so I had her checked at around a year old and at 2yrs old. She was low normal, but normal non-the-less. I do know that she gets cold easier than my other dog. Sometimes she will tuck herself next to the heater. What I am concerned with is the anxiety behavior. I will work on the "look" command, and if that doesn't pan out, I suppose off to the vet to see if she needs anxiety meds. Thanks guys!
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:17 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Dr. Dodds recommends that doberman thyroid levels be kept at mid-range, a low normal could still be causing problems.
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I would rule out the thyroid as well.

My rescue Stormy has been like this the whole time I've had her. She definitely got worse when we lost our other dobe this spring. In her case, for whatever reason, she just has issues. She's on Prozac but it's not really doing much so I'm going to talk to the vet about weaning her off.

And yes, she is worse when she is chilly, but she never shivers at night. That would make me wonder if there isn't something medical going on.

Good luck and let us know how you make out.
Slightly off-topic, but if Prozac (fluoxetine) isn't working for Stormy there are quite a few others you can try...I know a lot of anxious dogs (as a result of having one myself) and some of them had no success on one drug and great success on another. You might talk to your vet about sertraline, clomipramine, paroxetine...there are options!
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:04 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks MC, been through the clomipramine already but I will see what he thinks.
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