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Hello

I wonder if there is anyone out there that can help us we have a nearly 3 year old black and tan doberman. She has a lot of allergies to many to list (mainly pollen related). She is currently on steroids, primrose capsules, salmon oil, and a weekly wash. But she still continues to suck, lick and bite her right hind flank to the point she is soaking wet. She has been known to bite paws and her back leg but this is rare. It is so distressing to watch her, as she really bites it and gets frustrated if she can't get to it.
If there is anything out there that you could recommend that could relieve this for her we would be so grateful.
Thank you
 

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Amy was a flank sucker, since puppy hood...but never licked her feet or had allergies.

Lots of catching her (in the act) and just using the word ENOUGH and getting up and visiting the couch (stand over her, until it ended) if we had to.
- then the command was semi-effective without moving an inch...she always knew, I was going to stop it, if I had to / if I commanded her to STOP, I would follow through
Using the words, "AMY CLEAN UP YOUR SUCKY".... followed by "GOOD GIRL".

Now that she is old, flank sucking finally stopped.
 

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^^^^ +1

Yes it is from stress & OCD - Amy could never be trained, to like a crate, which she constantly cried in & contributed to her stressed while confined.
- When our pup was caged only for a few hours/day, she probably flanked sucked a lot / when she stopped whinning or tried breaking out to freedom
- she never ever played with toys, in her crate
(only cry non-stop / flank suck, to kill boredom / or plan escape route, and try to open the cage door, from the bottom)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you she doesn't do it while locked in crate only while out of it. Do you think it could be stressed cause she's irritated due to her allergy cause is allergic to nearly everything they tested for?
 

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Are all her supplements given orally? Do they smell bad or taste bitter? Do they give her heartburn/upset stomach? Do you have to force them down her throat? Does she hate being bathed/wiped down? A "yes" to any of these questions could mean her stress level is increased when she is dosed/treated.

You can try increasing her play time/exercise level, giving her "Rescue Remedy", giving her a massage, and consulting your vet about the pros and cons of prescription anti-anxiety meds.
 

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This behavior has been around Dobermans for a long time. I liken it to sucking their thumb. For some reason it is comforting to them.

I'd just ignore it unless it becomes problematic. The more you play it up, it seems that the more it would happen.

I always try to use diversion to change or stop a habit. Give them something to keep busy with.
 

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that you, now I know that my girl is normal at least with regards to this, it is so bizarre looking and she will sometimes sleep in this position
 

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My last doberman male used to lick himself, when I changed him to the raw diet, all the licking stopped. He was allergic to his kibble, tried all kinds but nothing worked. Only the raw diet.
 

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This behavior has been around Dobermans for a long time. I liken it to sucking their thumb. For some reason it is comforting to them.

I'd just ignore it unless it becomes problematic. The more you play it up, it seems that the more it would happen.

I always try to use diversion to change or stop a habit. Give them something to keep busy with.
^^This

My last dobe was a flank sucker, and he did not have allergies nor did it seem to coincide with him being stressed. The majority of the time he did it when he would get comfortable and Like Dobies71 said, it was like sucking his thumb before falling asleep.

If he is just getting wet/slobbery I wouldn't worry about it unless he is causing himself to lose hair or getting sores/raw spots or something. I don't think its related to the allergies, just a coincidence.
 

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^^This

My last dobe was a flank sucker, and he did not have allergies nor did it seem to coincide with him being stressed. The majority of the time he did it when he would get comfortable and Like Dobies71 said, it was like sucking his thumb before falling asleep.

If he is just getting wet/slobbery I wouldn't worry about it unless he is causing himself to lose hair or getting sores/raw spots or something. I don't think its related to the allergies, just a coincidence.
This is absolutely correct. It is just a comforting thing. I leave it alone. The more you try and stop it, the more stressed the dog becomes, then they want to "destress" more to comfort themselves. It sets up a vicious circle.

That is why I say, leave it alone unless it is making sores etc. It is usually benign. Often you will hear them "wimpering" as they go off to sleep.

Thumb sucking is just that. And, since they are always "children" as far as developement with no "peers" to tell them they are wierd, they will do it.
 
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