Help with OCD Behavior - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
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Help with OCD Behavior

I'm posting because I am out of ideas with what to do about my 11 month old pups OCD pacing/floor licking(edit: not a shadow chasing issue, does it regardless of shadows). This has been going on for a few months now and I'm not sure how to stop it. Usually I will get him in a down or sit and keep him there until he settles down which gets a treat. Usually takes a few tries but eventually he'll chill out and be fine for the rest of the night. My problem is that a few months later and he hasn't figured out the pacing is not what I want. Is it some sort of attention seeking behavior that I should be ignoring to let him know it doesn't work?

Physical exercise is a daily 2 mile jog and usually 2 hours or so at the dog park on the weekends. Mentally been doing training classes up until recently, but I'm still practicing things with him at home - fetch, stays, heel, etc. 90% of the time he's a very excitable puppy that listens well. Any and all advise is appreciated. Thanks.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-21-2014, 10:36 PM
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Honestly to me he looks bored, he is probably high energy/anxious and in need of direction. I'm not saying keep your dog in a down stay 24/7 but tell him what to do/what he should be doing. Don't let obsessive behaviors start, at the point of pacing I would send him to a bed? Teach him a place behavior.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-22-2014, 01:26 AM
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This doesn't look like OCD to me. Looks like he's just trying to entertain himself. I think your best bet is to get a mat/rug and teach your pup that this rug/mat is his spot in the house. Treat him while on it and whenever he steps off, redirect him back to the mat and treat him. It could take a couple days/week/2-weeks but he'll learn that he's only allowed to be on that spot while in the house. That's what I do with my pups and they go to their spot as soon as they enter the house. They don't even think of moving off of their rug. It's easy for me to do work and not worry about them screwing about, which sounds like what you are looking for? My pups are very active too (one very hyper active) so take it from me that it's possible to teach a hyper active dog to stay in one spot. It takes time to teach the house etiquette but it's one of the most important things you can do for the long haul.
After treating them on the rug for about a week, you can leave a toy on their rug and it'll keep the dog entertained while staying in one spot. After a month of enjoying the rug, you can even remove the toy and they'll just sit, down, and pace around the rug… but mostly downing.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-22-2014, 06:42 AM
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Doesn't look like OCD to me either... And he's still young. I would try giving him something to chew on when it's down time.. Nylabones, marrow bones, kongs, etc.. And definitely keep up with his training..

Sometimes they just have to grow up more before they settle.


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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-22-2014, 07:19 AM
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Why not try some puzzle toys to keep him busy with mental stimulation:
Canine Genius | The orignial smart toy for dogs!
Dog Puzzle Toys for Sale Online | PetSolutions
Also, "nose games" are great and tire them out!

I don't know if it is or isn't but here are some things that might help if it is:

Help for OCD Dogs - Whole Dog Journal Article

Calming Collar: DAP (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) Collar: ADAPTIL (DAP) Collar - Dog Appeasing Pheromone Small

Dr. Dodds and Dr. Aronson suggest that Obsessive Compulsive Behaviors may come from thyroid function: The Effect of Hypothyroid Function Function on Canine Behavior Paragraph 11 "Some dogs develop obsessive behaviors such as tail chasing and pacing."

Good Luck
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-22-2014, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advise. I guess I thought it was a bit OCD because of the licking and he doesn't stop until you get after him (well I havent let it go longer than an hour or so to see if he would stop). He knows his "bedtime" command pretty well and I'll put it to use a bit more. He has quite a few toys including a nylabone and the "Linkables" toys, but most to them end up at the bottom of the stairs from when he goes outside, he'll drop them down at the top of the stairs.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 04-22-2014, 08:37 PM
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He's got the energy flowing no doubt....

I've always jokingly said.." My GSD has 2 years to come on line...if not they're off to the farm". My experience somewhat isn't too far off from my sarcasm...never sent one to the "farm" yet. My current shepherd is 20 months ( 4 months left 'till the farm" )...and she has mostly come on line and put those energetic uses to better applications. My approach this time has been a bit different than previous GSDs I have been graced with...difference being...more times of stimuli vs fewer times of stimuli...but both equally the same in overall time. Instead of 2 or 3 times a's more like 10 times a day but the time consumed is probably equal. Honed in on the down/stay with the reward being physical those things they love. Something about an extended down/stay with the promise of romping around or training seems to have worked on my excitable shepherd.

I understand this might not be realistic for some on a timetable but if you gave it a whirl, maybe it might temper the situation you are dealing with. Overall, I might suggest this situation is a passing phase due to age but sometimes the best impetus to train our dogs is when it disagrees with our personal desires. If you want it enough, you will find a way.

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