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Ellimaybel 05-09-2014 03:59 AM

Obsessive Behavior
 
I read a lot of threads on here and I can't help but wonder. Is all the "obsessive behavior" on here really so much the dog being obsessive or the owner obsessing over the dogs behavior? In cases where the dog isn't hurting himself, i.e. chewing him/herself raw is this behavior really so bad or do some owners overreact?

1. Tail chasing. We know that this could be bad if the dog starts to hurt themselves. However if the dog simply enjoys chasing it's tail, is it really so bad?

2. Licking. Ok, so the dog licks the floor. After ruling out medical issues, is it really such a huge deal?

3. Eating bad things. If what the dog is doing is causing them physical harm obviously it's an issue. Otherwise what is the hang up other than not wanting the dog to lick you?

4. Chasing light. Really? Does it shorten the dogs life if he/she enjoys chasing laser light, reflections, or an other light? No. At least not as far as I have seen proven.

Not trying to belittle anything serious but I have to wonder. Are the hang ups about our dogs supposed OB really about the dog? Or do we just have too much of a jaded perception of the world and so high expectations that we can't allow our dogs to just be dogs?

When did we start putting such high expectations on our dogs when we fail to meet societies expectations of us? Even if we don't fail, why should we ever expect our dogs to be held to such high standards?

Living vicariously through the dog? Being a worry wart? Or just wanting to bring out the best in the dog with absolutely no worries if they fail?

Just wondering where we fall in this. I for one have to admit that I feel like a failure sometimes and feel that if I can bring out the best in my dog it will make me feel like less of a failure.

I don't worry about supposed OB. I let him be a dog as he lets me be a human.

JeanKBBMMMAAN 05-09-2014 07:21 AM

Is OB obedience or obsessions?

Quote:

4. Chasing light. Really? Does it shorten the dogs life if he/she enjoys chasing laser light, reflections, or an other light? No. At least not as far as I have seen proven.
Please explain what sources you are referring to as not proof?

You are asking about a spectrum of behavior that can range between a small, occasional issue, to a dog that has it's tail amputated, all the way to something that causes the dog to be put down when it can't be fixed and it is all they do all day, with all kinds of interventions used, and their quality of life is gone.

I think it's hard to discuss this without having some science involved, and a basic understanding of the physical piece that is behavior.

jocoyn 05-09-2014 07:38 AM

There was a lady here whose dog obsessed with light and it was a major problem that escalated into aggression. I have seen dogs who have destroyed their own tails. That sounds like a problem to me not just, oh well......

blackshep 05-09-2014 08:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ellimaybel (Post 5494810)
4. Chasing light. Really? Does it shorten the dogs life if he/she enjoys chasing laser light, reflections, or an other light? No. At least not as far as I have seen proven.

Actually I know a dog trainer who has a dog owner with a Border Collie in for training that they would play with the laser light with. She said the dog is now totally obsessed with trying to find the light, tries digging through the floor to the point that it has cause the paws to bleed, runs around looking for it everywhere. So I do think it can cause some significant behavioural issues, yes. I'm not sure it would happen for all dogs, but the ones who are really intelligent and have a tendency to get a bit neurotic, I think you do have to be careful.

My dog is totally ball obsessed. I have to be careful, because she got into a thing when she was younger where she would not go to the washroom outside unless she had her ball, and she can't always have her ball. It didn't bother me that she would go to the bathroom with her ball, but it did bother me that she was starting to think she couldn't go without it.

So no more ball when we go out to potty, only playtime.

Otherwise she's obsessed with playing with it all the time, won't go to sleep without it etc. It's like crack to her, she gets this glazed look in her eyes when she's chewing on her ball. I don't mind that so much, but I definitely have to make some clear rules about when and where she can play with them.

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Blanketback 05-09-2014 09:07 AM

OP, I assume you've never experienced any of these behaviors? If that's the case, then it would be very easy to jump to conclusions. Anyone who's observed these 'quirks' and seen them escalate will tell you differently.

Sarah~ 05-09-2014 09:30 AM

My dog was very into the lazer pointer, he still is, but I would tell him no when he kept looking for it and he stopped. I don't think he was really OBSESSED though. It was more like he just wanted to keep playing like when he keeps bringing me me the ball or the rope after I got tired. He has crazy energy lol.

Lilie 05-09-2014 09:47 AM

I mentioned before about a friend who had a rockin' tracking dog. He became obsessed with gophers. They allowed the behavior in the beginning (when he wasn't on a track) as they thought it was a great release for him. Sadly, it ruined him. Totally.

SuperG 05-09-2014 09:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ellimaybel (Post 5494810)
I let him be a dog as he lets me be a human.


Wonderful conclusion....and I wholeheartedly agree with your premise regarding who might be displaying the OB behavior. Of course my opinion is based on the rule not the exceptions....I assume you might feel the same, since some dogs certainly can exhibit OB.

Too many humans view what's "best" for their dogs through the "human eye" rather than attempting to try their best to see it through a "dog's eye". My guess is, this is where the difficulty and confusion begins. I would also wager that the majority of dog behavior coined as OB by the owner either is short-lived or a miscalculation by the owner as they fail to understand the impetus which creates such behavior deemed as OB.

There might be an argument to support that much of the behavior we train or "expect" our dogs to adhere to, is more suspect of being OB....instilled by the human, knowingly or unknowingly.

Yes, there are those who have dogs which definitely exhibit OB but they would be in the minority.

I am more of the school that a dog's psyche reflects much of the owner's spirit and of course there are those mutually beneficially times where the human learns from the dog.

And I get to come full circle and conclude with the eye-opening words you ended your post with......" I let him be a dog as he lets me be a human."


SuperG

Ellimaybel 05-09-2014 12:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SuperG (Post 5495602)
Wonderful conclusion....and I wholeheartedly agree with your premise regarding who might be displaying the OB behavior. Of course my opinion is based on the rule not the exceptions....I assume you might feel the same, since some dogs certainly can exhibit OB.

Too many humans view what's "best" for their dogs through the "human eye" rather than attempting to try their best to see it through a "dog's eye". My guess is, this is where the difficulty and confusion begins. I would also wager that the majority of dog behavior coined as OB by the owner either is short-lived or a miscalculation by the owner as they fail to understand the impetus which creates such behavior deemed as OB.

There might be an argument to support that much of the behavior we train or "expect" our dogs to adhere to, is more suspect of being OB....instilled by the human, knowingly or unknowingly.

Yes, there are those who have dogs which definitely exhibit OB but they would be in the minority.

I am more of the school that a dog's psyche reflects much of the owner's spirit and of course there are those mutually beneficially times where the human learns from the dog.

And I get to come full circle and conclude with the eye-opening words you ended your post with......" I let him be a dog as he lets me be a human."


SuperG

Thank you for understanding what I was getting at. I don't think that everyone read the whole post as much as they skimmed it. Otherwise they would have seen where I posted "Not trying to belittle anything serious but I have to wonder." Or some ignored it. I was not saying these issues can't be a big deal but that maybe often times they aren't as big of a deal as people think. I'm referring to the large number of threads filled with "obsessive behavior" because an owner panics and jumps straight from a dog chasing it's tail to omg the dog is going to die! Personally I believe that some obsessive behavior is partially on some owners. Not all, some.

Sarah~ 05-09-2014 12:53 PM

Yes, I can see that, if I stand over my dogs being anxious or stressing over what they're doing I know they pick up on that. It's why I stopped fussing over how picky Eko is, I was so worried about him not eating and hovering over him trying things to get him to eat, that I made him to upset to eat. He still isn't thrilled when I come near him as he eats, I have to ignore him completely.


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