Apollo is "Special." I really need advice - German Shepherd Dog Forums
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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Apollo is "Special." I really need advice

Apollo is the one in my icon pic. My fiancé and I joke around that he is our "special" dog but it is getting to the point of becoming such a ridiculos headache. He chases his nub of a tail incessantly. He has no tail. The previous owners had his tail docked because they came home one day and he had literally chewed his entire tail off. He gets plenty of exercise, my fiancé runs for an hour or so a day with him and he plays like crazy with Riley. I have worked continuously with him on redirecting his attention and it just doesn't work. He is neurotically obsessed with lights, mirrors, and shadows. I put my makeup on in the mornings and he sits right in front of me to see the reflection of the mirror. Last night I was vacuuming and he was playing with the vacuum intensly and all the sudden goes after his nub of a tail. I just don't understand why my efforts to redirect are failing. He is really smart and learns exponentially faster than Riley. ITs just his tail. Any advice on what I can do or change?
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 02:04 AM
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I don't have any advice, but I feel for you. It must be so hard to deal with. I hope someone can help you and Apollo.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 02:08 AM
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Sounds like OCD and/or seizure disorder. There are medications that can help. Consult a vet.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 07:42 AM
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Sounds like OCD and/or seizure disorder. There are medications that can help. Consult a vet.
Agreed. At this point, I would see help from a vet that has training with issues like OCD.

How much is he mentally stimulated through training? That might help a bit. If he is so wiped from being made to really think, he may forget that he wants to chase his tail or lights.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 08:10 AM
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Definitely consult a vet/behaviorist- you'll probably need medication to control his disorder.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 09:06 AM
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You can start with Tufts University and go from there on their recommendations for his OCD. Ask them also who can help you locally.

PETFAX Behavior Consultation: Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University

Behavior info: Tufts Animal Behavior Clinic : Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine

He's not enjoying it either - they are so much happier when they have resolution of their symptoms (problem is probably still there, underlying, temperament).

Let us know!





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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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See I just wet to a vet yesterday. I had his yearly shots and examination done. All she said is that GSDs are prone to that kind of stuff. Yep, he gets lots of mental stimulation and is super quick to please. When we are training he doesn't think about his tail bit the minute we go inside it's back to tail chasing. I also work with a behaviorists and when we get together we will work up to 3 hours sometimes. Once we did 5 hours but I had Riley with me as well. We got back home and he pooped out for maybe 20 minutes and then got up to go after his tail. He is also very leery of anyone touching his back end. Only I can and it's usually when I give him a bath. I've been trying to pet his rear end an tail and use something positive to associate but he just completely hovers over his back end when I go to scratch or do anything to it.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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And when I mean super quick to please it's like when I tell him to do something it's immediate and when I teach him something new it doesn't take long at all for him to get it. He is a big eye to eye contact dog as well.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 10:02 AM
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See I just wet to a vet yesterday. I had his yearly shots and examination done. All she said is that GSDs are prone to that kind of stuff.
Go see another vet - one that has experience with this. Check out the links that Jean posted.

Imagine living with the constant need to run in circles. You never get to relax. Please do everything you can to help Apollo get some relief from his obsession.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 10:10 AM
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He should probably be medicated and under the care of an animal behaviorist/psychologist. Just because their prone to it doesn't make it okay or do anything to help him which is what you need- your vet blew you off so go elsewhere. There are meds for OCD so get a consult and start them, then continue behavioral therapy, and realize this is going to be a lifelong battle for him just as people with OCD, addictive behaviors, and depression need constant care so will he. You'll get to the point where you may not need a behaviorist to help train the behavior because you'll become capable, but it's something you can expect to deal with forever through medication and once a year evaluations of his current needs
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