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Discussion Starter #1
I picked Cherry up from the boarding kennels on Saturday. I was told that she didn't settle very well and that she'd only let one member of staff near her
She ate well, came home and had some diarreaoh (which she always seems to get when there's been a change of some sort) and she seemed very happy to get home.

However, she's been displaying some out of character behavior since being home. She's become attached to one of her toys - a little too attached
She has a squeaky cake toy. It's never been one of her favourites, but since she's been home she's carried it everywhere. At first I thought she had just missed it or something. But every minute of the day seems to be dedicated to this cake


If she goes anywhere it has to come with her. She's washing it constantly, and nuzzling it too. She growls at my Mum's Border Collie if she even so much as looks at it. She lets me touch it, but she gives it a thorough wash afterwards. She puts it next to her, almost as if she expects it to nurse? Honestly, I've only ever seen this behavior with a mama dog and her pups. Oh, and she also stares at it and whines..

Can anyone shed any light on this? She's never done this before and it's getting a bit obsessive.. I don't know if it could be related to stress?

Thanks in advance for any help!!
 

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When I read the topic, I suspected dissection (not so odd though).

Dunno, but made me wonder if there had been a nursing female and pups
at the kennel? I've heard of false pregnancy, but first time I've heard of a false nurse?

Sounds like she wants to have her cake, and nurse it too.
 

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Has she been spayed?

I'd be really upping her exercise for a bit. Going out of my way to take her out and about and really tire her out. Helps put the memory of the kennel further away.
 

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did she get to take anything familiar with her to boarding? Maybe she was so happy to know that things were the same when she returned home, that she just zoned in a toy she remembers.
 

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I would bet false pregnancy, also. And it may have started before you even boarded her. That could explain her behavior with the staff and other dogs there.

Might be time for a check up to see what the vet thinks.

False prenancy can be very stressful for the dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for your comments everyone.. She's still acting a little strange, she's trying to nurse one of her other toys now too.. She was off her food yesterday and I was panicking a little, but she's back to normal again today.
It's been so hot here recently, I didn't know if maybe the heat is affecting her. She's had her paddling pool out which she enjoyed and took her mind off of her 'babies' for a while.

She's not spayed.. I'm keeping a close eye on her. Her behavior seems to suggest a false pregnancy, but she's not showing any physical signs... Yet. She seems to be better if I keep distracting her. I'm also not ruling out that it could just be the stress of boarding that got to her. I went out for the day yesterday and was told that she got so upset about it - perhaps the thought of me leaving her is still a sore spot.

Thanks for all your help, I'm gonna see how she goes and if her mood doesn't improve in the next couple of days I think we'll take a vet visit.
 

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it could also be a phase,since shes still young.
i know kong use to be atachted to stuffed bear,he wouldnt sleep with out it and if you took it hed wine till he got it back.
so then i weaned him from it,one night when he wasnt looking i snatched it and put a smaller garfield doll in its place,he wined at first but then he ecepted it,then i replaced garfield with a lil tiger toy,he didnt wine but he still atached himself too it so then i would only let him have it at night,then i took it away all togather,and he was cured in about 5 weeks.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks NewGSDownerm
It could still be a phase. Especially since she got stressed due to the boarding and everything. I'm keeping an eye on her though. She seems more like herself as far as her mood and everything goes - she did seem a little depressed last week
She's now eating fine and playing and her happy self again! The only thing that she is still doing is trying to nurse her cake. Yesterday she lifted her leg and put it under her and just layed back like it was feeding
 

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Discussion Starter #10
No she's not spayed, yet..

I just wanted to let everyone know now that I'm pretty sure that it's not a false pregnancy and that she's not stressed anymore and she's back to her old self. She still 'nurses' the cake and will pile a few of her toys up next to her, but I'm thinking that's it's probably because she isn't yet spayed and she's maturing now. The last few months especially she's really grown up (she's 20 months today!), so I think perhaps she's just become more maternal?
 

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