View Full Version : I need advice.

12-20-2011, 11:06 PM
Boo has got very aggressive at certain times of the day, with me. I can`t go to the bathroom in the morning without him tossing a ball at me and shrieking. I put him out and shut the door. He grumbles and growls til I come out. He`s calm the rest of the day. After I`ve execised him or even before, he`ll bring a toy or ball and demand I play. When I ignore him, he`ll growl at me and it`s not a grumbling. It`s teeth bared. Tonight, after I told him to go lie down, I didn`t want to play, he lunged at my foot and ripped my sock off my foot. His back hair was standing up on end. If I hadn`t moved quick, he would`ve bitten me. This isn`t my Boo, what the hell`s happening? All this has only started since his surgery. Coincidence? Maybe. Is it a power struggle or what? Should I take all his toys away and only bring one out when I want to? This behaviour is worrying me. I`ve been consistent with him for 6 years with routine and everything else. I thought dogs mellowed out with age. It seems he`s going nuts all of a sudden.

Gill and Boo.

12-20-2011, 11:57 PM
Just a possibility, but it could be a thyroid problem. An imbalance can cause unexplained aggression. Is he due for a checkup fairly soon, so you might be able to get his thyroid checked?

12-21-2011, 03:46 AM
My Boo has always been bossy, but now, at nearly 12, she is horrid to the other dogs all the time and really winds us all up. I've just had her checked out, and all the vet can come up with is that her arthritis is becoming more painful in the cold, damp weather - and it isn't likely to improve as she gets older still (Somedays that should read 'IF she gets older still' !;))
Hope you can find out the cause soon - it's so unpleasant to live with, isn't it? Especially when you can remember a much calmer dog in the past. :(

12-21-2011, 12:57 PM
He really is like a 2 year old kid having a temper tantrum. Certain things set him off but not always. My getting up to answer the phone, going to the bathroom, taking out the trash, getting the mail. I can invite him out with me to do the mail and trash but he won`t come out of the house, he just want`s to nip my heels on the way. He used to mooch around quietly when I first get out of bed, now I have to let him out immediately so I can do what I need to without his constant shrieking. During the day I can do some of these things without a murmur from him. Last night I put his toy basket in a closet and made sure there were none in the bedroom. This morning he was baffled. He had no ammunition and he was quieter. I don`t think it`s a health issue but I`ll call Dr Cromer and ask her opinion. I used to think his quirks were amusing. Not any more.

Gill and Boo.

12-21-2011, 01:36 PM
If this is a health issue, then Opie has it too:lol:Sounds to me, like Boo is needing more exercise. Both my Heelers act the same way, when they have pent up energy. Opie will growl, raise his hackles, spin in circles and generally drive my Rottie crazy. He will also do this to me, if his sisters get tired of him pestering them. While trying to wrap my Mothers presents, Opie started to run around me with a toy. He tossed it in my lap, played bowed and eventually started to bark & spin. I got up off the floor and told him (in my deep serious voice) NOT NOW! SETTLE! It is like he gets all this energy built up inside and it has to come out! He was taught as a pup that nipping me was a no no, but he nips at my husband.
I'm a pretty strict trainer, so Opie knows his limits, but to someone that doesn't know him, he might appear to be a crazy dog. I don't consider this behavior aggression, nor do I think he is trying to dominate me. He just gets restless & has a huge amount of energy! He barks when we flush the toilet, when we put on our coats, if I say the word RIDE, and when I say the magic word- OUTSIDE! He goes totally ballistic! If we are in a hotel, then I keep him quite, but at home, I let him have these sudden bursts of energy. It reminds me that he needs some exercise. Not just physical, but also mental. Do you do any kind of training with Boo? Could you take him to a herding class?
Boo sounds like a normal Heeler to me. Rough & rowdy play, with lots of growling. Very impatient- "Come on human, get those boots on & lets go outside!"
Opie will be 7yrs old next month & he hasn't mellowed or slowed down a bit. If I'm sick or I have to go take care of something for my Mother, my Heelers drive my husband insane! They act exactly like Boo, the difference being, that Opie has 2 other dogs & another human to drive crazy, before he takes his chances with me. He knows I will not tolerate him nipping at me, but he will run up & down the stairs, run around my bed, spinning in place, barking his head off- and this is after he has played with my girls & they have grown tired of him. The Rottie will growl and let him know she has had enough, so he then goes to my husband, who eventually yells at him. IMO- pent up energy!

12-21-2011, 01:53 PM
Ok, so it`s normal then. Thing is, since his back surgery, I was told not to let him over-exert himself til the end of the year so no frisbee, jumping etc. So I`ve been limiting his exercise to 2 runs for 30 mins in the park twice a day. If the nuerologist knew about that she`d probably say that was too much but she doesn`t have to live with him.
I`d love to take him to a herding class, there`s one not too far from me but it`ll have to wait til the Spring. There`s no way either of us are getting out of bed at 6am in the cold and dark.

Gill and Boo.

12-21-2011, 02:05 PM
I've been through the same thing, when Opie or Penny get injured! Eileen started a sticky thread for keeping dogs occupied during down time (not sure what it is under- Training?) I've never had a Heeler that didn't act in this same way, when they were forced to take it easy. Easy is just not in their vocabulary!:lol:Could you play tug with Boo? Would that hurt his back? I know some say that you shouldn't play tug, but I've always used the game for quite times (like hotels) As long as they drop when I say, then I feel like it is OK to play. Opie will always drop the toy, when I say "drop" & will not pick it up until I say "TUG". I use the game for exercise & for training. Sometimes, I wait for a few minutes (probably seems like hours to Opie) to restart the game, after telling him to drop. I just always make sure I control the game.
I once had a foster with a broken leg. I kept that dog entertained by driving her to different places. She could only walk for short periods, so I would take her to lots of different places to sniff & look around. We were sometimes still on my own property, but she didn't know that. To her, it was an adventure.

12-21-2011, 05:30 PM
My favorite mind game I play with the dogs is the shell game. I sit on the floor and take 3 plastic cups, turn them upside down and let them see me put a treat under one of them. Then shuffle the cups around on the floor and let them find the treat. Blaze is patient and sniffs each one then knocks over the cup to get the treat. Oscar can't stand the wait and usually after a waiting a bit will knock the cup out of my hand that has the treat. I don't mind that he does that, because the mind stimulation works well to keep him more calm later.

12-21-2011, 06:03 PM
Yeah, I`ve done the shell game. I never win. The other thing I do is put a toy or ball under a plastic laundry basket and let him figure out how to get it. 10 to 20 seconds tops. I took him for a walk last night to look at the Xmas lights and I just took him again before school let out. It won`t hurt me to get my butt off the couch and do a little extra. It`s not like I work! That`s funny cause when I was working and left him in the house for 10 hours, I never had these issues.

Gill and Boo.

12-21-2011, 06:06 PM
He used to mooch around quietly when I first get out of bed, now I have to let him out immediately so I can do what I need to without his constant shrieking. During the day I can do some of these things without a murmur from him.

I halfway wonder if he's not just managed to train you.

12-21-2011, 09:03 PM
My vet called me back. When I told her about Boo`s behaviour she laughed her butt off. Said, "It sounds like a training issue to me." She`s a very sensible lady and I`m an idiot. Badeggsalad, you nailed it!
Tonight, this is funny, I put Boo`s food in his bowl, he stepped on the edge of it and the whole thing went up in the air, kibble all over the room. It still only took him a minute or less to find it all and scarf it down.

Gill and Boo.

12-21-2011, 09:51 PM
Eileen started a sticky thread for keeping dogs occupied during down time (not sure what it is under- Training?)

It's in the Health & Well-being section - "Things to Do with a Recovering Dog". Good for keeping minds busy, even if they're not recuperating!


12-22-2011, 12:34 AM
Tonight, this is funny, I put Boo`s food in his bowl, he stepped on the edge of it and the whole thing went up in the air, kibble all over the room. It still only took him a minute or less to find it all and scarf it down.

Gill and Boo.

Definitely sounds like Boo is bored and shaking things up to keep himself amused, lol.

12-22-2011, 11:22 AM
I haven't read this thread until today and I'm sitting here laughing. My thought?-------this is what we get for having a dog/breed who think on their own, can devise games from scratch, who can show disapproval in various "creative" ways, who are independent, strong minded/willed, and generally smarter than we are. If Boo could talk, you probably wouldn't like most of what he would say nor the language he used in saying it, LOL. Frankly, I love it, I live with dogs who aren't cookie cutter dogs, who think outside the box all the time, react and relate to me (sometimes in ways I'm not too happy with at the time) and who make every day unique. And no, they don't slow down in the thinking/manipulating department until the day they take their last breath--and that day always comes way too soon. My dogs argue back at me, my male argues with an attitude, I always win but it because I'm stronger willed than they are, I wouldn't have it any other way, bring on the ACDs, life is good!

12-22-2011, 12:58 PM
I took all his toys away again last night. He did find one ball that he`d stashed in another room, among the box of kitten toys, crafty bugger, but he didn`t ask me to play. He just lay down with it and waited til I`d had my cuppa tea and was ready to go to the park. We`ll see how long this lasts. It really is a battle of wits with these guys.

Gill and Boo.

12-22-2011, 06:17 PM
Ah, never a dull moment in life living with cattle dogs. Just gotta love 'em!

12-27-2011, 01:20 PM
For whatever reason, Boo`s behaviour has been much improved the last week or so. No more frenetic barking. Maybe taking his toys away and an extra walk around the block in the afternoon worked. Have to say though, his back legs have been pretty wobbly the last 2 days and this morning he was reluctant to run after his ball at the park. I hope it`s just the cold weather and not a backslide. (No pun intended.)

Gill and Boo.

01-22-2012, 03:10 PM
I've been following your progress with Boo and I'm wondering how things are going, if you don't mind.:)

01-22-2012, 10:02 PM
Boo`s fine. I stopped the frenetic barking by shutting him out of the bedroom when I was getting dressed. He protested at first but has learned when I go in there he has no say in the matter. He`ll still have a hissy fit when I`m on a phone call but not always, I think it depends on my level of excitement and it`s usually when I`m on the phone with Jeannine, my best bud.
I`ve also learned that once you`ve contained one obnoxious behaviour, these dogs will find something else to annoy you. Last night I was outside talking to a Dish Network rep. Boo was in the house. A while later she was still canvassing the street and I was taking Boo to the park in the car. I rolled my window down to say something to her and Boo let loose. She said, " Oh my, is he vicious? " I laughed and said, " No, he`s just opinionated and he doesn`t want Dish. " It`s an ongoing adventure.

Gill and Boo.

01-22-2012, 10:47 PM
best dogs in the world !
they make you excercise your body , and your brain .
there friggin therapists!!