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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I adopted a dachshund/lab mix from a shelter back in March. Her name is Paige and she's very sweet, but I'm not sure how to handle some of her behavior. I used to own a 19 and 1/2 year old blind beagle named Cookie before her. I spent most of my years taking care of Cookie because she was so old and blind. She used to be stubborn and independent in her youth and would do everything herself until about the age of 11 or 12. Then she went blind at 15. I had to do everything for her but she retained most of her independent attitude.

After she passed, I was extremely depressed until my family and I adopted Paige, and she's so different from Cookie! I'm having a hard time adjusting still to this new behavior, even after months of having Paige.

For starters: Paige has separation anxiety. She can't stand to be anywhere without me. She isn't destructive, but she will whine. I think this also causes her to be afraid of her crate. She refuses to go in, even with treats/toys/blanket. So I cannot crate her. I can't put her outside for long either because she will bark excessively to get back to me. She has also started snapping at other members of the family. I am just guessing it's still the anxiety because they do nothing to set her off. She will just be petted, or being played with, or even have a person nearby and she will do a warning snap (she has not bitten). There doesn't seem to be a trigger, so the only thing I can think of is the anxiety and trying to protect me.

Along with the anxiety, she is very fearful. If you accidentally raise a hand too fast, she will cower and try to hide. If she cannot reach me physically inside the house where she knows where I am, she will cower and pee on the floor. If anybody in my family raises their voice too high pitched and excitable, she cowers. I do not know if she was hit by her previous owner or if it's just her personality. Paige is very sensitive to people, and if you tell her something too harshly, it will utterly crush her and she will go and hide (this accidentally happened once and it took a full day of loving to get Paige back to normal).

I want to give her more confidence and make her happy. I don't mind her being around me often, but the snapping has to stop and she needs to understand nobody in my family would EVER hit her. I'm just so used to a stubborn, independent dog who tries to do everything herself, despite being frail and blind. So this is a big switch, and I could really use some advice! I think most of her problem comes from the separation anxiety. But I didn't think it was so extreme (since she isn't destructive) so I've been lost on how to tackle it, while still letting her be around me if she chooses. :confused: Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Also: I don't know if this matters, but we have another dog, a 6 year old lab, Luke. He is VERY energetic and excitable and is generally an outside dog. He utterly refuses to play with Paige, despite her efforts. He will sniff her, then go about his business and ignore her. So the only way Paige can play is with humans.

Sorry this was so long! :eek:
 

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Fearfuldogs.com

I'd also suggest that you consult with a positive behaviorist. It's a lot easier for someone who can see your dog in action to provide good advice than it is for us here on the internet. Especially if she's snapping, since that can so easily lead to biting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the link. I will look through it!

The thought did cross my mind about a behaviorist, but I wasn't sure if that was a good idea. I mean, she isn't aggressive or such a bad case. I do not want to risk a bite though. I'll look around my area and see what I can find. Maybe you are right and they can see something I can't, because I can't see a possible trigger for her doing a warning snap.
 

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Definitely get an evaluation. The poor dog is constantly afraid and that's no way to live. It may be that she needs some medication to get her to a better place, and a qualified behaviorist would be able to tell you that.
 

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Don't worry too much about your other dog not wanting to play. When we got Cooper our mini aussie, our 12 year old lab wanted NOTHING to do with him. It wasnt until 3 months later he finally warmed up to him. If we took Cooper to the vet Bo would great him first before us! You have to give dogs time to get used to eachother.

Your dog needs to be evaluated. She has very low confidence and seeks you whenever she is scared or afraid since you are a comfort zone to her. She's gonna need a lot of training and confidence boosting. It sounds like she was abused in her last home and she's always going to be somewhat fearful but you can make it better. Most of the time aggression in dogs is from fear. If she's giving a warning snap that means she is very very afraid and if they did come close she would bite!

Invest in a personal behaviorist so she can learn to build some confidence at home. Correcting anxiety/fear in dogs is a time consuming process that takes a lot of your own involvement. You need to be consistent with what the behaviorist tells you and you will see a change in her. She needs to know that whatever happened to her in the past wont happen again.
 
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