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Cinder, Cockapoo, 6 years! :)
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I have three aquariums set up in my bedroom. My dog, a 6 year old cockapoo, was fine with them at first, perfectly fine! A few days ago I did a water change and redecorated a tank, and now she will not stop fixating on my crab tank. Just the crab. Beside him I have a tank with fish but they aren’t a problem. She sits on the end of the bed, staring at him and whining, sometimes high-pitched growling and sometimes panting.

I tried googling the issue but it didn’t help, I think the panting and growling is maybe anxious or excited? related but. I don’t know what her deal is. I’ve had the crab for a few months and it has just now become a problem for her.

I’ve (not sure if it was a good idea) lifted her to it and allowed her to look at and smell the tank. I’ve tried to bring her away from the foot of the bed and distract her with scritches and her hard cheese chew. I’ve tried to praise her when she is silent or looking at me rather than the crab. But once I stop petting or getting her to redirect, she goes right back to whining and staring. I don’t know what her problem is,

She is starting to drive me nuts, and if I can fix this without moving the tank, that would be perfect,
 

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Z, Rescue Mutt
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So, you've tried redirecting, but it hasn't worked. First off, keep at it- it'll take a while, but she'll get used to it. Redirecting is very effective, but can take a while to have real results. But second- yes, let your dog look at and smell the tank. She'll start to get used to it and realize that it's okay. Reward for any looking at the tank or being near it. She will start to associate the tank with good things.

This may be far fetched- but is it possible that there's anything different about the water? Not necessarily anything harmful (although if anything else is weird, you may want to have the water tested)- but dogs can detect the tiniest little differences, it's possible that that is what's weirding her out. Or- you said you redecorated, I don't know what exactly redecorating entail in a crab tank, but if anything moves or generally looks weird or smells weird (from a dog's perspective), that could bother her. Is it possible to re-re-decorate?
 

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Cinder, Cockapoo, 6 years! :)
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So, you've tried redirecting, but it hasn't worked. First off, keep at it- it'll take a while, but she'll get used to it. Redirecting is very effective, but can take a while to have real results. But second- yes, let your dog look at and smell the tank. She'll start to get used to it and realize that it's okay. Reward for any looking at the tank or being near it. She will start to associate the tank with good things.

This may be far fetched- but is it possible that there's anything different about the water? Not necessarily anything harmful (although if anything else is weird, you may want to have the water tested)- but dogs can detect the tiniest little differences, it's possible that that is what's weirding her out. Or- you said you redecorated, I don't know what exactly redecorating entail in a crab tank, but if anything moves or generally looks weird or smells weird (from a dog's perspective), that could bother her. Is it possible to re-re-decorate?
Okay I didn’t think about rewarding for being near the tank- I’ll keep a baggie of treats around for just that, and I’ll keep trying to redirect when she gets too hyped up over it,

I could put it back the way it was. I added a single fake plant and moved some rocks around is all I really did. The water has a slight odour as you get closer, more so than a fish tank, so I suppose that smell could be irritating her too. I’ll clean it again tomorrow and move some things back so it appears normal to her. It is brackish water too so maybe there’s a certain smell about the salt that’s finally just getting to her.

Thanks for the advice!
 

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Hey I keep fish tanks as well, curious what the crab tank smells like? Just brackish water? Or ammonia or fish food?

My pup sees my angelfish because of their size, but not so much the smaller ones. One thing he gets more interested in is plecos (bottom feeders). Probably because they are on the bottom like bugs or animals on land (gravity).

If my pup notices the tanks, it's because he's intrigued, nothing is bothering him. But you know your dog best, is it a curious whine or is she upset?
 

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Cinder, Cockapoo, 6 years! :)
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Hey I keep fish tanks as well, curious what the crab tank smells like? Just brackish water? Or ammonia or fish food?

My pup sees my angelfish because of their size, but not so much the smaller ones. One thing he gets more interested in is plecos (bottom feeders). Probably because they are on the bottom like bugs or animals on land (gravity).

If my pup notices the tanks, it's because he's intrigued, nothing is bothering him. But you know your dog best, is it a curious whine or is she upset?
The smell is hard to describe, but it has a slight, for lack of better words, stale smell that my other tanks don’t have. There’s a lot of rock that might create some dead spots, and the hood lights create quite a bit of heat that gets trapped in there too.

At one point I figured she was just curious, but she seems so agitated, like at times that she just wants to get up there and eat him. She leans as far over the bed as she can, licking lips and whining, wagging her tail, shuffling her little feet.
When I first got my large tank she was interested in watching the fish swim, so maybe I’m just misinterpreting her behaviour now for something bad,

It could be something to do with the line of sight too. The crab is a hider, comes out when no one is by the tank. Perhaps this hide and seek game he plays makes her upset? Like how she can see him and he just vanishes on her.
Not sure how much credit I can give her but sometimes when he’s out I watch him too, is it possible she’s just learned to copy me?
 

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I'm not a behaviorist, but I would say yes, it's possible she is more interested in something you are or really like.

When we were hampster sitting, my girl couldn't leave it alone. We had the hampster in the bedroom, she would do the same, whining and at the foot of the bed reaching toward the cage. I really think she is just facinated and wants to get at your crab.

If it's driving you crazy, could you try a sheet over the crab tank and see if her obsession is still engaged without sight of crab (or hide and seek games)?

Being an owner of a high prey drive dog, I know them by now, they want at the critters. Yours could be different, but I'd guess it's more frustration over not being able to get the crab.
 

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Cinder, Cockapoo, 6 years! :)
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I'm not a behaviorist, but I would say yes, it's possible she is more interested in something you are or really like.

When we were hampster sitting, my girl couldn't leave it alone. We had the hampster in the bedroom, she would do the same, whining and at the foot of the bed reaching toward the cage. I really think she is just facinated and wants to get at your crab.

If it's driving you crazy, could you try a sheet over the crab tank and see if her obsession is still engaged without sight of crab (or hide and seek games)?

Being an owner of a high prey drive dog, I know them by now, they want at the critters. Yours could be different, but I'd guess it's more frustration over not being able to get the crab.
I’m thinking that too, frustrated at not being able to eat him. She seems to have calmed her staring down a bit, though I’ve started making her leave the room and taking her outside or into another part of the house when she starts whining too much. Maybe she was just bored. I’m hoping she was just super interested and taking the attention she was getting for being a butt as a sign that whining gives attention, negative or not.

She is a card for sure and drove me crazy for her own personal reasons haha. If only I could understand those reasons lol,
 

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That's great you got her distracted and able to release some of that pent up energy. If you think she is bored, do you play any games with her? My boy (he's only a pup) loves hide and seek. He loves to run around me and for me to chase him with a toy in his mouth. I sometimes play food games like hiding food under a couple tiers/layers of towels, wrapping treats in scrap fabric and rolling in a towel, hiding food in a room and telling him to find it, stuff like that.

Look up nosework games. Sniffing and using their nose is just as good exercise as a walk.

Btw my girl used to tap dance her front paws all the time when she was excited and happy. For her she was def in a good mood and not stressing
 

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Cinder, Cockapoo, 6 years! :)
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That's great you got her distracted and able to release some of that pent up energy. If you think she is bored, do you play any games with her? My boy (he's only a pup) loves hide and seek. He loves to run around me and for me to chase him with a toy in his mouth. I sometimes play food games like hiding food under a couple tiers/layers of towels, wrapping treats in scrap fabric and rolling in a towel, hiding food in a room and telling him to find it, stuff like that.

Look up nosework games. Sniffing and using their nose is just as good exercise as a walk.

Btw my girl used to tap dance her front paws all the time when she was excited and happy. For her she was def in a good mood and not stressing
We play a bit, she likes hand puppets- to chase that is, or when you wiggle blankets or towels at her. She’s not that good at fetch but we toss toys around a bit.

The hiding food games sounds like it would be really fun for her! I’m going to have to try that, get her using her nose and working a bit. I am definitely going to look up more nose work games for her, she would really love that, thank you!
 

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No worries my boy and all of my passed dogs (also 2 terriers) didn't bring back the ball or whatever I throw, they just run to it and take off with it wanting me to chase them lol. I really don't think most terrier types are that into retrieving. That's ok they are bonkers to chase and sniff things 😉
 

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Cinder, Cockapoo, 6 years! :)
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No worries my boy and all of my passed dogs (also 2 terriers) didn't bring back the ball or whatever I throw, they just run to it and take off with it wanting me to chase them lol. I really don't think most terrier types are that into retrieving. That's ok they are bonkers to chase and sniff things 😉
Depends on a dogs personality I guess if they like to fetch haha, we had a poodle terrier years ago that only played fetch with a specific fuzzy ball, wouldn’t play with any other toy- and we still had to chase her down to get it too ha! She was a good pup.

My girl really enjoyed the nose games tho! That was a good idea. Possibly cuz she got lots of treats but it’s fun watching how smart they can be with their noses!
Our other games don’t usually last too long, mostly ones with the hand puppets or wiggling my hands under blankets cuz she can get real into them. For a small pup she can bite pretty hard haha. But I’m definitely gonna find more games to get her occupied and keep her busy using her nose. Run her around the house finding hidden treats haha
 

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Oh I just thought of something else if you don't already....Does Cinder have a kong or similar for stuffing food? There are endless recipes online, but also super easy to throw your own together (provided you have knowledge of toxic ingredients and foods). I sometimes use leftover pasta, rice cheerios or whatever mixed with natural PB and low fat yogurt, with some tasty treats in the bottom 😉 I never knew how dogs could get out the stuffing in those, but I was amazed with how creative he is to get them, never fails haha!

We always wiggled our fingers/hands under the blankets, that's a great game! As is getting her to dig under a pile of blankets and pillows to get at your hand (if you're ok with that that is). I started calling it 'the weasel' lol. "Get the weasel!" "Ohhh? Where's the weasel?"

Or try arm wrestling with glove if she's not a piranha. Ozzy has a furry blue one. Protects against teeth ha!

Edit:
I should correct/elaborate on what I said terrier types not really being that into retreiving, it's not all of them and I guess it's trainable, but my pups were never into bringing it back or found any enjoyment in the game 🤔 Could be I wasn't persistent enough but admittedly it wasn't much fun for me if they weren't enjoying it.
 

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Cinder, Cockapoo, 6 years! :)
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Oh I just thought of something else if you don't already....Does Cinder have a kong or similar for stuffing food? There are endless recipes online, but also super easy to throw your own together (provided you have knowledge of toxic ingredients and foods). I sometimes use leftover pasta, rice cheerios or whatever mixed with natural PB and low fat yogurt, with some tasty treats in the bottom 😉 I never knew how dogs could get out the stuffing in those, but I was amazed with how creative he is to get them, never fails haha!

We always wiggled our fingers/hands under the blankets, that's a great game! As is getting her to dig under a pile of blankets and pillows to get at your hand (if you're ok with that that is). I started calling it 'the weasel' lol. "Get the weasel!" "Ohhh? Where's the weasel?"

Or try arm wrestling with glove if she's not a piranha. Ozzy has a furry blue one. Protects against teeth ha!

Edit:
I should correct/elaborate on what I said terrier types not really being that into retreiving, it's not all of them and I guess it's trainable, but my pups were never into bringing it back or found any enjoyment in the game 🤔 Could be I wasn't persistent enough but admittedly it wasn't much fun for me if they weren't enjoying it.
I used to have one, but I’m not sure where it went off to. I’ll add it to my list to get her one, or make one to test if she would use it. She might find it interesting or get tired of working for her food haha
She would find it fun I think once she realizes there’s some good foods there- not just store bought treats.

Oh she loves those kinds of games, calling it the weasel is a good name for it too! Might just have to call it that rather than ‘what is it?’ Or telling her to ‘get it’ haha, my hands that is,

A thicker glove is a good idea too, less chance she could get skin in her teeth- she has a habit of finding the smallest bit of wrinkled skin and latching onto it pretty good haha

Yeah if a dog isn’t into a game it’s not as fun for anyone. I would agree any pup could be trained to fetch but if they don’t have fun doing it, it seems like it would be more of a forced interaction and would probably make them unhappy. Our outside dog loves to chase sticks and tennis balls, but is terrible at bringing anything back. Which is okay, she has just as much fun being chased around haha
 
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