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  #16  
Old 11-14-2006, 02:29 PM
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Re: Canine obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) -- shadow/light chasing, eating flies

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Originally Posted by dmoniz View Post
I was going to ask about the fly chasingsnapping. If there really are flies, this wouldn't be OCD would it?
No - if there are really flies than it is not OCD

BUT if the dog has OCD, than the real fly can trigger the OCD behavior - at least in Bella's case - There is a definate difference in the way she behaves if she is chasing a fly vs. snapping the air at imaginary flies..there is a video on the net somewhere with an example - I will try and find and post when I have more time...
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  #17  
Old 11-14-2006, 02:33 PM
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Re: Canine obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) -- shadow/light chasing, eating flies

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I was going to ask about the fly chasingsnapping. If there really are flies, this wouldn't be OCD would it?
If I understand correctly, the activity (shadow chasing, fly snapping) isn't the issue, it's ANYTHING the dog is obsessed about. So if the dog is obsessed with snapping at flies, the issue is the obsession, not if the flies are really there.
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  #18  
Old 11-14-2006, 02:42 PM
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Re: Canine obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) -- shadow/light chasing, eating flies

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Originally Posted by LynnS View Post
No - if there are really flies than it is not OCD

BUT if the dog has OCD, than the real fly can trigger the OCD behavior - at least in Bella's case - There is a definate difference in the way she behaves if she is chasing a fly vs. snapping the air at imaginary flies..there is a video on the net somewhere with an example - I will try and find and post when I have more time...
I would understand this to mean she's not obsessed when chasing flies but is when snapping at imaginary ones? If this is the case, couldn't a dog also be obsessed with chasing flies but not be obsessed if they occasionally snapped at imaginary ones? Occasionally as in the dog does this, but is not obsessed with doing it. LOL--this makes my brain squeak.

Last edited by Jantea; 11-14-2006 at 02:47 PM. Reason: addded a line
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  #19  
Old 11-14-2006, 02:51 PM
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Re: Canine obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) -- shadow/light chasing, eating flies

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Originally Posted by Jantea View Post
I would understand this to mean she's not obsessed when chasing flies but is when snapping at imaginary ones? If this is the case, couldn't a dog also be obsessed with chasing flies but not be obsessed if they occasionally snapped at imaginary ones? LOL--this makes my brain squeak.
What I was trying to say is that a real fly can trigger my dog's obsessive behavior and that there is a visible difference between the 2 behaviors. I am just speaking about my experience with my dog. BostonRott posted previously on what constitutes obsessive behavior (one of the keys being can they be easily redirected away from the behavior). When my girl was really exhibiting OCD behavior, I think I could have thrown a steak in the middle of the room and she would have ignored it. She certainly was oblivious to my presence or any verbal command I gave ( I just put her cute butt in a covered crate to chill out)
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  #20  
Old 11-14-2006, 02:58 PM
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Re: Canine obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) -- shadow/light chasing, eating flies

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Originally Posted by Jantea View Post
If I understand correctly, the activity (shadow chasing, fly snapping) isn't the issue, it's ANYTHING the dog is obsessed about. So if the dog is obsessed with snapping at flies, the issue is the obsession, not if the flies are really there.
Not necessarily. If there are no flies, and the dog is not sitting outside bug-eyed, hoping for flies, then it's more a case of prey drive.

You have to be very careful about trying to fit everything neatly into a box. One must look at the overall picture of the behavior and how it relates to the dog's life. That said, snapping at invisible flies *can* also be a form of siezures. Either way, it's a behavior that needs to be investigated.

Shadow chasing, in general, should not be encouraged, for the problems that it can lead to. Some dogs may do it innocently and never develop a problem. However, too many people are too oblivious to basic canine behavior and dog language, that I feel it is much safer to recommend against this behavior in general. When someone comes to the boards and posts about it, saying their dog is "obsessed" and that they need help, then that is a fairly obvious clue that for THIS dog, in THIS situation, there are problems and the dog needs to be considered for OCD behaviors.
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  #21  
Old 11-14-2006, 04:41 PM
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Re: Canine obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) -- shadow/light chasing, eating flies

My deaf female cattle dog has OCD....if allowed she will chase shadows and pounce on the floor continusly while barking........not only is this annoying...it can lead to injuries in their shoulders and necks....she is on a strict exercise routine that helps a great deal to lesson this behavoir...but I am always aware of what she is doing at all times..that way I can redirect her behavior, not punish.....before I had her she worked on a cattle ranch herding BULLS she developed this issure while in the shelter where she spent much of her time caged......she is a very high drive individual with a huge amount of energy and at 8 years of age is still not slowing down...
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  #22  
Old 11-14-2006, 07:51 PM
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Re: Canine obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) -- shadow/light chasing, eating flies

This is really interesting Gretchen. I would think some of the same diagnostic criteria used for human OCD would apply for dogs.

So basically is the behavior impairing normal functioning? Is it causing significant distress? Is it not explained by a medical condition (i.e. allergies). Although I think the itching associated with an allergy could continue after the allergy is treated. Not sure if that is OCD or if it has another name.

Anyways I think whether it's OCDish or not is more about the consequences of the behavior than the behavior itself.
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  #23  
Old 11-15-2006, 07:50 AM
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Re: Canine obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) -- shadow/light chasing, eating flies

Thanks for the great information Gretchin. Now I feel a bit of relief about Maggie - she loves chasing/barking at the wheelbarrow and vacuum. However, this does not consume her. If she is doing something else (like eating or getting attention from someone else), I can go vacuum and she ignores the vacuum (or wheelbarrow) - however, if she is just lying around bored, she is up an at um. I do stop this, and treat her when she is not going after the item. If she is getting out of hand and not listening to me, I remove her from the situation so I can finish what I am doing. I don't want to stop what I'm doing, but also dont want to let her continue this behaviour. Is this correct?

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  #24  
Old 11-15-2006, 11:06 AM
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Re: Canine obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) -- shadow/light chasing, eating flies

This is such a good thread. I may be wrong, but I believe chasing a vacuum or lawn mower, while disruptive to the person doing the job, is more of a prey or play drive.

I have seen a shadow obsessed border collie, it is sad. Boris has some behaviors that make me think he could get obsessive about things. Does doing a long stint in the shelter add to that tendancy?
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  #25  
Old 11-15-2006, 01:02 PM
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Re: Canine obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) -- shadow/light chasing, eating flies

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Originally Posted by MissMary View Post
I don't understand why people would get upset when told thier dog had OCD...that is just silly to me.
They could be upset because they inadvertently created this problem with their pet to begin with (such as using laser pointers).
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  #26  
Old 11-15-2006, 01:18 PM
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Re: Canine obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) -- shadow/light chasing, eating flies

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Originally Posted by debbiej View Post
This is such a good thread. I may be wrong, but I believe chasing a vacuum or lawn mower, while disruptive to the person doing the job, is more of a prey or play drive.

I have seen a shadow obsessed border collie, it is sad. Boris has some behaviors that make me think he could get obsessive about things. Does doing a long stint in the shelter add to that tendancy?

Help me out here Gretchen... but I think the tendency towards developing OCD is more genitics than evironmental? I have seen it alot in the high drive breeds border collies, high energy labs, cattle dogs...even in horses...animals with high energy and intellect that are not given the opportunity to exercise these attributes......although environment could definately be a trigger...take this same animal and confine it for long periods of time and you get trouble...........
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  #27  
Old 11-16-2006, 12:34 AM
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Re: Canine obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) -- shadow/light chasing, eating flies

Pam, much of what I have read says exactly what you've stated.....high energy, high intelligence breeds tend to be more afflicted, and it's often due to a stressor or frustration.

Now, whether I feel that such a tendancy runs in lines.............haven't thought about that.

As for above, I would view wheel barrow/lawn mower chasing as prey drive. I have dogs who do this too, and they're verbally corrected. For the most part, they don't even bother with it any more.
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  #28  
Old 11-16-2006, 07:58 AM
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Re: Canine obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) -- shadow/light chasing, eating flies

Thanks Gretchin. She seems to be getting the message.
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  #29  
Old 11-16-2006, 11:22 AM
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Re: Canine obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) -- shadow/light chasing, eating flies

My dogs are verbally corrected for chasing the vacuum and lawn mower, and they leave them alone.

My question was if being in a shelter for a long length of time could lead to OCD in a dog. I guess, in reading the information given, it could. thanks
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  #30  
Old 11-16-2006, 11:51 AM
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Re: Canine obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) -- shadow/light chasing, eating flies

As a dogsitter I have come across obsessive behaviour too. I have a Staff who constantly chases his tail and it tends to be when extra people are in the room. I had a Cocker who would cheerfully spend ALL day EVERY day out in the garden waiting for shadows so she could lick and dig at them. Both owners were concerned and tired with the behaviour, this was only two dogs and I am not suggesting this would work for everyone but with the owners permission I tried this method with slight results and if the dogs had been staying for longer perhaps there would have been a break through. When the dog was doing their "thing" I would go to the dog and with no fuss or attention I would put the lead on and bring the dog to sit with me on the floor by my side on the sofa, no attention no eye contact, nothing. Once the dog was breathing normally and being calm I would let them off the lead again, as soon as they did their thing again I would repeat, no fuss and on the lead by my side, the gaps were definitely getting longer. Its not much fun and the results are small to start with but worth a try. Good luck.
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