Friday, April 9, 2010

Puzzling Animals

Don't animals just offer the strangest puzzles to solve? Everything goes along fine and then all of a sudden another challenging behavior. In this household it doesn always have to be a horse either. My dog Zoe, 3/4 dachshund 1/4 jrt, has all of a sudden gotten more aggressive toward the other animals. Yesterday she attacked a cat. NOT allowed. I have seen her pounce on my silky chicken, and snap at the ducklings. Things she has never done before.

So what happened? I mean I can not have her attacking cats! How do I handle it now? She has always had a high prey drive, but managed to keep in under control around the cats and chickens.

Well like any change in behavior I started to look at what had changed. Recently we started using an invisible fence, not a big fan of them, but Zoe would be good for a few days and then run down and out to the street. Bad, but we live on a dead end so not as bad as it could be. The worst was my Bichon, Gracie. All of a sudden she started taking off, going down the road and then out to another road, on her way to a county highway. Not a good place, so we started using the fence. It works great. Zoe can be outside a lot more now, which she loves. BUT because she could, I was not playing ball with her. BINGO. Zoe needs to get rid of excess energy.

So we have started playing ball. She has been as good as gold since. She has not even looked at the cats. She likes to chase things, so I am giving her an acceptable time and place to chase.

Now if I can just unlock the mystery into Kinsey's mind. . . .


  1. Is the fence you are using have an electric shock collar? The sudden aggression could be a symptom of a condition called learned helplessness. My dog Savanah had the same issue. She did not fully understand the fencing, even though she would not cross the flag boundaries. She became aggressive when we wanted to do something with her. We did some serious training with the fence with her for almost 6 months and that aggression went away. Aggression is one of the symptoms of an animal with learned helplessness.

  2. She understands the fence, there is a little bit of frustration for not being able to go past it. I have taken that in to account too. She just wants, no needs, to run. She needed more exercise. I used to take a "Chuck It" out with me and throw it all the time, but have not because she can not go every where that I go. I can see that her brain is returning, she just needs that release. . . I'll post picture tomorrow.

  3. Good job figuring it out!! Jackal and Storm misbehave more when I don't exercise them too. A good reminder to walk them lol.


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