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Living with a neurotic dog

by Finy (follow)
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Pet Care (148)      Dogs (165)      Behaviour (46)      Pet Stories (22)     


Pinnochio, or Pinno as he is called was bought by me after my last German Shorthair Pointer died of cancer at just 7 years of age.

The German Shorthair Pointer mostly has a delightful nature, and this was the first time I had had male dogs -I find them more loving than females.

Pinno was bought against the advice of my friend, and breeder of GSP's, from another breeder.

He turned out to be totally neurotic over very strange things.


He would not go down narrow passages, he would not walk past a bright yellow building where we wanted to walk each morning, and he generally seemed to have phobias straight away.

Even getting him into the car was an ordeal and in hindsight I do not think he had ever been out of this unscrupulous breeder's farm gate.

He was sold to me at full price yet he was totally the wrong shape for this breed of dog and had many physical and obvious (not to me at first) faults.

A "show" GSP next to Pinno

He was incredibly loving, however he had such limitations and eventually I realised there was a huge problem.


We called in the Doggie psychiatrist.

Most of what he told us was true and worked slightly, however it did not get rid of his phobias and unusual fears.

As he aged he seemed to get odd things wrong with him -he shivers for no reason and the countless visits to the vet have not solved this.

It is difficult when a dog has a mental, and often physical problem, as they cannot tell you what they are thinking or feeling, unlike a human and a doctor.

He likes thunder but before a storm, and during a storm or even rain, he is obviously petrified and very distressed.

He was totally obsessed with some of our farm animals and would stand and point at some of them for up to an hour without moving.

Pinno pointing at geese or ducks in background

This is not a normal thing for a pointer to do and he possibly had the dog form of OCD.

He used to "point" when a baby llama was born

As he has aged, and he is now 13, he has got worse, and after going to vets and they being unable to diagnose what was wrong with him, I decided to stop spending a fortune, finding out nothing, and learn to live with this darling neurotic dog.

He is very special to me as he once saved my life -but that is another story!

I am now learning not to make a fuss of him when he does the obsessive things as I had another trainer in when I moved back to the city.

He is an incredibly intelligent dog who stands and barks or paws at the heater every morning if I do not turn it on.

He has a beautiful, soft nature and although not so eager to please me, follows me around generally when he is nervous.

He was once so frightened when it was raining and windy that he smashed through a glass window to get inside. If it is windy, he climbs on to furniture where he normally knows he is not allowed to go -I have no idea what climbing up has to do with fear!

I have been told that when he displays this behaviour I should not cuddle him or make a fuss as this only enforces the phobia, and he gets attention from it.

However this is genuinely difficult to do when you see your dog so stressed -he will not even eat a treat if he is in one of these "fear" states.

This is a dog who is normally fearless and chases any animal on our farm, if given half the chance.

I was told he could have dementia some 7 years ago when he was only 6 however do not believe this was a true diagnosis.

When he is in his fear mode, he also gets into garden beds where he normally would not go, and will actually shift things to get in under a plant.

At one stage I went to work for a few half days and this was the time when he smashed through the glass window.

He can no longer tolerate most of the drugs he was given when younger.

Clonicalm was a great one with no obvious side effects however he actually went quite beserk after being given this drug last time to calm him down.

He is now unable to handle an anesthetic also, and last time the vet had to give him a very mild one as he HAD to have grass seeds cut out of his paw.

After the last anesthetic

Even though he is so neurotic, I would not change him and am thankful that he has come into my life.

It requires a lot of patience from me, however I have now learnt to live with a neurotic dog whom I have loved from day one.

I hope we have a few more years together.

#Pet Care
#Pet Stories
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