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Depressed dog

January 17th, 2005, 09:57 PM
We brought a wonderful mini schnauzer home about a month ago (now 13 weeks old) and she's been great. We did everything right according to the books by picking the quiet puppy. And boy is she quiet--we had to attach a cat bell to her collar so we could tell where she was in the condo!

But ever since the first night, I've had something bothering me and it wasn't until today that I realised what it was...I have no connection to this dog. Instead of picking the puppy that had a connection to me (chemistry) I picked a puppy according to the books. I think my dog sort of feels the same so she is kind of distant and not very affectionate. She doesn't really enjoy being picked up-she squirms like she's being strangled. She does lick and enjoyes getting pats but not too much and she loves treats and doing commands and she's already potty trained. She loves meeting new people--especially children.

She tends to go off by herself a lot of time and kind of "sulk" as if she's bored even though we take her out a lot and she doesn't really enjoy walking all that much either because it's too cold and she absolutely LOATHES the tugging of the leash. We try to play with her but she'd rather "sulk" most of the time instead of chewing her toys or playing. We have so many toys for her it's not funny.

She is crate aggressive (growls if you stick your hand inside her crate) and she is scared of new places. She's also extremely moody--it's as if she goes into depression and it takes a lot of cajoling to get her to cheer up if you discipline her--all we say is "no" when she does something wrong--it she's very disobedient (biting, chewing electrical wires, jumping up, growling or nipping heels) we confine her in the kitchen area by putting up a gate for a few minutes and that really depresses her--it's as if we hit her or something. For mouthing, we use the puppy yelping technique and it works ok. But not really but we're afraid of doing anything harsher for fear that she will go into depression again.

Are my feelings normal? Or am I being too needy? Have I done something wrong? Is this just her personality that I have to accept? Does anyone else have a dog like this?

Lucky Rescue
January 17th, 2005, 10:47 PM
Where did you get this puppy? A puppy who "sulks" or seems depressed could have something physically wrong with it. Have you had her thoroughly checked out at the vet?

(biting, chewing electrical wires, jumping up, growling or nipping heels)
This is puppy behavior and schnauzers can be very dominant little dogs. She needs firm but positive training. She probably hates the leash cause she is not used to it. Just attach it to her collar then call her. Let her drag it around and call her in a happy voice and praise and treat her for coming to you.

My suggestion is a complete vet check, then get her into a puppy class. It will help socialize her, you can learn how to train her, and should give you a bond with her.

January 18th, 2005, 12:20 AM
Yes, we've had her checked by the vet and they say she is in perfect health--is there something else we should be checking for?

We got her from a reputable breeder north of Toronto--she comes from show lines but she is pet quality--leggy and lean, but adorable anyway.

I've done some more reading and I think she just has a very independent personality. She's not really dominant, she just needs her own space. She listens very well and will not mouth when we ask her to stop and if she does she quickly remembers again and stops. She is submissive most of the time and will "tolerate" affection from us for a few minutes before walking away. She's very much like a cat rather than a dog.

We will try the puppy classes after she receives her last booster--I think she would be a great contender for agility or flyball seeing that she loves to run but I don't know if she would do it just to please me--but I guess that's something we would have to try out first before assessing.

Thanks for your input!

January 18th, 2005, 07:38 AM
I believe dogs can sence peoples moods, and if you don't truly love this dog and don't feel a connection to it. This pup probably feels this, and is not giving you all his love if he doesn't feel it from you.

When my mother-in-law got her yorkie puppy, I really did not like her, it's like the puppy knew, ,and would always growl at me and try to bite me!!
As soon as I really tried to connect with this pup, she has become much more affectionate with me :D

January 18th, 2005, 09:46 AM
A Minature Schnauzer! Oh! My favorite kind of dog. You are so lucky! I think everyone here has given you great advice.

And don't worry - that bond will come. My mother's sister's family bought a mini schnauzer many moons ago (when I was a young girl). She was a cutie. I remember when they brought her home -- she was so little and quiet. She chewed on my sneakers (while my feet were still in them!). I remember being so impressed with the beautiful wicker dog bed they had for her. Then I remember my mother telling me that she chewed it up.... :D They had her for three years when it was discoverd that their youngest child (my cousin) developed severe allergies and asthma and the doctor advised them to give their dog away. :sad: My aunt, uncle and cousins were devistated. My mother offered to take Heidi.

So, they bade her an extremely tearful goodbye and my mother brought home our brand new little dog. We were delighted! Heidi was so clever and cute! But she was sad at first. She sort of knew us -- but we weren't her people. She moped around, cried a fair bit at first. But in time, the bonds developed and she loved us as much as we loved her. Her original family were cousins and didn't live that far away - so they came visiting often and Heidi would always go crazy-go-nuts at the sight of them - licking them, jumping, rolling, chatting with them, staying close. At first, I used to think she'd rather be with them then us -- but no, she'd watch them leave at her spot at the window and then all was normal again in our household. A few years later, we went on a holiday where it just wasn't appropriate to take her (we ALWAYS took her on holidays with us). So, my aunt said that they'd keep her for the week. I was worried that she'd never want to come back to us! But when my sister went to pick her up - she nearly dragged my sister home at a very fast run!! And WE got the crazy-go-nuts dance when she saw us all. We never went away to a place we couldn't take her with us again.

We had Heidi for many, many years (she lived until she was 17 years old) She still always did the crazy-go-nuts dance for my cousins and aunt and uncle when they came for a visit - but she loved us best (especially my dad!).

I still get misty eyed when I think of her..... Here's a shot of her admiring a Christmas turkey cooking....she's about 11 or 12 years old by this time -- and still was a lot of fun (whoo-whoo! Check out that old kitchen!)

Lucky you! I always envy folks with a schnauzer -- To me, they are so clever and fun! All the members of my family (parents and siblings) will turn their head and do the big 'awwww' thing whenever we see a mini schnauzer walking by with their people. Have fun!

January 18th, 2005, 10:02 AM
Since she got a clean bill of health I agree get into obedience classes with her and you will develop a bond. I am also a firm believer in talking to my pets just as if they were human I have found it seems to really bond my dogs to me doesn't really matter what you are saying most of the time but I always throw in what a special boy Buddy is and how handsome. He loves it he will lie down with his head in my lap and sit and listen to me and fall asleep. Either he loves it or I am boring as hell.

heeler's rock!
January 18th, 2005, 10:08 AM
You said that your pup isn't really dominant, but if she's growling at you for putting your hand in her crate, that's dominating you. You also said that she doesn't like being picked up, well that's probably because most dogs don't like being picked up. That's also one of the worst things you can do. Picking up your dog puts them at your level, and makes them see you as more of an equal, than the Alpha. They can also get protective of you and agressive. You need to show her you mean business. When you put your hand in her crate and she growls, do you move your hand right away? You shouldn't because this is teaching her that growling at you is acceptable and you become submissive to her.

My advice to you is to be more firm with her. Dogs are great at manipulating people, if they are allowed to do so. The more she comes to respect you as the Alpha, the more willing she will be to please you, and you will form a strong bond with her. She'll look up to you for direction and she'll respect you. The more you feel sorry for her and let her get away with bad behaviour, the more she'll walk all over you. Definitely socialize her as soon as possible. Get her out to meet other dogs, and people. Schnauzers can be quite moody and tempermental dogs if not socialized properly. Good luck! :)