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dog eating dirty cat litter!

September 16th, 2003, 01:20 AM
my dog, kona, has been acting strangely over the last two days and i was hoping someone might have some advice before i call the vet tomorrow morning. she is a 4 year old jack russell/staffie cross whom we adopted a few months ago from the spca. she is a wonderful, loving dog, but seems to have some "security" issues- everywhere we turn, she is constantly right behind us with her nose stuck to the back of our legs, she always wants to lay on us in bed or on the couch, and we believe her previous owners may have hit her, as even raising our hand in the air to wave to a neighbour while walking her will cause her to cower and nearly drop to the ground. we do not hit her, yell at her or make angry gestures so this must be something she has picked up from previous experiences. she is a very smart dog, while we don't think she's had much formal training she sits, stays, shakes a paw, heels, isn't a constant barker, etc, and she is really sweet and quite calm. however, over the past couple of days she has seemed a little hyper, racing all over the house a million miles an hour and gobbling her food like we've starved her for a week (we feed her regularliy, twice a day.) also, tonight my husband caught her with her head in our cat's litter box, munching on poop. we have had the cat since before we had her, so it's not anything new to her. i did catch her once before, when we first got her, eating a poop after she had an accident on our floor, before i could get it cleaned up, but she has not done it in months. i was wondering if there is anything that might cause her to act this way, could she possibly be sick? would this be related to the sudden hyperactivity? we take her walking or to play at the farm on a regular basis, so it's not like she's cooped up in the house all the time. could it possibly be because i used to work full time, same as my husband, but have been off work and at home with her for 2 months, and in the last few days i have left her alone for a few hours at a time while i've been going to job interviews? thank you very much in advance for your help, i greatly appreciate it. i will also probably contact my vet tomorrow about this matter but i thought i'd also seek some more opinions. thank you!

Lucky Rescue
September 16th, 2003, 10:41 AM
Eating cat poop is very very common in dogs, and most will do it if they get the chance. The very high protein content in cat food makes the poop very attractive to dogs.

You need to put the cat litter in a room and wire the door shut so it opens just wide enough to admit the cat. End of problem.

You have a dog that is a mix of two VERY high energy breeds - Jack Russels are energizer bunnies and can go go go!. She needs a great deal of exercise. She should chase frisbees, balls, or run until her tongue is hanging out. A tired dog is a good dog!

I also highly recommend obedience school. This is excellent for giving confidence and for bonding and learning to trust the owner.

For her insecurity - make sure she is on a consistant schedule - meals, playtime, walks, etc at the same time every day. Knowing what to expect and when to expect it is very helpful for dogs who have been dumped or passed around.

She sounds like a good dog who has been badly treated (possibly abused because of her high energy) and with love, training and consistancy she can be a great dog!:)

September 19th, 2003, 11:16 PM
some of the problems that you are having with your dog sound familiar. i used to have quite a few problems similar to yours with my dog. i decided to consult a book one of my friends reccomended to me. it is an amazing book, and it is unlike any other. it deals with dog behaviour in a whole different way, and i think every dog owner should read it at one point or another. It is called "the dog listener" by Jan Fennel and this is the websit if you'd like to check it out
the book makes a lot of sence and is a good read because it is full of true stories you can directly relate to. i don't know what i would have done without it.... it helped me understand my dogs behaviour and i was able to use the information to correct my problems. it really makes you understand why dogs do the things they do...... i hope this will help sure did wonders for me and my puppy....