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Dogs strange complulsive behavior

August 6th, 2006, 08:36 AM
Hi folks,

We just purchased a cottage at which there is a little beach, sandy bottom and shallow entry. There are frogs and fish that live near this beach. Our Pit Bull, who has enjoyed various rented cottages for years, has developed an odd behaviour. He has always loved the water, odd for his breed, loved to swim after sticks, jump off the dock, swim with people (in endless figure eights between us) or just by himself. It was wonderful to watch him swimming around just for the sheer joy of it. With this new cottage he has taken to chasing the frogs and fish. Mostly he just frolics about in the water, searching for them and lunging after them. He doesn't even try to catch them.

All of this is great fun except for one thing, his absolute obsession with the game. Literally, he bee-lines it from the car to the water when we arrive and then has to be dragged out, many hours later, by his leash when its time to go home. He ignores female dogs who come to visit, he ignores us, food, all commands, everthing except this endless game. At the end of the day he's shaking all over, exhausted and quite hyper but still eager for more. His toes are red and sore. The next day he can hardly move. One day he did this for 6 hours, non-stop!

What is this about? He's been doing this on every trip we've made so far - about 12 trips. There is no sign of it abating and now he's taken to 'hiding' under the dock, where we can't catch him and he lunges about after the fish.

We're worried. We're trying to get the cottage ready to use and watching over him all day is both amusing and concerning.

Should we just ignore this and let him play? Interrupt every hour or so and force him to take a break? We've never seen this kind of obsessive behaviour before but he sure seems to be enjoying himself.

Thanks for any comments,
Bruce, Flex's owner

August 6th, 2006, 09:37 AM
I think any obsessive behaviour should be a cause for concern.

I would limit the play to half an hour at a time, at most.

jesse's mommy
August 6th, 2006, 10:58 AM
I don't have much advice for you, but I have a pit bull too and she is very obsessive compulsive about some things. She's obsessive about cleaning Daddy at night, she's obsessive about the lizards all around, she is obsessive about bugs, and one of my houseplants. She won't leave it alone. I think it is part of the breed. For her, the stuff she is obsessive about isn't anything that will put her in danger so we've just learned to accept our "special" baby, but for you it could definitely turn into something you need to be concerned about. I'm sure someone will chime in soon with some advice and I too am anxious to read about it.

doggy lover
August 7th, 2006, 06:21 PM
I have a border collie that loves to chase fish and frogs in our pond at our cottage, but not to that extent. He will still listen and when told to come out will rather reluctantly but he does. But yep as soon as the truck door opens he is in the pond looking for them. I have read that bc's can have a tendancy to be obsessive and have been told befor to watch he does not become that way, but he will always come when called out, for a walk or to play ball or any other activity that I decide when I think it is enough of frog chasing for awile. Maybe talk to a trainer about something that could get the attenshion back where you want it. My dog has caught a few frogs and just kind of holds them in his mouth, then spits them out unharmed.:D

August 14th, 2006, 07:12 AM
Well thanks for the comments. We are beginning to see a shift in his behaviour, he is now taking, on his own, more breaks - although very short ones. He is also paying a bit more attention to his surroundings, yesterday he barked at a neighbour, as though just discovering they are there. He also took a few minutes from his busy schedule to sniff noses with a visiting dog. So perhaps, after a few more weeks of intense fishing, he'll return to "normal".


August 14th, 2006, 05:25 PM
My BC is also obsessive compulsive with the water, he will swim and swim trying to catch floating weeds for hours , then will move on to digging up rocks from the beach.
I have no advice, but like you I thought that maybe, just maybe, he would bore himself of his little game. NOPE!
3 years strong now, and still at it!
Come winter he obsesses over sticks, we gave him a job, and that has helped at the house ( curb his obsessiveness) however come camp time he knows that he doesnt have to "work" there and its VACATION TIME!!!
We have tried to stop him for a half an hour every half hour but it seemed to build his anxiety to do it again, more.
If we leave him to do his thing, he too will claw at rocks until his nails bleed.
THe only solution I have come to ( for his health and safety) is fetching. I am to throw the stick or frisbee ALL DAY!
If you find a way to curb O/C behavior PLEASE post it!!!!!!