Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Need advice for my Westie!

Saricon
December 30th, 2007, 10:14 PM
Hi. I just joined the forum today. I currently have a Cairn terrier and a Westie. Both are 7. We've had the Cairn since she was a puppy but the Westie we rescued when she was 1. The Westie rescue woman told us she was abused and scarred by her previous owner. She has a lot of weird behaviors. She is really sweet but pees whenever she gets excited. She never wants to play with other dogs but loves to sit with people and kids. A short while after we got her she started peeing in the dining room during the night. It was out of control. Finally (after trying a million solutions) we tore up the carpet and put wood laminate down. That seemed to fix the problem. She does other weird things too- like if she's sleeping by your feet and you move your feet suddenly she will attack them. She actually bit my foot a few weeks aqo. When we feed her she moves her head up and down by the bowl like she's scooping something with her nose even though she's doing nothing. She does this for ten minutes or so before finally eating. So now that you know a bit of her background, the worst problem is that two weeks ago we got a Chihuahua puppy and every time the pup goes near her, she sulks away - but yesterday, the puppy was sniffing her when she turned around and attacked it. We broke them apart, the pupply was squealing like he was hurt but luckily there were no visible wounds on him. Now I'm a nervous wreck and I don't know what to do. Since the puppy arrived, the Westie has peed in the kitchen 3 times, in the dining room, and even while laying next to me on the couch (3 times this week). I dont' know what to do. Does anyone have any suggestions? I am taking her to the vet tomorrow and maybe they'll have an idea. I can't bear the thought of getting rid of her (she's my baby), but I love our new puppy and can't put him in danger either. Plus, I can't handle her peeing all the time. Also, we have a doggie door so the dogs go in and out all day long. The Westie, however is afraid of the door recently and just hits the door with her nose over and over until we open the slider. Has anyone gone through anything like this? Any ideas would be very much appreciated.

Sincerely, Sari

Frenchy
December 30th, 2007, 10:37 PM
:sorry: but I don't think it's a good idea to get a puppy when you had so many issues with your Westie. Going to the vet with her is a very good idea , just to make sure she hasn't any health problem. But she may not get use to the puppy , and she was there first , so I hope you wouldn't get rid of her so you can keep the puppy , that wouldn't be fair to her. :shrug:

hazelrunpack
December 30th, 2007, 11:01 PM
A vet visit is a good idea...just to make sure she's in good health as far as the peeing is concerned. It may be behavioral, but could also be due to something like a UTI.

As for the puppy--you said that there were no marks on the puppy when you got them apart. Are you sure your Westie was actually trying to hurt Puppy? When an adult dog tells a puppy in no uncertain terms that they're the boss and want to be left alone, sometimes it looks rather vicious. But in my experience, dogs don't make mistakes with their mouths--if they mean to bite, they will. Unless you broke it up extremely quickly, if your Chi had no wounds, your Westie may just have been putting him in his place. :shrug: That could be normal behavior.

TeriM
December 31st, 2007, 02:12 AM
So you have had this dog for six years and are now considering giving it away because you got a puppy :frustrated:. SHAME ON YOU! The issues you have described will likely settle (although a vet check is a good idea) especially if you make an extra effort to give the Westie extra attention so she doesn't feel as though she is being "forgotten".

When an adult dog tells a puppy in no uncertain terms that they're the boss and want to be left alone, sometimes it looks rather vicious. But in my experience, dogs don't make mistakes with their mouths--if they mean to bite, they will. Unless you broke it up extremely quickly, if your Chi had no wounds, your Westie may just have been putting him in his place. That could be normal behavior.

I agree with this statement. Although you do need to protect the puppy, you will also make things much worse if you rush to rescue the puppy every minute. The screaming from the pup was most likely fear and when you fuss or make a big deal out of fearful behavior then that rewards the behavoir and it can easily become a reinforced behaviour.

Saricon
December 31st, 2007, 11:29 AM
Thanks for your replies. Somehow my words got turned around though... I didn't say I wanted to get rid of my Westie, I said I couldn't get rid of her. That's not even an option. If we were going to get rid of her it would have been years ago when she ruined pretty much all the carpet in our new house ($7,000 worth). I've had Westies all my life, but never one as quirky as this one. I just wanted to get some ideas on ways to handle the situation. I have been giving her extra attention all the time, but just last night while i was writing this letter she was cuddled up to my side and when I stood up I realized she peed all over my leg. Well, I'm taking her to the vet in an hour and will see what they say. Thanks again for any suggestions.

Corrie
December 31st, 2007, 12:03 PM
Saricon…I read your post with great care as I am the Director of Westie Rescue in Ontario and have lots of little Westie’s come through my home on their way to their forever homes.

First…thanks for taking in this Westie over 6 years ago and sticking with her with all her wired quirks…I have folks that surrender their Westie’s to me because they are “not white enough!!!”

It is a bit of a “closing the barn door after the horse gets out” situation, because I must agree with the other posters that getting a puppy was not a good idea, but the puppy is here now and a solution must be found, so the little Chihuahua does not get hurt.

First…and I am sure you know this as your post says you have had Westies before…many, many, many, many, many Westies pee when they are excited…just seems to be what they do and we Westie lovers just have to find it charming! Of course there are things you can do to improve the situation like ignoring them when you get home, keeping them in a sit and/or down when visitors come over, making sure bladders are not full-things like that…however if the Westie is 7 and still has excitable peeing issues, you must learn to control it as it will not ever completely go away. Sounds like your Westie is really having a bad time adjusting to the puppy if she pees all over your leg for no reason!

The breed of puppy you have purchased is a VERY bad one for a Westie to handle…they are small and the Westie may consider it prey. A Chihuahua is not much bigger than a squirrel and I am sure you know what happens when a Westie sees a squirrel-especially one who is running!

Please let us know what the Vet says. I am glad that you have been clear that you are not considering getting rid of the Westie…in your original post you had written “I can't bear the thought of getting rid of her (she's my baby), but I love our new puppy and can't put him in danger either. Plus, I can't handle her peeing all the time”…so I think that is where folks got the idea that surrendering the Westie MAY be an option for you.
If the situation changes for you and you must surrender the Westie, please contact me at 905-936-6691 and I can help you.

Take care Saricon!

Saricon
December 31st, 2007, 01:59 PM
Thanks for your replies. Somehow my words got turned around though... I didn't say I wanted to get rid of my Westie, I said I couldn't get rid of her. That's not even an option. If we were going to get rid of her it would have been years ago when she ruined pretty much all the carpet in our new house ($7,000 worth). I've had Westies all my life, but never one as quirky as this one. I just wanted to get some ideas on ways to handle the situation. I have been giving her extra attention all the time, but just last night while i was writing this letter she was cuddled up to my side and when I stood up I realized she peed all over my leg. Well, I'm taking her to the vet in an hour and will see what they say. Thanks again for any suggestions.

Saricon
December 31st, 2007, 02:09 PM
Thanks for your suggestion. The vet said she may have a bladder infection and gave us antibiotics. At the vet's office she peed about 20 times, in every place possible. Then when they needed a urine sample she had none to give. Anyway, we'll see what happens with the pills. She seems happier today - it was like she's been depressed these past two weeks. I've been taking her with me more often and she loves going in the car. Everyone knows that when they come home not to look at the Westie until she calms down - and we always tell strangers not to look or talk to her for a while until she settles down. We're used to that already. It's the peeing all over the house that's tough. Hopefully the medicine will help. She hasn't shown any agression towards the puppy since the other day. We've been watching her every second. Thanks again for your suggestions.

Saricon

Frenchy
December 31st, 2007, 06:10 PM
I'm glad you got her to a vet :thumbs up good luck :fingerscr and keep us posted.

t.pettet
December 31st, 2007, 09:10 PM
Keep in mind that all dogs have their little quirks - that makes them the unique little individuals they are. Perhaps she'll respond more positively to the pup as long as she is getting most of the attention and feeling better once her bladder infection clears. Taking these 2 for walks together is an excellent bonding activity.