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Spark (7-8 yrs old) has been in the household since June 2013. He has always been obsessive and last February, he took a turn which we've not been able to explain. He focussed on Flint (3 1/2 yrs old) and attacked him. We cannot have them together without a fight happening.


His obsessive behaviour was escalating, so in December, we decided it was time to see if medication worked. He is on 1 clomicalm a day (1/2 in the morning, 1/2 at night) It's been 3 weeks. We have done focussing exercises and he seems to be calming down to a degree.

Here are some observations


On entering the house, Spark will empty all the water bowls even though he has plenty of water in the mudroom. I have finally got him to sit, stay and then I give him permission to access the waterbowl. Sometimes he drinks, and sometimes he doesn't. That's a change!


He is completely obsessed with our cat, Lucky. In order to stop the continual staring, I decided to leash Spark. Instantly...yes, instantly, he laid down beside my chair and relaxed. Lucky can walk right by his nose and Spark will look at him, and lay back down. I am not sure if he feels the leash gives him permission to relax, but it's working.


I have often wondered how much he actually slept. His preferred sleeping area is our mudroom. It's cool and he has a heavy coat. I set up our trail cam on Sunday night. It was enlightening to say the least - He hardly sleeps at all. He may settle for 15 minutes, then he's on alert. I only saw 1 hour where he did actually sleep. I am wondering if he feels the need to be 'on guard'? I am going to keep the trail cam on for the next few days to see if this is actually a trend or if it was just a 'one-off' event.


Any thoughts on this behaviour and ways we can continue to progress with him would be appreciated. In many ways, Spark is a lovely dog and we are committed to giving him the best life we can.



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Is he crate trained? If you think being leashed might have made him feel he was allowed to relax, perhaps being confined at night might give him the same idea. I would assume if you crated him it would be better if you didn't do it in the mudroom, but who knows?


Good luck.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So, it's been a month since Spark has been on the medication (colimcalm) He continues to do well and we are getting more focussed attention from him - there is still a LONG way to go! He is sleeping better which is a good thing. And now, for the newest behaviour. He has discovered the sheep for the first time since we got him in 2013. He even does the classic crouch. It's not like the sheep haven't been in plain sight all along - they are right by the house. I'm not sure where this might lead, but it's seems that his ever racing mind has started to calm down. As we progress toward spring, I hope to see more benefits for Spark and for all of us.


Chene - yes, he's crate trained but is allowed free run of the mudroom which he loves because it's so much cooler there than in the house. He does have free access to the livingroom etc during the day - when he tends to sleep more.

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