How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. G. Your Own Question
Dr. G.
Dr. G., Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1859
Experience:  Private Practice Veterinarian
71397578
Type Your Dog Veterinary Question Here...
Dr. G. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

We have a 20 month old boxer and his behavior has gotten out

This answer was rated:

We have a 20 month old boxer and his behavior has gotten out of control. We have had him since he was 2 months old. We have gone thru the chewing stage ( he ate 6 pairs of flip flops, 4 pairs of slippers, etc). A few months later he began chewing on electrical cords ( black cords only, he never touched the grey, white or brown cords). A few months after that he started chewing on anything that had foam or stuffing on or in it ( pillows, cushions, and my mattress that had to be replaced). Now in the span of one week he has returned to the same behavior. He has been crate trained but that doesn't work, he is not left alone for long periods of time since I'm not working right now and we have another dog that has been with us for 14 yrs. He is walked at least 3 times a day and also has a large fenced in area that he can play and run in. No other dogs like to play with him because he is so rough. What can I do?

Dr. G. :

Hello, my name isXXXXX am a licensed veterinarian and I will try and help you as best as I can.

Dr. G. :

I am sorry to hear that Diesel is having such behavioral problems.

Dr. G. :

Unfortunately these types of problems are becoming more and more common in our dogs

Dr. G. :

Have you tried any medications or other remedies to alter the behaviors?

Customer:

no, i wasn't sure how safe they were

Dr. G. :

I see. The first thing I would start with is over the counter products aimed at treating different anxiety disorders.


What I would first try is something called Dog appeasing pheromone (DAP or Adaptil). This is a synthetic pheromone that can have a calming effect on dogs. It is available as a plug in diffuser that works very well. The diffuser typically works for one floor of an average sized house. There are also collars and sprays available. The next thing is to try a Thundershirt. This is a tight fitting shirt that can make many dogs feel more secure about their surroundings. This works really well for different anxiety related disorders. You can get either of those at most major pet stores like petco or petsmart, and your vet may have them as well.

Dr. G. :

The final thing to try would be medications to alter the behaviors. Typically I use a medication such as Clomicalm or Reconcile, however there are a wide variety of medications available, which you would need to get from your vet. Anxiety medications take about 4-6 weeks to have an effect, so you need to make sure you will give the meds as directed if you end up going that route.

Customer:

The DAP sounds great but we have a 13 yr old Shar Pei and that would affect him also. I don't really understand the thundershirt or him being insecure about his surroundings. can

Dr. G. :

The DAP can have a calming affect on all dogs in the home

Customer:

can you explain that more. And is the anxiety meds safe

Customer:

the only thing that's changed is my husband is working away from home but i'm here pretty much 24/7

Dr. G. :

The thunder shirt essentially works by being very tight, which tends to have a calming affect. essentially the pressure has a calming effect on the nervous system, possibly by releasing a calming endorphins. I can give you the website: http://www.thundershirt.com/Product/Thundershirt.aspx?item_guid=ad60b946-f758-45e2-a589-331dda09637e

Dr. G. :

It is likely that your husband being gone is playing a role in this. The anxiety meds can cause some liver damage, however that is pretty uncommon. It is recommended to check bloodwork every 6 months to ensure there is no abnormal damage caused by the drugs, however it is a very uncommon side effect. Some dogs can become a little sedate from the meds, so they often need to have dosages adjusted over time

Customer:

Thank you for your advise, i think we'll try the thundershirt before we try any medication. Will he outgrow this behavior?

Dr. G. :

he may outgrow these behaviors when he is older, however it is likely they will be around until he is in his senior years

Customer:

would it benefit him if we got another boxer his age to play with and could keep him occupied?

Dr. G. :

That is hard to say. Often dogs with these disorders will not improve with another dog and it may worsen the behaviors or he may take things out on the other dog. I would be cautious. Make sure that if you get another dog it is because you want another dog, not because you are getting it for him as things may not end up the way you would like them to. Make sure if you get another, that they are properly introduced and spend some time together before the other dog is adopted

Customer:

Thank you for your help with Diesel. I'll request you again if i need anymore help

Dr. G. :

You are very welcome. I wish you the best with Diesel. Have a great night!

Customer:

you also

Dr. G. and other Dog Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you