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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 16416
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 16+ years
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I have a 5 1/2 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Resolved Question:

I have a 5 1/2 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. With in the last 2 weeks she has started manically running! If she can scoot out the front door she is gone. She will run back and forth across the main road etc... and will not stop when called. She is so fast there is no catching her. Do you have any insight on this?

Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 5 months ago.
Hi karo,.Is Banshee spayed?If not, when was her last heat cycle?Are you walking her on a regular basis?Has she had any obedience training?Is anyone trying to chase her to catch her when she escapes?Has she ever tried escaping before this?
What have you tried so far to stop the behavior?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Yes she is spayed, she does get regular exercise and yes we do go after her but not chasing close enough for her to really even notice.

She has had obedience training and has always been very well behaved. When she does this it is almost like she is in a trance. She doesn't seem to even know what or who is going on around her
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 5 months ago.

Karo,

.

Normally I would not consider seizure activity for this type of behavior, but it is possible. Seizure activity can result in behavior that is abnormal. If she truly is in a trance like state and unresponsive, then it is a possibility. I will give you a site that goes over various types of seizures, causes and other information. http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/site_map.htm

 

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While a possibility, it really would be too much of a coincidence for it to only happen when she escapes the house. I think there may be some other cause. Perhaps there has been a change in the household, or a new dog in the neighborhood that interests her or another reason for her to want to be outside. However, I do want you to video tape the behavior the next time it occurs. Many digital phones and cameras now have video capability which make it easier for you to show your vet. Sometimes seizure behavior is related to low blood sugar when they do not eat often enough, other times it can be from an organ dysfunction where the toxins are not being filtered properly. In other cases there can be no cause found, so this can be a difficult situation.

.

Since we can not know for sure it is not strictly behavioral, I'm going to give you some instructions to help if it is behavioral. Many dogs don't come when called because they have learned that the only time they are called is when fun time is over. People call their dogs to them to make them come inside or to stop chasing prey (cats) or to be put on leash (end of free running time) or even crated. The only association they have with the come command is negative. thus they often act like they have no idea that you want them to come to you.

.

Additionally, dogs find chase to be a highly amusing game and have learned that if they get close to a human, the human might chase them. They love a good game. Now I know you indicated that you don't get close enough for this to be an issue. But still, you need to make coming to you more pleasurable.

.

The easiest way is to reward your dog with small tiny treats and praise whenever your dog comes to you when you give the command. Do this even when the dog wants to come to you. After a few treats, the dog will associate coming to you with getting treats and praise. Outside, you will want to use a long lead. Do not drag your dog to you, but say the command and if the dog doesn't come, give the leash a short tug. Start with short distances and gradually extend the distance as your dog becomes more familiar with the command. Over time, you will reduce the treats and increase the praise until praise is the only reward. Another thing to remember is to never call a dog to you to discipline it, go to the dog. During training I don't call a dog to me unless it is going to be pleasant for the dog. I usually don't have much of a problem since the dogs quickly learn that I have thinly sliced hot dog treats just waiting for them to obey me.

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Some dogs learn to ignore the come command so using an alternate command such as HERE often will work instead. Her running around sounds like she has an excess of energy, so you might want to increase the walks and make them fast paced rather than leisurely. I'd also think about a backpack and fill it with cans or water bottles to increase the weight and tire her out. If possible, I'd try and find her a playmate that can help expel some of her excess energy. If you have a fenced yard, you might try an automatic ball thrower to help get her additonal exercise and tire her out. .I would get her checked over by your vet and at a minimum have bloodwork done especially given the recent recalls. I also should mention that dogs often run in the manner you indicate when cooped up for a long period of time or bored. They love the freedom of a good run.

 

.I wished I had a more definite answer on why this just started but I can not determine from the information I have. I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have.

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.If you have questions in the future that you wish me to answer, you may go here http://www.justanswer.com/pet/expert-jane-lefler/ and bookmark the page or make it a favorite. It is best to put my name "JANE" in the question as well. Please recommend me to your friends and family members if they have any problems with their dog as well. I would truly appreciate it..Since there have been recalls on certain foods, please check the following site to be sure the food your animals eat is not affected. If it is affected, contact your vet as soon as possible. Have your dog seen if they have any symptoms.http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/RecallsWithdrawals/

Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 16416
Experience: Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 16+ years
Jane Lefler and other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Although I still don't really have a good answer I do appreciate your help

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