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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 18817
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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We moved to new home with our 8 year old female Akita. She

Customer Question

,We moved to new home with our 8 year old female Akita. She was always an outdoor dog until moving. Now she won't spend anytime outside at all. How can we get her to spend more time outside (in fenced yard) and no chewing the door frame?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 6 months ago.
Hi JaCustomer, She likely got used to being inside and is not yet comfortable outside in your new place. Be sure you have some shadded areas where she can lay and not be in the sun. She will need a dog house and plenty of fresh water. If you get a dog house, placement is important. Have the doorway face any entrance gate and the doorway. Placing the dog house in a corner tha lets her have a good view of anyong coming into the yard and out of the house will allow her to use the dog house and still be alert to other things. The best way of stopping his bad behavior would be to get an underground fence system. You could put the wire around the perimeter and around the garden and have it put on an outlet that you can turn on and off. You can have a wire run in front of the door and not put the system on until she was outside. This would prevent her from getting to the door when the system was on and also keep her out of gardens and any area where you have place the wire. Most systems have a shock or spray / tone setting and a tone only setting. The dog learns quickly that a tone Precedes the correction and learns to stop when the tone sounds. At that point you switch to a tone only and it keeps the dog away from areas you don't Want her to be in. You might also put some bitter apple on the doorway to discourage chewing on that, but that only solves the door chewing and not digging in the garden. You do want to make sure she has toys to play with. I'd also take her for walks and meet new people in the neighborhood so perhaps you can find her a playmate that can come over some times to give her some exercise and mental stimulation as well. I hope this information is helpful to you. 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 . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer positively so I am compensated for my time.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I probably should have informed you its already been 6 months. After already fencing the yard for her when building the house we won't spend even more on another underground fence, and as you know, Akitas are not social with other dogs so that won't help and I walk her daily already. Thanks anyway, but no this was no help. We're just trying to understand why she has so much anxiety about being outside now, at this age and after 6 months.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 6 months ago.
It would have helped to know that is is recent behavior. An underground system is very inexpensive on auction sites and is effective. You might spend about $40 on a used system if that. She might be experiencing Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS) and has been seen in dogs younger than yours. There is a wonderful site that explains it well and also explains how to document your dog's behavior and discuss it with your vet. The good news is that there is a drug called L-Selegeline (Anipryl (R)) which has been recently approved for use in the clinical indication of cognitive dysfunction (CDS) in dogs. Read this site for other drug choices. Please see this site for more information and other causes that may exhibit the same symptoms. This might be the reason for the sudden behavioral change. In addition, dogs with thyroid issue often experience behavioral changes as well. The only way you could determine a thyroid issue would be having a thryoid panel run on her. Dogs with thyroid issues often are more aggressive and have more than normal hair loss. I'd also have her teeth checked as many dogs start chewing on things when they have dental problems. She is at an age where dental problems might be present. It is much like a puppy teething. They chew to help with the discomfort so as adults when the teeth start hurting, they start chewing again.
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 6 months ago.
Hi Liticia,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Suiki. How is everything going?

Jane Lefler

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