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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19585
Experience:  Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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HI my dog tessa is female 6 years old a male 13 week shipoo

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HI my dog tessa is female 6 years old a male 13 week shipoo who we have had since may 6. Tessa has been very good with him sharing water playing doing bite inhibition. sleeping together on the bed with as well.. from what i have noticed she doesnt mind him having toys but the beef flavoured bone she was possesive about. i have taken away those things now. they are plenty of toys around and just for the last few days tessa has been taking toys either from miko or from the floor and curling on top and sitting on them. when miko plays when near she gets angry and bites at his neck. from my history with Tessa before Miko came. she would do the same thing like a phase. not all the time, but every now and then she would take toys and sit on them and pee and curl in a ball and be like that. but never ever aggressive to the human.. ever.. could it be her heat or the weather these last few days since shes been doing this behavior has been pre-storm cloudy and damp humid. im sure she senses the lightning above. she is very sensitive to storms and scared. like i said she has been good with miko so far and she has been getting allot of attention like i was advised, she comes first. but when my father brings his grand-kids i fight with him not to give miko so much attention.. thats my input i am asking for a diagnosis and advice..
thanks so much
Hi Tassaki,

My name isXXXXX've professionally worked with animals for over 16 years dealing with both health and behavioral issues. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.


I know I answered a previous question for you. I hope that answer was helpful to you.


How long has it been since her last heat cycle?

Is she in heat now?

Is she eating and drinking normally?

Any vomiting or diarrhea?

Have you attempted to cure her noise phobia?

If so, what have you tried?

Are you interesting in correcting that issue or just the issue you are inquiring about?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

oh and i now know its something to do with weather. because right now she is pushing her self, trying to get behind me on the couch. she is under my arms in my chest as i type. she never does this with me unless she is stressed out,, and when i move up from the couch she rushes behind me in my spot on the couch and i can even sit on her she wont move unless i force her out from behind she only does this when the weather or fireworks and it has been both this week its canada day still echoing around . he last heat cycle i dont recall was early spring i am pretty sure. Yes you are a great just answer person and i love your advice, its thorough. she is under my arms shaking. yesterday when igot worried about her being mean to miko. i did sit the 3 us together and she put her head on him and closed her eyes. i think she wants to like. yes i want to know if its mikos fault or she is stressed. based on pre-miko behavour toys and that she has never been to mean to him with toys. only food and smelly bones. yes i want to know that first and you can we can arrange seperate question for helping tessas phobia, so i can give u do credit for a seperate question.. thanks

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We don't need a separate question for that. Let me go over how to take care of noise phobias real quick and then I'll address other possible causes for what you are seeing with her. I know you think it is weather, but it is best to have all possibilities.

Many dogs have reactions to different noises and changes in the weather . This is really a problem around the 4th of July, canada day and fireworks. For things like thunderstorms and fireworks, some people tape the noise and play it back at lower volumes while playing with the dog and providing positive reinforcement for the dog's lack of anxiety while the noise is played at low volumes. Positive reinforcement would include calm praise and hot dog slices or other tasty treat (not regular treats. You then gradually increase the volume slowly until your dog is desensitized to the noise. Your vet could prescribe a medication called Acepromazine, which is a tranquilizer. You can read about this here:


Many people get Rescue Remedy to help with noise phobias. Be sure you get the kind that does NOT contain Xylitol. You can read about this here:


It may also be available in your local pet store as well. Benadryl is often used as it does tend to calm your dog. Benadryl can be given to your dog, the dose is up to 2mg per pound every 8 hours. Benadryl in not a sedative though so it won't put your dog to sleep. Leaving a TV playing loud also helps prevent your dog from hearing the outside noises. Another treatment is Melatonin which you can read about here. It has been shown to work well for noise phobias.


DAP collars might help a bit as well. They produce pheromones that mimic the ones produced by a nursing mom to calm her pups. It has proven to be helpful with this problem but was used in conjunction with desensitization so it is unknown if the collar or the training was the major factor in resolving the problem.


Now dogs can also have false pregnancies. They occur usually about 2 months after the heat cycle. Some dogs even go through false labor and many "adopt" a stuffed animal or other toy baby or babies for several weeks after they would have had puppies. they often also exhibit maternal aggression during this period as well. If the timing is right and her heat cycle was about that long ago, this may be related to a false pregnancy. If so, it will resolve itself in a few weeks which is about when the pups would be weaned. . You can read up on false pregnancy here:


Another possibility is that Miko is getting older and she is starting to teach him about boundaries and how to interact with adult dogs. As he matures, she won't tolerate the same behavior that she would from a young pup. When he does something that would be unacceptable for an adult dog to do, she will reprimand him usually with a growl and if he doesn't listen, then a nip. Dogs will pin other dogs down by the neck to establish dominance as well. She will likely do this more than once. As long as she isn't drawing blood then it shouldn't be an issue.


Her taking the toys could be adopting pups or it could be her way of saying, these toys are mine, I'm the boss and as boss, I say you can't have them. This would be her teaching him how adult dogs act and how he needs to not question the "alpha" or leader of the pack.


As long as she is eating, drinking and not having any vomiting or diarrhea, I don't think there is any health issue going on causing the behavior.


Remember to reply if you need more clarification or information and I'll be more than happy to address those issues.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

hi i have some bones calming ezzee bones for her for the storm but i cant find them.. ok i thought maybe she was nervous about the storm and scared and acting rash towards miko when he plays with her.. but with the toy it seems like it could be a false preganancy. so should i take the toys away or let her have them?

I recommend leaving them with her. If you take them away, it may make her more anxious. You might make her up a little area for her to "keep" these special toys much like you would if she did have pups, but it isn't necessary.
I'd also get that DAP collar as it will help with anxiety and with this situation as well. It is likely to be a combination of things going on. The storms and booms will have her anxious and then having her fake "pups" to comfort all combined. If you have any benadryl, give that a try for tonight and try not to comfort her too much for noise phobias as it encourages the behavior.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

what dosage,..

Benadryl can be given up to 2mg per pound every 8 hours, but I'd start with 1mg per pound. We want to use the lowest effective dose.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

is benadrily-- diphenhydramine hydrocloride? i recall buying a generic and this was it... so long ago.. am i correct?

ok i googled that.. so i should give her this.. its ok for dogs.. it says its for allergy??

Yes that is the generic. Here is a site on it.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

so you are saying the purpose of the benadryl is to sedate her? how common are side effects?

In most cases, it just provides a mild sedation and a dog might be a little more sleepy than normal. In some dogs, it has the opposite effect and they become more hyper, but that is the exception. Benadryl is considered very safe and used for very young pups and older dogs. A sedation effect is one of the common side effects and it is normally used for the control of allergy symptoms. A dog may eat less when on benadryl as well. They might have vomiting or diarrhea. I have rarely seen much of a reaction other than mild sedation even with longer term usage. As with any medication, each dog is different. It is considered one of the safer over the counter medications.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

ok ill give her some. i would appreciate a follow up later on.. ty ..

should i stop her from taking toys from miko and being dominate or not get involved? should i discourage?

At this point, if she isn't drawing blood, and he is accepting the reprimands, I'd let them work it out on their own. Now you might buy him a toy that is just his. If you do that, then you will not allow her to have that toy. She may still take it but you will retrieve it and give it back to him. In most cases the female will only take 3-4 toys as pups.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

ok if u dont mind answering me here..i accidently left tessas food on the ground and miko ate alot.. she has lamb hes on puppy chicken. shouldi worry what should i do to clean his body from it.. I hope you can help..

When a dog or puppy overeats, you need to watch for bloat. You will want to keep him calm and inactive as possible to help prevent bloat (stomach twisting). With over eating, I would keep an eye on him for that.. Common symptoms are attempts to vomit (usually unsuccessful) and may continue to try to vomit, dog just doesn't seem like themselves, a hunched up posture, anxiety and restlessness, a distended stomach that is tight like a drum (pups have tight stomachs anyway), gums may be dark red in early stages and white or blue in later stages. These are the most common symptoms and the list goes on. If you believe your pup has bloat they should be seen immediately.

Simethicone products like gas-x may help while you take him into the vet if he should start displaying symptoms of bloat. You can read more on bloat here.

I would limit water intake and activity to reduce the chance of bloating. Be sure to walk him on a leash so he isn't running around. I would not give himr additional food until tomorrow and then keep him on a bland diet like boiled chicken and rice for a day or so. There isn't anything you can do to "push" the food through or clean him out. All you can do is minimize the chance that the overeating causing a problem. He should be fine, just keep him from moving around too much. Crating would be perfect if possible.


I've scheduled a followup for 10 days as well.

Jane Lefler and other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you

I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. I hope you found my answer helpful.

Let me know,
Jane Lefler

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