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View Full Version : New dog, no bark, marking territory


Luna Baby
12-10-2011, 06:24 AM
We just recently, as in 1 week ago today, adopted a wonderful little dog from a nearby humane society. Scooter, a doxie-poo, is approximately 4 years old and he stole my heart the very moment I laid eyes on him. The shelter folks had very little information on him other than he was about 4 years old, and had had a very bad problem with his teeth. When they took him in, the vets evaluated him and in addition to needing to be neutered, he also had to have about 20 teeth removed. :eek: He still has the larger "canine" teeth, but none of his little teeth. Because of this, he is a special needs buddy, but only in that he needs softer foods.

Our concern is that he doesn't bark. To be a poodle mix and not bark seemed strange to us. I had him at work 3 days this week and only once did he try to make a noise and that was when I got out of his sight and he tried to get my attention. The best I can describe his voice was a cross between a whine/growl/strangle.

Hubby noticed tonight after he kenneled him that he tried to make a noise but it came out kind of garbled and sounded like he was "choking". He still has 3 days of antibiotics to finish up from the surgery and then he'll be medication free.

Is it possible he was "de-barked"? I've looked online and it seems that most dogs that have had this done still have some sort of voice, just not as high pitched. The folks that turned him in didn't fill out any of the information sheet other than his age and name (that we changed).

Also, he has been intact for 4 years only getting neutered about a week before he came home with me. That would be about 2 weeks ago now. How long should we expect him to continue trying to mark/cover? The gal at the shelter just said that when he got all of the hormones out of his system......:rolleyes:

Little Scooter isn't due to see my vet until closer to Christmas time, otherwise I'd just ask him. Since this doesn't seem to be an urgent situation, I thought I'd opt to ask here as I know we have several members with furbabies and lots more experience than myself.

**Here's the link to my Max and Scooter album on FB.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2214078232532.2103568.1264840179&type=1&l=224a91d3aa

My profile is private but this is the public link for my critters. Max is a 12 1/2 year old mixed breed, we think collie/great pyranees also adopted from a shelter. He has been trimmed down due to excessive shedding and a skin condition we're currently treating. We've had him since he was 8 weeks old.

Seshat
12-10-2011, 07:16 AM
The 'no bark' could be a vocal cord problem ('natural'), a vocal cord problem (artificial - ie, he was de-barked), or .. well, something else. I can quite understand the shelter not noticing it, because he'd have been surrounded by barking dogs.

That said, the shelter vets should be happy to take a look and make sure he's healthy around the larynx/vocal cords. 'Natural' problems there could impact on his breathing or swallowing, depending on what they are. (An untreated cyst or tumour that is allowed to keep growing could obstruct the airway, for example.)

Since they're supposed to be giving you healthy animals, the treatment should be free.

De-barking, as I understand it, is intentionally scarring the vocal cords so that they won't make the 'bark' sound. This could also happen naturally due to injuries, or he may have had to have a cyst or tumour removed, or some other vocal-cord-scarring surgery.


As for the marking: even my girl dog was marking initially. Once she felt comfortable and knew deep in her little doggy soul that this is HER pack's territory, the marking stopped. Especially since she discovered that her senior pack members wanted her not to mark, just to piddle on the piddle pads.

It took .. three or four weeks to train her, and she still had the occasional accident. And one or two intentional episodes where she was clearly testing us.

Our method was:
If we see her piddling or having just piddled, grab dog, grab handy towel (we placed towels around the house), carry to piddle pad, put dog on pad.
If there's a puddle, soak it up with a piddle pad, put the piddle pad in its proper location. Then clean the remains of the puddle with a urine-removing cleaner.
If she's challenging us, look disapproving and dominant, say 'NO!' or 'BAD!', pick dog up, do above things.

The worst 'punishment' she got was the disapproval of the humans/pack leaders. However, putting ALL the dog-urine scent in one place, and removing it from everywhere else, seems to have shown here where she was supposed to put it.
Note: she likes her piddle pads clean. If they get too messy for her, she'll pee near them instead of on them. Same as the cats if the litter trays are too dirty for them: near, not in. I don't punish or even disapprove of the animals in that case - it's MY bloody fault for not keeping things hygienic.

Teysa
12-10-2011, 07:33 AM
They're both really cute dogs. I can't say much about Scooter's issues but it seems like you have the patience to help him through them.

Luna Baby
12-10-2011, 01:58 PM
Thanks for your response, Seshat. I'm going to have my vet check him out really good when I take him in a little later this month. The shelter does a "vet check" and actually had the vet to do the oral surgery and the neuter. They probably felt like he was, for the most part, a healthy dog or they wouldn't have let me take him home so soon. This particular shelter actually has a waiting period before you can take home a prospective pet since they do vet reference checks and some other checking they like to do. I'm sure, that if I ran him back by there, they would let their vet check him again.

As for the marking, we're trying to catch him before he does it, but when he does, the "gentle correction" and taking him outside. We've never liked using puppy pads or papers and really don't want to start with him. I'm just hoping that with all the love, attention and correction, it won't take long. My older dog NEVER had an accident in the house that we couldn't attribute to being sick. He's truly a wonder dog.

Thank you, Teysa. They are both sweet and beautiful to me. My older, big dog, Max, has been my best friend and protector since before my youngest boy was born. I'm hoping that Scooter will see how good he has it here and become the great buddy I see he can be.

Dreamstalker
12-10-2011, 03:21 PM
DOGGY! :love: Scooter is so sweet.

Squeaksmyalias
12-10-2011, 04:32 PM
Our concern is that he doesn't bark. To be a poodle mix and not bark seemed strange to us. I had him at work 3 days this week and only once did he try to make a noise and that was when I got out of his sight and he tried to get my attention. The best I can describe his voice was a cross between a whine/growl/strangle.

Hubby noticed tonight after he kenneled him that he tried to make a noise but it came out kind of garbled and sounded like he was "choking".


Some dogs just aren't barkers, which sounds strange, but one dog I had just never barked.
To answer the coughing question.
Some small dogs have issues with their trachea, which could be a collapsing trachea which sounds more like a goose honk or it could be reversed sneezing, which would happen if the dog was excited, or after eating or drinking. Since I haven't heard it I can't tell you for sure, but the choking part makes me think it might be one of those. It's something you don't have to worry about too much, the vet can check it out and tell you what it is rather easily and collapsing trachea can be taken care of, if that is it, more likely it could just be reversed sneezing which isn't a big deal and common. You can gently rub his throat while it's happening to sooth him a bit.
Something I would highly recommend if you aren't doing it already is use a halter NOT a collar, its best for any small dog because of their delicate necks or dog that pulls anyway since in both cases can lead to trachea issues, using the halter will prevent more issues and help the dog now. Your vet can give you more info.

Hope that helps!

Shpepper
12-10-2011, 07:45 PM
Max is beautiful. I love Pyrs. He definitely has the shape of other pyrs that I have known.

Scooter is a little cutie pie. Do have the vet peek and see if they can tell about debarking. The not being altered may mean that he was used for stud, but they didn't want the noise. It's sad, but it happens that way sometimes.

BookstoreEscapee
12-10-2011, 09:48 PM
He's a cutie...a doxie with a poodle coat!

I had a chihuahua who almost never barked (well, at least not until he lived with the cats who were always stalking him when he was trying to eat). When he did I swear he looked as suprised as we were! :p So he may just not be a big talker but the fact that the noise he does make sounds odd is a good reason to get him checked out and be sure.

Luna Baby
12-10-2011, 10:50 PM
Well, after making the original post, I feel kinda silly now. Little Scooter can bark! I was downstairs and hubby was upstairs. All of the sudden, he just barked at a slow moving vehicle on our street through the front glass door! It suprised us both as hubby met me on the stairs as I was coming up to see what was going on. It wasn't a shrill bark, but it was a distinguishable bark none the less.

We do use a halter on him for our walks outside. I noticed when I walked him at the shelter that he had a tendency to be a little headstrong and wanted to lead me. So before I left, a purchased a matching set, halter and lead. I do have a collar on him but it's strictly to hold his tags, nothing more.

We are using the crate to encourage not only "his place" to escape, but also to assist in the house breaking endeavor. I'm hoping that this won't take a long time because I can already see just how smart he is. If I get his halter out, he immediately does a little dance and then promptly sits at my feet waiting to be tethered. He's already learned stay, must have already known it because I didn't have to work on it. He just did it.

Thanks for all the kind words about my babies. Max has been my life for so long and he's been through alot through the years. He was also a shelter rescue that we got when he was only 8 weeks old. He has mild hip displasia, had to have both ACL's repaired 6 weeks apart (not a cheap surgery when you seek out a vet specialist). He's had multiple small tumors removed from his eye lids and chin and due to his breed(s), he has had to deal all his life with terrible skin conditions. But, for such the dog that he is, I'd do it many times over. He's been my protector, me friend, my confidant. I hate to see that he's aging much faster than I was prepared for. He's now mostly deaf, although he can still hear a whistle. I've tought him some basic hand signals this last year when we noticed his hearing loss.

draggar
12-11-2011, 08:35 PM
Cute puppy and congratulations!

As for the barking - it seems like it just needed to be an adjustment period. It took Maiya months to actually bark (heck, it took her 3 days to do something other than stand).

Feed him in the crate - this makes the crate "his" and he will be less likely to go to the bathroom in there. Just make sure it's big enough for him to walk into, turn around, and lie down comfortably. You do not want to leave enough room for him to go to the bathroom on one side and lie in the other.

Luna Baby
12-12-2011, 01:38 AM
Cute puppy and congratulations!

As for the barking - it seems like it just needed to be an adjustment period. It took Maiya months to actually bark (heck, it took her 3 days to do something other than stand).

Feed him in the crate - this makes the crate "his" and he will be less likely to go to the bathroom in there. Just make sure it's big enough for him to walk into, turn around, and lie down comfortably. You do not want to leave enough room for him to go to the bathroom on one side and lie in the other.


Yep, draggar, I think it is just an adjustment period. He's going to head on over to my vet this Friday anyway for a check just to be sure. We have 45 days of pet insurance that the shelter gives us so if there is anything wrong, a $50 deductible is nothing compared to having my baby not be healthy.

His crate is just that-just big enough to lie down in. I originally bought the smallest one simply because I thought he would fit. Apparently his 1/4 lb over 10 lbs was more than was even remotely comfortable in that crate. I returned it and got the next size up. He still has to duck his head to walk in, but has just enough room to go in, turn around and can lie on his side with his short, stumpy legs stretched out.