I think my puppy is autistic!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DammitJanet, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Dont laugh...Im serious! She has some major issues. She's definitely not ADHD. Not moody enough for bipolar.

    She is a 5 month old pitbull puppy. Sweet as she can be. However, she is only a momma's girl. She wont "come" to Tony at all and he has done nothing to her. She will leave her pen in the house in the mornings for him and run outside to her kennel just fine for him. No problem there. When he lets her out of the kennel at night, if he comes up the steps, opens the front door, walks inside and ignores her, she will come in behind her but if he calls her she hides until I go out and call her.

    When we had snow she hid under my house just shaking. I had to crawl under the house and catch her. She refused to come out even for a food treat.

    I can give her doggy treats no problem. She wont take them from Tony. She cuddles up on my bed with me and falls asleep. She will jump up on the couch if Im there and will finally let him pet her if our other dog jumps up too and she gets sort of jealous and then she wants him to love on her! Last night we thought it was amazing because she came over and licked his hand all on her own! LOL.

    What really worries us is that she wont really come to either of us if we call her. Not even me. Though I can get her to come in....or we can open the door to her kennel and she will run right in there if we are in the yard. I cant get her to sit or follow me at all. She is just scared. So not a pitbull quality...lol.

    I dont know...its weird. Never had a dog that acted like this before.
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Was she abused in any way before you got her?
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I dont think so....but possible I suppose. Cory got her when she was 8 weeks old from someone who had a litter and they were kept outside in a pen. I dont think anyone did anything worse to her than just leaving all the puppies with the mom outside.
  4. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    She acts just like my little mixed breed, Freebie! I always thought she had doggie PTSD. She was a "dumpster dog" that somebody dumped off in the middle of the winter when she was only about 6 months old. When she finally found my house she was almost frozen and half starved. Even as hungry as she was, I fed her every day for three weeks before she'd let me touch her, and then I had to trick her in to it. She was THAT afraid! She's nine now and still is afraid of everybody but me, even my son can't pet her and he sees her fairly often. She's terrified of thunder storms and fireworks, anything loud. And if she's outside, she barks at everybody going by. It's all out of fear! And she's very protective of me. If I'm here and the guy comes to cut my lawn, she barks at him constantly. But he told me that if he comes when I'm not here, she just sits there and watches him mow. Of course, I keep her in most of the time now, finally got her a crate of her own to stay in while I'm at work.
  5. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    My Chloe is like that still and she is 3 years old now. She was a puppymill rescue and the poor honey is afraid of everything and everyone except her brother and me.

    I would highly recommend that you take your pup to puppy school right away to teach her social skills. It's something that I've heard from several folks that I should have done right away with Chloe. I might still enroll her once my work life slows down a bit. It would be ideal if both you and Tony could take her to school so that she can recognize both of you as alpha to her and learn to trust you.

    A couple of things I'm doing with Chloe right now.......when we are on a walk and something scares her (like even a parked car!), if she jerks the leash I have her sit there for a few seconds. She looks around and I want her to learn that the Boogie Man is not going to jump out at her. Also, when I have company I put her on a leash and attach it to me so that she has to go everywhere with me. It keeps her from darting back and forth, barking, hiding under the bed or a corner, etc. She is surprisingly well behaved when she is leashed so I think part of it is that she simply didn't know how to behave so I'm trying to teach her.

    I wish you luck. Our babies who are emotionally damaged are really heart-wrenching.

  6. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I think Suz's idea to take her to puppy classes is an excellent one. It will help her to become more socialized while she is still young. I wish there was something like that around here that I could have used with Freebie ... she's an extreme case. I can't even really walk her - she would be terrified. When we lived in the country she was in and out of the house and ran free outside when she wanted to. But now that I live in town, her 'territory' where she's comfortable is the house, the front porch, and the grass as far as her tie out will let her go. If she gets out of that small area, she's scared to death! She behaves well enough, just scared so bad she trembles and shakes. A trip to the vet is a real adventure! She is still very deeply scarred from the trauma she went through as a puppy and always will be. She LOVES other dogs, is afraid of all people except for me, and thinks that all small animals (like cats) are for chasing. But I really believe that if I had made more of an effort to socialize her when she was younger, she would be a lot better off now.
  7. jal

    jal Member

    Do you think she might be deaf?
  8. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    That's a possibility too! Seemingly dumb question, but are her ears white? I'm not sure about pit bulls but in some breeds a white ear can indicate deafness in that ear. If the outside of the ear is white, the inside hairs are also white including the tiny little hairs inside the ear. For some reason, as the dog matures, if those little inside hairs are white, they tend to die off and fall out and don't function to conduct the sound the same as darker hairs do. They are not born deaf, but they become deaf as they mature. That''s why deafness is very common in breeds like Dalmatians. And I know that in mismarked Bostons, if one or both ears are white, there is a very good chance that they will be deaf in the white ear.
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Jal's suggestion might be good to check. Sounds like she wants to please, which is a good sign.

    The leash idea is good. I've used it to help socialize my dogs. I use it with Betsy who is a bit too excited when the grands come to visit. She loves them so much she forgets she's not allowed to jump up on people.

    Maybe if Tony would play her favorite game with her?
  10. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I know Tony's away working a lot, but it might help if he was the one to feed her when he was home ...
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Never thought of deaf! We dont have anything like puppy classes here. I looked for something like that before. I tried to take her out on a leash when it snowed after she ran under the house and you would have thought we were torturing her! She hates the leash! She just outgrew her collar so Im gonna get her a harness next time and try a really long rope leash and just let it hang there to get her used to it.

    She is black and white. One ear may be white. She isnt inside tonite so I cant look right at her right now. Its pretty warm tonight so we left her in the kennel tonight.

    Tony does feed her in the kennel most of the time. Or at least half the time. And he has never had to raise his voice at all to her.

    She seems like she can hear though because she likes squeaky toys. Though the first one that squeaked scared her to death...lol.
  12. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Well, if the squeak scared her, she can probably hear. Although you might want to see if you can test it from a distance, maybe she has issues that way. Or maybe she's like a kid and has selective hearing. lol
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Ah! Jal came up with-the same idea ... I wondered if she was deaf.
    Definitely, test her from various parts of the room ("treat" is the best test word, LOL!). And take her to school.
    If you can't find one, just get a leash and take her for walks, with-plenty of treats in your pocket. Holding the leash, walk away from her when she's distracted, say "Come" loudly enough so she can hear you, and gently pull the leash toward you, looping it over and over again so you use up the slack (a 6 ft leash is barely long enough ... use a longer lead if you have one).

    Best of luck!
  14. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Um.....not to take her thunder but Oiuxa is Rain Man. (that's Weeza like in Steel Magnolias) and I'm not kidding.