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Snorting - help please.

Discussion in 'General Dog Forum' started by RGC, Feb 1, 2021.

  1. RGC

    RGC Active Member Registered

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    Perhaps I should have put this out earlier but it was just one of the several issues we have had with our rescue.
    On a very irregular frequency our whippet starts what I can only describe as a bout of snorting. It sounds like a very short spasm of sneezing but with a snorting/sharp snoring intake sound. It is infrequent - although it happened this evening the previous episode was well over a month ago. This evening she was asleep on the sofa and had a short session (circa 20 seconds). She didn’t seemed distressed about it once it was over but should I be concerned? Is this a sighthound issue? Didn’t encounter it with our previous pointy faces.
     
  2. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    This sounds like reverse sneezing, which is common: Reverse Sneeze in Dogs Jasper does it too occasionally.
     
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  3. RGC

    RGC Active Member Registered

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    Thank you, JudyN. That’s appreciated. There’ll be more observations/traits to follow. Although Mabel’s come a long way there are still issues that need sorting - someone’s really mucked up her head - probably a male.
     
  4. RGC

    RGC Active Member Registered

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    Moving on from snorting (reverse sneezing) there are other issues which I’m addressing one at a time (if that’s possible because they’re probably interrelated). It’s her fearfulness. In her previous life was a 20 year old male who suffered from Asperger’s but I’ve no idea to what extreme. Mabel’s been with us for just over 12 months and has settled in well. However her demeanour is changeable - in the morning she leaps on the bed for a cuddle and spends time rolling on her back as if to say “Look at me, I’m not wearing knickers” with a very happy, manic and carefree expression. She then plays with George the cat (chasing around the house and garden). She’s fine on her walk, interested in smells and meeting other dogs. It’s when we get home that the neggies come out. She would eat for England and one would think that treats would be a major trigger but as soon as there is the slightest sign of intent from me she backs away. For instance, trying to get her to sit. I appreciate that this isn’t the b all and end all but letting her know that there’s a treat for her when I hold the treat above her head puts her into a fearful state and she won’t come near me. She has a better post walk rapport with my wife and I can only surmise that a male has really put the fear of God into her. I’ve never even raised my voice to her and her destruction of my Panama hat, drum sticks and, more recently, my Latin preparation have only been met with “Mabel, was that a good idea?”. Any advice would be appreciated - she’s much happier than last, she’s no longer anxious in the car as she knows we’re going somewhere nice whether my wife is with me or not. Sorry this screed is so long but if there’s any advice out there I’d be indebted.
     
  5. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    I can't remember, how long have you had her, and how old is she now?

    Is it only a specific range of actions that you do that scare her, or does she seem nervous of you in general? Is she always OK with cuddles in bed? What about later in the day, so not post-walk?
     
  6. JoanneF

    JoanneF Well-Known Member Registered

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    This reminds me of something I read recently about treats actually becoming aversive, because the dog has learned to associate them with having to comply with something she felt uncomfortable with.

    I appreciate that isn't the whole answer but I thought I'd throw it in there.
     
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  7. RGC

    RGC Active Member Registered

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    She came to us in November 2019 and she’ll be five in April. I let her instigate the cuddle session and if I stop stroking her or move to another side of the bed she ‘swims to me’ (hind legs stretched out as though she’s been spatchcocked) for more fuss. In the evening I’ll lie on the sofa with her on the other end and she will ‘swim’ to me for a fuss. She seems apprehensive if she perceives any nuance of intent i.e, if she’s lying on the sofa and I’d like to give her a gentle brushing (which she enjoys) I have to sidle up with no eye contact and gently stretch my hand out to stroke her and then bring the brush into play. It’s a stealth movement. She’ll come to me if I’m eating - as said, she’ll eat for England - and stare at me. She’s fine and relaxed with me as long as I don’t initiate the event with perceived intent. She’s fine with routine - preparation for walks, getting into her coat and harness. Off the lead she always clocks where I am and everyone has commented that she knows I’m her Dad and will come to me - that’s outside. I’m aware that I may be taking time from those who may have more important issues with which they’d appreciate assistance so please let me know if there are websites which could prove efficacious.
     
  8. RGC

    RGC Active Member Registered

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    Thank you, JoanneF - I think Mabel’s quite selective with how she ratifies HER associations but I do take your point. With due respect to sighthound Mums and Dads I haven’t found that whippets (my ones, I’ll hasten to add) have been the sharpest knives in the box.
     
  9. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    No issue is unimportant ;)

    I do recognise that awareness of 'intent' - that 'You're up to something, aren't you?' I wonder if you could just start by picking up a treat and giving it to her, no strings attached. Then build up to doing that but with 'a look' (or maybe a deliberate look away), then if she seems to be progressing, practise slightly different hand positions... And of course, the better the treat, the more it will increase positive associations.

    Also, maybe some games that will help with her confidence? Have a look at this: 101 Things to Do with a Box | Karen Pryor Clicker Training

    But I'm making this up as I go along - others might have some better suggestions.
     
  10. RGC

    RGC Active Member Registered

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    Many thanks for that, Judy. Just thought you may be amused by her latest exploit..... D21AFFBE-7B88-47DB-BB5F-20B96818C627.jpeg
     
  11. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    Canis malus!
     
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  12. Hemlock

    Hemlock Well-Known Member Registered

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    Lol - dogs exist to teach people to put away anything they don't want damaged or eaten.

    I suspect from what you say that in the previous home, she was lured with treats and then something unpleasant was done. A very famous horse trainer referred to it as "bread and jam and a beating". This can take a long time to put right and sometimes can't be put right at all. I suggest you toss a treat away from you as a reward, so she does what you want, gets a treat, but doesn't fear being grabbed. I appreciate you don't do this, but if it has happened in the past, she may still expect it, and your relationship goes in a heartbeat from trust to suspicion.
     
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  13. Lennor Magill

    Lennor Magill Member Registered

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    My two lads do this quite often. Asleep as well as awake. My previous grey never did. I am told it's nothing to worry about. Wonderful dogs pointy faces they are do huggy. I was unwell last week and they hardly left my side. Only to be fed and taken out for walks and doggy business.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2021
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  14. JudyN

    JudyN Moderator Moderator Registered

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    I hope you're fully recovered now, Lennor. I have no doubt that if I was ill, Jasper would be saying 'Muuum, Muuuum, I need my walk, Muuuuuuuuum!!!!'
     
  15. Lennor Magill

    Lennor Magill Member Registered

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    I'm much better thanks. I think that being Sandwiched in bed between two lovely and caring dogs helped me get better. Not forgetting my son who was on hand to help.
     
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  16. Anouk

    Anouk Member Registered

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    Reverse sneeze yes, mention it to your vet. To keep a eye on it. We use to blow into the face to make it stop or with extreme snoring but his face softly in another position.
     
  17. RGC

    RGC Active Member Registered

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    Thanks for the reassurance and advice. I appreciate that something in her previous life must have been shocking and/or traumatic to her. She will accept a treat from me with no problem but if it’s in parallel with any element of training (perceived intent from myself) she’ll get anxious and immediately, following that episode, won’t come to me for a treat. Yes, I think you’re right, Hemlock. It’s going to take ages to get Mabel’s trust 100%. We’ve had rescued sighthounds before and fully appreciate their sensitivity. She’s teaching me to be tidy but I have the occasional lapse hence “my homework got eaten by the dog”.
     

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