Why is my dog regressing?


About 4 days before Christmas I made the big decision to rescue a double merle great dane puppy from a woman who said she’d tried every Animal Control office in our area, on top of the local no-kill shelters to see if they would take him. Due to his various disabilities, however, they had refused; saying an animal like himself is so hard to find a home that it would be impossible for them to take him. She had found this dog along side our local river as a stray. Screaming and cold – he was only about 13 weeks old. Almost completely blind and *totally* deaf.

After I took him in, we found out that he had an under-developed bladder(which is to be expected with his various other birth defects), so we were patient but still stern with his pottying in the house. His chewing, we also edged for him being a puppy, we also treated patiently but again. Firmly. And for a long while there, he seemed to be progressing so well that he actually was able to spend 6+ hours alone without being in his kennel/crate without any accidents(he was never left alone for long at all due to having severe seperation anxiety).

As of recently – in the past month at LEAST. He has totally *REGRESSED*. Where as, in the month or two we’ve had him, he’d never pooped in the house. He did so the night before last(this was not even an HOUR after being taken out and doing his business outside). He’s proceeded to go on a complete and total rampage – destroying everything in his path with chewing, peeing, etc. And worst yet – HE KNOWS WHAT HE’S DOING IS WRONG. He raids the cat boxes like a ninja(where as before he wouldn’t so much as glance at them after the first time we caught him in them), and take off running from us in complete guilt – even before we’ve discovered what he’s hiding from us. He starts peeing and takes off running down the hall while peeing – again out of guilt of doing something wrong.

I’m all but pulling my hair out at the fact that he’s back-peddling so quickly. We take him outside every 2-3 hours to let him out. He spends almost every waking moment within line of sight of us. If we go somewhere – he goes with. He was never this bad. EVER. He’s 20 weeks old and no longer potty trained. All the bad habits he could pick up, he has. And I’m not sure what else to think.

I understand that having a dog with his disabilities was going to be hard. But honestly – his lack of good sight is not hard. His hearing? Not hard at all. He was doing so well with cues and we were not abusive with him. On the days we work – sure he might be a bit cooped up but we leave him out to chase the cats up and down the halls(they all play with him). So.

Is there a possibility that, with him being a double merle. With his various birth defects, that he is possibly a little autistic? The term blind, deaf, and dumb. Could it really be playing a part here?

I’ve raised pitbulls, pugs, chow-chows, shar-peis, labs, and more. Often times the ‘harder’ dogs to train. But now that I’m dealing with a ‘gentle giant’. It’s as though this dopey guy is really…well…a dope.

:/ I once again have begun to resume crating him at night. He can’t be left out unattended anymore for fear of damaging everything.

And even if he’s not autistic. What would explain his sudden shutting down?
I’m not quite sure what kind of *sick* satisfaction you feel getting off by telling me that I’m raising my dog wrong Mr/Mrs. Behavior expert or whoever the -hell- you think you are. But don’t you *dare* come into my question and treat me like I haven’t been doing everything in my power to raise this dog appropriately. I *saved* him at THIRTEEN weeks old from being put down because NOBODY around here wants to take care of a blind and deaf dog. *I* took on the challenge because he was just a puppy. He doesn’t know the difference between hearing or not.

I don’t care how much experience you think you have – but putting ‘human emotions’ as a form of a description doesn’t mean I actually think he feels guilty. It was the only term that came to mind at 2 in the morning. So seriously. Back off. You should just be happy that this dog is even still alive because of a person like me. Because right now – he’d be DEAD if I hadn’t chosen to take him in.

As for question about triggered fear. I’m no

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    4 Responses to “Why is my dog regressing?”

    1. Cookie says:

      First of all you’ll have to get rid of that thinking that says your dog feels "guilt", "knows better", and stop attributing human emotions to a dog. Dogs brains are not wired to think that way, the running away comes from knowing what he did brings on your anger, not knowing what he did makes him feel guilty. If he "knew better" he would not be doing it. I think this dog is possibly too much for you. He needs a professional to cope with his ongoing problems, that are going to get worse before they get better because you aren’t looking at him in the right light.
      He is a puppy, and puppies chew, destroy things, run amuck, pee, poop, get into trouble every chance they get. Regardless of his disabilities, he is still a puppy needing specialized training methods that aren’t at all the same as the methods used with dogs without disabilities. You need to either do some serious studying on how to handle this type of dog, or re home it to someone that does or you will end up getting this dog destroyed.

    2. Jenny Manyteeth says:

      The answer is PUBERTY. Dogs forget everything at puberty. After 3-4 months of making you want to kill him, he’ll suddenly remember the stuff he knew cold at 15 weeks, and turn into the gentleman you’ve been training.

      Just continue his training, grit your teeth and be patient. Firm, but patient. It’s a phase he’s going through.

    3. Just Oo says:

      It is possible that it just felt frightened

    4. Comatose says:

      Are you sure that there isn’t something mentally going on with him, given his genetic background? You might want to have a specialist check him out.

      Also, he’s only 5 months old and you gave him free roam of the house? He’s still very much a puppy, and a very special needs one at that. (Obviously). I think you need to slow down with him. It seems like he’s overwhelmed.

      And him peeing down the halls isn’t ‘guilt.’ It’s fear. It sounds like he has something else going on in there. Did anything happen lately that might have triggered him to meltdown?