Panic!

We have a problem. It started a couple of weeks ago at puppytraining.

As normal, all the puppies were allowed to walk freely for about 10-15 minutes. Mirtillo always loves this. Especially when he gets the chance to go around and 'bite' the fluffy pups. While he was doing his thing (playing and biting) and when I tried to intervene for the third time (there is one pup he just bites and then doesn't let go) he suddenly screamed very loudly like he was in pain. He paniced and ran away (while screaming). When I got to him, he didn't want me to touch him. He was biting at me (not mean, no growling, really in panic). He didn't have anything physical, so we figured that he might had hurt himself during the biting, because he is also losing his baby-teeth. He was pretty nervous the rest of the training, he recovered a bit after about 30 minutes and at the end he was playing again with other pups. (on leash)

When we were back at home, everything was back to normal again. No problems with other dogs we meet while walking.

A couple of days later we went to showtraining. I don't know exactly what happened, but I touched him and again this screaming. Again we thought.. well, maybe his teeth.. (I think the trainers first thought I was killing him.. they were looking at me like: are you normal??)

When we were back at puppytraining a week later and all the pups were allowed to run off leash.. Mirtillo just stood there.. He was scared! I wasn't too worried, because he was a bit too tough, so I thought, well it's ok if he loses some of his 'toughness'..

A week ago we were at showtraining and Mirtillo did great playing with a 14-week old bullterrier. The leashes were a bit strangled and I tried to unstrangle them. In a sudden: a big scream.. and he kept screaming. The trainer who saw it happen said that really nothing happened. (So now it was clear that I really didn't try to kill him the other time) She also said that the kind of screaming Mirtillo produces can trigger other dogs to attack him. And she told me to ignore the screaming, so no comforting. Again he was nervous for the rest of the training. He screamed again when the trainer tried to touch him.
Everything was back to normal at home.

Yesterday we were back at showtraining and he was afraid and nervous from the beginning. I didn't let him play with any of the other dogs. Only some sniffing. After 30 minutes he recovered and he did great.

When we go for our normal walks Mirtillo is never scared of another dog, but yesterday he gave his first on-leash-and-on-normal-walk-scream. Nothing happened. He was just sniffing.
And at puppytraining he isn't scared when all the other dogs are on leash.

Sorry for the long story, but I figured it might be best if I'm as specific as possible. One more thing: the day before the first screaming, we visited friends and their pack of Dachshunds. They have one male, that of course is the alpha male. He wasn't to happy with Mirtillo and made that clear. The others followed. They hunted him down (or tried to). We were there while it happened, so it was 2 seconds, and we had Mirtillo out of there.

Do you have any idea on what might be going on? And maybe any tips on how to react in the best way?

I think Mirtillo gets nervous when the other dogs come to close and he has the feeling he can't go anywhere. I don't know if I have anything to do with it, because a couple of times I was nearby as well (trying to intervene/putting him in stand/unstrangle the leashes)
He screamed once while he played with my brother.. or my brother played with him.. He's pretty rough with Mirtillo.. Tried to explain a thousand times….. but he's... himself.. (this screaming happened after the first screaming at puppytraining)

I hope you can help!

Efia does the same thing when a big dog is getting to close when they are running it´s like a warning "don´t run over me i´m small".usually the bigger dog backs of but when she was about 16 weeksshe played with a Lab puppy aged 6 months and as they were playing and he got a bit rough first she growled and then when he nipped her she screamed and jeez that triggered the hunting instinct in him he grabbed her by the neck and ran around shaking her like a rat while she screamed it took a few minutes to catch him and release her but it felt like a million years.
Luckily she wasn´t hurt except a sore neck I was afraid of a whiplash injury but she´s ok.
The same day I took her to the sheep enclosure were it happened and let her walk there so she wouldn´t be afraid of the environement the next day she met the Lab and she sniffed at him not afraid but a little weary of him.
For the next 2 months i´ve always kept her onleash when he´s been around but now at the age of 6 months i´ve let her play with him but we keep a vigilant eye on him if he starts showing any kinda hunting attitude he´s onleash immediately.Efia isn´t afraid of anything and this puppy screaming is slowly subsiding as she´s maturing.
Hopefully Mirtillo will grow out of it but whatever you do do not pet him or cuddle him when he screams just ignore it or you´ll teach him a bad habit.

It could be behavioural, but it also could be something else. I would first check him out yourself, by touching him all over (yes, even in his mouth) and try to see if he has sensitive spots. He could have a tooth that has not come out yet or could be impacted. You just never know. If you can't find anything, have him checked out at the vet, then move on to see if a certain situation triggers the scream. She could also have a pinched nerve (I hate to say this) but I would definitely have it checked out. It sounds as if she is in pain. I have had experience with the pinched nerve thing if you want to read what I had to go through go to the thread Shadow's story.

@nomrbddgs:

It could be behavioural, but it also could be something else. I would first check him out yourself, by touching him all over (yes, even in his mouth) and try to see if he has sensitive spots. He could have a tooth that has not come out yet or could be impacted. You just never know. If you can't find anything, have him checked out at the vet, then move on to see if a certain situation triggers the scream. She could also have a pinched nerve (I hate to say this) but I would definitely have it checked out. It sounds as if she is in pain. I have had experience with the pinched nerve thing if you want to read what I had to go through go to the thread Shadow's story.

I read your story, very impressive.

I touched Mirtillo everywhere, on his back with pressure and also in his mouth. No reaction. But I have to say, when we first got him, he sometimes gave a small 'scream' while he was asleep and moving. He doesn't do it anymore, but we will go to the vet anyway.

Thank you for the advice.

Myran: That's pretty scary! The lab really grabbed her? I have to make sure that's not going to happen! Tomorrow we have our first puppytraining again. I think I won't let him walk freely. It's a new group and the pups are all a bit older. First some sniffing.. on leash. 🙂

Edit: and we stopped the comforting. I try to get him out of his 'panic-mode' with some sit/down/give-paw excercises. But it's hard! He's crazy about food, but not when he's scared!

I know Uku had sore joints while growing, I think he was growing to fast and he was sometimes in pain, when playing, when sleeping but nothing when touched all over. The vet gave me stuff to help his system and now he is fine.

Janneke
Yes the Lab really grabbed her over the neck and ran around shaking her like a terrier shakes a rat whilst she screamed like a pig 😞

Although it is not very common, puppies can sometimes get swollen glands during teething. When the leashes get tangled, the collar puts pressure on the inflamed glands causing the puppy pain. The pup can associate pain with the situation it was in when it experienced the pain and this can lead to behavioral problems. I would get the pup to the vet and if the glands are the problem, use a harness instead of a collar until the problem clears up.

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