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Val123's avatar

Is it possible for a dog to get so traumatized that he or she quits barking almost altogether?

Asked by Val123 (12704points) November 20th, 2009

My little Dutchess dawg got picked by the dog catcher and taken to the pound on Friday.
We didn’t realize it until after 5:00, so we would have to wait til Monday to get her out. Well, early, early Sat. morning we got a call that Rick’s 86 year old father had fallen, and was in the hospital undergoing surgery. So off we went to Pittsburgh, Kansas, no idea how long till we’d be back. Well, my son offered to pay the $54 to get Dutchess out while we’re gone. However, it turns out the dog pound wasn’t open on Monday, so my son, Chris, couldn’t get her out till Tuesday. So she was there for five days. On top of that, when she did get home, “Mom and Dad” weren’t there. Now, this dog goes into spasms if we go to Walmart and are gone for an hour! When we get back she whines and yelps and cries like a baby, saying how happy she is that we’re back. The longest we’ve left her is two days and one night. But the poor thing gets out of jail, only to come home and have to wait and wait and wait, not knowing if we’re ever coming back.

Now, this dog talks. She barks (in fact I posted a q here on how to get dogs to stop barking And she whines. She has a whole range of different whinings that mean different things. She has a “I gotta pee!!!!” whine. She has a “I’m really worried!!!” whine. She has a “pet me!!!!” whine. She has one that is accompanied by intense staring, while whining, “I’m not hungry, I don’t have to pee, you don’t have to pet me, but but I have something REALLY important to tell you!!!!” (Rick always responds with, “Did Timmy fall in the well???!!!” And Dutchess will yip!) All whines are accompanied by no less than four exclamation marks.

Well, we finally got home on Thursday night to be greeted by all the dogs. It took a bit before I realized that Dutchess wasn’t making a single sound as she greeted us. She jumped up like she usually does, but she was far more restrained than is normal for her, and she wasn’t making a sound. Not a sound. In fact, as the evening wore on and she was so silent I wondered if the pound people had done something to her. (When Chris went to get her and described her to the guy, the guy said, “Oh. The little whiney one?” Uh, yeah. That one.) I was actually getting worried, and was relieved to actually hear her growling softly as she played with one of the other dogs.

Also, when she wants to come in she barks, and it’s always been kind of an hysterical, “OMG!! Let me in! Let me in!!” screaming kind of bark. And she’ll JUMP as high as the sliding glass door when she sees us (it is a sight to behold!) Today she DID bark to come in but it was two very restrained barks, and they were lower and deeper than I’ve ever heard her. She isn’t barking at people going by the house. She’s like a completely different dog…

Part of me is very relieved, but part of me is worried. I can’t figure it out. `I wonder…she knows that we don’t like her barking. I wonder if she thinks she got sent to jail because of her barking? Or was she just so freaked out by it all that she’s…what. Kind of scarred? I don’t know! What do ya’ll think?

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22 Answers

zero979's avatar

well im not sure about being traumatized but some dogs have a quiet personality so you could just buy one of those but i suggest you go to a animal shelter because they tend to be more scared or just quit. and it helps those poor dogs.

JLeslie's avatar

Sounds like she was traumatized. You must be very worried. Maybe over time she will feel secure again and go back to some of her old habits. Does she seem nervous? The best would be that they had a loving person where she was being held who was good at training her, I hope that was the case.

whitenoise's avatar

@zero979 Did you actually read the question?

Val123's avatar

@zero979 What? It’s my dog. She did not have a quiet personality before, but she does now and I wonder why.

Oh good. Powerlady is weighing in.

RedPowerLady's avatar

How did she get picked up by the catchers?

Poor gal seems to need some TLC. I don’t know much about this sorta thing sorry I can’t be more helpful. But I am interested in seeing what others say. I guess that once she feels safe again she’ll revert to her previous behavior.

zero979's avatar

oh srry i thought you wanted a nice quiet dog

Val123's avatar

@JLeslie They don’t train dogs at the pound. They just lock them up and feed them a couple of times a day. I really don’t WANT her to go back to her old habits! I don’t know if I’m worried or not….

@RedPowerLady Ah, my son is staying with us and he has a little chawenie, and that dog digs her way out, and Dutchess just followed her. So, she was a dog at large. And they got her. She’s getting lots of TLC, and I really don’t WANT her to revert to her previous behavior! It drives me bonkers!

@zero979 I do want a nice quiet dog! But I wanted MY dog to be that nice quiet dog, and now she is but…what she must have gone through to become that way. I feel sorry for her.

Val123's avatar

@whitenoise per @zero979 reading the Q…it was a long-assed detail I put in there! I just wanted everyone to get a feel for how drastic the change was.

whitenoise's avatar

I wasn’t blaming @zero979… I didn’t read your whole question ;-)

RedPowerLady's avatar

@Val123 Perhaps you can start rewarding her for being quite while simultaneously making her feel safe? You listed quite a few times when she would normally bark or whine. Whenever she doesn’t in those scenarios say “good girl” and play a quick game with her or give her a treat. If she does whine or bark ignore her completely (even negative attention can be a reward).

faye's avatar

I would be traumatized! Don’t you bet they scooped her into the cage with all the ‘gang’ dogs while she was barking? I’ve had 2 rescue dogs, both ducked their heads when you reached to pet them. a neighbor used an antibark collar on her yappy little dog and ended up with one that made worse squealing noises.

JLeslie's avatar

@Val123 I was hoping some nice volunteers visit the dogs. @RedPowerLady makes sense, to reward her for the new good behavior.

dpworkin's avatar

How long has she been home? I’d say give her a good month, and if I were you I wouldn’t begin extra training or treat-giving or anything unusual right now. Allow her to learn that she is back home, safe, and that nothing much has changed.

After she’s back to her yappy self we can help you to have her become more quiet.

rooeytoo's avatar

She could have barked so much she gave herself a sore throat (Have you ever shouted yourself into a sore throat at a footy game!)

Or since you say she was a hyper type to begin with then it is possible that she was traumatized by the noise and fear rampant in a pound situation.

If you think it could be something physical, check her temp, that is always a good indicator of a health issue.

boffin's avatar

….possible for a dog to get so traumatized that he or she quits barking almost altogether?

If so…There are a couple (dogs) in our neighborhood that need a good traumatizing!

Val123's avatar

@boffin I hear you there! Same in my neighborhood. I just want to write an anonymous letter to the owners.

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, I believe dogs can be traumatized and quit barking. In time, she might go back to barking, but I’m wondering if she barked so much she actually damaged her vocal cords? It could be that she never will go back to the old way.

Val123's avatar

@YARNLADY Naw. She wasn’t that bad. And actually, since we got back she’s been barking a bit….trying to discourage it now.

YARNLADY's avatar

@YARNLADY Oh, I’m glad she is getting better.

Val123's avatar

@YARNLADY Uh. Starting to whine again, which I hate, so…working on it. Trying not to let my pity interfere with the training…...LOL! Dutchess just barked yelling that she (and the other two) wanted back in the house. Since her pound experience she’s been barking politely twice, then sitting at full, graceful attention behind the sliding glass dorrs. Well, just now she yipped-barked in a rather shreeky tone. All 3 dogs are behind the sliding glass door, all three standing up, ready to rush the house! I yelled, “SIT” and pointed two fingers (peace-sign, which we’ve half heartedly worked on as far as hand signals) through the glass…..Dakota sat immediately, Dutchess, then Midas followed suit right away! It was like a kindergarten class! LOL! Anyway, this just now happened, thought I’d share it with ya!

RedPowerLady's avatar

@Val123 Maybe you should call the pound and see if they were using some type of training method to keep her from barking. Perhaps she wasn’t traumatized, maybe they just had a good dog keeper.

Val123's avatar

@RedPowerLady O o o!! Good idea! I’ll do that ASAP!! (They prolly won’t tell me if they used pepper spray or something…..:(

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