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Hello all. We recently joined the forum to talk about a mystery. We have an 8 year old Havanese, Kip. Kip has been in our family since he was 8 weeks old. He has always been healthy, albeit has a nervous streak in him. Recently, he has started yelping and screaming and is shaking. It is almost as if he has been abused. When he is touched in the ribs/back down to the buttocks, he yelps and occasionally will turn to nip, but does not. I gently lift him and he will yelp/scream until he is resting in my arms. We spend some time togethsr in this fashion and he eventually calms down.
It is worse in the morning. He is shaking considerably and shies away from harnessing for a walk. He will try to kennel himself and will not come out. Ever so gently we crawl in with him and let him sniff our hand and lightly place the harness on him. He is tentative to come on walks, will occasionally yelp/scream in the walk, walks with his tail dragging, will not want to walk with his sisters, and will not jump even the slightest of jumps.
At the end of the day he will eventually calm down and join us on the couch. By then he is not so sensitive. His yelping/screaming has subsided and he can be lifted. He will enjoy a night of cuddling throughout the night.
The next morning I leave at 7 and he will be in the room with his sisters until
Navah comes in to feed and let them out. Navah, my fiancee, is gentle and loving with all of the animals. She experiences the same issues. He will sit in the back of his kennel and shake. He won't come out for water, he will come out for his food. He eats health, good bowels, good pee, he is a little frantic looking in the morning, but by the end of the day he is calm.
The behavior came on two weeks ago and is not consistent. It appears to be a confidence/fear issue because of the inconsistency. Also, he has a history of yelping when excited (such as trips to the groomer or rides in the car -- so much so that he cannot stop himself -- once he was so worked up he actually passed out). So a little history is appropriate.
1) We lived in Burbank for four years with grass, sidewalks, neighbors, other doggies, friends, wood floors, easy in and out to grassy backyard. It was a traditional sidewalk and grass working class neighborhood. Lovely, but the air traffic patterns changed, construction on nearby houses were incessant, and new neighbors ramped up the noise. No issues with Kip during this period of time.
2) Our crew consists of seven: One West Highland Terrier, Maggie, she is Kip's "sister". One interesting combination of terrier and something else, Gertie, who looks a bit like she came from the dinosaur era (seriously, the wiry mohawk from nose down her spine to the tail) who was a street rescue and is Kip's new "sister." They all play wonderfully. Then there are the four cats two of which are recent rescues. The cats and the dogs all get along, though they're not playing, they all tolerate each other.
3) We moved at the beginning of September to Glendale. It is on a cul de sac, in the woods, quiet street, few neighbors, no sidewalks, no grass, pebble floor with some carpeting, exterior gravel and no grass. We have not befriended neighbors yet but have seen a few on walks. I understand Kip misses his friends that he would visit as we would walk through our old Burbank neighborhood.
4) The move has been tense with all of the changes making it emotionally challenging, although we parents are feeling better.
Any insight or similar experiences would be most appreciated. I have raised dogs for fifty years and never had this issue. It is a mystery.