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Hello,

A week ago we adopted a miniature poodle from our local humane society. We were told he was seized from a bad breeder that kept him outside and fostered for a month. We took him to the vet the next day and he is severely underweight (weighs 11 lbs and vet estimates should be closer to to 17 lbs). He also had either a virus or bacterial infection that was causing him to cough. He's currently on a cough suppressant and antibiotics, and the cough has completely cleared up. Other than that he had no health problems (he tested him for worms which came back neg, and the humane society gave him all his vacs and heartworm test which was neg)

He is VERY interested in treats and people food, but snubbed his dry food (we are feeding him Nutro small dog-they were giving him pedigree which he disliked even more so we phased it out). I mix it with a couple tablespoons of warmed up wet food and he will eat it that way. He's slowly gaining weight, but we are dealing with some issues that I don't really know how to deal with.

-He is super sweet with most everyone, but very sleepy. He'll follow me to whatever room I'm in, and just fall asleep. He'll sleep on the sofa, the floor, whichever is closer to me, but he really doesn't play. He'll walk outside, and even try and chase squirrels, but he doesn't romp with the kids inside or play with any of his toys. If he is inside, he is either eating or snuggled up with someone sleeping. And he much prefers being inside than out. He has ZERO energy for 95% of the day.

-I am a stay home mom, so I haven't had to leave him much, but the two times I left him were not good. He has severe seperation anxiety-he has a fit if I leave him in the house even to check the mail and the kids are inside. The first time I left to go to the store I put a baby gate up so he had access to the hallway/bathroom, and when I came home he had knocked over the gate, there was blood all over the wires from him knawing on it, and the wood was scratched and bit up. He also pooped all over the floor (he hadn't had any other prior accidents). The second time I left him in his crate (a medium size plastic one that does give him room to move around a little) and he peed in it!! The crate they said he was using was the size of a large cat carrier, and that just seemed cruel (he can't even spread his legs out when he's sleeping on his side). Also, anytime I take him out of the crate, he jumps all over me whining and usually pees on me.

-He squats to pee about half the time, and most often times gets pee all over his front legs!?!

Please help!! Is there anything I can do, and does this sound like normal behavior? Thanks so much for listening!

EDITED TO ADD: I forgot to say, vet said he is between 1 and 2 years old (definately younger than 2 based on his teeth). Thanks again!
 

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He's probably low on energy due to being so under weight and malnourished... i'd imagine with time this will come back to him.

As far as peeing, crate training, and overall behavior issues.. probably due to the previous owners bad / non-existent training, and conditions. He's probably like a puppy in terms of teaching him everything from scratch, and <2yrs old is still young too.

If you've had other dogs I would say do whta you do did for them that worked and he will come around.

I think I mentioned it someplace else here but for crate training leave them in a room alone don't be in there. I've noticed this sometimes can seem like a 'tease' to dogs who are just learning, and even ones who know can only handle so much people / activity around/outside them.
 

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Most likely, your puppy's low energy is due to the fact that he is so underweight. Once he gains more weight, his energy level should increase as well. Also, some dogs are less active than others even at a young age.

Since your puppy is so underweight, I would recommend you check out higher protein, higher fat kibble, such as Evo, Orijens, Instinct or Taste of the Wild. If you go to one of the smaller pet stores, not petco or petsmart, chances are they will care several different high protein, no grain formulas. Where are you located?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for your replies. I am in Tallahassee, FL.

I chose Nutro because we have a cat with severe digestive issues and Nutro was the only food that she can tolerate. We tried prescription, science diet, and many others, but Nutro ended up working the best. I wanted him off Pedigree asap and chose Nutro simply because it was what we knew.
 

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Wow, you're really close to us, we live just two hours to your west. I think adding canned food isn't a bad idea in this case, really whatever it takes to get him to eat. Puppy formulas tend to help put weight on dogs. We mix it in with food sometimes for show dogs we have trouble keeping weight on.

Being in Tally you should have access to just about any brand of dog food you wish. Solid Gold (which you can buy at the petco there I believe) makes so good food. My finicy girl loved the wee bites forumal that is just for small dogs and it helped to put weight on her.
Something else, if you can get him to eat it, would be to add something like prozyme to his meals. It's a powdered enzyme, you can mix it in with his food. It makes the nutrients in whatever food you feed more accessable to the dog, thus putting weight on them because they get more out of what they eat. I use it a lot. I don't know off the top of my head where you can get it there. I know not petsmart, I'm not sure about petco. I would put my money on smaller private pet stores and higher end doggie bakeries that sell a lot of all natural or holistic iteams.
 

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I give my girls Dogzymes a digestive enhancer. I found it at Fedies Eats & Treats at an Orlando show about a year ago (http://www.fedies.com/) after I was told that Guenna was skinny. You don't have to add a lot to their food and it helps them get out all the nutrients in their food. I've also found that my spoo girls give me mini poodle sized poo's that appear to be nothing but the garbage from the food. I'm sure they'd ship.
 

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You might have him tested for hypothyroidism. Just a thought. But like the others said it's probly because he's underweight. Normally there is hair loss or thinning hair with hypo.
 

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Mac's Mom, you did GREAT taking him off of pedigree! Well done.
My thought is he is not used to be inside and finds it really comfy :)
My both Standards are very calm in the house, but energetic outside.
Your little guy is underweight and restoring so much needed nutrition level in his system.
I am sure in couple weeks you will see huge difference.
Adding digestive enzymes will definitely help. Some people food (cooked chicken, eggs, cottage cheese) will do good for him too.
Good luck. You gave this little fella good new life.
 

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congrats on your new poodle. If he is a mini I wouldn't be surprised if he doesnt play - our minis just lay around - one of them will sorta play with me - and they snuggle with the kids but that's what minis seem to do - snuggle - especially if he was so deprived before. When I rescued Teddy - a spoo - he was very bad if I left him -separation anxiety. it took a while but now he knows when I go out he gets a treat in the crate and he runs right to it before I even have the treat out of the box - he is waiting in the crate and is very good there. So hang in there - he will get used to the right way to do things - poor thing was treated so badly - can you talk to the foster family to see how he was with them and what they did to correct him? Good luck!
 

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Also - Teddy was two when I got him and was like a puppy. I never thought i would be able to train him - its been more than 2 years - but he is coming along very well and is now laying at my feet in a stay which is a miracle! so don't give up!
 
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