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Emmazool

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  1. Hi fellow BC lovers, I've been on here a couple times to ask questions and your feedback has been invaluable, so thanks for that! I'm here with another puzzling situation. One night a couple nights ago, my 1.5 year old pup Scout, started acting very anxious while my partner and I were still up in the living room chatting. He came jumping up on the couch and sat on top of the back/headrest of the couch. He's never done this, he was panting and trying to jump all over me (which is his usual "I'm anxious mom, please help me" behavior. I can not for the life of me recall what happened to trigger this but I just thought he was being momentarily weird and it would stop. I did not encourage his anxious behavior. A little while later as we got into bed and did our normal nighttime routine, he would barely enter the bedroom. We coaxed him in and he went on panting and getting in and out of his bed for hours. He jumped in and out of bed with us multiple times (he's welcome there although never likes sleeping with us but prefers his own space). We let him out of the bedroom but this would lead to him pacing in and out of the bedroom and living toom. All this went on for hours. He even tried hiding in the bathroom and tried getting into the tub (which he hates). In the middle of the night he jumped in bed and slept by my head for the rest of the night. I let him do this because I wanted to get some sleep! Anyway, the next day I made sure to get him nice and tired so that hopefully we wouldn't have the same issue. The second night was ok, there were some signs of anxiety but he slept in his bed all night long. Then last night (the 3rd night) the anxiety returned. The same panting and pacing routine went on all night, although last night I did not allow him to sleep at my head. Scout is also showing signs of anxiety throughout the day while being in the house. Today I began working on counter conditioning, bringing him in and out of our bedroom, on and off his bed and our bed with treats and his ball (the highest value item in the house), training and playing games in our room and on the bed to create better association. But here we are, as bedtime approaches he's panting and sitting as far away from the bedroom as possible. I have a sense of how desensitization and counter conditioning work and have successfully gotten through some other challenges with using those techniques, but I'm writing to ask you all if there is anything else I can do?? So far, once he is already anxious it seems like there is no turning back. I can't lure him in with raw meat or his ball. And once he seems to get to that point, he just works himself up even more by continuing to be anxious. Just now I was doing some training and counter conditioning in our bedroom and he was into it. Then all of a sudden he stopped being interested and began panting and looking at me out of the corner of his eye. In addition to things I can do throughout the day to work on the situation, what should I do in the middle of the night when I am exhausted and trying to get some sleep. He keeps me up with his panting and I get anxious myself thinking about how best I can handle the situation. I try luring him back on his sleeping mat with treats but he wants nothing to do with them. I'm at the point where I want to put in ear plugs and let him figure it out. My worry is that the many hours of panting and anxiety are ever creating the tense situation that he fears. It's like a little trigger is now a huge one because of the many hours he has to wallow in it. Does that make sense? Thanks in advance, I really appreciate having this forum of dog lovers and trainers to get support from!
  2. Whoops my mistake! I thought I was posting to the general forum. Not sure how to delete this post but please disregard it in this section! My apologizes.
  3. Hi everyone, This morning while at the park playing fetch, my dog, who is friendly and enjoys playing with other dogs, was attacked by another dog. There were no obvious signs of injury on my dog, but there was a good 10 seconds where the other dog was on top of my dog being super aggressive and my dog was crying like I have never heard him cry before. Everything was fine but boy was I scared! The other owner broke them up (I was around 40 feet away when it happened). I ran over to my dog and because natural human maternal instinct kicked in and I started petting, loving up on my pup to reassure him, make she he was ok and to show him I’m there for him. A couple minutes later another dog started chasing and barking at my poor pup and he looked visible scared and anxious. Once again I had him come to me and sit while I petted him, reassuring once again. We started playing fetch a bit more but my pup was obviously anxious so I decided to was time to leave. Afterwards, i got thinking about my reaction and if I was reinforcing fear behaviors and anxiety in my dog. I'm wondering what to do in situations like this where there has been an obviously scary thing happen to a dog (dog on dog aggression) and you want to show them you can protect them but you also don't want to coddle or reinforce their fear and anxiety. I'm wondering about situations where there is obvious danger (like this one) and also less dangerous situations where there isn't a dangerous thing that happened / or is happening but your dog still seems to be scared (a couple months ago my dog was scared of music playing from the computer and would run up to me and try to get in my lap and I loved the attention so I encouraged this behavior. Icame to realize coddling him during these moments seemed to make it worse and I stopped doing that). In my understanding dogs don't really differentiate between what is actual harm (dog on dog aggression) and what is not harmful (music playing from computer) and my thinking is that the owner should behave similarly in reacting to both situations where a dog shows fear and anxiety. So, how can I respond to these situations that bring my dog fear, using positive reinforcement, to mitigate reinforcing the fear and anxiety, while also showing the dog I am here for him, love him and will do my best to protect and care for him? Any thoughts, tips, advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
  4. Hi everyone, This morning while at the park playing fetch, my dog, who is friendly and enjoys playing with other dogs, was attacked by another dog. There were no obvious signs of injury on my dog, but there was a good 10 seconds where the other dog was on top of my dog being super aggressive and my dog was crying like I have never heard him cry before. Everything was fine but I was scared! The other owner broke them up (I was around 40 feet away when it happened). I ran over to my dog and because of my natural human maternal instinct started petting and reassuring my dog and making sure he was not injured. A couple minutes later another dog started chasing and barking at my poor pup and he looked visible scared and anxious. I again had him come to be and sit while I petted him. He was obviously anxious after these 2 instances so we left the park. I feel like I may have made my pup's anxiety worse by petting and trying to reassure him. I'm wondering what to do in situations like this where there has been an obviously scary thing happen to your dog (dog on dog aggression) and you want to show them you can protect them but you also don't want to coddle or reinforce their fear and anxiety. I'm wondering about situations where there is obvious danger and also lesser dangerous situations where there isn't a dangerous thing that happened but your dog still seems to be scared (a couple months ago my dog was scared of music playing from the computer and coddling him during these moments seemed to make it worse). In my understanding dogs don't really differentiate between what is actual harm (dog on dog aggression) and what is not (music playing from computer) and my thinking is that the owner should behave similarly in reacting to both situations where a dog shows fear and anxiety. So, how can I respond to these situations that bring my dog fear, using positive reinforcement, to mitigate reinforcing fear and anxiety, while also showing the dog I am here for him and love him. Any thoughts, tips, advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
  5. Hi Everyone, I am somewhat new to this forum (only my second post) and a newish dog owner. We got our Border Collie pup, Scout, just over a year ago, he's 15 months old and we're totally in love! He's an amazing companion but sometimes these issues come up that puzzle me, so I'm grateful I found this forum. So here's the new puzzling behavior: in the last two weeks Scout suddenly seems to be scared of music or a movie playing off the computer in the living room. We watch movies often (couple times a month) for his whole life on the laptop in bed and I thought we regularly listen to music as well, but now, it seems all of a sudden, he cant handle it when we listen to music or watch anything in the living room. He still seems to be ok with it at night while we're in bed. When we have music on, like we did today, he starts panting and shaking if he's laying down. He also starts jumping up on me and trying to get my attention to pet him and be affectionate-- which is strange because he isn't that affectionate of a guy. And if he is, its not in this kind of anxious way. He does this kind of jumping on me and basically trying to sit in my lap or sprawl across my shoulders and seems to really want me to caress and pet him. He does this type of thing at the vet, its a different kind of energy than our normal times of affection. I looovve when I get to cuddle him, so I'm relishing in this amount of affection from him and end up giving into his wanting me to lay with him and pet him (all while the music is still on), but I know that I shouldn't be encouraging this behavior because it seems to be encouraging this new fear in him. I tried settling him in the bedroom (we only live in a one bedroom apartment so you could still hear the music with the door closed) with a new beef bone with meat on it and he would barely look at it. I closed him in the room and came back a few minutes later, and surprisingly found him laying in the bathroom (he barely ever goes in there because he's afraid of the bath!). lol he sounds like he is afraid of lots of things, which isn't the case. He's usually very well adjusted, we live in a city and he does fine with loud noises, cars, people, bikes, etc. I'm just so surprised by this behavior because he's never had any kind of noise anxiety before and I don't know what to do to discourage, or ease the fear/anxiety he seems to be having. Is the music somehow hurting his ears? What can I do to discourage or at least not encourage this behavior? What kind of desensitization should I do? Obviously, I want to be able to listen to music and watch a video anywhere in our place and not have it be an issue. Is this an age thing? I read somewhere about fear phases popping up around this time. If so, how do I deal with this? Any tips would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much!
  6. Thanks so much for your response @D'Elle. I feel much better. I was getting a little worked up over it this morning. I appreciate you recounting your story to show me how you've dealt with a fetch-loving dog and through your story and advice I realize that I have been making a couple mistakes, which is why I think we've been having problems. First, I haven't always been the one to call the shots in terms of when, where, how, for how long and with what he is able to play fetch. I sometimes am in control, but other times he's pulling me to the park or bringing me a ball or another toy in the house for me to throw for him, and I usually oblige. Also, when we have guests, he is so persistent with them that I have to put the ball away, or he just gets downright annoying. Thankfully he hasn't started barking for me to throw him the ball! So thank you for showing me that playing fetch and even being obsesses is ok when it is controlled by myself or my partner. Also, I appreciate the advice on how to deal with Scout trying to get others at the park to throw the ball for him. I will try that today and see how it goes. He is also an amazing Frisbee catcher and I would hate taking this bit of joy away from him, so thanks again for your help!
  7. Hi everyone, Please help! I'm glad this post was up today when I came online because I've been meaning to seek advice about this exact topic. I'll give a little background info and then explain what's going on. My family and I moved from a rural area to a big city a couple months ago with our 1 year old Border Collie named Scout. He had the best life I could have imagined giving a dog, acres and acres of forest to roam around in, lots of people and dog friends to interact with, dog friendly beaches and trails, etc. His needs were being met easily in our old life and then unexpectedlu, our life shifted and we had to make a quick and undesired move to the city! Oh goodness, its been hard on all of us, and Scout is adapting well but, we are noticing some issues arising that we didn't have to deal with much before- which brings me here to seek advice about his obsessiveness over fetch and general help to incorporate other things into our new life. He used to play fetch in our country life but would (somewhat reluctantly) gave it up when we said "all done" or focused attention on something else either on a walk or interacting with other dogs. When we were on our 8 day road trip to our new home, fetch became the game of choice to get him exercise and keep his attention focused on us so that he wouldn't go running out into the street at the rest stop or small park we happened to find on the side of the road. Looking back, I can see how we have greatly encourage this fetch-obsessed behavior, beginning with that road trip. Once arriving in to our new urban apartment, fetch was yet again one of the main ways he interacts outside for exercise. We live in an area where there aren't many places nearby except from dog parks where he can be off leash. Each morning we go on a jog together, then on a nice 30 minute walk around the neighborhood midday, we do some obedience and other fun training midday, and in the early evening we go to the park for a fetch session. I'm not super happy about this. and I am noticing more and more the negative affects of his fetch-obsessed behavior. First, there are plenty of other dogs there for him to run around with at the park and he just totally ignores them to focus on fetch unless I put the ball or Frisbee away. Lately when I do this he becomes frustrated jumps up at me and then begrudgingly finds a dog to run around with for 2 minutes before finding a stick on the ground to become obsessed about. Also, he brings his fetch toys to other people to throw for him because he knows I will sometimes put it away and that other folks are always more than happy to throw it for him. Usually he still comes back to me when I call him but in the last couple days he is not even doing that! Other folks are re-enforcing that he doesn't have to listen to me because they will throw the ball for him! He is usually a very well behaved dog, but this new life is definitely making him more frustrated, listening less and developing some bad habits. Maybe its his age as well (about 15 months old). Anyway, after reading some of the other posts I see that I have to take the fetch toys away completely and maybe not even go to the park and interact with him in that space for a while. Some questions: Do I have to take all the toys he uses to try to get me to play fetch with him (sometimes he uses his rope and even bones sometimes)? I need to give him something (or many things) to replace fetch. What can I do in my situation where when we're at the park he easily finds a stick to play fetch with? What other activities can we do /play together for not only exercise but stimulation and connection? I know that I need to incorporate more into his new life to give him jobs and stimulate his mental and physical needs aside from what we're already doing like, going on walks, jogs, and doing obedience and tricks training. Please let me know other things we can do together to replace fetch and get exercise and stimulation. I am looking into doing agility with him but even if I can afford that, it'll likely only be once a week. Another negative effect of the fetch-obsession is that anytime we go near a park he is used to playing fetch in- he begins pulling on the leash like madman! I understand that I have totally encourage this behavior and that it needs to stop asap. Please help me figure out what to do to move forward. Thanks! Here are some cute pictures to brighten your day
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