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Found 10 results

  1. Hello Everyone, Our family rescued an almost 2 year Border/Assue (or so they say) from one of our Metro Atlanta rescue groups. My niece chose him as he was the easiest to handle on leash and was so sweet and allowed her to hug him during their first meeting. She suffers from anxiety and depression and instantly fell in love with him. The fosters who had him at the time were anxious for us to have him sleep over for the week. Too much if you ask me. We were told all he does is stare out the window and go to his crate and is a bit skittish at times. This is an understatement. 3 months later after adopting Toby, he is still fearful of sounds, gets irritated around my 7 year old when she is in the room and is shutdown approximately 70% of the time. He does not play, know what to do with a ball or respond to commands. He is unable to do obedience training as he does not respond to eye contact, treats because he is waaay to stressed. Walks consists of going to the end of our cul-de-sac and back because he is so fearful he is almost choking himself running to go back home. Interestingly enough he loves long hikes at a nature trail that loops for 5 miles. I'm surprised he can do it as he walks so little each day. In the morning he is almost normal and pleasant and then shuts down approximately 1 hour later. In the evening he has Dogzheimers... which means "have I ever met you? What are you doing in this house" :-) We have had behavioral health specialists visit him and the usual chicken and walk away assessments have been given and the last suggestion of bringing him out to their farm for training where he would sit in the front office, watch people walk buy and toss chicken at him to get desensitized for the nice amount of almost 2K. Not possible at this time. He seems to be getting better at opening up and a friend offered to have him on her farm for a month to see if he would learn to be a dog around her other 4 farm dogs. I am concerned that any strides we have made in getting him to open up to us would be lost in the month with someone else. Would we set him back in fear again or would other dogs help? I am truly hoping to get this sweet dog to turn the corner soon but his shut-down demeanor isn't helping to improve my neice's disposition when things go bad. The other day she was feeling really badly and we encouraged her to help herself feel better by grooming Toby, talking to him and stroking him. He just made himself smaller at first, turned his back on her and then walked away. She just busted out in tears at that point. I was so hoping that it would help. She sooo loves this dog as do I and just want him to have the best life as possible. He is not the least bit aggressive. We did 1 dose of Xanax and he almost buckled completely because he only walks from his crate to the window (approximately 12 ft each day) May run 2 laps around the yard at most. I've read the posts regarding Kelso and some of it has helped. It's hard to ignore that sweet boy and not reach out to him and I'm tryng to do better with that.
  2. Hi I have a lovely collie now coming up to a year. She is a lovely family dog, our first collie, and a shock to the system! But we've worked hard on training her, and ensuring she gets lots of walks, and we're really pleased how she has turned out... except! Except we made the mistake in the first couple of months of having her of keeping a stair gate so that she couldn't chase the cats. Consequently she is deeply mistrustful of the cats, and while they do take it in their stride, she has developed an issue that she is taking out on them. There are 5 adults in the house as my kids are all grown up and still at home, and if anyone sneezes, smirks, laughs or blows their noses the dog goes bananas, running round the house with real anxiety until she finds a cat and barks at them. Its not the end of the world but very tiresome. She seems more anxious when we are all home together, and is much calmer when there is just one or two of us about in the day (unless we sneeze!) Does anyone have advice on 1) how to desensitise her to the coughs, sneezes and laughs and 2) stop taking it out on the cats! J
  3. Hi everyone~ Last time I posted was right around when Nalu turned 9 months old. Two weeks later, he and I were both in a severe head-on collision (a bank robber running from police drove into oncoming traffic and hit us going 90mph). Amazingly, we both survived. Me with severe injuries that took a year to heal from, and Nalu with bruising and some puppy PTSD. We were incredibly lucky. Nalu had to be taken care of by family for the next 3 months, and walked by others for the next year. He is now 2 years old, and we are both doing very well. Here's some more background info before I get to my question: when Nalu was 8 weeks old, he ate a Sago Palm tree seed--highly poisonous to dogs (which of course we didn't find out until after we rushed him to the vet with serious vomiting). The vet pumped his stomach and gave him something that soaked up the poison, and he ended up being fine. But since then, he has always had slight liver issues that we've kept an eye on. Okay, with that info in mind--because of his liver issues, I made sure to raise him on a very healthy diet, and get him plenty of exercise. He hadn't shown any signs of having problems, and his liver seemed to be improving until the accident. The people taking care of him while I was in rehab gave him whatever food they could find. At that point, I wasn't with it enough to know what was going on. When I got him back, I quickly got him back on a healthy diet, and his coat improved, but his liver had issues again. I got him on some medicine that brought it back to healthy levels. But it is crazy expensive to keep him on it. He has been eating Canidae All Life Stages, and has done well on it. But my vet recommends getting him on something that is not so stocked with protein if i don't keep him on the medicine. I could use some advice on what my next step should be. I really can't afford keeping him on the medicine (it's something like $120 a month). But want Nalu to be healthy. The vet recommended Costco brand food that has protein and sweet potato. Has anyone tried this?
  4. Hey all, been a little while... I ended up getting a second BC pup about a month ago. So I now have an 8 and 3 month old, both girls. The new pup, Trinket, was fairly neglected from what I can tell. Purebred and from a working line. She was very underfed when I got her, supposedly she was only eating about 1/2 a cup of kibble per day. The breeder was saying they couldn't stop her from downing water so fast she'd throw up. Best guess is she didn't get enough water and couldn't eat all her kibble. She was separated from her litter and kenneled the majority of the time starting at about 1 month old, and then on for the next 6 or 7 weeks till I got her. We've had lots of issues we've been working through: food, water, potty training, septation, confidence, other dogs, and the list goes on... She's doing so much better then when I got her, and continues to improve almost daily. One issue I've been having troubles working on is her car anxiety. The moment we get to the elevator to go down to the garage she begins drooling, a lot. I have been able to sometimes contain the anxiety, but it doesn't always work. I've been having her ride in the middle front seat, on a dog bed, laying (almost always) next to me. I'm able to pet her and talk to her. If I can calm her down at the start, the rest of the ride is a piece of cake. We've even done half day excursions in the car without issue. The anxiety seems to have stepped up a notch in this last week. This morning she swallowed so much drool that she puked about 12 minutes into our drive. I'm looking for suggestions on how to help her get over this. She has to ride in the car twice a day during the work week, from 15-30 minutes each ride. Thanks for your suggestions! See picture for example of pre-ride anticipatory drooling.
  5. Lily is showing a new fear behavior that I am hoping others may have some experience with. I would just add this to the running thread that I've created for Lily, but seeing other car issues in the forums, it seems logical to list this separately so others can help, and be helped, by any discussion, without having to wade through my lengthy thread about Lily. Here's the issue. When we return home, especially from the park or somewhere fun, Lily acts afraid to get out of the car. She has to be coaxed out, often times switching from one side of the car to the other. she will sometimes "hide" on the floor of the car, something she's also done when she gets nervous when we have to take winding roads and she gets unstable on the seat. Then, when I get her out, she is afraid to go through the utility room (garage - utility room - hallway), and will try to slip back through the door back into the garage (and then back into the car). One day, she was so reluctant to come out, I left the car door open, the door to the house open, hoping that she would come in on her own and discover it was OK all along. 30min later, I lost patience and went to get her. I coaxed her out of the car and closed the car door. She still didn't want to come in, so I figured I'd give her a few more minutes. 15min later I went back and found her laying UNDER the car. This is a daily issue, sometimes easier than others. There are two things I can think of, that might be happening here. 1) she has an issue where her excitement turns into fear (discussed here: Lily's progress), and maybe she's just excited o get home but then becomes overwhelmed. 2) We've had several thunderstorms in the 5 weeks that she's lived with us, and she is VERY scared of thunder. Sometimes, as the thunder begins, she tries to lead me to the garage, which makes me think that she may think the thunder is only in our house ("let's get outta here!"). If anyone has any ideas about how to work through this, I'd love to hear. I'm thinking we might try treating upon getting home, but 1) she doesn't care of treats when she's afraid, and 2) treats may increase excitement level, and she already hides or needs reassurance after getting too excited (often times after getting home). We tried exiting the car in the driveway once, and it worked, but not without some of the same timid hesitation.
  6. Ooh boy, from joy and progress to this. So I got Sonic January 12th, and he quickly settled in, so I thought. Had a bit of hand-shyness, so sudden or overhand movements made him leery, but he caught on to treat training pretty quick, so I thought. We were using lots of treats from the get go, but for ordinary things like look aways from the cats (we have 3, 2 are very nervous) and loose leash walking. He's great in the house, reactive to dogs (very, outdoors). So I'm trying to train him to at least do a mini-obedience routine (anything, really) to have some kind of re-direct, or communication with him elsewhere, but now I can't train in the house because he keeps getting scared. I'll be training, mark & treat, and he'll be all excited happy and then suddenly back away from the hand with treat. At that point, there is nothing else to do. He won't take the treat even if I roll it to him. He doesn't want anything to do with me. So I end the session, obviously. I try to figure out what the trigger was, but can't except that it is either my hand with the treat, or the treat, or the house, or me, well, have no clue. We were having fun before, he was playing tug in the house, and chasing balls, and having a blast earning treats. He still plays tug outdoors (in the yard, when he's in the mood, so tugging is getting better, he likes this game). He still takes treats outdoors, so I can still use treats for counter-conditioning, recalls (I'm using a long-line) and very briefly, I lure him into heel position or maybe get him to sit, and in the yard, also down, but I'm really afraid the hand-shy thing will carry over outdoors leaving me with nothing so I'm not doing much training. Worse yet, yesterday, I tried doing the treat thing with no criteria, me sitting in a chair, and rolling treats his way so I wouldn't trigger a reaction, and after about 6 treats he backed out the room and peered at me from behind furniture. So I weirded him out with that too. We are signed up for a special "High Anxiety" class but that is weeks away. My next guess is to just click and treat (have a one treat training session) at odd times during the day, and see if it leaves him asking for more. I am hoping it's still a settling in thing, he is a rescue from a 3rd world country, so probably has been hit or something, has been put through major changes and losses (he was a loved pet there and had complete freedom vs on leash only with me), but it's back-sliding that is worrying me, more than the behaviour, as in why was he getting all nutty and playful and fun with progression from week one to week three and then stop wanting to play (in the house). I hope time will heal this, any thoughts?
  7. I know it's long past the 4th of July and thunderstorm season is largely over in the US, but since the topics of noise, thunder and firework phobia and other anxiety issues comes up pretty regularly, I thought I'd post this. I haven't listened to it or any of the ones linked on the right side of the page, but they might be worth trying for some of the anxious pups out there.
  8. Hi My husband and I recently rescued a collie cross from the RSPCA, she had hardly any background information except she was attacked by another dog before she went into the rescue centre and the owners 'couldn't afford her' what ever that means. The first five weeks were great, she was very nervous with other dogs and people (she really distrusts men) but began making friends with other dogs, even laid down and completely ignored a dog who was barking at her because he wanted to play. Then last weekend happened. We were playing fetch, and a tiny dog popped out from around the corner, barked and stood up straight and tall in front of misty. Misty walked towards the dog slowly, then really went for the dog. We managed to pull her off the dog and it was unharmed. We felt so terrible. The next day we went to a pub garden with misty, where we had been before and she had been ok, and she started barking at someone who walked too close, and when they didn't move away she started nipping at his heels. He was ok about this, but we decided to leave anyway. Unfortunately, within 3 minutes of leaving the pub, two men walked past us on the street and she bit one of the men. Again, he was fantastic about it, I think he saw the shock And upset in our faces. Luckily he was a nice guy, and refused to take our phone number and carried on on his way. I am cutting this very long story short. We have spoken to a behaviourist and I understand what we did wrong as to why she reacted in such and dreadful way. We have been given a training program, to help her obedience, help distract her when she gets scared, and generally help her be more comfortable in situations. The behaviourist is hopeful, she thinks Misty might always be scared of men but there are ways we can help her cope with the situations, and therefore be able to trust again. (We have two male friends who come round our house all of the time and she loves them so I can see it will happen) I am super confident, I know it will take a lot of work to get the friendly, confident dog that we know is inside her, maybe a few years. My husband, although he loves her so much, is less convinced that she might be able to run around free again, and is worried that she will do it again. SO! I was wondering if anyone has any similar stories with hopefully happy endings, which they could share to give my husband confidence that if we work hard with Misty, she will be great. I think he is just struggling to give her the trust back that was lost that day.
  9. Has anyone here used pheromone products? As far as I know, there is a spray, a collar and a diffuser that plugs in. Since Nelson has been very anxious the past few weeks and I can't figure out the source of his anxiety (believe me, I tried) I am considering one of those products. Just wondering how good they actually work - and what brand (if it matters). I have seen Adaptil and Goodbehaviour products at my local pet store. Would love to hear someone who has tried it and if / what behaviour changes they saw.
  10. My family dog is a young collie, about 2 years old, who seems to be suffering from extreme anxiety. In the house he is fine, but taking him out for walks is fast becoming impossible. He seems to stop when provoked by nothing, and cower, constantly pulling in the direction of home. He is very scared of trucks and motorbikes and will become stressed if they drive by, but it seems just being out is scaring him. He has been attacked by other dogs a couple of times in the park, and he has actually attacked another dog, even though he wasn't threatened. If another dog walks past him while he is on the lead he will sometimes growl and make a lunge for it. I have been abroad for a year and a half and have come home to find him like this. My parents are having a hard time coping with him. My dad has Parkinson's disease and so finds it very difficult to move, and having an out of control dog is extremely frustrating to him. To the point where he has actually been hitting the dog to try and discipline him or get him out of the way. This breaks my heart and I have had many arguments with him in an attempt to get him to stop. I am leaving to move to London on Monday and am worried that the dog will only get worse if I am not at home to train him. My mum wants to get a shock collar, but I think this is a terrible idea and will only serve to make him worse. Sorry for the long winded post, but we really love our dog, and I'm desperate to get him sorted out. At home he is extremely loving and playful. I have suggested to my mum that we should take him back to the Dog's Trust, because I am sick with worry at what might happen while I am away. Please any advice will be appreciated!! To get him to calm down on his walks and stop being so scared, and be more disciplined with my dad. Thank you!
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