Jump to content
BC Boards
rooze

Our Fearful Dog is Slipping...

Recommended Posts

4 hours ago, Mandy1961 said:

...spread peanut butter on the wall...

A rescue I used to volunteer with did this but they spread it on the refrigerator. A lot easier to clean than most walls would be. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please visit this remarkable website: https://fearfreehappyhomes.com/

There is a wealth of information there that directly addresses some of your issues.  There are different levels of access - the basic level is free and the highest level is still quite reasonable.  I think you and Max will find a lot of help there.

Good luck!

 

Amy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can get a lot of information on the internet about how to work with your dog without signing up with a company that is trying to make money off the information. Many websites have abundant information for free, which in my opinion is the way it should be. If you are going to pay for something, it should be one-on-one work with a canine behaviorist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

D'Elle, could you possibly name a few of these websites you would say are good sources? I am asking because I value your opinion. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Karen Pryor clicker training has resources and information on this topic. Go to her website and you can read articles, and she may have books to purchase on the topic as well.

I am also a huge fan of Suzanne Clothier. She has a website and has written books and articles; don't know what she has on fearful dogs, but you might want to check. 

Kikopup is also a good resource:   Here

There are other very good trainers out there. Do your search using such terms as "fearful dogs+positive reinforcement". Stay the heck away from Caesar Milan, and from anyone who advises anything other than positive reinforcement training for a fearful dog.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/26/2019 at 3:10 AM, KevTheDog said:

Hi Rooze!
You've gotten tons of awesome and practical advice above, and I'm not the expert that a lot of these other great posters are. However, I am about to throw my froofroo/hippie dippie, but perhaps useful, two cents into the mix: along with the conscious decision to love your pup as he is today, I would add that I think dogs and especially border collies are super sensitive to our emotions and attitudes. So I would also think about (prepare for hippie dippie advice in 3, 2, 1...) consciously cultivating within yourself a mindful sense of "this is where we are right now and that's ok!" optimism. It will take some of the pressure off of you to fix it all now-now-now, and if you feel less pressure/stressy, Max might too. Celebrate every little win you get!

Wishing you all the good things!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Rooze!

I’m going to chime in with a “froo/hippie/dippie” two cents also. Although our little rescue Molly is a Border Collie mix (BC/Doberman Pincher), the BC (herding) behavior is her dominant behavior; she’s very, very intelligent, and very, very sensitive to our tone of voice. If we speak in a gruff tone or swear, her ears go down, her eyes get a worried look, her tail droops and I realize the outburst and have to check myself. It’s like being in speech or diction class; she’s teaching us to listen to ourselves and be mindful of what and how we speak. In a way, too, she  is teaching us about how to be respectful of each other and of her. Dogs’ ears are so much more sensitive than ours we really can’t know how a loud or gruff sound feels to them, we can only see their reaction; it may be actually be painful. When I realize what I’ve done, I try to immediately speak in a soothing manner, choose soft words and hum or sing lightly. That may sound weird but what happens she notices that the sound is different, it gets her attention, and piques her curiosity; plus my attitude is changed, i.e. no way I can be angry or frustrated if I’m humming or singing. I believe our habits are improved too, i.e. we swear less and are not as easy to anger. Since Molly’s a rescue everything has been a learning process through trial and error, so I can relate to your situation and agree with the advice to treat Max as if you’re starting from square one. That means you, too, i.e. clear your mind and be with Max in the here and now, not the past or the future. Dogs, especially Border Collies, are sensitive to our emotions and are actually mirrors. So, be mindful of how you’re feeling and if there’s something bothering you to the point of frustration, talk it out, maybe even talk to Max about it. Yes, “hippie/dippie/froo”.  

The other thing I wanted to share also relates to sound and to the use of tranquilizers. Thunderstorms and lightening were a real problem at first; she would hide, shake and pant to the point I was afraid she’d faint. But she’s getting better now thanks to several things: a wafer called Calm K9, relaxing music, acupressure point massage and a big brown ball. Calm K9 is all natural and I don’t hesitate to give her a partial wafer before a storm arrives; within about 10 minutes she’s relaxed enough to be in my lap and not digging in the floor or cowering in a corner. I introduced Calm K9 to several friends and family and it’s proven to be very effective for them, too.  

Frequently I play calming music; combine that with massaging her neck muscles (her main tension point) and she almost doesn’t notice the storm. There are many YouTube videos that are hours long and I find them relaxing too. The object with the massage and music is to override the instinctual or habitual response. The same thing with the big brown ball. I’m teaching her to play treibball and she LOVES the big ball, she will play with it instead of reacting to the storm, she will even go outside!! 

I also agree about keeping the cat away from Max’s food. The split nail definitely needs medical attention with Max under sedation; I doubt the Calm K9 will be a good choice but will probably calm Max enough so that your veterinarian can administer a stronger medication. I’m not a trainer, but if something works I’ll share it in the hopes it helps. Best wishes for improved relationships and please keep us posted. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...