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Old 11-30-2012, 08:14 AM   #226 (permalink)
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Wow, wish I had found this thread a long while ago. Most of you might know my older dog, Nexus. She is almost 3, and due to her bad breeding, she has anxiety, and is reactive to alot of things. As well, due to her bad behaviour, she had to have 2 obstruction surgeries before 1 year of age which severely affected her socialization. She is highly dog reactive, to the point she cannot go to most places there are other dogs. I can manage her shopping at Petco, she is great with people just not other dogs. For the most part she growls but she has gotten rather angry at times. I know how to handle her for the most part around other dogs, I just dont know how to get her to relax enough to realize they wont hurt her or try to steal anything from her. She sees another dog and immediately starts huffing and gets her hair raised. If we keep moving past the other dog she is fine, if we have to stop near for any reason she growls.
At home, is a nightmare if the TV is on and she hears anything mildly exciting on it. It started as just other animals then fighting and now its anything at all. She barks, spins in circles, grabs a toy and growls and shakes it. I did find in another thread a relaxation protocol we are going to try, I need to get all the family members in on it though.
We suspect that at least part of her problem resulted from her near death experience after her second obstruction surgery, she ruptured and her abdomen was full of fluid, she was severely septic and probably dehydrated as well, we think its possible this left her a little "unstable". However she showed some signs of anxiety prior to the incident. I also suspect possibly her thyroid, as she is moody, and at feeding time acts like she hasnt eaten in days. I am not totally familiar with overactive thyroid symptoms as I only dealt with underactive before, but if it is like in humans then she is showing some possible signs. As soon as the next paycheck hits the bank she is going in for blood work.
I love this girl more than I can say and it is just wful to see her sometimes when she gets in a pissy mood and lunges at her sister, she has never hurt her, but she can get nasty and territorial one second and the next she is going over and curling up next to Bella. They sleep on the same bed about 85% of the time when napping, 15% of the time on separate chairs. Most of the time their separation is preference but occasionally its because Nexus got pissy. She has growled at me, my kids, and one time at my husband, mostly when we want her to do something she doesnt want to do, such as get off a chair or move off her bed.
Its tough to deal with her, but I wont give up on her, she is my baby, and a dog is a lifetime commitment. I think the only thing that could make me think about giving her up is if she bit someone, human or animal, and even then I would try to find a way to deal with it rather than give her up.

me? a bad dog?


Im not all bad, really
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:19 AM   #227 (permalink)
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Read this blog post recently and it's really thought-provoking: It’s Not How They’re Raised, It’s How Dogs are Managed That Matters Most | notes from a dog walker


It’s Not How They’re Raised, It’s How Dogs are Managed That Matters Most
by notesfromadogwalker on November 20, 2012

How many times have you heard someone say about a dog, “It’s all how they’re raised”? Probably a lot. If you own a pit bull dog, probably a lot more.

I hear pit bull advocates saying it all the time, as a way to defend our dogs. I hear other saying it as a flippant remark about dogs in general. This phrase gets tossed around all the time, but no one seems to be aware of what they’re really saying….and how damaging it can be.

This saying does have a kernel of truth in it, of course, but ”how they’re raised” is just one of the factors that contributes to who our dogs are. It’s not the whole story.

When people believe that “It’s All How They’re Raised”, there are some real-life consequences for the dogs. So we need to check ourselves.

Here are a few ways our words hurt:

People refuse to adopt adult dogs. This idea, that how they’re raised determines who a dog is, makes adopting out adult and senior dogs a real challenge. Why would adopters take a chance on an adult dog, who has been raised by someone else, when they could adopt a puppy and raise it “right” themselves? Some folks really believe this. Seriously, shelter workers are constantly confronted by this way of thinking. It stinks.

Shelters won’t place victims of cruelty up for adoption. If a dog has survived an abusive or neglectful situation, such as dog fighting, animal hoarding, puppy mills, etc., then it is known they were “raised wrong”. Some organizations use this as proof that the dogs aren’t safe or fit to be adopted out.The same thing goes for dogs that are suspected of surviving these situations. If the assumption is made that a dog with cropped ears has been fought, that assumption of their past may wind up costing the dog his life if policies dictate that fight bust dogs are not adoptable because they were obviously “raised wrong.”

Responsible dog owners feel like failures. People who have raised their dogs since puppyhood beat themselves up when they’ve done everything right, but despite their very best efforts, their dogs still have behavioral issues. I hear from a lot of you through DINOS because you feel ashamed and guilty about your dog’s issues, despite having raised your dogs right. Let me just say it now: it’s not all how a dog is raised that matters. You guys have to stop beating yourselves up (even if you’re a dog trainer).

Here’s the reality – dogs are who they are due to many factors: training, breeding, socialization, management, genes, and environment. All of these things influence who our dogs are.

A dog’s past is a chapter, but it’s never the whole story. Let me show you:

“Raised Wrong”

Some dogs, neglected and abused their entire lives, are well-adjusted, social dogs. Anyone who has worked in rescue has met countless dogs who were not raised in the best circumstances, but despite this lack of early socialization or care (or worse) they turn out to be safe, family dogs. Many of us share our homes with dogs that were raised in less than ideal conditions, but are still wonderful pets.

One example of this scenario are the dogs rescued from fight busts or hoarding situations. Despite terrible beginnings, many of these victims of cruelty are ready to leave the past behind and enjoy family life. They may need training and structure to get used to living with a family in a house (what dog doesn’t?), but many of them are able to adjust to family life with relative ease. Their past didn’t help them do this, you dig?

Meet Jagger, the most handsome dog on Earth.
Click this photo to find him on Facebook.

“Raised Right”

Some dogs, purchased from responsible breeders and socialized properly from puppyhood, still wind up with behavioral problems. Many responsible dog owners, who have raised their dogs since they were puppies and did everything right, still find themselves with dogs who have a variety of behavioral issues. These dogs were “raised right”, but are still struggling.

One example of this is illustrated in an article written by a dog trainer who shared her problems with her own dog. Despite her very best professional efforts to raise him right, he has significant behavior issues, some of which may be caused by a medical condition. It’s not how he was raised that’s causing the problem. Read it here.

Puppies. It’s not just how you raise them.

In both of these cases, the common denominator that is actually determining the success of these dogs as family pets and their safety in the community isn’t how the dogs were raised: it’s responsible management.

Whether they were raised “right” or raised “wrong” in the past, no matter what behavioral problems a dog does or doesn’t have, when owners recognize their dog’s individual needs and provide them the right care and management tools, dogs have a chance to succeed in our crazy world.

More Present, Less Past

So, it’s not “how they’re raised” (what happened in the past) but rather, “how they’re managed” (what’s happening in the present) that needs to be our focus, if we want to help our dogs and create safe communities for us all to enjoy.

We can look to their past for clues and guidance, of course. I don’t mean ignore it all together. But we do more for our dogs when we look at them right now, without the haze of a bad (or good) past fogging up our thoughts. Who are they right now? What do they need to succeed today?

Whoever they are, dogs always exists and act in the context of human beings. They don’t live in a vacuum. They live with us. We need to recognize dogs as individuals, then determine what they need from us in order to succeed in the world.

What this means is that when dogs are properly managed by a human, a dog with or without behavior problems can be a safe, family dog. Dogs may need a variety of management tools, depending on what behavioral issues (if any) they have. Beyond training, various management tools might include: space management (crates, gates, etc.), muzzles, leashes, fences, proper supervision, etc. I’d also include medication in this category, if it’s necessary. When these tools are used, owners are setting dogs up to be successful.

This also means that any dog that is not managed properly can be a nuisance to the community or a danger to others. We see this often in the case of dogs that are running loose in neighborhoods. The dogs may be friendly (or not), but by allowing them to roam the streets or chase other dogs, their owners are setting these dogs up to get into trouble. They are not managing them. They are setting them up to fail.

side note: This is why I’m such a stickler for obeying leash laws. It’s a management tool. I just wish the laws were enforced.

I think that dogs are only as successful and safe as humans set them up to be – no matter what their past may be. When a dog gets in trouble or acts dangerously, somewhere along the line, a person has failed to make the right choice. But that’s not the same as “how they were raised”.

How they’re raised may be one factor that influences dogs, but it doesn’t determine the whole being of a dog. Perpetuating this idea only winds up hurting dogs with less than perfect pasts and shaming people who own dogs they’ve had since puppyhood.

The truth is that it’s how we currently manage dogs that determines how any dog interacts with the world. When we focus on managing them in the present, based on their individual needs, we can set dogs up for success despite what may have happened to them in the past.

So can we trash “its all how they’re raised” once and for all? It’s such a drag for dogs and their owners.

Let’s replace it with the truth:

It’s all how they’re managed. Dogs are only as successful as we set them up to be.
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and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:22 AM   #228 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvMyDobes View Post
SORRY THIS IS SO LONG! My veterinarian tells me I was given my dog for a reason. I wish I knew what that reason was. LOL

Sweep is fear reactive to other dogs. She is not aggressive and will retreat if possible but if she can't, she will defend herself. I got her as a puppy. She attended puppy K twice, then basic obedience, then novice obedience and foundation agility classes. I tried to do everything right.

Unfortunately, I left her with someone (I thought I could trust) because I had to go out of town while she was in a fear period. That person took her to a strange place and put her in a large yard with four or five Border Collies that herded her around the yard and apparently it frightened her so badly that she imprinted with fear of dogs no matter their size. They told me she ran from the BCs screaming but got over it? She did not get over it, she just shut down. These people are highly regarded in my area as trainers, go figure? I do not train with them and would never recommend them to anyone. After that episode problems began and she also developed a distrust of people too.

I have spent the rest of her life working with her and trying to reassure her that I will take care of her, especially around other dogs. I have found that one of the main factors to helping your dog overcome issues is to get them to trust YOU to take care of them and the environment around them. It has been a challenge fraught with many lows and I have been down the same path that many of you find yourself on now. We attended two Control Unleashed classes, three reactive dog classes and saw two behavorists, an ADPT trainer and a board certified veterinarian behavorist. You name an exercise and we have worked it including desensitizing from far areas in dog training parking lots to close up. For those who want a proven ingested aid to help with anxiety in their dog, the vet behavorist prescribed L-Theanine and it really helped Sweep. I thought we would never be able to do things I hoped to do, but we have and with success. Certainly not on the level I had desired but with a fear reactive dog you take what you can get. Do not give up hope!

To date, Sweep has her CGC, the AKC Rally Novice title which she earned in three attempts plus a bumper leg at a huge thousand dog event in North Carolina. She has run in AKC agility and has legs in both novice standard and jumpers plus she ran two days in CPE and had a perfect weekend of 10 Qs in 10 runs. We are still a work in progress and it takes lots of time and patience. One of the most important things besides gaining the dogs total trust is finding people who understand and are supportive of you and the dog as a team. We are fortunate to have found some of these people along our journey and are finally taking a weekly structured agility class. Sweep is working off lead with up to 10 dogs in the ring at the same time. All of the other handlers in our class know she is fear reactive and give her space so she does not ever have a reason to react.
That is awesome progress! Mabel had similair circumstances (fear period with the wrong person led to her issues) but I didn't get her until right after it all happened. I really hope we can do even half as awesome as sweep one day! We're still working on trusting that I can handle things when we are in a public/semi-crowded situation as well as focusing on me in those circumstances.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StarlightDobe View Post
Wow, wish I had found this thread a long while ago. Most of you might know my older dog, Nexus. She is almost 3, and due to her bad breeding, she has anxiety, and is reactive to alot of things. As well, due to her bad behaviour, she had to have 2 obstruction surgeries before 1 year of age which severely affected her socialization. She is highly dog reactive, to the point she cannot go to most places there are other dogs. I can manage her shopping at Petco, she is great with people just not other dogs. For the most part she growls but she has gotten rather angry at times. I know how to handle her for the most part around other dogs, I just dont know how to get her to relax enough to realize they wont hurt her or try to steal anything from her. She sees another dog and immediately starts huffing and gets her hair raised. If we keep moving past the other dog she is fine, if we have to stop near for any reason she growls.
At home, is a nightmare if the TV is on and she hears anything mildly exciting on it. It started as just other animals then fighting and now its anything at all. She barks, spins in circles, grabs a toy and growls and shakes it. I did find in another thread a relaxation protocol we are going to try, I need to get all the family members in on it though.
We suspect that at least part of her problem resulted from her near death experience after her second obstruction surgery, she ruptured and her abdomen was full of fluid, she was severely septic and probably dehydrated as well, we think its possible this left her a little "unstable". However she showed some signs of anxiety prior to the incident. I also suspect possibly her thyroid, as she is moody, and at feeding time acts like she hasnt eaten in days. I am not totally familiar with overactive thyroid symptoms as I only dealt with underactive before, but if it is like in humans then she is showing some possible signs. As soon as the next paycheck hits the bank she is going in for blood work.
I love this girl more than I can say and it is just wful to see her sometimes when she gets in a pissy mood and lunges at her sister, she has never hurt her, but she can get nasty and territorial one second and the next she is going over and curling up next to Bella. They sleep on the same bed about 85% of the time when napping, 15% of the time on separate chairs. Most of the time their separation is preference but occasionally its because Nexus got pissy. She has growled at me, my kids, and one time at my husband, mostly when we want her to do something she doesnt want to do, such as get off a chair or move off her bed.
Its tough to deal with her, but I wont give up on her, she is my baby, and a dog is a lifetime commitment. I think the only thing that could make me think about giving her up is if she bit someone, human or animal, and even then I would try to find a way to deal with it rather than give her up.
So glad you found us I applaud you for the bolded, I didn't have to take mabel on and initially it was to foster not keep, she's crazy and can be stressful and difficult to handle but she's my baby and I love her just as much as she loves me and I will never regret her or what she teaches me every day. Few people get to see what I see but as much as very few others could handle her and she can't go in public much, she's happy at home so why should she be denied a life.
If I ever had to give her up (highly unlikely really unless I was dieing or immobile) or she bit someone then she would be pts, transferring her to anyone else besides my family would be so very beyond stressful and unfair to her (minus perhaps a few VERY specific people I have met in life and on here) and obviously a serious bite has it's own legal consequences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeadowCat View Post
Awesome blog post MC, this just affirms that knowing what caused mabel is helpful but living day to day and dealing with her that way is much more important. She isn't who she used to be by far but I can't pretend she's what I want her to be yet either. She is what she is and I have to treat her as such in the present
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:32 AM   #229 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvMyDobes View Post
SORRY THIS IS SO LONG! My veterinarian tells me I was given my dog for a reason. I wish I knew what that reason was. LOL

Sweep is fear reactive to other dogs. She is not aggressive and will retreat if possible but if she can't, she will defend herself. I got her as a puppy. She attended puppy K twice, then basic obedience, then novice obedience and foundation agility classes. I tried to do everything right.

Unfortunately, I left her with someone (I thought I could trust) because I had to go out of town while she was in a fear period. That person took her to a strange place and put her in a large yard with four or five Border Collies that herded her around the yard and apparently it frightened her so badly that she imprinted with fear of dogs no matter their size. They told me she ran from the BCs screaming but got over it? She did not get over it, she just shut down. These people are highly regarded in my area as trainers, go figure? I do not train with them and would never recommend them to anyone. After that episode problems began and she also developed a distrust of people too.

I have spent the rest of her life working with her and trying to reassure her that I will take care of her, especially around other dogs. I have found that one of the main factors to helping your dog overcome issues is to get them to trust YOU to take care of them and the environment around them. It has been a challenge fraught with many lows and I have been down the same path that many of you find yourself on now. We attended two Control Unleashed classes, three reactive dog classes and saw two behavorists, an ADPT trainer and a board certified veterinarian behavorist. You name an exercise and we have worked it including desensitizing from far areas in dog training parking lots to close up. For those who want a proven ingested aid to help with anxiety in their dog, the vet behavorist prescribed L-Theanine and it really helped Sweep. I thought we would never be able to do things I hoped to do, but we have and with success. Certainly not on the level I had desired but with a fear reactive dog you take what you can get. Do not give up hope!

To date, Sweep has her CGC, the AKC Rally Novice title which she earned in three attempts plus a bumper leg at a huge thousand dog event in North Carolina. She has run in AKC agility and has legs in both novice standard and jumpers plus she ran two days in CPE and had a perfect weekend of 10 Qs in 10 runs. We are still a work in progress and it takes lots of time and patience. One of the most important things besides gaining the dogs total trust is finding people who understand and are supportive of you and the dog as a team. We are fortunate to have found some of these people along our journey and are finally taking a weekly structured agility class. Sweep is working off lead with up to 10 dogs in the ring at the same time. All of the other handlers in our class know she is fear reactive and give her space so she does not ever have a reason to react.
Wow. You and Sweep have accomplished a lot. It's great to go out and achieve those titles with a normal dog, but it's a whole other ball game with a reactive dog. Thanks for the inspiration
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:27 PM   #230 (permalink)
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I agree with StarlightDobe and Sam1491 that a dog IS a lifetime commitment. I believe that no matter what fate deals you, if you took on the responsibility it is yours to uphold. I wanted a dog that could do it all. In my heart I know my dog CAN do it all, she just has a bit of a handicap which makes it more challenging. It makes me LOVE her so much more because she really really tries and I know it is far from easy for her sometimes. This is where the true bond between human and dog is tested. Sweep would rather go to her crate than have to face all those other dogs in class, but she does it for me. That means so much to me because it is her way of showing me that she truly loves me and wants to please me and make me happy. I always try to recipercate by trying really hard to make sure she is happy too.
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Old 11-30-2012, 01:45 PM   #231 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuvMyDobes View Post
I agree with StarlightDobe and Sam1491 that a dog IS a lifetime commitment. I believe that no matter what fate deals you, if you took on the responsibility it is yours to uphold. I wanted a dog that could do it all. In my heart I know my dog CAN do it all, she just has a bit of a handicap which makes it more challenging. It makes me LOVE her so much more because she really really tries and I know it is far from easy for her sometimes. This is where the true bond between human and dog is tested. Sweep would rather go to her crate than have to face all those other dogs in class, but she does it for me. That means so much to me because it is her way of showing me that she truly loves me and wants to please me and make me happy. I always try to recipercate by trying really hard to make sure she is happy too.
I love this....you've really reminded me that I may be taking some of the little things for granted. I try my best to praise her myself when she's good with my dad, when she quiets for alerting out the window...but I may just need to pay more attention to the little things that I forget are so hard for her but she does them for me <3

One things for sure, these dogs will forever change us and I for one love her more for it, she's crazy and messed up but she's my soulmate and my heart dog and I don't know where I'd be without her.

Love to all our "unique" dogs! and the things the moments we share with them
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:56 PM   #232 (permalink)
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So I think I've figured out my own relaxation protocol for Mabel.

She always falls asleep at home when I give her a full body massage/pat down (I do some of the reike pats that are supposed to be like a light rainfall) and I'm hoping to try them out next time we're out and she's giving me stress signals and see how it goes to relax her.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:56 AM   #233 (permalink)
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Has anyone tried using the Calming Cap? One of the people in my Nosework class with a very reactive dog loves it. I've been pondering getting one just for car rides. Shanoa can be really, really barky at stuff while driving, and I'm wondering if it would help. We've tried extensive counterconditioning, LAT, etc., but it hasn't gotten much better. If I cover her crate she is great, but then I can't see very well and I'm afraid of a car accident
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:24 AM   #234 (permalink)
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I can live with Nexus not wanting to be around other dogs, she more or less knows she has to behave when we go to Petco, and I do my part by controlling her contact and keeping her at a distance. The hardest battle is her very frequent barking for attention and her reactiveness to the tv, and even lately videos on the computer. If I can find a successful way to deal with that, I feel I have got it licked. She can be very lovey and cuddly, on her terms. Its those moments I like the best, but as with our human kids, we take the good with the bad and still love them no matter what.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:27 AM   #235 (permalink)
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I can live with Nexus not wanting to be around other dogs, she more or less knows she has to behave when we go to Petco, and I do my part by controlling her contact and keeping her at a distance. The hardest battle is her very frequent barking for attention and her reactiveness to the tv, and even lately videos on the computer. If I can find a successful way to deal with that, I feel I have got it licked. She can be very lovey and cuddly, on her terms. Its those moments I like the best, but as with our human kids, we take the good with the bad and still love them no matter what.
Have you tried the "Look at That" game for the reactivity to the TV/computer? I found it to be pretty effective. I'm also realistic, though, and don't watch shoes with lots of barking dogs on them while Shanoa is with me
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:36 AM   #236 (permalink)
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Have you tried the "Look at That" game for the reactivity to the TV/computer? I found it to be pretty effective. I'm also realistic, though, and don't watch shoes with lots of barking dogs on them while Shanoa is with me
We havent tried that specifically, we have tried to redirect her attention to me, or my husband. If it were confined to barking dogs, it would not be such a battle, its so many things and I swear there is not a commercial out there without a dog in it!! Most often if its something my husband absolutely cant go without seeing, like his SoA show, she comes in the computer room with me. It doesnt teach her not to bark at it but it gives him some peace while he watches.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:44 AM   #237 (permalink)
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We havent tried that specifically, we have tried to redirect her attention to me, or my husband. If it were confined to barking dogs, it would not be such a battle, its so many things and I swear there is not a commercial out there without a dog in it!! Most often if its something my husband absolutely cant go without seeing, like his SoA show, she comes in the computer room with me. It doesnt teach her not to bark at it but it gives him some peace while he watches.
The great part about LAT is that it allows the dog to "see" or take note of whatever it is that is causing the reaction, so it doesn't create conflict in their minds as you can sometimes have if you are asking them to ignore the thing. It also, over time, creates a positive association with the thing, which tends to eliminate the issue. It might work better for you. There's a great explanation of the LAT game here: Look at That! A Counterintuitive Approach to Dealing with Reactive Dogs Dog Training for Dog Lovers Blog
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Old 12-02-2012, 11:36 AM   #238 (permalink)
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Has anyone tried using the Calming Cap? One of the people in my Nosework class with a very reactive dog loves it. I've been pondering getting one just for car rides. Shanoa can be really, really barky at stuff while driving, and I'm wondering if it would help. We've tried extensive counterconditioning, LAT, etc., but it hasn't gotten much better. If I cover her crate she is great, but then I can't see very well and I'm afraid of a car accident
I haven't tried one personally, but I've considered it before. One of the trainers we work with through rescue recommends them for transportation and other high traffic and unavoidable situations like you mentioned. With your amazing sewing skills you could probably make a really nice one!
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:51 PM   #239 (permalink)
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Has anyone tried using the Calming Cap? One of the people in my Nosework class with a very reactive dog loves it. I've been pondering getting one just for car rides. Shanoa can be really, really barky at stuff while driving, and I'm wondering if it would help. We've tried extensive counterconditioning, LAT, etc., but it hasn't gotten much better. If I cover her crate she is great, but then I can't see very well and I'm afraid of a car accident
I use the calming cap to dremel Sweep's nails. She hates getting them done and tries to bite the dremel if I don't use the calming cap. When I get it out, she jumps right up on the sofa and lays down because she knows that it means nail time. I have never used it for anything else but since they are not expensive it may be something worth trying..
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:04 PM   #240 (permalink)
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Another thing I used was the Snoot Loop Halter for Dogs I found it to be a much better fit than the halti or gentle leader. It goes over the nose but has two side pieces and has a collar that hooks up around the neck so there is less worry about them hurting themselves. I used it mostly for visits to the vet office where we might encounter dogs in the small waiting room. Sweep got very use to wearing it and it seemed to help calm her. I wondered if she felt when she had it on that was a cue that I was in total control because she really focused on me rather than things around us. She has not worn it for several months now which is more progress we have made on our journey.
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:16 PM   #241 (permalink)
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Another thing I used was the Snoot Loop Halter for Dogs I found it to be a much better fit than the halti or gentle leader. It goes over the nose but has two side pieces and has a collar that hooks up around the neck so there is less worry about them hurting themselves. I used it mostly for visits to the vet office where we might encounter dogs in the small waiting room. Sweep got very use to wearing it and it seemed to help calm her. I wondered if she felt when she had it on that was a cue that I was in total control because she really focused on me rather than things around us. She has not worn it for several months now which is more progress we have made on our journey.
I've noticed that head halters have made my dogs feel more secure and calm too. Bam isn't human reactive like Stella was so I don't use one on him very often, but I always bring it with me when we are around people and dogs just in case. One day, I met my trainer downtown with Bam and had him on the front clip harness. When we got there it was a very new and stressful environment for him. He wouldn't take any treats, which was an indication that he was way over his threshold. I pulled out my GL and his whole body started wagging; he threw his head into it, did a big shake off, and we continued our training session with him taking treats and playing "Look At That!". In literally seconds, he was a more confident and comfortable dog. We've gotten to the point were he doesn't need it anymore, but I always have it on me just in case. I know there are a lot of head halter haters out there (I used to be one), but they've really helped me with my fosters.
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:23 PM   #242 (permalink)
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I've noticed that head halters have made my dogs feel more secure and calm too. Bam isn't human reactive like Stella was so I don't use one on him very often, but I always bring it with me when we are around people and dogs just in case. One day, I met my trainer downtown with Bam and had him on the front clip harness. When we got there it was a very new and stressful environment for him. He wouldn't take any treats, which was an indication that he was way over his threshold. I pulled out my GL and his whole body started wagging; he threw his head into it, did a big shake off, and we continued our training session with him taking treats and playing "Look At That!". In literally seconds, he was a more confident and comfortable dog. We've gotten to the point were he doesn't need it anymore, but I always have it on me just in case. I know there are a lot of head halter haters out there (I used to be one), but they've really helped me with my fosters.
I love this, so many people forget you have to take the negatives with the positive, there are health concerns but for a reactive dog the change in their emotion and training is more important.

I don't personally use one, though I have it, because it actually made mabel worse, it would sort of "sup" her up.... her prong collar on the other hand I don't even connect the leash too, having it on just keeps her presence of mind where I like it

---------------------------------------------

OH! and update, we're finally going back out into the world tomorrow. We'll be either attending a drop in BN obed class or at least going to the building and working in a corner Wish us luck! it's been months!!!!
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:39 PM   #243 (permalink)
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I love this, so many people forget you have to take the negatives with the positive, there are health concerns but for a reactive dog the change in their emotion and training is more important.

I don't personally use one, though I have it, because it actually made mabel worse, it would sort of "sup" her up.... her prong collar on the other hand I don't even connect the leash too, having it on just keeps her presence of mind where I like it

---------------------------------------------

OH! and update, we're finally going back out into the world tomorrow. We'll be either attending a drop in BN obed class or at least going to the building and working in a corner Wish us luck! it's been months!!!!
Yay for you two I bet she is really happy to have this bonding time with you.

In regards to the health issues, my experience has been that these concerns are pretty much unfounded. If you let your dog run around like a banshee on leash, chances are that no matter what type of collar/head halter/harness/restraint system is being used, there could be some sort of physical damage. I've never had a dog torque his/her neck on a GL, nor have I seen it happen at any of our rescue events where the majority of Danes are in head halters. DT members that have probably never used one, are so quick to point out that it could cause neck damage, but the reality is that any improperly used training tool can cause damage. I'm pretty sure a dog performing the courage test in IPO undergoes more neck trauma than a dog on a GL with a responsible handler.

Anyways, just sharing my thoughts lol. I see where everyone is coming from, but obviously my experience using a GL has been much different than anyone else's. I'd still never recommend a head halter to just anyone.

Good luck at training
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Old 12-02-2012, 08:52 PM   #244 (permalink)
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Yay for you two I bet she is really happy to have this bonding time with you.

In regards to the health issues, my experience has been that these concerns are pretty much unfounded. If you let your dog run around like a banshee on leash, chances are that no matter what type of collar/head halter/harness/restraint system is being used, there could be some sort of physical damage. I've never had a dog torque his/her neck on a GL, nor have I seen it happen at any of our rescue events where the majority of Danes are in head halters. DT members that have probably never used one, are so quick to point out that it could cause neck damage, but the reality is that any improperly used training tool can cause damage. I'm pretty sure a dog performing the courage test in IPO undergoes more neck trauma than a dog on a GL with a responsible handler.

Anyways, just sharing my thoughts lol. I see where everyone is coming from, but obviously my experience using a GL has been much different than anyone else's. I'd still never recommend a head halter to just anyone.

Good luck at training
The bolded is the biggest part, every training tool is only as effective and safe as possible if the handler knows what they're doing!

I'll let everyone know how it goes, i'm debating a diazepam or not since it's been so long, she's on the gabapentin but I guess I'll see how she is tomorrow

I'm going to try and get videos!
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:30 PM   #245 (permalink)
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The bolded is the biggest part, every training tool is only as effective and safe as possible if the handler knows what they're doing!

I'll let everyone know how it goes, i'm debating a diazepam or not since it's been so long, she's on the gabapentin but I guess I'll see how she is tomorrow

I'm going to try and get videos!
That's so true. I've been doberstalking on Instagram lately and see all kinds of collar misuse. I think the most obnoxious misuse is when people turn the prong inside out It doesn't even look cool.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:35 PM   #246 (permalink)
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That's so true. I've been doberstalking on Instagram lately and see all kinds of collar misuse. I think the most obnoxious misuse is when people turn the prong inside out It doesn't even look cool.
I think the original reason for that was in case another dog attacked...think but yea, it makes little sense to me and the amount of improper collars I see in life overall....uhg depressing!
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:07 PM   #247 (permalink)
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No class for mabel tonight

I went anyway but she was just having an off night so I went and checked out the amount of people and layout for monday nights (we'd be working on our own, mayyyybeee go in hannah's beg. nov. class) and just watched. She'll be coming next week for sure, at very least to demonstrate how to handle a reactive dog more appropriately to a fellow classmate with a young shepherd boy.

The diva happily stayed home sqooshing her jw bear, napping, and making "grandpa" share his dinner.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:27 AM   #248 (permalink)
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The great part about LAT is that it allows the dog to "see" or take note of whatever it is that is causing the reaction, so it doesn't create conflict in their minds as you can sometimes have if you are asking them to ignore the thing. It also, over time, creates a positive association with the thing, which tends to eliminate the issue. It might work better for you. There's a great explanation of the LAT game here: Look at That! A Counterintuitive Approach to Dealing with Reactive Dogs Dog Training for Dog Lovers Blog
This sounds like something I will investigate as well. She is having an off day today because it is raining and she cant go romp outside, so all her pent up energy is driving me nuts lol. Sometimes I wish I had a big empty basement instead of one with furniture all over.
Right now we are working on calming techniques, not easy to do with a bored dog who wants nothing but to play.
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Old 12-04-2012, 10:29 AM   #249 (permalink)
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This sounds like something I will investigate as well. She is having an off day today because it is raining and she cant go romp outside, so all her pent up energy is driving me nuts lol. Sometimes I wish I had a big empty basement instead of one with furniture all over.
Right now we are working on calming techniques, not easy to do with a bored dog who wants nothing but to play.
For rainy days, I hide treats around the house and have the dog find them. Using their nose and searching uses a good amount of brain power, which in turn makes a tired/relaxed dog!

You have to start out easy, with treats that are clearly visible, and then move on to the more challenging hiding spots. Make sure you count how many treats you put out - I've found them a couple days later, yuck.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:36 AM   #250 (permalink)
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Hiding treats inside is my go to indoor activity. LOVE IT!! I actually do that every morning before I leave for work. I hide treats throughout the house and Ivan's got an activity to keep him busy.
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