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Old 10-01-2012, 11:49 PM   #201 (permalink)
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Welcome to another pretty red head

What is alice reactive too? what methods are you/your trainer using?

Rough patches aren't fun but they certainly bring you a lot closer with your dog while your work through them! Thanks for admitting and searching out help for you and Alice, it's a big step a lot of people have trouble making.
Thanks for the welcome, everyone!

Al is very dog reactive. Prior to her set-back she could manage around people and even meet select strangers. Today she reacted to people walking at least half a block away.

My trainer is a positive trainer. I think I'd classify most of our work as desensitisation: rewarding calm behaviour around dogs and people while staying under threshold!
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Old 10-02-2012, 07:48 AM   #202 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrairieGirl View Post
Thanks for the welcome, everyone!

Al is very dog reactive. Prior to her set-back she could manage around people and even meet select strangers. Today she reacted to people walking at least half a block away.

My trainer is a positive trainer. I think I'd classify most of our work as desensitisation: rewarding calm behaviour around dogs and people while staying under threshold!
If you haven't already done so, pick up a copy of Leslie McDevitt's book, "Control Unleashed." A lot of us have used it with great success. It's a clicker training method that is different than anything else I've done.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:15 AM   #203 (permalink)
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Quote:
Thanks for the welcome, everyone!

Al is very dog reactive. Prior to her set-back she could manage around people and even meet select strangers. Today she reacted to people walking at least half a block away.

My trainer is a positive trainer. I think I'd classify most of our work as desensitisation: rewarding calm behaviour around dogs and people while staying under threshold!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MeadowCat View Post
If you haven't already done so, pick up a copy of Leslie McDevitt's book, "Control Unleashed." A lot of us have used it with great success. It's a clicker training method that is different than anything else I've done.
I'll add BAT to the resource list as well,it uses a lot of threshold work.
I use a lot of Bat with some CU mixed in Whatever works best for each dog.
Good luck!

http://www.amazon.com/Behavior-Adjus...2&keywords=BAT
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Old 10-03-2012, 04:49 PM   #204 (permalink)
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Well, I hope Miss Ilka has learned a valuable lesson. "Don't go after the mail carrier!" She's learned this behavior from Lucky, by the way. She used to ingore the mail carrier, but has picked up on Lucky's reaction to them.

She was inside when he came, but she came running, hit the storm door, and evidently unlached it. She went after him barking and snarling, and he got her good. Don't blame him one bit, either. He said he was fine, thank goodness. Ilka got thrown in the tub, lathered three times, and got a nice eye wash.
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Old 10-03-2012, 08:26 PM   #205 (permalink)
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Oops, I just noticed I left out something of my previous post. When I say the mailman "got her good", I mean he got her with pepper spray. She got a bath and eye rinse, and my bed spread got washed, becuse of course, that's where she went to try and rub the stuff off.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:25 PM   #206 (permalink)
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Oops, I just noticed I left out something of my previous post. When I say the mailman "got her good", I mean he got her with pepper spray. She got a bath and eye rinse, and my bed spread got washed, becuse of course, that's where she went to try and rub the stuff off.
I am so glad miss Ilka didn't get a chance to contact the mail carrier! Are her eyes OK now?

I actually have a big gate across the front entrance to keep Al safe. It's some of the best money I've ever spent
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:09 AM   #207 (permalink)
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Mac brag! So, we have been working with the IttyBittyBadAss for almost a year now. Immediately post surgery she was so "stranger danger" reactive that pretty much ONLY my wife and I could touch her. Slowly, and positively, she has been able to get out in public settings without flipping her lid. Mostly just rescue events, where I know the people involved and can maintain a very tight control on what she is and isn't exposed to.

Last weekend we went to an event and she was so chill the whole time, that I figured we could up the ante. So yesterday, one of my rescue friends and I went to lunch. The restaurant has a large patio (we could find space away from other people) thats dog friendly, so I decided to bring IBBA along.

SHE DID SO WELL. Completely relaxed, allowed people to pet her, even licked the waitress on the leg. . Other than the ducks wandering around the pond, she was completely focused on us and watching the world go by, laying down at my feet.

THE EVIL ONE IS GROWING UP!!!
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:25 AM   #208 (permalink)
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Yay! Our own club!

Shanoa is my reactive dog. She's 3 1/2. Her reactivity is likely a combination of poor genetics and no early socialization (when we got her at 17 weeks old she was totally unsocialized). She can be both people and dog reactive. She has generalized anxiety.

We currently work with Dr. Duxbury at the University of Minnesota's behavioral clinic. Shanoa is on 75 mg of sertraline per day, and 3 mg of clonidine per day (split into two doses). She's doing pretty well, but we still have challenges.

We use the Control Unleashed methods for working with her reactivity ("Control Unleashed," by Leslie McDevitt: Amazon.com: Control Unleashed: Creating a Focused and Confident Dog (9781892694171): Leslie McDevitt: Books)

My friend Crystal has a great blog about her reactive dog, Maisy: Reactive Champion. She's an inspiration to me.

Owning and working with a reactive dog is frustrating and exhausting. It takes an emotional toll. It's hard giving up the dreams you had for your dog, when you realize that your dog isn't "normal" and may never be. It's exhilarating when you see progress. When you see your dog truly enjoy things without anxiety, it's the best feeling in the world.

Shanoa says, "Glad to be part of the club!"

I love Shanoa. She went from not giving me kisses to giving me lots of kisses.
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Old 11-03-2012, 01:36 PM   #209 (permalink)
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Had a great experience today!

A couple of days ago a farm along the road that I usually walk Riley past had a bunch of steers roaming around in a field close to that road. We never saw them out there before, so it was a surprise, and Riley did not react very well to that... didn't help that, after his initial "what is that" bark and growl attracted the steers, the herd leader charged at us and things just got amplified... really badly... (you know the usual).

But this morning, we went back there and I worked with him on BAT and LAT for a while, and not once did he get upset with the steers! The steers actually just chilled out this time and watched us, while Riley would watch back, but didn't get upset.

...guess it helped that I had better treats this time though, LOL, yay preparation!

Have to add that the Sense-ation Harness is like a dream for us - I don't feel as helpless/hopeless as I did a couple of months ago, I feel more in control if something goes wrong, which gives me confidence, and I feel like I have a lot more knowledge and practice experience under my belt since I've started researching leash reactivity. Though we're still so far away from perfect.
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:54 PM   #210 (permalink)
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This dog needs to stop being a walking extension of my soul.....

She has been fantastic lately, not bothering to get up off the couch to grumble at dad when he comes home, and even when she does go off if he says touch (i taught her to touch everything that makes her unsure) she quiets, touches his hand, and gives a few licks like "well I guess it's you..."

we attended my moms collie club meeting/haloween party, drug free (oops forgot about the party so not my best decision) but! we stayed muzzled in a quite corner with only three reactions, one of which called for....even his owner told the dog "mason stop being a dunce or we'll let her really tell you off" as a haha of course. She also got to run free in a full 3 acres fenced....omg the zoomies!

the past few days especially, no surprise, she's been an angel....my life is well, ****, she knows it and she's doing the ultra snuggly, cute, super good listener routine to make me feel better, it will only be temporary but i'm riding the high lol

how's everyone else?
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:16 PM   #211 (permalink)
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Off day?

The past couple of weeks, walking the roads near my house has been going pretty well. No lunging at cars, easy to redirect with treats and keep him focused, and a few days ago, he even sat patiently and watched a man go in and out of his garage/driveway without freaking out while we were about 50 feet away. (Yeah, sounds far, but he typically reacts from over 100 feet away...)

But today, I have not been able to walk him at all - we can't even leave the driveway without him freaking out over cars, birds, whatever...

Nothing is different about today's schedule, so I'm not sure what's up, other than it being an off day? Gah, it's frustrating when you think you've made all this progress and then it feels back to square one.

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Old 11-10-2012, 03:20 PM   #212 (permalink)
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Off day?

The past couple of weeks, walking the roads near my house has been going pretty well. No lunging at cars, easy to redirect with treats and keep him focused, and a few days ago, he even sat patiently and watched a man go in and out of his garage/driveway without freaking out while we were about 50 feet away. (Yeah, sounds far, but he typically reacts from over 100 feet away...)

But today, I have not been able to walk him at all - we can't even leave the driveway without him freaking out over cars, birds, whatever...

Nothing is different about today's schedule, so I'm not sure what's up, other than it being an off day? Gah, it's frustrating when you think you've made all this progress and then it feels back to square one.

Some days i'm not in a good mood either and would love to or choose to stay home too, don't get to frustrated it's a roller coaster and like I said, do you want to go out and do whatever (shop, train, school, socialize, etc..) every day? Glad he's made so much progress otherwise though!
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Old 11-10-2012, 08:46 PM   #213 (permalink)
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Well, I hope Miss Ilka has learned a valuable lesson. "Don't go after the mail carrier!" She's learned this behavior from Lucky, by the way. She used to ingore the mail carrier, but has picked up on Lucky's reaction to them.

She was inside when he came, but she came running, hit the storm door, and evidently unlached it. She went after him barking and snarling, and he got her good. Don't blame him one bit, either. He said he was fine, thank goodness. Ilka got thrown in the tub, lathered three times, and got a nice eye wash.
Glad Ilka didnt get to the mailman and that she is feeling better. Those damn terriers! Yes, Kyrah is becoming way more barky/reactive since Dexter has moved in. But lately I have been getting that back under control. Now Dexter and Tippy are a team. I just cant win for anything.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:11 AM   #214 (permalink)
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Well we've taken a few steps back...not 100% sure why but I do have a few ideas.
Picking up Gabapentin again for a months worth and then we'll try and taper off again. I prefer her unmedicated but she just seems to need it again.

She's become very...angsty seems like the best word, With my dad again over nothing, normally they are fine if he is home all day, they have a working relationship, feed me, acknowledge me, let me out, and "co-exist" but recently she just frankly isn't happy. She's been grumbly and showing aversive signs towards hannah (good girl tho, i can stop it before it starts...she didn't use to signal as much that she was unhappy) which is very unusual and the cherry that topped it was she was even angsty with my SO while he was home for the holiday weekend, who she, of her short list of men, actually adores! but not this time

I can see she's not happy too, she reacts and I "correct" and go through our usual routine and the look on her face, she really just can't help herself

I know with the cold she's not getting as much exercise so that doesn't help and she's dropped some weight so is therefore starving right now but while those explain some of it, i just can't figure out why she's being so "off". She's only 2.5, is it possibly another adolescent phase made worse by the reactivity?

On a positive note though for thanksgiving day she was fantastic and 80% quite in her crate, 5 frozen pb bones throughout the day, and even had people milling near her crate but she stayed (for her) really quiet and did awesome listening!
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:23 PM   #215 (permalink)
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Sam, your scenario kind of reminds me of what I go through with BAM. He is very anxious in the house if new people are around me and occasionally, though not always, antsy when my boyfriend is around me. His issues stem from over-attachment so they aren't quite the same as Mabel's, but what works for me is to gate him in a quite room by himself and maybe a kong until he settles down. Apparently, kongs/chew toys help to alleviate stress/anxiety and gating him has two purposes, one of them being giving him a safe, comfortable alternative to work through his anxiety. It might be worth trying when she is being noticeably anxious around your dad or Hannah. In my head it works like a functional reward just like increased distance does in BAT exercises. I'm just thinking aloud here
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Old 11-27-2012, 09:08 AM   #216 (permalink)
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Griff's getting a little more reactive to people now, and it's my fault. I've been having some trouble being around crowds and being approached by people I don't know. When I'm out walking him, of course he picks up on it. He's very sensitive to what's going on with me and I'm sure he's picking up on my tension towards other people.

Looks like the human part of this pair has some work to do. I'm going to keep working on Griff's focus on me and his 'leave it' command. And maybe that'll help me stay focused so I stop upsetting my dog.
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:37 AM   #217 (permalink)
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Shanoa's doing well. Nosework has done SO MUCH to help with her frustration tolerance. Right now we're mostly focusing on her accepting Richter's presence, and it's going very well. We still have some resource guarding issues, but they are pretty easily managed. We haven't actually been doing a lot outside the house. We were on "lockdown" from walks/bike rides for a while because the combination of squirrels and leaves were driving her out of her mind. It's a difficult trade-off for me. I want her to be out in the world, but that in turn produces stress, and the more stress, the more reactivity. So it's a careful balance of getting her enough exercise (thankfully she is better than many dogs in what she needs there, and playing fetch for a long time in the yard is often enough), while also keeping her stress levels low.

Honestly, doing Nosework has been one of the best things I've done for her. She gets mental exercise, really enjoys it, and it gets her out of the house but in a safe, controlled way.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:12 PM   #218 (permalink)
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Hi what a fantastic post.
I've just flicked through and can't wait to read everything in full when I get a few minutes to myself.
I too live with a reactive dog, Crystal, she would react to everything very verbally.
It so nice to read that I am not alone in the quest to help her over come her demons.
I've spent the last year trying to help her with this and constantly beating myself up when she has an episode.
She has made great leaps forward and is no way as bad as she used to be, but she is a work in progress and its comforting to now know, I can share my ups and downs with people who understand. 😃


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Old 11-27-2012, 03:00 PM   #219 (permalink)
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thanks!

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Sam, your scenario kind of reminds me of what I go through with BAM. He is very anxious in the house if new people are around me and occasionally, though not always, antsy when my boyfriend is around me. His issues stem from over-attachment so they aren't quite the same as Mabel's, but what works for me is to gate him in a quite room by himself and maybe a kong until he settles down. Apparently, kongs/chew toys help to alleviate stress/anxiety and gating him has two purposes, one of them being giving him a safe, comfortable alternative to work through his anxiety. It might be worth trying when she is being noticeably anxious around your dad or Hannah. In my head it works like a functional reward just like increased distance does in BAT exercises. I'm just thinking aloud here
Actually that's great advice. Mabel is deeply attached to me more than anyone else in the house. I've done similar things but never so in depth or intentional. She handled company for thanksgiving in her crate really well so I want to start incorporating crating her in my room while me and my so are both there as she has a big issue with me or my mom being cuddled,hugged, etc... In the crate she can see us but not be allowed to escalate, as well as have a bone to chew on and a blanket to nap. On the couch I've been able to get her ok with sharing me but still a tad antsy, but she has more places to walk away and busy herself with bones and etc...unlike in my room which is also "her" room since she sleeps with me.

Overall she's adjusting to my so fabulously, she has a history with him from a young age so that helps and its great to see her adjust so well and develop a connection with someone else.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:10 PM   #220 (permalink)
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Actually that's great advice. Mabel is deeply attached to me more than anyone else in the house. I've done similar things but never so in depth or intentional. She handled company for thanksgiving in her crate really well so I want to start incorporating crating her in my room while me and my so are both there as she has a big issue with me or my mom being cuddled,hugged, etc... In the crate she can see us but not be allowed to escalate, as well as have a bone to chew on and a blanket to nap. On the couch I've been able to get her ok with sharing me but still a tad antsy, but she has more places to walk away and busy herself with bones and etc...unlike in my room which is also "her" room since she sleeps with me.

Overall she's adjusting to my so fabulously, she has a history with him from a young age so that helps and its great to see her adjust so well and develop a connection with someone else.
Bam's issue is that he doesn't understand how to share, to put it simply. I gate him mainly as a way of saying "if you can't share me, you can't have any of me". When he settles down and after about 10 minutes or so, I let him back out and we try again. We've finally gotten to the point where I just tell him to go lay on his bed and he is fine, except with new people.

I haven't shared my updates in awhile. Bam is such a weird dog. Apparently, within the past couple of days, his bed has been possessed by demons and he will not lay on it. He even goes as far as searching the corners, growling at it, and occasionally barking at it. I think it might have to do with static electricity. I've washed it and inspected it for critters, yet he is sleeping on the other side of the room

We were just at the park, enjoying a nice session of BAT and LAT at the top of the hill. We had done some shaping on the playground and everything was going really well. That was until a husky mix shows up as we turn around to move away from the trigger and was basically right behind us. Of course, I shout "He's not friendly!" and try to move away from the unleashed dog as quickly as possible. Today was not my day, Bam was already freaking out and the dog was trying it's hardest to sniff Bam completely blowing off his owner. Finally, she gets the dog under control and I take Bam to a quiet area to relax and come back below threshold. I get him back to a good state and next thing I know, a golden retriever's owner literally just launched the tennis ball within 5 feet of us. I felt like "that person with the aggressive dog", something I'm sure all reactive dog owners have experienced. It sucked.

Here's a pic from our shaping exercise today. I'm trying to teach him to count out his age (2). So far we've only gotten to the point where he will push one:


In other news, a local trainer offered to do a reactivity seminar for our rescue this Saturday. I'm really looking forward to it and hope I can rally more fosters to come....a lot of them tend to skip things like this.

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Old 11-27-2012, 06:17 PM   #221 (permalink)
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Bam's issue is that he doesn't understand how to share, to put it simply. I gate him mainly as a way of saying "if you can't share me, you can't have any of me". When he settles down and after about 10 minutes or so, I let him back out and we try again. We've finally gotten to the point where I just tell him to go lay on his bed and he is fine, except with new people.

I'll have to try this, I do similar things but not so "commited" or structured, I know it works I just never thought to fine tune it to the moment.. silly me. She's already doing better on her meds, day three, she is much happier and less anxious overall. I think the weather throwing a wrench in half her activities and the craziness of the holidays plus my work stress is much more stressful and obvious to her than I'd probly realized and she just needs some "help"

I haven't shared my updates in awhile. Bam is such a weird dog. Apparently, within the past couple of days, his bed has been possessed by demons and he will not lay on it. He even goes as far as searching the corners, growling at it, and occasionally barking at it. I think it might have to do with static electricity. I've washed it and inspected it for critters, yet he is sleeping on the other side of the room

We were just at the park, enjoying a nice session of BAT and LAT at the top of the hill. We had done some shaping on the playground and everything was going really well. That was until a husky mix shows up as we turn around to move away from the trigger and was basically right behind us. Of course, I shout "He's not friendly!" and try to move away from the unleashed dog as quickly as possible. Today was not my day, Bam was already freaking out and the dog was trying it's hardest to sniff Bam completely blowing off his owner. Finally, she gets the dog under control and I take Bam to a quiet area to relax and come back below threshold. I get him back to a good state and next thing I know, a golden retriever's owner literally just launched the tennis ball within 5 feet of us. I felt like "that person with the aggressive dog", something I'm sure all reactive dog owners have experienced. It sucked.

In other news, a local trainer offered to do a reactivity seminar for our rescue this Saturday. I'm really looking forward to it and hope I can rally more fosters to come....a lot of them tend to skip things like this.
That sucks, I hate those moments that aren't your fault but you feel like the one being blammed. Sounds like you did your best though and Bam recovered well. Ups and downs and curveballs....it's our lives I really have tailored a list of places and times to go as far as good trainers/handlers/dogs etc.. for mabel to be best received and trained and it's extremely helpful.

Can't wait to hear how the seminar goes!!
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:26 PM   #222 (permalink)
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I am so glad this thread has been revived and even happier to hear about the success people have been enjoying!!

I was wondering who has done Dr Karen Overall's Relaxation protocol? No where I have I found a list of criteria/signs and I am not sure what to look for or reward. Thoughts?!
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:32 PM   #223 (permalink)
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I was wondering who has done Dr Karen Overall's Relaxation protocol? No where I have I found a list of criteria/signs and I am not sure what to look for or reward. Thoughts?!
I've done some, but I confess not all the way through I think there are videos on youtube of people doing it. I reward after each "step" but I don't use too high value of a treat because you want them to stay calm and too good of a treat can get them worked up. I also do it in a down, not a sit, because that's way more relaxing for most dogs. I look for soft eyes, soft ears, rolled onto one hip (as opposed to a sphynx like down), etc.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:37 PM   #224 (permalink)
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Meadowcat is absolutely right. You want to click/"YES!" after each exercise (wait 5 seconds, etc). I toss the goodie in between the dog's front legs so that they do not need to get up to get it. I would also reward the dog when it goes into a more relaxed down (on one hip, head resting on paws or on the floor, etc). Other relaxation signs I look for are long eye blinks, heavy eye lids, heavy sighs and yawning. A few of my clients have actually fallen asleep while working on this! I have also found it helpful if I use some of the same relaxing body language: sighing, yawning, heavy eyelids, prolonged blinks, resting the weight on one leg, soft shoulders, etc. It is a great Protocol and I recommend it for all of my clients!
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:30 AM   #225 (permalink)
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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.
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