nawwwwwwww she has the sweetest face! I could only imagine how difficult it would be for her in a busy environment like that. I think my boy would have a meltdown! It’s really good of you to be so in tune with her – putting her needs first. I hope you get that indifference!!
When our boy was a pup he hated going for walks, because it meant being exposed to traffic. Wouldn’t want to walk on the footpath. So I started taking him in non-peak traffic times and now, he’s actually fine with it. He’s still a bit antsy when we’re crossing the road, or when a car is parked on the curb, but is otherwise perfectly happy to trot on the footpath. But yeah you’re right – he’s perfectly happy and confident about 95% of the time, it’s just the “spooked” behaviour that worries me, because it enacts the “fight or flight” and he always just flies off if he’s not on the lead.
Haha it took SO MUCH SCRUBBING to get that mud off. He was the only dog that rolled in it – the only one! Out of about 30 dogs he was playing with! SMH.
You make a really good point – actually stopping to let him investigate the thing that spooked him. Obviously sometimes he wouldn’t go near it, but others, once he understands how harmless these things are (like the park bench), I don’t think he would be spooked by them again. Once I’m out running I tend to not want to stop, but I have to remember that I’m not the only one out there.
And yes! He is absolutely in the head-strong, I-do-what-I-want phase. Everyone keeps telling me it can take 3-4 years for them to grow out of it in some cases. Urgh I don’t want to wait that long!
yes I do think he has anxiety. But I don’t know how well medication works for him. After his surgery, we needed to crate him for 2-3 weeks, and given how boisterous he is, the vet prescribed anti-anxiety meds. They didn’t work, so he prescribed different, stronger ones. They didn’t work, so he prescribed alprazolam (Xanax). That didn’t work either, lol. He literally destroyed a crate, we had to buy another one. What worked was a thunder shirt, if you can believe it. He was fine whenever we put that on – we still use it to this day.
A lot of that was our fault though, as he didn’t get much crate training when he was young. He was toilet trained so quickly (we have only had 2 accidents since he was 14 weeks old), that we never bothered keeping the crate training up. Incredibly short sighted of us!!!
Omg lol. The metal tag on the food bowl I die hahaha. Gosh these dogs can be silly! Yes we have come to the conclusion that our boy will never ever be brave. But, he does have a booming bark which he reserves for when people are out the front, so at least it sounds like he’s a fierce, protective dog. But of course if someone actually did enter the house he would either run up for the hugs, or just piss-bolt away and hide haha.
We try not to comfort him too much when he’s being anxious because we don’t want to encourage that behaviour: i.e. during thunder storms. He’s so much better now – instead of freaking out, he just snuggles next to us. Never reward, or acknowledge, even though sometimes it kills me!
Have you tried the thunder shirt? I couldn’t believe the difference it made for him! I too am not keen on drugs (even if they worked), and was much happier with a natural solution. It acts like a baby-swaddle, to help them feel secure. Or like a weighted blanket. Some people don’t notice a difference, but for others it really calms anxiety.
Yes!! This is what our trainer said to us too! It’s more than just a dog park and a cafe every other weekend. It’s literally everything. And I wish we had known it sooner, taken him to various different environments when he was really young, so nothing was a surprise. We did take him to a heap of places – hardware stores, pet stores, different houses, parks and cafes. But I genuinely do wish we did more. I think it would have made a huge difference.
I’ve heard absolutely wonderful things about CBD oil. But I live in a backwards ass state (WA – Australia) and CBD oil isn’t legal for public purchase. We can only get hemp oil. I haven’t heard of those chews, but from a quick Google, I can’t seem to get them in Australia! Do you know if there’s an equivalent?
100000% his mandated rest caused him to regress. Immediately prior to his diagnosis he was 6 weeks in to his Level 1 training and improving out of sight! He was doing so well! Now, on the other side, it’s as if NONE of it happened. But, we are slowly building back up. His lead training is definintely getting there. His stay/drop/recall are improving out of sight…..except when he’s distracted by a bird or another dog or something at the park. Just working on keeping the focus on us, rather than wherever his instinctive, reactive, 20 month old brain has decided it needs to be.
TBH the past few days he has been pretty good on his run – especially around the “devil’s carpark”. We never go through it, only around it, but he hasn’t been jumping left and right. Some pulling on the lead to get past it, sure, but he’s been pretty good. We take the same 5km route every run (plus 10 mins off-lead “go nuts” at the park) so there are no surprises.
Still a world away from getting him near the i30 though. I don’t think he’s even eyeballed it yet.