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Michelleva

Our First Ever Foster Dog - The Final Update

289 posts in this topic

mita   

She was continually circling until he picked her up and put her on the examination table. As soon as he did that, she looked calmer....

So he's given me some valium for her, if we're taking her somewhere new or she's getting stressy I can give her one of those.

His advice is to also keep up the exercise and ignore her when she's being anxious. So we have our homework to continue with her.

Our rescue sheltie, Danny, would twirl in circles when he didn't know what was expected in a situation. But it faded away as he matured.

I'm a great believer in low doses of valium for anxiety in dogs. It doesn't fog their brain so they can still learn. It relaxes the muscles so the anxiety is hosed down & doesn't feed on itself.

That's excellent advice from the vet. I'd only add +the passing of time.

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sounds like you've got a good vet there Michelle to recognise Bonnie's behavioural issues. Sarah just hides behind me or retreats inwards if she's nervous about something and she can't escape, then people comment on what a well behaved dog she is - while she's standing there looking utterly miserable

Btw is there any news about a permanent home for Bonnie? :provoke:

I have an awesome vet Leah. I've been there so many times, he treats me like one of the family. :D

I haven't heard her cough once today, which is good... but better than that today is a much less anxious day for her. I got a bit panicky yesterday after the vet really noticed her anxiety levels. I started to doubt myself and my ability to help her, but today her and Georgia have spent a good 2 hours outside, anxiety free.

Georgia has a habit of barking at any neighbourhood noises, like dogs or people outside etc and Bonnie responds to that by barking at the back door, and spinning. I used to think it was anxiety, but now I'm convinced its excitement because when she does it her ears are pricked forward, her tail is high and wagging furiously, she goes in a tight circle a few times. She does the same thing at dinner time. Which is very different to the circling she did at the vet yesterday. That was really circling aimlessly, it felt to me like she was looking for a way out of the situation.

So the vet visit was really great for me, I think I got a bit more insight into her behaviours, which will help me to help her further.

Feeling much more positive today.

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HELP DOLers...

I have feeding time drama's going on here at the moment.

When we first got Bonnie she wouldn't take food from me at all, then when she did eat she was so dainty and took her time and was really very ladylike. Since she's returned thats all changed and now she acts like a starving dog everyday at dinner time.

The excitement level is off the charts with her, to the point that she will stand at the door, stare at me and bark consistantly, basically demanding her food NOW. I know its not anxiety because her ears are up, her tail is high in the air and wagging fast. She's so excited that she doesn't listen to anything I say. I do manage to get her to sit before her food, but so far can't get her to stay. Georgia knows if she doesn't sit and stay calm she doesn't get her food.

I've been trying to feed them outside a few metres apart, but its not going too well. Bonnie will have a mouthful of hers, then run over to Georgia's, then run back etc. So tonight I fed them inside, I put Bonnie in the crate first, then got Georgia to sit calmly in the kitchen. Bonnie got hers in the crate and was a lot calmer than outside. I think that reduced the excitement level a fair bit.

Any tips/pointers to make this easier and maybe drop the excitement level somewhat.

:thanks:

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Guest Ams   
Guest Ams

I would continue to feed them separately and out of sight of each other. Could you try crating Bonnie before you start preparing dinner so she remains calm?

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We have three dogs and they always get fed in different rooms and in pack order. They each even have totally different bowls. I can stand in one location and watch all three at the same time though. The reason for this is we have different speeds of eaters, different levels of hunger and we did have a pack order issue that we feel needs to be continually enforced. I do make them all sit before I will put their bowls down and two of them go straight to their spots and simply wait (the youngest runs from spot to spot with her starving face on but knows she is only to eat from her bowl/spot). And as soon as each is finished I immediately pick their bowls up.

I've dog sat at a few multiple dog households now and where there are any more than two dogs it is quite common for some dogs to be crated or separated into rooms at feeding time. One breeder makes hers get into their trailer compartments where they can eat in private. The dogs generally go to their spots and are contained before the food bowls come out, so there is no opportunity for a mass riot. It makes feeding time safer and easier for the humans and dogs. And bowls are always picked up once they have finished eating.

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Thanks guys, tonight I walked them before dinner in an effort to drain some of the energy. And then I crated Bonnie, but she still goes nuts in the crate, just at the anticipation of dinner. I fed Georgia first in the kitchen, where Bonnie can't see her. Then I put Georgia outside and repeated the process with Bonnie. I'm attempting to teach her to sit and wait for her dinner, but the excitement level is still very high.

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Tempeh carries on like she is going to die from starvation while I am preparing their dinner and handing the bowls out. I try to ignore it and the other dogs just hang back and go whatever! Her 'sit' is often just a vague bum hover depending on how ravenous she is.

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Tempeh carries on like she is going to die from starvation while I am preparing their dinner and handing the bowls out. I try to ignore it and the other dogs just hang back and go whatever! Her 'sit' is often just a vague bum hover depending on how ravenous she is.

That describes Bonnie to a tee at the moment. Her stay is me holding the collar while the bowl is on the floor.

I think this week I need to stock up on treats and get her into a lot more training. Training one dog I can do, two dogs is very challenging, so I think I'll have to crate Georgia and give Bonnie some one on one training. At least with her being food focussed training shouldn't be too difficult. Theres's always an upside, right?

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I had a little dog like that a long time ago and it was suggested I do the same. It lasted one night ....... poor little Flora started crying and it was more than I could bear. :D She was so good in all other respects, so what the heck :laugh: ( :confused::confused: Mita has deleted her post to which this referred.)

Michelleva, I think you need to stop giving yourself a hard time :hug:. Without any qualifications at all, you did what you and your rescue group thought was right by your family, Georgia and Bonnie. Bonnie has been given a big fright if only by being separated from you just at the time she was happy, relaxed and confident.

Bonnie will be back to the Bonnie you knew.

Edited by Danny's Darling

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I don't know if this will help... but it's in the same line, hosing down extreme out of control demanding something.

My first tibbie had separation anxiety & when I'd come home, she go nuts squealing & shrieking & jumping wanting pats and attention. Telling her to 'Sit' was lost in the chaos.

A UQ vet behaviourist told me the cure for 'demanding' behaviour was a huge dose of well organised ignore.

As soon as the tibbie started her drama, I was to turn my back on her & be still. No eye contact, no speaking. If she came around the other direction... turn my back & absolutely ignore. Then, as soon as there's a calm pause, turn and say 'Sit'. If she does.... then she gets the pat. If she breaks out into the drama again (very likely at first), then just repeat the turning, standing still & ignoring. The penny eventually dropped for her... the noisy, jumping demanding behaviour got her nothing but ignore. Quiet behaviour & obeying 'Sit', got her what she liked.

Worked in that case. Maybe consider trying that method with a dinner dish. You have to be prepared that the demanding behaviour might crank up further at first.... as the dog 'demands' harder when you ignore. But eventually the penny drops... noisy, out of control demanding brings NOTHING. Quiet & obeying SIT does.

Mita, thats great advice and pretty much the conclusion I came to myself today. When I got back from the gym she went mental, but hypo excited mental. So I let her out of the crate and completely ignored her. She tried to get my attention by nudging me with that long snout and rubbing against me etc, but I thought no that sort of behaviour will not get any pats or praise from me. I've put the dogs outside because its a lovely day and Bonnie for the most part has been really calm. I've been working in the office where she can't see me and she's not panicking at all.

What I do find is when Georgia is reactive/barking at whatever Bonnie gets hypo too, which is totally understandable. Bonnie's not an overly reactive dog to outside influences, but she is influenced by Georgia's behaviour. So by reigning in Georgia's excitement today, there is a sense of calm returning... phew I will try the ignoring at dinner time tonight and see how that goes. I taught Georgia to be calm at dinner time, and she's also a dog who LOVES food, so if I can do it once, I can do it again.

I would definitely describe Bonnie as demanding. If I go outside and walk back in, she will barge through the door trying to beat me in, I'm not allowing her to, but she is trying to see what she can get away with, much like a toddler. I think if we nip it in the bud now, she can learn to be a well behaved pooch. I have my work cut out for me but I'm up to the challenge. :D No cute little hairy dog is going to rule me. :laugh:

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I have my work cut out for me but I'm up to the challenge. :D No cute little hairy dog is going to rule me. :laugh:

Oh dear, that did give a laugh :laugh: :laugh: . You need to come here and train me.

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Shelby   

And after you have finished with DD's dogs, you can come & train my four :laugh: They have me very well trained.

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When we saw the Dreadlocked Dog Whisperer he had some great advice for the attention seekers. Tempeh had a habit of sitting in the middle of the lounge room sort of cry talking and we'd be all like "what's the matter baby girl? What do you want?" He said she was grandstanding so we started ignoring it and getting up and walking in to her without saying anything so she'd have to move from her 'look at me' power position. She stopped doing it and just settles in the lounge with the rest of us now. He also taught us for over excited dogs to turn our eyes away from the dog, look up and do big, exaggerated, noisy yawns. This in turn can cause the dog to yawn which is a destresser and they then settle fairly quickly. This one works every time with my SBT but only sometimes with our pei. Apparently it is something mother dogs do to settle their pups when they are being naughty.

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When we saw the Dreadlocked Dog Whisperer he had some great advice for the attention seekers. Tempeh had a habit of sitting in the middle of the lounge room sort of cry talking and we'd be all like "what's the matter baby girl? What do you want?" He said she was grandstanding so we started ignoring it and getting up and walking in to her without saying anything so she'd have to move from her 'look at me' power position. She stopped doing it and just settles in the lounge with the rest of us now. He also taught us for over excited dogs to turn our eyes away from the dog, look up and do big, exaggerated, noisy yawns. This in turn can cause the dog to yawn which is a destresser and they then settle fairly quickly. This one works every time with my SBT but only sometimes with our pei. Apparently it is something mother dogs do to settle their pups when they are being naughty.

Bonnie does act similarly to Tempeh with the attention seeking, but she's not barking at me. Whenever she sees me from outside, she just stares at me, wheras Georgia just ignores me and goes about her business. The yawning thing is interesting and something else I didn't know. I'll have to keep that one in the old memory bank.

Nice try Shelby and DD, if I can whip this one into shape I'll be impressed, let alone training others. :rofl:

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Well I feel like a big meany today, I did the hard yards and ignored everything, whether it was anxiety or excitement.

I crated her for a while before dinner, she did go into an excitable tiz, she was carrying on even when I got our dinner ready. But I ignored it all.

Finally I got the dogs dinner, Georgia was nice and calm and got hers. Then she went outside, then I got Bonnie out. She barked, whined and carried on. I just stood there, made no eye contact, didn't say a word, just stood there. Surprisingly, it didn't last long and I asked her to sit. After a minute or so, she did sit so I put the bowl down and I put my hand in front of her face and said in my bossiest voice, STAY and she did. Then I released her and let her eat.

She too went outside after dinner and had another melt down, but again it was demanding/excitement type behaviour. And again I ignored her. After she settled down, I bought them back in.

It was a tough thing to do, but I believe she needs some tough love.

Hopefully tomorrow goes a little smoother.

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Nice try Shelby and DD, if I can whip this one into shape I'll be impressed, let alone training others. :rofl:

LOL - I meant I need you to come and train me. :laugh:

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Nice try Shelby and DD, if I can whip this one into shape I'll be impressed, let alone training others. :rofl:

LOL - I meant I need you to come and train me. :laugh:

:doh::hitself:

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