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kami

Kelpie With Separation Anxiety

53 posts in this topic

Nekhbet   

The dog needs major behavioral work and a reboot. She's learning fear is the method of coping so now she's expanding her repertoire.

Call someone ASAP, don't treat her like a poor rescue dog. Put her in a crate, get her up, get her moving with you and she gets attention and treats when she pulls herself out of her fearful cringing behavior. Life's too short to coddle a dog especially now she's on medications. Your road will be downhill not up if you don't do something fast.

I know it's hard when it's a rescue dog but trust me... many, many dogs we have brought around. I kept one myself.

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kami   

We are trying to get a behaviouralist at underdog to see her asap, we left a message yesterday and i have left another today. Fingers x they call back today so we can lock in an appointment.

The ranger came around today and despite a broad variety of differing treats we have given her prior to leaving (not as we leave!) A neighbour has complained because of her howling on 3 different nights.

The ranger was happy as we are already making steps to address the issue. I might try prok9 tomorrow if we dont hear anything back from underdog. Her separation anxiety seems worse since the peeing episode, with howling with me away for a mere 10-15 minutes!

Great ideas with the crate training, it would be great because at least we could keep her in the house when we arent there, which should surely at least dampen down some sound even if she did howl.

I think that will be the next big ticket item to buy on our doggie shopping list.

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Nekhbet   

Dont go to a petstore there are ebay sellers in Melbourne a lot cheaper.

http://stores.ebay.com.au/PUPPY-POWER-PET-PRODUCTS

If Tamara is not answering give Judy a ring at ProK9.

Treats will not solve the howling. The dog doesn't understand, it's anxious, worked up. If someone left you grief stricken at home with a buffet you probably wouldn't touch it either due to heightened emotion. The dog needs to learn how to behave, that's it is going to be alone sometimes and it has to deal with it. Don't try and aim straight for love it, aim for deal with it first because you're trying to make too big a leap for the dog to cope with. Now it's on medication too it's mind will be up, down and everywhere so you will be having to factor that in as well.

Remember the level a kelpie is usually expected to work at. Hard focus, long hours. A few toys and treats are OK for maybe a cavalier but start treating her like a working dog. Wear her out. Flirt pole, obedience, scent games, wear that brain out until the dog wants to pass out. She looks rather well fed which means things are easily gained. The brain is coming up with things to do at the level she needs, not a kong with some easily gained food. Chewing and digging are a challenge you know!

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Cosmolo   

Calls are returned within 24 hours, unfortunately sometimes a bit of phone tag takes place. Stuart has the business phone and is in with clients at the moment- email me at [email protected] as i have just got in from clients and starting emails now.

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BC Crazy   

Your very fortunate in one aspect as you live in Melbourne. There are quite a few excellent trainers that will be able to help you & your troubled girl. Where I live I don't have that opportunity unfortunately. So far I haven't been able to get a suitable trainer on a regular basis. We need one on one help. There is no way Stella would be comfortable in a class situation as she is DA at times & she has a melt down in crowded places. So I just try to do my best with her on my own. I read up on DOL etc to learn as I go but I know we would excel with direction of someone experienced. I will keep trying to get suitable professional help though.

Good luck kami. I hope things work out with your girl. Keep us posted on your progress. I will follow with great interest.

Edited by BC Crazy

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kami   

So a bit of an update:

We've had our first session with Stuart from Underdog (who Annie was great with!) And we've started to incorporate a few of the strategoes he showed us already. He recommended crate trainig for when we are away, so we bought the crate today, and put her bed inside - and voila! With lots of treats and positive reinforcement - so far she loves it! We're taking it nice and slowly, so far she will happoly spend time in there sleeping with the door open or playing with treats and toys.

Also, Stuart had some great pointers for us with rewarding her for waiting in a sit or drop, once we have said a release word, and she is very responsive to this! No longer are we constantly having to tell her to sit, because now she knows she has to wait until the release word - better for Annie and better for us.

Huw, my partner has been working with her on some free shaping with mixed success.

All round it has been a big success so far in getting help from a behaviouralist, and reassuring to know we are mostly on the right track, we just need to work on crate training and learning to effectively communicate with Annie.

This week we are going to put a big focus on getting her to come consistently around the house and yard, so we can start preparations towards having Annie off leash, and running around off leash like a Kelpie should (IMO). we are going to have a further three sessions so we can make sure we are doing the right things onlead, and do some long lead/off lead work with someone experienced at hand.

We will continue with the prosac, as we think it has helped improve her behaviour and make it easier for her to focus.

So thanks for all the pointers guys, it was good to hear that we needed to prioritize getting Annie seen ASAP, and thanks for the recommendations re: behaviouralists.

Would highly recommend Underdog, and dogzonline to anyone needing strategies, guidance and help settling in their rescue pup.

Will provide updates and some more cute photos, when the time is right :-)

Susie

Edited by kami

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BC Crazy   

Sounds like Annie is coming around. Settling & gaining confidence. With professional guidance sounds like you guys are going well.

Thanks for the update & good luck with dear Annie :)

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Can I just say that you're doing an awesome job with this girl and deserve to be commended for taking on a less than easy dog and sticking with her.

To say that I am disappointed with the "rescue" that rehomed her to you is an understatement. She was clearly offloaded before they knew much about her, put down as another dog not killed and therefore a "rescue success" and that was it.

Good on you for doing the hard yards with her. I hope you continue to see improvement in her. She certainly lucked in finding her home with you.

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BC Crazy   

Great post Haredown. 100 % agree.

Wondered the very same thing concerning the "rescue" & rehome agency. Did they even assess Annie before she was palmed off to these seemingly dedicated new owners ????

Seems not...

Edited by BC Crazy

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kami   

Hey guys, thanks for all your kind words. Just the tonic we needed :). We expected to have to spend a lot of time and effort when we adopted a rescue dog to make them a happy member of our family. Annie keeps making small improvements day by day, but is starting to become sneakily naughty when we are not around. Yesterday, she stole her treat bag (we cut up dog treats smaller so we don't overfeed her with training) when Huw left the room for a minute - she was all over it! (No more leaving treats on the couch)

And when i left her in the bedroom for 2 mins to put some laundry on, she curled up on our bed! (Which is strictly off limits - she has her own bed/crate). I had to push her off gently whilst telling firmly it wasnt on!). Aparrently my firm voice was lacking judging by the quizzical expression on Annies face- and her less than cooperative response to getting off the bed. It is super comfy :)

As dog parents we are not sure what this bodes, but I believe consistency and firmness will be the key :) .

As to the rescue, I believe it all went ahead less than ideally for a number of factors:

- we were super determined to get the next dog that had the right personality after missing out on a prev. dog we were told that was available but wasnt (had been pre.adopted) and not even hearing back from other rescues through pet rescue.

- the foster carer was very keen we took the dog because she got along well with Huw, and wasnt frightened of him. I think also he was worried about how she would cope in the shelter - and after getting to know her i think she would not have coped with the noise, sights, smells and isolation. I think she would have become more behaviorally disturbed in the short term.

In fairness, we knew to some degree that we were taking 'pot luck' because of the way the rescue operates. We had put in enquiries on a number of other dogs through petrescue with no response whatsoever.

This organisation appears to focus on getting dogs out of pounds and into homes, and does not undertake formalised assessments of new owners and states as such. When we went to pick up Annie there was no real assessment per ce, except for the foster carers assessment. Normally i believe a verbal assessment is done, however the shelter was very busy with about 50 ppl lined up before it opened to adopt puppies. .

From my perspective, the irony is I feel that I would not have necessarily have been accepted for potential adoption through a rescue via petrescue - but I feel we have a lot to offer as motivated, proactive owners. I understand this could be a completely different situation if Annie had happened to go to just anyone who wasn't prepared to spend the money, time and energy required to help turn her into a happy well socialised dog.

We are frustrated we still dont have per papers, despite numerous phone calls ect. So we can start obedience/ and then other dog activities that would be beneficial to her. That would be our main complaint of this shelter. And that her profile description was not exactly illuminating.

I will privately msg you guys the link to Annies profile.

Edited by kami

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Great update Kami, you guys are doing a wonderful job with Annie. The "shelter" is just lucky you were prepared to put in the time, effort and money on her, well done! thumbsup1.gif

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Theft? Perfectly normal canine behaviour. :) Your job is to prevent it happening or smack yourself in the head if you fail. :o

Seeking the most comfortable spot to sleep? Are you sure she's not a Whippet? :laugh: I prefer to call a dog from where I dont' want it and reward it than tip it off. That way they learn that compliance brings benefit.

What papers do you need to start obedience training? Vaccination papers?

Edited by Haredown Whippets

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BC Crazy   

Annie is a smart cookie. Taking advantage of opportunity. Free treats. A warm bed. Gotta love that. It's up to you to take away anything you don't want her into. As for bed issue, just call her off, lure her to where you want her to lay & then reward her. Just noticed you have pm'd me so I'm off to read it ☺

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kami   

=142944847&filters[recent]=1&filters[publicOnly]=1&sort=1&o=0"]annie looking comfy in her crate

Some pics of Annie in her crate - she slept through on her own in the crate last night! Very proud! With no alprazolam on board. She loves her crate, and goes there when the central heating is on, and she is nervous.

One issue we are having is Annie keeps.jumping up at Huw (OH), and licking him. She has no concept of 'thats enough' when it comes to Huw. This is particularly problematic atm, as Huw dislocated his knee two weeks ago. He cannot walk her, is on crutches, and since then Annie is becoming more attention seeking around him, and generally disobedient with Huw. She will disobey Huw, or be overly jumpy/licky, and then I will step in to reinforce the desired behaviour/correct the undesired one(she listens to me).

Any pointers? Huw has emailed underdog and hopefully we can arrange another session with them for next week.

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kami   

Haredown Whippets, we need vaccination papers to start formalised obedience group train at the lovely high fenced enclosed field around the corner. We have had success this weekend (mainly through a combination of a very lovely lady called Narelle from Fawkner Vet, and our own tenacity). The shelter hand balled us to the vet, who initially had no record of Annie being vaccinated or desexed there! (I was kind of err silently freaking at this point). As I was able to provide the microchip number to Narelle, she was able to track down Annie on the system, and our certificates are currently being sent out to us! Phew! A month of phone calls to the shelter, and one call to the vet clinic, and it is finally sorted :)

The other worry, is that Annies microchip does not have any info on it in victoria - we will be heavily relying on the shelter to do their bit this time in transferring chip contact details as we suspect she came from NSW. Fingers crossed, because we have only 3 weeks left of registration extension the ranger gave us!! I feel strongly it will all work out somehow - but could have been much less worry and hassle for us if there were good communication between the shelter and the vet, and better after care for us.

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