Training Tomorrow, Triggers, Ear Update, Leashes

So, I’ve been successful getting Oreo’s drops in the last few days-she doesn’t like it, but with some treats and xanax it is possible. I took the liberty to trim her face, and did an awful job, but at least the hair is out of her face. I didn’t want to bring her to the groomer like usual, because now she is reactive to dogs. I will have to find a groomer who will be gentle, understanding, and not have other dogs there. I think it would be wise to pick her up right after grooming, instead of letting her be in a cage. However, I will try my hand at grooming next week when she is on xanex. I have a dog trimmer, however, I have never used it. I’ve been watching a lot of videos on how to groom. I’ll give it a shot and it will save me $45.

Tomorrow is Oreo’s first day at training. She is going to be training with someone very well known with a book published. I was lucky to find that I live close to the author. She seems so nice (just talking with her on e-mails). I am a bit nervous, although I don’t know why.

On a side note, the xanax is not something I would put the dog on all the tme-that is why it’s a short term anxiety medicine I guess. Although it helps with novel objects near her face, she does seem more anxious of things far away and cannot relax. I think it makes her more hyper. This can happen, it was in the side effects. Oreo’s ears look more red today. I have to try to make sure she isn’t rolling around in the grass. She doesn’t like the feel of the ear drops so will rub her head and ears against the carpet or grass, causing red irritation bumps. UGH! 

I read an article saying that reactive dogs can never be “fixed”. I would have to agree, but hopefully I can get Oreo to the point of not being so scared all the time. It’s a fine line with triggers. You do not want to expose your dog to the triggers past their threshold, where they have intense stress, but you also don’t want to shelter them. I feel like I should be exposing her to everything since she is still 16 months old, but at the same time I know I shouldn’t because that would be flooding and I shouldn’t do that. I have to keep reminding myself she is not “normal”.

When she was younger we brought her to a party at my family’s house. She was probably around 6-8 months of age. There were 2 other dogs there and one way shy, and the other is old and didn’t enjoy being jumped on by Oreo, a rambunctious youngin’ trying to play. I was told not to yell at a puppy who wants to play, because hey, they just want to play and will get a bad association with other dogs if yelled at when being with them. So I had to keep her on the leash all day. This was a mistake. She was very stressed, trying to get to the other dogs. The other people at the party threw the ball for the other dogs and they were playing and having fun, while oreo was leashed up. I took her for walks, ran around the yard, and tried playing with her, but she only wanted to play with the other doggies. At the end of the night she was laying down and my dad reaching down near her head. It was dark and we were outside. She made a growling noise and snapped at him. I then brought her over to me and she was shaking. She had enough. You cannot keep a dog, esp. a reactive dog (didn’t know at the time) on a leash that long, have so much stress, and not expect her to snap. I don’t think my dad was the trigger, I just think he became it since she had so much stress over and over. Similar to if you have had a bad day at work. Everything in your day has gone wrong. Then you go home and the dishes aren’t done. You might flip out on your husband or whomever said they would do them. You aren’t super mad about the dishes, but had a bad day with lots of stress. Ugh, looking back I wish I did things differently. But I truly believe from the moment we picked her up she was reactive, shy, and scared. I’m not sure what happened to her in her first 10 weeks, but even though she is a lot of work, she is family & I am happy she is in our lives.

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