Allergies and Relaxation Protocol

After my husband got bit, he learned his lesson. We haven’t had any growls or anything (because if my husband needs to take something from the dog he trades), and she seems to be settling down. I think the stress from her sickness really has been bothering her. I would be angry too. Anyways she is on antibiotics (Again). I have tried many holistic remedies, herbs, anything you can think of. After a few days on antibiotics her bacterial infection is finally starting to clear up, and she’s become so much more relaxed. She seemed crazed lately, and was even afraid to walk around the neighborhood (which is what happened right after she was attacked). I think it was because the vet switched her from benadryl to zyrtec, so I switched her back and she has been doing better. Any change even in the slightest meds would change her attitude. The benadryl can make some dogs drowsy. We haven’t seen it make her “drowsy” but she does seem more relaxed on it (she doesn’t have aroused as easy and into the “crazy eye” mood as I call it).

I have her thundershirt I put on her when I get home from work too. This helps so she isn’t itching as much from pollen allergies. She relaxes and it covers a lot of her so it’s hard for her to scratch. I have been working with her on Karen Overall’s Relaxation Protocol. This is a program which has her stay in a down position while I do all sorts of things like walking, clapping and jogging. We work through 15 days, and sometimes she gets through one day quick, sometimes she is more nervous so we spend more time. The goal is to do the program, then move her to another room and practice, and eventually be able to do the program outside and in stressful places. This will help her relax. If you have a stressed dog that doesn’t seem to know how to RELAX, I recommend the program.

We had dog class on Saturday, and she did well. Everyone now goes inside the barn when it’s time for Oreo to go back to the car. This allows her to move with me instead of focusing on them. My husband came with me to training and will be attending again with me next week (he volunteered). It’s good for him to see the hard work we have been doing and to learn about training so we can completely work together with the dog.

In other news we have been home shopping and have seen some very promising houses. We are hoping to move out of the condo to a place with less noises. There is constant door slamming, car door noises, honking, and voices being heard. It’s VERY hard for a reactive or fearful dog to live in a place like this and hopefully she will calm down and become more relaxed.



Not The Best Week…

More troubles. We were having a good week until the bone showed up. We got Oreo a new bone, but she became defensive of it. My husband, who I dearly love-made a very stupid move. He was testing her when she started growling when he went to take her bone. Yes, she shouldn’t be guarding, but just listen. She continued to growl and it got deeper. He stuck his face in her face and she continued to growl & show her teeth. I told him to move and he literally stayed there for a few minutes in her face, until she bit him. She got him on the lip. Nothing super major, but enough to make a mark. Yes, she shouldn’t have bit him, but as far as reactive dogs go…she gave him MORE than enough warning.

It’s like this-let’s say you are waiting in line to get tickets for a concert. The person behind you keeps grabbing your purse. You tell them to stop. At first they say it’s an accident. Then they keep touching it. You keep telling them to stop but you are getting angrier. At first you tell them politely, but eventually you start yelling. You yell in their face and make sure they know you don’t want them to touch your purse, it is yours. Eventually you warn them you are going to hit them. Unfortunately, it’s like they don’t speak your language but you are really trying and you don’t understand why they aren’t listening. Eventually you get so pissed you punch them or shove them.

Oreo and my husband’s relationship has suffered because of this I am sure, he needs to rebuild their trust. However she is super stressed since the event. She has been sick for a while too which doesn’t help. I had to bring her to the vet the other day too,  which is another big stressful event. She has a bacterial infection on her belly, so shampoo was given.  She isn’t the biggest fan of baths but oh well. 2 times a week, and normally I need to bathe her at least once because of allergies. I also need to switch benadryl to zyrtec to see if that helps with her allergies. The vet said once they got her into the back room she was fine-no muzzle! They looked at her teeth and took blood from her backside for testing and not even a flinch-amazing!

She was so nervous at the vet in the car-we decided to forego the waiting and exam room because it’s too stressful. She was shaking horribly, but with some talking and slow petting she calmed down. The vet went to bring her inside and a big dog came out at the same time. Oreo turned and ran toward the car, I have never seen such fear in her eyes. Usually she would go on the attack but she was sooo scared. Poor Oreo.

Anyways, she went to training this morning and did a good job-except she is so stubborn. She again sat down when greeting people and didn’t want to leave-it took her 2 minutes to come with me to the car when everyone left so she would come with me! Ugh!! So I need to work with her on activities and the NILIF (nothing in life is free) program again.

Today we went to my parents shortly after training and she didn’t get any down time, so she was fine but then overtired and snapped at my mom when she was lifting up her leg to untangle her from the leash. She is over stressed so hopefully we can get her levels down again. oh the work never ends….