What are you and your dogs up to today? Part 2

Get to know other Positively members here.

Moderators: emmabeth, BoardHost

Post Reply
User avatar
Nettle
Posts: 10697
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:40 pm

Re: What are you and your dogs up to today? Part 2

Post by Nettle » Wed Jun 26, 2019 3:48 am

That is so heartwarming, Jacksdad, and what is even better is that you are passing on your knowledge and helping so many people to help their dogs.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

User avatar
JudyN
Posts: 6957
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:20 pm
Location: Dorset, UK
Contact:

Re: What are you and your dogs up to today? Part 2

Post by JudyN » Thu Jun 27, 2019 2:05 pm

It's very important to keep your dogs cool in this weather....

Image
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

jacksdad
Posts: 4878
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:48 pm

Re: What are you and your dogs up to today? Part 2

Post by jacksdad » Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:49 pm

Jasper's staff :lol:

User avatar
Nettle
Posts: 10697
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:40 pm

Re: What are you and your dogs up to today? Part 2

Post by Nettle » Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:29 am

Oh yes! :lol: Lucky hound.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

User avatar
JudyN
Posts: 6957
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:20 pm
Location: Dorset, UK
Contact:

Re: What are you and your dogs up to today? Part 2

Post by JudyN » Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:53 am

One of them's certainly well trained 8)
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

User avatar
JudyN
Posts: 6957
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:20 pm
Location: Dorset, UK
Contact:

Re: What are you and your dogs up to today? Part 2

Post by JudyN » Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:41 am

Oopsy....

My friend came round with her rescue terrier, E, this afternoon. E came from Bulgaria, having spent the first few years of his life chained up, and has moments where he will frantically spin, barking and growling trying to catch his tail, which she thinks may be a result of being attacked by rats while on a chain :(

OH came home while we were in the garden chatting. E wasn't sure about him at first, but OH got down to his level and made friends. Then OH went indoors, got changed into shorts and came out again - and E nipped him, hard enough to break the skin, on his calf :shock: My friend was mortified, of course - E had once nipped her sister when startled, and has been unsure about strangers, but apart from that has never done anything like this before. E adores me, and my friend wonders if he was 'protecting' me, or her, from this big scary person who he'd never seen in this house before so assumed he was an interloper (they have met once, on a walk a couple of years ago). Or he could have reminded E of someone abusive from his former life.

Obviously we don't bear E and my friend any grudge, and I pointed out that it's a blessing that he did it to OH and not a stranger on a walk who might try to sue her - and that now she knows what he's capable of, she can take preventative action.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

ZaraD
Posts: 577
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:06 am
Location: Staffordshire, UK

Re: What are you and your dogs up to today? Part 2

Post by ZaraD » Fri Jun 28, 2019 3:45 pm

Oh jasper you never fail to put a smile on my face :P

We have a new addition here me and lara have been joined by a beautiful 4 month old Eurasier puppy. He was a friends dog but they found out there daughter was allergic to dogs , they tried medication and even shots but when nothing was working there GP advised rehoming. She phoned me first and i went down to help rehome but ended up falling in love with him so i rehomed him. His name is Harper and hes really well behaved ( for now) .

Laras been enjoying the sunshine on her sunbed with umberella :lol:

User avatar
JudyN
Posts: 6957
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:20 pm
Location: Dorset, UK
Contact:

Re: What are you and your dogs up to today? Part 2

Post by JudyN » Sat Jun 29, 2019 3:05 am

Congratulations on your new arrival, Zara - we need photos! :D
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

User avatar
Nettle
Posts: 10697
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:40 pm

Re: What are you and your dogs up to today? Part 2

Post by Nettle » Sat Jun 29, 2019 3:58 am

And what a lovely name Harper has!

JudyN, the tail-chasing creates an endorphin release activity and probably has been a lifetime coping mechanism for that dog.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

ZaraD
Posts: 577
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:06 am
Location: Staffordshire, UK

Re: What are you and your dogs up to today? Part 2

Post by ZaraD » Sat Jun 29, 2019 6:21 am

I'll upload photos when im not busy.

Thanks Nettle my mom said its a cool name, i actually named him after the Harper family from the TV series my family growing up it was one of my faves.

User avatar
Nettle
Posts: 10697
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:40 pm

Re: What are you and your dogs up to today? Part 2

Post by Nettle » Sat Jun 29, 2019 7:33 am

I don't watch TV but a long time ago I used to read Anne McCaffrey, and there was a "Harper" in her books.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

jacksdad
Posts: 4878
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:48 pm

Re: What are you and your dogs up to today? Part 2

Post by jacksdad » Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:53 am

JudyN wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:41 am
and has moments where he will frantically spin, barking and growling trying to catch his tail, which she thinks may be a result of being attacked by rats while on a chain :(
This is actually a red flag for possible compulsive behaviors. I say possible only because I am not there to see the whole picture, but I would urge treating as such until proven otherwise as a precaution and preventative because they don't tend to get better on their own.

Compulsive behaviors are often triggered by extreme/prolonged stress. Its one of the behaviors we have started treating right away even IF it's only boarder line or suspected. Treatment typically is management (prevent/disrupt), alternate behavior...don't tail chase, do this other thing, and medication such as prozac or other anti anxiety medication as the vet believes is appropriate.

root cause is less important at this point vs that it is happening and like sound sensitivity tends to get worse if left unaddressed.

Root causes are often extreme or prolonged stress which is what you describe his as prior to coming to your friend. even if no on is hands on harming, or even if no rats are bothering him, it's the social deprivation and confinement that can lead to these behavior. Which are exactly as Nettle says coping mechanisms.

I have a client dog who tries to chase or paw at reflections and shadows, particularly if they move. a key part of separating this from just something the dog happens to do from time to time (ie nothing to worry about) from something we would call a compulsive behavior is ... does the dog self break away within seconds OR does the dog easily come away. If they are fixating in, if the shadow/reflection reliably triggers the behavior, and it is difficult for the dog to come away....then there is cause for concern.

tail chasing, chasing/fixating on shadows/reflections, self biting/sucking etc. are just a few of the signs of possible compulsive behavior concerns.

compulsive behaviors are treated with management of the environment to minimize(ideally eliminate) the chance of the behavior being triggered, medication, alternate behaviors, and exercises and life enrichment such as learn silly tricks, do some nose work (find a scent, follow scent), solve puzzles for bits of food etc. basically make sure the dog is not mentally bored all the time.
JudyN wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2019 10:41 am

OH came home while we were in the garden chatting. E wasn't sure about him at first, but OH got down to his level and made friends. Then OH went indoors, got changed into shorts and came out again - and E nipped him, hard enough to break the skin, on his calf :shock: My friend was mortified, of course - E had once nipped her sister when startled, and has been unsure about strangers, but apart from that has never done anything like this before. E adores me, and my friend wonders if he was 'protecting' me, or her, from this big scary person who he'd never seen in this house before so assumed he was an interloper (they have met once, on a walk a couple of years ago). Or he could have reminded E of someone abusive from his former life.
I personally don't subscribe to "the dog is protecting me" theories as a rule. can dogs decides to "protect" their person. It is possible. often it is less a "hark, I think my person/fav friend is in danger, there for I must protect". Rather is is more likely a variation of resource guarding. my bone, not sharing. this isn't protection, this is guarding a valued resource. Or the dog didn't give a damn about you, and was simply worried about the scary monster that just appeared and coming closer, and the dog just happened to be near you (often do to the leash) when they displayed aggression.

I personally tend to take more of a "do I want to see more" or "do I want to see less" of whatever the dog did. sometimes trying to figure out the what/why can distract us and wast valuable time and place people/dogs at risk because while we are observing the behaviors of concern...the dog is getting to practice and the more they practice the better more ingrained they become. And the more the dog is able act aggressively, the greater the risk someone is going to get hurt.

with aggression clearly I want to see less...so how do I get less. Whats the trigger? keep that at the distance the dog needs not to react to start. does it appear to be fear based. if so, start with some classical conditioning and desensitization to change the "reflexive" response from "oh no" to "YIPPY!!!" or something as close as possible. Is it frustration/over excitement...I might start with an alternate behavior..when trigger is around do X not Y, and then reinforce the heck out of X.

Judy knows these things and does them, but for people cruising by hopefully this helps view "odd" or unwanted behavior a little different and to realize there are things that can be done and sooner is better.

User avatar
JudyN
Posts: 6957
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:20 pm
Location: Dorset, UK
Contact:

Re: What are you and your dogs up to today? Part 2

Post by JudyN » Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:06 pm

Luckily my friend has an excellent vet who thinks it's obsessive/compulsive behaviour, and he has improved a lot with medication (Prozac I think). It doesn't seem to be triggered by stress, but seems to happen without warning (occasionally in the middle of the night when he's sleeping next to her :shock: ). Of course, that make avoiding triggers difficult! She normally breaks it by picking him up and holding him close (he's never yet shown any signs of biting directed at her when she does this). Or shouting, which I don't like but can snap him out of it and bring him back to reality (a bit like slapping a hysterical person in the face).

I was dubious about the suggestion that he was guarding me - doesn't matter how much he likes me, she must be a more valuable resource to him. OH is over 6' 2" and brroad with it, with a deep voice and I suspect E just reacted to his sudden appearance. Though the bite happened after OH had got down to his level and thought they'd made friends, went in to get changed, and come back out again. First impressions matter...

JD, I totally agree that however fascinating understanding the behaviour can be, the reasons are often irrelevant and it's just a matter of dealing with it through management, desensitisation, etc. etc.

Talking of chasing tails, have you ever wondered what a dog would do if he actually succeeded? This dog obviously didn't have a plan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dlKBZfU-KI :lol:
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

jacksdad
Posts: 4878
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:48 pm

Re: What are you and your dogs up to today? Part 2

Post by jacksdad » Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:09 pm

JudyN wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:06 pm
Luckily my friend has an excellent vet who thinks it's obsessive/compulsive behaviour, and he has improved a lot with medication (Prozac I think).
Excellent. Are they teaching alternate behaviors? Are they upping the mental work...learn silly tricks, hunt for bit of hidden food etc.?
JudyN wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:06 pm
It doesn't seem to be triggered by stress, but seems to happen without warning (occasionally in the middle of the night when he's sleeping next to her :shock: ).
Only way to know for sure he isn't experiencing stress is to have heart monitors and take blood work at the moment before the behavior is triggered. So it is possible he is experiencing stress from his perspective and it's just mild, not very overt external signs. BUT... having said that, no, once the behaviors are ingrained, they don't only show up under stress.
JudyN wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:06 pm
Of course, that make avoiding triggers difficult! She normally breaks it by picking him up and holding him close (he's never yet shown any signs of biting directed at her when she does this). Or shouting, which I don't like but can snap him out of it and bring him back to reality (a bit like slapping a hysterical person in the face).
No way to 100% avoid triggers, but as you know we always try. as he improves you should be able to relax on this a bit. not unlike when fearful dogs improve.

Disrupting the behavior. While I would STRONGLY encourage tying to find ways that are calm to disrupt, sometimes you got to do what you got to do. the pattern has to be broken. (note for people passing by...doing what you got to do does not mean shock collars, spray bottles, pennies in cans to shake or similar approaches. All of those WOULD trigger stress responses and put you back to square one).
JudyN wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:06 pm
I was dubious about the suggestion that he was guarding me - doesn't matter how much he likes me, she must be a more valuable resource to him. OH is over 6' 2" and brroad with it, with a deep voice and I suspect E just reacted to his sudden appearance. Though the bite happened after OH had got down to his level and thought they'd made friends, went in to get changed, and come back out again. First impressions matter...
So we often assume a dog not attacking means we are now friends. But that isn't always the case. sometimes becoming "friends" takes time just like with humans.

BUT there is also the situation where a sudden change in the environment can trigger the aggression, a startle that causes a shoot first, ask questions response. I am working with a dog like that. he can be loving up on you, best buddies, you walk out of the room, then come back and he is in full attack mode...then realizes it is you and starts "shifting gears" back to "oh, it's you, my buddy".

Sometimes this is because the dog has learned sudden new things in the environment are dangerous more often than not, other times their startle responses are out of wack and HYPER Sensitive.
JudyN wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 1:06 pm
JD, I totally agree that however fascinating understanding the behavior can be, the reasons are often irrelevant and it's just a matter of dealing with it through management, desensitization, etc. etc.
Had a human behaviorist ask me to do a functional analysis on her dog. Told she couldn't afford it and once done wouldn't change the starting point...Classical Conditioning to change the emotional response to fear triggers, combined with training her dog on what to do when scary was around. Or in other context, when someone was at the door. Took a bit to wrap her head around this, but she did. She was just used to doing that with her human clients.

Root cause can be helpful, can be fascinating, but often we do not have the time and clients do not have the financial resources to take this step. Also, often the dog's well being and/or human safety ethically requires we start applying known, sound behavior modification principles sooner than later.

User avatar
JudyN
Posts: 6957
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:20 pm
Location: Dorset, UK
Contact:

Re: What are you and your dogs up to today? Part 2

Post by JudyN » Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:19 am

jacksdad wrote:
Tue Jul 02, 2019 9:09 pm
Are they teaching alternate behaviors? Are they upping the mental work...learn silly tricks, hunt for bit of hidden food etc.?
I don't think so. I will suggest she gets that brain ticking. She's got three other dogs, all in a tiny house, though, and her life is a bit... chaotic... Still, it doesn't take that much effort to teach some simple skills. (My son was trying to get something out of a cupboard the other day but as soon as he opened the door Jasper would nudge it shut again as that was a trick I taught him years ago :lol: )
No way to 100% avoid triggers, but as you know we always try. as he improves you should be able to relax on this a bit. not unlike when fearful dogs improve.
I must ask her if she's noticed any particular situations where he does this. Thinking about it, it might be when she's stopped on a walk to deal with one of the other dogs, so he flips out of 'busy terrier' mode into 'just waiting for something to happen' mode. So POSSIBLY stress isn't the trigger so much as 'What shall my brain do now?'
So we often assume a dog not attacking means we are now friends. But that isn't always the case. sometimes becoming "friends" takes time just like with humans.


Yes - and thinking about it, they were 'friends'/not a threat while OH was crouched down letting E sniff him. Even if 4' tall OH is 'safe', that doesn't mean 6'3" OH is...
BUT there is also the situation where a sudden change in the environment can trigger the aggression, a startle that causes a shoot first, ask questions response. I am working with a dog like that. he can be loving up on you, best buddies, you walk out of the room, then come back and he is in full attack mode...then realizes it is you and starts "shifting gears" back to "oh, it's you, my buddy".

Sometimes this is because the dog has learned sudden new things in the environment are dangerous more often than not, other times their startle responses are out of wack and HYPER Sensitive.


Oh yes, we know all about that with J! He'll still - very occasionally - suddenly leap up from his bed or the floor going RAAAARHHHH!! if one of us stands up suddenly, then he'll look all confused and settle back down again... though he's still slightly aroused for a while. It takes a while for a rush of blood to the brain to disperse.
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

Post Reply