Seeking advice: very anxious small rescue dog

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JudyN
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Re: Seeking advice: very anxious small rescue dog

Post by JudyN » Sun Feb 04, 2018 1:01 pm

anniep wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:02 pm
after one accidental encounter that really stressed both of them out, the cat (who is just as anxious as Ziggy, unfortunately, and doesn't like being handled) just retreated into the main bedroom and doesn't venture out.
Did the encounter give you any indication of whether Ziggy was aggressive to the cat, or just overexcited?

Our situation may be slightly different in that my dog Jasper arrived at 7 weeks old when the cat, Monty, was 12, and J was besotted with M. Besotted in an 'I want to chase you, wrestle with you, play bitey-face and [when he was older] hump you' :shock: M was not impressed, but also never stood up to J. M is just a week shy of 20 now and pretty well lives in the walk-in airing cupboard and bathroom (behind a stairgate). On the rare occasions he does venture downstairs J is usually good, but because it's such a novelty, he can still try the charm offensive and with J being a large dog and M being extremely frail, this doesn't go down well. I would have worked more on their interactions, but as J got more mature and responsive, M became more frail and I didn't want to put him into a situation he'd find stressful (such as bringing him into a room with J while J was on lead). He's adjusted to his new life and gets plenty of cuddles whenever I go to the loo or sort stuff in the airing cupboard, and chances are he wouldn't be doing anything more than sleeping in warm places without J in the house.

My suggestion is pretty much the same as LoQ's below - keep working on rewarding calm interactions with Ziggy on lead, but take it gradually so (ideally) he's never aroused enough to react. And expect it to take as long as it takes :wink:
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

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Shalista
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Re: Seeking advice: very anxious small rescue dog

Post by Shalista » Mon Feb 05, 2018 6:23 am

Also there's a slight chance this may be the case (it was for my dog) but if Ziggy doesn't naturally take to crates (especially covered ones) that's okay to.

Bax ABHORS being covered or confined in any kind of space at all but does have very particular ROOMS he loves. (usually the one i spend the most time in. used to be my bedroom in my old house, now its the living room) and he def has his fav SPOTS (snoozing on the corner of the futon 24/7 since i moved in) but to have a crate or a covered area just gives him crazy anxiety and he will not be lured into one with any kind of treats or bribery.

so keep an open mind to Ziggy about if HE likes covered areas. Not all dogs find them soothing.
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

anniep
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Re: Seeking advice: very anxious small rescue dog

Post by anniep » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:59 pm

Thanks again, everyone, for the replies and advice. Sorry I haven't replied to all of the comments individually - we have limited internet access at the moment and have just had a 2-day outage!

Ziggy is doing so well, and seems to be much more relaxed most of the time. I think he's starting to trust us, and to trust that we don't mean him any harm. When he does get anxious, it's usually when he's confronted with something a bit different - he loves his routine drive/afternoon walk with me, but when my husband tried to take him yesterday he was a bit confused and there was some very gentle growling. He also seemed confused when we took him in the car to drop my daughter at the station, as this was in the early morning and there were 2 of us, but eventually settled and seemed to enjoy the outing.

He has been really affectionate this morning, seeking us out, jumping onto our laps, following us around, rather going off somewhere by himself after a while. So it seems that there's a really sweet affectionate little pup under all that anxiety. I feel so relieved for him because he seemed so stressed an constantly on guard when he first arrived. Of course, he still has his panics (when there's a sudden noise or when he starts slipping of my lap) but he seems so much calmer.

After more than a week of NO interaction with our cat, he also seems more relaxed about her - if we walk past the room where she is sitting and he can see her, he pulls on the lead a bit and would like to get closer to her, but he's quite calm about it and doesn't bark or growl. So I think as everyone suggests we'll just take it REALLY slowly and see what happens. The cat is gradually relaxing, too, and as she always spent most of her time in the bedroom I think they'll eventually come to some sort of understanding, as you suggest JudyN.

I must admit that when I posted my first question I was feeling quite overwhelmed by Ziggy's anxiety, and especially the growling/snapping, so I'm really grateful for all your suggestions that have helped us to get to this stage. :D :D

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JudyN
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Re: Seeking advice: very anxious small rescue dog

Post by JudyN » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:37 am

That's brilliant, annie :D

Bear in mind that it is likely to be a case of two steps forward, one step back - as he settles in, he will still have the odd anxiety and feel more confident about expressing how he feels. And as he comes to trust you, he might even feel he can express himself in ways he wouldn't have dared earlier - i.e. directing towards you. Don't worry if this happens, just see it as part of his journey :D
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

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Shalista
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Re: Seeking advice: very anxious small rescue dog

Post by Shalista » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:08 am

anniep wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:59 pm
(when there's a sudden noise or when he starts slipping of my lap)
to be fair to the poor boy id panic to. at his size a lap is prolly quite high in the air :lol: :lol:
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

anniep
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Re: Seeking advice: very anxious small rescue dog

Post by anniep » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:24 am

Absolutely! He's very keen to jump up onto our laps now, but I think it freaks him out a bit once he gets up there, which is completely understandable.

We've all had a great day today, but I think he's overdone the socialising a bit as he's squeezed himself under the coffee table again tonight! Still, whatever makes him feel comfortable... :)

Lotsaquestions
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Re: Seeking advice: very anxious small rescue dog

Post by Lotsaquestions » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:27 am

Lovely to hear your progress! Long may it continue. :lol:

anniep
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Re: Seeking advice: very anxious small rescue dog

Post by anniep » Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:29 pm

Happy to report Ziggy seems to be happier day by day, although we still have our ups and downs. Discovered last night that he's not a huge sports fan - we were watching our football team have an unexpected win, and apparently making a fair bit of sudden noise, and every time something happened and we reacted, Ziggy would come out from under the table and come to one of us to see what was going on! :lol: :lol: So we tried to tone it down a bit. And last night he and I were downstairs and my husband reacted loudly to something on TV and Ziggy jumped out of bed to see what was wrong. Poor thing.

He's become so affectionate he's almost unrecognisable from the anxious little dog we brought home, but naturally he's still easily scared so we're trying to keep things calm for him.

One query - as he's quite a long haired dog and it's very hot here. we really need to bath/groom him at some stage. He seems OK with being brushed for a few minutes, but I'm not sure how to approach bathing him - or if we should just leave this for a bit longer? Any suggestions would be appreciated as I wouldn't be at all surprised if a bath made him freak out - so many things about it that could be scary...

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Shalista
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Re: Seeking advice: very anxious small rescue dog

Post by Shalista » Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:40 pm

I only bath bax is he rolls in something smelly. he doesnt need it otherwise but hes a short hair.

i would advise, bax found the sprayer to be quiet distressing but doesnt mind if water is scooped over him with a bowl you could try that.

id start with getting him sued to being in the bathroom and in the tub. lots of treats no water. :wink:
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

anniep
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Re: Seeking advice: very anxious small rescue dog

Post by anniep » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:28 pm

Thanks, Shalista. I'm going to leave it as long as I can - for everyone's sake! As Ziggy is so small, I'm thinking of getting a plastic baby bath as that might be less scary than the actual bath...

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JudyN
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Re: Seeking advice: very anxious small rescue dog

Post by JudyN » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:33 am

anniep wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:29 pm
Happy to report Ziggy seems to be happier day by day, although we still have our ups and downs. Discovered last night that he's not a huge sports fan - we were watching our football team have an unexpected win, and apparently making a fair bit of sudden noise, and every time something happened and we reacted, Ziggy would come out from under the table and come to one of us to see what was going on! :lol: :lol: So we tried to tone it down a bit. And last night he and I were downstairs and my husband reacted loudly to something on TV and Ziggy jumped out of bed to see what was wrong. Poor thing.
Jasper can be a bit like that and we've had him from a pup! Luckily OH and I hardly ever argue, but even if we get a bit hot under the collar about the state of the world J starts whining. I also have a Scottish friend who had to take her dog for a walk whenever her OH watched Scotland playing rugby :lol:

I'd definitely delay the bath as long as possible. Grooming should go a fair way to keeping him clean - I wonder if you can get dry dog shampoos? But it would be worth getting a baby bath and start out rewarding him for standing in it (empty), then putting just a little water in it and throwing treats in for him to get, or toys to retrieve, then getting him to stand in an inch (or less) of water....
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

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emmabeth
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Re: Seeking advice: very anxious small rescue dog

Post by emmabeth » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:58 am

You can get dry dog shampoos yes - I would use those and just brush him really well rather than bath.

The bath is a BIG scary deal to a lot of dogs as asides from getting wet it involves lots of close physical restraint, slippery surfaces etc.

My dogs (and some are long coated and some heavy wire coated) get bathed maybe once a year... if that!
West Midlands based 1-2-1 Training & Behaviour Canine Consultant

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Shalista
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Re: Seeking advice: very anxious small rescue dog

Post by Shalista » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:06 pm

yeah its prolly been over a year since bax got a bath O.o
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

Lotsaquestions
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Re: Seeking advice: very anxious small rescue dog

Post by Lotsaquestions » Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:32 pm

Merlin isn't afraid of baths but like most dogs he doesn't really like them, so we did go the dry shampoo route for when he got extra dirty. I can recommend Wahl foam no rinse dry shampoo, you basically rub it in and towel off then brush later on if needed. We tried a spray dry shampoo but Merlin hated that more than having a quick shower so I can vouch for the foam being less scary!

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Shalista
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Re: Seeking advice: very anxious small rescue dog

Post by Shalista » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:11 pm

Also mentioning that diet might impact the necessity for frequent or infrequent baths. When Bax was on kibble hed get a very doggy smell after awhile that wasnt very pleasant and thankfully has disappeared since he switched to raw.
Baxter (AKA Bax, Chuckles, Chuckster) Rat Terrier, born 01/16/13

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