Anxious Rescue Dog August 29 2016
Question sent today to Meg@BlackWingFarms.com:
I was pointed to your website for possible help with some neurotic tendencies that my rescue dog has. I was reading over your behavioral chart and just wanted to ask a few questions. My sweet dog tends to obsessively spin (chasing a tail that is no longer there) when she’s anxious or excited – which seems to mostly be when new people visit us. She greets them, very happily and then when attention is gone from her, commences spinning. Your behavioral chart leads me to 2 sprays – drama trauma (anxious) and fresh start (obsessive/repetition). Should I use these sprays together, or should I start with just one? Also –she currently doesn’t do well when meeting other dogs (I believe it’s a leash reactiveness issue), is there a spray that would help her with that? Thanks so much for your time.
Thank you for getting in touch! I know we can help. Don't you wish we could just jump inside thier minds and ask questions??? So yes I totally agree with your choices. We need to dose her whenever you feel the tension rising. Watch for the trigger behaviors - strangers, lack of attention, etc... as you have already noted. (As an aside, I need to point out that humans' blood pressure, heart rates, anxiety levels, & body postures also affect canine behavior - therefore, I suggest spraying yourself or your hands before attaching the equipment for a walk. You can also gently spray your hands & pet your dog before beginning. Try to anticipate the impulsive behaviors & outbursts and watch for a glance, a lean-in, a pull-back, ear positiioning. It will be fun to anticipate the triggers. Have treats already sprayed.
When she starts spinning, spray her rear-end or the ground she will be spinning over. Not as a deterrrant but to offer her 'farmaceuticals' that will cue the brain & body that there is a different way to behave. A bit of IMPULSE CONTROL and thus re-arranging the already established patterns of learning.
Of greatest importance to you both is to give her a new way to express herself. Biggest thing for me is to be ready with a HIGH VALUE REWARD. Vocal praises of "Atta Girls" - super good treat, a quick physical massage, a positive sound to go with the new positive behavior - even if it lasts 2 seconds - reward the change immediately. Example: when she hesitates for a nano-second before or during her spin. Or when greeting politely, give her a treat or toy to distract her next (established negative) behavior. If you can't throw a ball; bounce it. And remember all these items and YOU are previously sprayed with your BlackWing Farms' blend. *)
You will get a full page of FAQs, same as on the website, that will answer some more questions. My main suggestion is USE LESS MORE OFTEN. Use just 2-3 sprays for her... at least 6 times... throughout the day which is easily done with 2 treats, 2 toys, and 2 pets to the body. See how easy? When training Dogs & Horses, I will use Remedies -2 sprays each time- 6 times within one hour. Good news? There is no wrong way to use our products - only wrong way is to not use them!
Back to the short answer = yes and use these 2 for now. Leash reactivity could or could not stem from the same insecure & impulsive behaviors. Give these 2 a try for 5-7 days and if the 'meet n greets' do not improve; let's try our training Remedy called: HAPPY HOUR!
Thank you for contacting me. Hope this helps. Also please stay in touch to make sure we are making the best new behaviors possible. OK?