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My ESS (Barney)is a bag o nerves?

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Pedley, Jan 9, 2012.


  1. Pedley

    Pedley PetForums Newbie

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    Hiya,Barney is 14 mths old and has always been a (nervous/timid )boy.Gets bullied constantly whilst out walking,but the bigger worry is he has suddenly got worst indoors.For instance, at feeding time he has started taking a mouthful of food at a time and leaving the kitchen to eat it.The slightest noise scares the life out of him.My 8 yr old grandson told me the lid of the pedal bin came off and made a loud noise which made Barney bolt.
    So,is there something I can start doing to maybe de-sensitise him from his fears of noise.?
    NB.He would'nt have been much good as a gun dog lol.

    Joe.
     
  2. Dally Banjo

    Dally Banjo PetForums VIP

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    Perhaps the bin lid scare has started the food thing off :( you could try a DAP plug in or collar that might help :)
     
  3. smokeybear

    smokeybear PetForums VIP

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    My first step would be to have a once over by the vet to rule out any underlying medical conditions which could trigger hypersensitivity.

    Then a referral to a reputable behaviourist may be of great assistance so that the cause of his behaviour can be correctly diagnosed and a programme of systematic desensitisation and counter conditioning can be put in place for you to follow.

    These would be members (usually) of either COAPE, APBC or UKRCB.
     
  4. haeveymolly

    haeveymolly PetForums VIP

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    Molly one of my springers is very nervous in the house, a plastic bag loating down from the cupboard had her scurrying, if i sneeze she goes upstairs same if anyone laughs loud, shouts or drop something. She is confident outdoors though, firework time she will walk off lead while world war 3 is going on and never flinches, it very strange, springers can be nervous ive heard of quite a few.
     
  5. Pedley

    Pedley PetForums Newbie

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    Thanx Peeps,Obliged.
    Joe.
     
  6. Sled dog hotel

    Sled dog hotel PetForums VIP

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    This may be of help it was a post I did the other day for someone whos dog had a scare and its all about desensitising although not all of it will be relevant to you some of it will be as regars to the things you can do to desensitise/

    Some dogs can have a sudden scare or shock react and then move on, others it can only take one really bad experience and they can become literally phobic. Usually they are not the most bravest and bomb proof of dogs to start off with and can be of a nervous type generally.

    It sounds like this is whats happened shes now noise phobic. Nervous fearful dogs who live in a state of stress can become reactive from this. They become fear agressive, and they can react and re-direct that fear onto the nearest person or thing which again sounds like this is what can be happening.

    As they often constantly live in a state of fear, or stress they often never come back down the stress scale to a relaxed state, and that is why they are reactive and react so quickly. That is why she is likely snapping and why she actually bit when your Dad surprised her.

    Desensitising a dog to the noises is an often used behaviour modification. It has worked in a lot of cases. A CD is purchased of the sound/s or type of noise a dog is friightened of, starting at a low barely audible level that they can cope with, it is then played whilst they are doing something pleasureable/relaxing. Eating a meal, doing reward based training, relaxing with a chew which is in itself a de-stresser for dogs chewing. Enjoying a goody stuffed Kong. Being stroked and massaged lightly so they relax or to help them relax.
    As the dog copes and can relax and ignore at one level, then very slowly and gradually over time the sound is then turned up, once they relax at that level,it is turned up a little more and so on. It can only be done at the dogs pace and can take weeks or longer, but it has had results. If you want to check it out see link, lots of info explaining more on there.Sound Therapy 4 Pets – Sound Phobia Treatment CDs, Pet Products and Publications

    Whist you are doing the desensitising and behaviour modification a natural calmative is sometimes useful. Scullcap and valerian which is herbal quite safe and can be used for longer periods is good, and if often given to noise phobics during fireworks. See Link Dorwest Another that is good is KalmAid see link http://www.nutri-science.net/pets/pdfs/KalmAid DL.pdf Both were reccomended by a vet who is both a conventional vet plus also alternative therapies as they most effective.
    Also Adaptil dog appeasing pheromones can help, available in a plus in form at home, a collar form for outside, or you can get a spray, that you can spray on your clothes and on a bandana what can be worn around the dogs neck so they get the benefits.

    If she is really stressed outside, personally I would also concentrate on trying to make walks and outside fun again, and relaxing. Dogs learn by association so she may have an association mostly where it happened in the first place that is bad. If she is OK in the car I would take her somewhere quiet at first esspecially whilst doing the desensitising, maybe where there are just natural peaceful sounds, and let her start to enjoy walks again and make outsings stress free. Then if and when she gains confidence you can then start with more and more challenging areas on a very slow basis adding challenges a little at a time and guaging how she copes.

    It all depends though how much experience and confidence you have, you could well be better off getting professional help. If you want to go that route then CAPBT - COAPE Association of Pet Behaviourists and Trainers E-Mail pethelp@capbt.org should find a behaviourist in your area, you can at least prelimanary discuss the problem with and get some advice.
     
  7. cinnamontoast

    cinnamontoast Sois pas chiant, chéri.

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    Walk him away from other dogs for a while so he hasn't got to worry. Defo find a behaviourist, he sounds like he's having a torturous time.
     
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