Fighting BCs
#61
Before I had border collies I had one GSD that would get frantic and hyper if stressed (I would give him a tranquilizer if I had to take him to the vet) and a Mini Schnauzer that was afraid of the smoke detector's low battery sound and fly swatters. Those things were pretty easy to control/manage. It is so frustrating trying to figure out what works and our dogs can't tell us how they feel.

Only-borders, I have ordered a Thundershirt for Tasha. What did you do with Obi to help him through his fear of thunderstorms? Thank you for the instructions on how you use the flower essence. Do you know if it is safe long term? Our thunderstorm season is from June to October.
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#62
My red BC has some of the same issues and I know someone else that has the same issues with their red. Hmmm. Makes me wonder.

I'm glad the behaviorist gave you some things to work on and seems to have a good read on your dogs.
Gotta love 'em.
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#63
I have had great success with thundershirts
Ah the red thing. I would agree. I like the reds, had a red tri Aussie. My Aussie breeder friend would agree the reds are "different" lol
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#64
(05-28-2017, 06:05 PM)Tasha Wrote: Before I had border collies I had one GSD that would get frantic and hyper if stressed (I would give him a tranquilizer if I had to take him to the vet) and a Mini Schnauzer that was afraid of the smoke detector's low battery sound and fly swatters.  Those things were pretty easy to control/manage.  It is so frustrating trying to figure out what works and our dogs can't tell us how they feel.

Only-borders, I have ordered a Thundershirt for Tasha.  What did you do with Obi to help him through his fear of thunderstorms?    Thank you for the instructions on how you use the flower essence.  Do you know if it is safe long term?  Our thunderstorm season is from June to October.

What I did with Obi was to put on the shirt, tight but not so they can't breath, give him a Benedryl and attach a lead. Obi liked to flee the noise and could cause damage to things and I was afraid he would hurt himself. 
With the lead he couldn't flee and I was able to start working with him.

I walked him calmly into a room and closed the door. I sat in a chair and him and talked to him in a soft calm voice until he could lay down. I also had the blinds closed so he couldn't see the lightening flashes as much. If that room didn't work we went to another until we found a place that worked for him. 

I continued talking softly but never touching him or telling him he was OK. Once I could see he was settling down a little due to the Benedryl then we would walk through the house. The Benedryl is what helped me get through to him by taking more of the edge off his anxiety. 

Now that he was able to "hear" me I started to have him run through commands. He wouldn't take treats but so a good boy had to due. 
We continued doing this each storm that we were home and he responded very well. He was able to go without the lead and could just sit by me. Then I worked up to taking off the shirt and only using the lead, still with a Benedryl. Then the big jump was no Benedryl or lead. That's  when we worked on him deferring to me when he heard thunder. That's where we are now. If he hears anything disturbing, other than gun shots, he comes to me rather than flee. 

He is still anxious and breaths a little heavy but he can deal with it. Much improvement and I'll take it. It really didn't take that long although the process sounds like it did. Some of the things I did in the same day due to multiple storms in one day. 

The flower essence I added to their drinking water each morning. I put 4 to 6 drops in their water bowl each morning. Start about a week before things start going. During the summer I add the drops each day. I have never given the drops by mouth. 

I hope you can find something that works for you. Keep us posted.
Linda

One Border Collie Is Never Enough

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#65
Thank you for taking the time to write that out. I have begun to dread thunderstorms, I don't like seeing my dog a stressed-out panting mess.
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#66
I only hope you can find something that works for you. I can only imagine how they feel to be so afraid of the sounds/noises. 

Please let us know if you have a break through. Good luck.
Linda

One Border Collie Is Never Enough

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#67
Hi everyone

Sorry I've not checked in for a while. But I have a good update for you.

Where to start??

So a refresher,  we started doing what our expensive dog psychologist asked us to do...

- separate the girls at all times
- teach Look as a disciplinary tool
- give Murphy treats when on walks and she sees other dogs

All this was fine except I got the sense the girls were just getting less trustworthy of each other because they weren't socialising with each other. Absence and lack of interaction creates tension and fear. But then the dog psychologist did say at some stage we would slowly start to reintroduce the girls to each other. But that seemed a way off. She said it could take 1.5 years to get back to a stage where the girls can be in the same room together.

Note we didn't put Murphy on drugs.

Anyhow,  as is often how life turns out,  an event we didn't foresee forced us to do things differently. My wife's mother,  my mother in law,  had to have surgery. She had to get her uterus removed. And as a result my wife and my daughter have had to start living in the mother in laws house which is a fair way from our home. They've been out there three weeks now and could stay there a few weeks yet as it takes 6-8 weeks to recover and the mother in law is a tad on the fragile side.

So the flip side is I've had to live with the two dogs on my own . Now if you can imagine what it would be like for one person to live with two dogs who hate each other. If I'm in the lounge room with Maddie and Murphy is in another room on her own she will cry to no end. And vice versa if it's the other way around.

So on day one I decided screw this,  I'm going against the dog psychologists advice. I'm getting the girls together  and Im laying the law down hard and firm. So I let them in the same room together and I make it clear one sits on this part of the couch and the other sits on the other side of the couch. And guess what,  it worked. Harmony almost immediately. Well maybe not immediately but I was able to get them together,  under my watchful eye. Everyday that passes it gets better. Now I can leave them on their own and they're OK. But I wouldn't leave them on their own and leave the house. Not at that stage yet. Maybe never will be. I mean if I'm not here at all they could fight to the death and I wouldn't know. But I can leave them on their own when I'm someplace else in the house. There's been no fights in three weeks since they've been reintroduced to each other . Only a couple of little growls which I nip in the bud straight away. I tell Maddie it's not on to growl at Murphy. And I think she gets it. She's also afraid of Murphy because Murphy was the one who started the fights. But if anything that's not a bad thing as it means now there's some equality. There's no top dog. Maddie still is the main dog but instead of the relationship being 90-10 like it used to be,  now it's 60-40. It's like the USA and North Korea keeping each other honest. The power shift has ...shifted to a more neutral state.

So I guess you could say I've sort of taken the advice of the dog psychologist, at least initially by separating the girls for a few months,   and then added my own method thereafter.  To be honest I think it's been good for the girls to live with me alone for a few weeks. As the man in the house I'm the alpha presence and the girls have  been given the discipline  they've arguably previously been lacking. I don't think we could have achieved what we have if my wife and daughter were here as they don't seem to have the ability to discipline the girls. My wife just can't show whose boss to the girls. She's too sweet lol. Doesn't like being tough on her babies!!  So it's almost like fate that I Have been given this opportunity to discipline the girls,  out of necessity. It would have been untenable living with one girl crying on her own out of loneliness. The situation forced a change for the better. 

But the girls have also sorted out their own shit by balancing their relationship.

One thing I  am conscious of is when the girls come back home home things might change. When they do pop by to pick up clothes etc the dogs get all excited as they've missed my wife and my daughter. And in this excitement I can see Maddie getting into a bit of a frenzy which could be volatile,  that is she could snap at Murphy when in such a state. So I'm conscious of the challenge when the house is full again the energy and dynamic in the house could change things.  

So that's it. All up I feel like I'm the new Cesar Milan. I've successfully disciplined the girls and as a result 95% fixed their issues. Right now as I am typing they are together chasing a fly in the house!!  They're playing together. Never thought I'd see this again.

Do they love each other again??  I'm not sure,  but they're 95% better!!!
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#68
7up Congrats on the improvement. It's all about patience and baby steps. Keep up the good work and stay firm.
Linda

One Border Collie Is Never Enough

[Image: P1160337-800x600_zps7nxqmgvy.jpg]

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#69
I don't like they must always be separated, In my mind it causes more friction. I think when your absent absolutely separate them. You have the right idea IMHO. The fact that the can be in the same room, is huge and very promising. Thanks for the update and I am impressed by all of your families dedication
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#70
Sounds like you have a great grasp on recognizing arousal. You can manage that arousal by walking between them to force a momentary "oh yea" moment, if you start to see them redirect onto the other dog.

Congrats, sound like you've done a good bit of work! So glad it's working for ya. I don't know how I would've managed if I'd had have to separate Kairo and Ember 100% of the time.
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Gotcha Day: November 14, 2015
Vet-Listed Birthday: May 2, 2014
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