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fayeth1989

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About fayeth1989

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    Newbie, be gentle
  • Birthday 04/18/1989

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    Female
  • Location
    Melbourne, Australia

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    Faye

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  1. I have spoken to her foster mum but not the adoption group. We have met up a few times but she doesn't really see the "true" Tess that we see day to day, just crazy tail wagging butt wiggly Tess (and Tess used to walk for her but they live in a quiet area, last time she saw Tess we walked fine around the neighborhood with 3-4 freezes, but that was the only time she willingly left the house with us in the past week). I'll get in touch with her just to let her know things have gotten a little worse and see if she has any bits of advice left for us. She was shocked about the sudden SA when I told her about that. After posting my last reply our upstairs neighbor text me about the note we left and said she loves dogs and will happily come and see Tess while we are at work, which might also help with the SA a bit (but we'll give it some time before we start bringing more strange people into her life). How lucky are we to have such understanding neighbors though. We are taking Tess on holiday to the beach for a few days from Saturday, she loves it there so much and becomes a different dog, and we all need a break! I'll post some photos of her hopefully having a great time and forgetting all about the rubbish couple of weeks she's had!
  2. Hi everyone, Thank you so so much for your kind and supportive words, it is good to know we are not alone. I think I hit rock bottom this week, and now I am ready again to do the best I can to look after my girl. I wouldn't go as far as to say that Tess is terrified of everything, she is the happiest girl at home and as I say, if we take her to the beach, total transformation!! It is just walks around our neighborhood she hates, which is fine. I have stopped even trying in the mornings. Me and my partner have agreed to try and walk her a couple of evenings a week (put her in the car and take her to a quiet park) and if she freezes up, we'll go straight home. At the weekends, we can take her to places she enjoys. The rest of the time, we can work on building her confidence and trust in us. The problem is, we have had a sudden onset of separation anxiety in the past 2 weeks and she howls and barks when I leave for work in the morning. The time this goes on for varies from 5 minutes to 1.5 hours. We have to stop this, because we live in an apartment and don't want to upset the neighbors. For now, we've left a note explaining the situation and asking for their understanding and I have got some time off next week to work on some alone training. Today I sprayed her bandana with adaptil and gave her some rescue remedy and she only carried on for 4-5 minutes so it seems to have helped. I came to the conclusion that if this were me, and I were this anxious about leaving the house or being left alone, I'd see a doctor. So yesterday we did exactly that and took her to the vet to check nothing sinister is going on. All good, clean bill of health. The vet however, suggested we have her put down. I thought this was a joke, and he continued .... "I'm not saying she'll never get better, but lets be honest, she probably won't. Why should this "problem child" get a "spot", when healthy beautiful greyhounds get put down every day." WOW. Not what I needed to hear. He said he wanted us to know there was a "way out" for us if we were suffering. The reason I chose this vet is upon recommendation, turns out he used to work for the racing industry. No wonder he still considers greyhounds as so "disposable". Humans wreck the dog, humans get to decide her fate. No. Would he say this about an anxious labrador? I doubt it. Anyway I thanked him for his horrific opinion and said we just need a little something to take the edge off and make Tess more comfortable. He prescribed lexapro which is the same as fluoxetine I think (2x20mg per day - but the pharmacist and this forum said this is a lot, so we've started her on 2x10mg per day). He also prescribed valium which I won't be using unless we really need it, maybe if we know a storm is expected when we are leaving her alone. And rest assured, I'll give it time, but will be taking her to a different and more compassionate vet next time, if we need to try something else. I am now feeling guilty for "drugging" my dog - but have to remind myself it's temporary and will hopefully give her a better quality of life. Thanks everyone, hopefully I can send good news soon
  3. Thanks. It's good to know I'm not just crazy and doing all the wrong things, I really just want her to be happy, which she is, most of the time. On reading my post back I feel like I am trying too much.. I am confusing myself and tess. We are going to the vets on friday to rule anything out but I'm pretty sure it's nothing medical as she runs around her grandparents like crazy and if we drive her to the beach you wouldn't believe she is such an anxious dog elsewhere. Tonight we took her to a friend's and as soon as we put her lead on she was shaking so much she looked like she was having a seizure. It's really awful to see her so terrified. As soon as we get to the car, she will take treats, and when we arrive at someone's house, she's wagging her tail and playing with her toys. I am thinking I ought to ask the vet about anxiety meds. It really cant be healthy for her considering the state she gets herself into and sometimes we have no option but to make her leave the house (like when we've been at work all day and want to take her to a friends rather than leave her home alone again). We do have a small courtyard, but it's not really big enough for her to have zoomies around. I don't want her to necessarily walk for miles but I would like to be able to take her on one 20 minute walk a day so I know she is getting some exercise. I am happy to stop this for a while however, while we build her trust in us again. Emotionally, I am exhausted! Any words of encouragement or advice are greatly encouraged. I don't (yet) feel like this is an 'impossible task', as I say, she walked with her foster mum eventually. Sadly she just keeps getting knocked back, I just wish I knew why. Even her foster mum is at a loss as to why her usual tactics are now failing us. Thanks again.
  4. Hi everyone, I have posted previously about my girl Tess and issues outside of the house, but I am honestly so stressed and at the end of my tether, I just don’t know what to do for her any more. We have had Tess for almost 4 months, and in that time we have had issues with her “freezing” on walks, and just when we thought we were getting somewhere with her, she seems to have regressed massively and we are back at square one. Some background: We adopted Tess in November 2019 and at the time she was living with a senior staffy, her foster mum said she was quite anxious on walks but that this had gradually improved to the point where she skipped out of the door. When she came to us, of course she regressed, which is understandable. Tess has never willingly walked near our house. We live on a busy road but when we turn the corner it is quiet residential streets. She freezes in various places, by the door, outside the door, on the main road, etc. She flat out refuses to go down some streets. We started driving her to a local park where she would walk, but if I attempted to go even slightly off path (I’m talking one step to the left), she will freeze. And when I say freeze, she will not move. No matter what we do. It’s like she is glued to the floor and won’t listen to me or look at me. Then, on this walk she started getting bolshy on the oval, barking in other dogs faces, jumping all over them. She also got to a stage where she would freeze on the way back to the car, a walk she previously did with no issues (stubbornness or fear?) Please note no matter what we do Tess has not (yet) shown aggression towards us or another dog. I recently met up with her foster mum and staffy friend for a walk who suggested walking her on the collar instead of harness, holding her close with the “let’s go” command and showing her I am in charge of the walk and will keep her safe. This worked briefly, but has gotten gradually harder and harder until yesterday she just flat out refused to move again until we turned around to go home. As of this week Tess has regressed back to a stage where she won’t even leave the house. She trembles if we put her collar, lead or coat anywhere near her and hides on her bed. If we take her to the beach she transforms into this confident dog who will walk for hours with no issues. Problem is, we don’t live close enough to a beach for this to be a feasible option, and I want her to be able to do a 10 minute walk locally in the mornings before I go to work. She has now started howling when I leave the house (only for 5 minutes on and off), but she has never done this until this week. She ignores all of her kongs and toys until we get home. So, I’m at a loss and last night, I ended up in tears which is obviously not helping the situation. I really thought we were getting somewhere and now I feel like all of our work with her never happened. What we have tried: Harness and gentle encouragement Playing “find it” and throwing treats for her – she has zero interest in treats once we have gotten out of the house Collar, walking her close, confidently saying “let’s go” – this results in us dragging her and most of the time doesn’t get her moving, so I am not comfortable doing this anymore Walking with me alone, my partner alone, me and my partner together, makes no difference Hired a behaviourist, who told us to encourage her to sniff and not go further than she wants to (this is the opposite to what her foster mum has said; note: when she was in her foster she was walking by the end with few issues, but they live in a quiet area by a park) Adaptil collar, adaptil spray, rescue remedy before walks – I really can’t tell if this has helped Walking her with another dog – sometimes helps; she still freezes, but is more likely to get moving again. This is another thing that seems to be getting worse with time and not better Pulling her by the collar or harness whilst saying “let’s go” Carrying her "over the threshold" and trying to walk again Walking in a circle, changing direction, pushing her gently (after 2 or 3 steps she freezes again unless we are walking in the direction of home). We know from Tess’ foster mum, that she was in a VERY bad way when she got her, and she suspects she never walked for the first 3 years of her life (she just turned 4). Apparently she was extremely skinny and had fur missing all over her body. Tess has come such a long way, she is truly amazing in every other aspect and we couldn’t ask for a more amazing dog. It breaks my heart to see her trembling with fear and I just don’t know what is the right thing to do anymore. I’ve got an appointment at the vets on Friday to rule out anything medical (but I doubt it is that as if we take her to the beach these anxieties disappear). I feel sick to my stomach with how frightened she is and that we have been basically forcing her and clearly we are making the issue so much worse. We’ve gone back to basics, and have decided to stop walking her altogether for a week or so and work on desensitising her to the lead and her coat (but it’s again just another disruption to the routine we have been trying to establish for her). I have been working on training in the mornings to bond with her, but she seems so unfocussed and just tries to go back to bed. We are going to the beach for the whole weekend so I am hoping to work on some “let’s go” training whilst she’s in a positive state of mind (although all she wants to do is chase the seagulls)! My question is, with the above in mind, at what stage do you look at medicating your dog? Will anxiety medication help us to train her on walks in the short term, or is it too soon to be even considering this? Or am I completely misreading the signs, and there is something else we are doing wrong? Any help is appreciated, I’m starting to feel way out of my depth and after 4 months of trying trying trying and getting nowhere, I am starting to feel like my own mental health is being affected! Thanks, Tess' mum!
  5. Hi, Thanks so much for the reply. Treats don't really work as she is often so determined not to move that she shows no interest, no matter what's on offer! However, I tried the bowling ball suggestion this morning. We walked to the park and I then turned around (as she misbehaves on the park sometimes, I have decided to only take her on there in the evening when my partner is with us as she for some reason is much less boisterous/cheeky when he is there). So when I turned around and she froze (as I knew she would because she was determined to go to the park) I did the bowling ball thing with the "let's go" command - she hesitated, but it worked! We had 3 stalls which would usually mean 30 mins lost whilst waiting for her to get moving, now, a few seconds!! She's fallen out with me now, she hasn't looked at me since we got home and keeps grunting when I say her name Oh well, she'll get over it! Thank you so much!
  6. Hi, I need some advice as I am at an absolute loss of what to do with our girl Tess. We have had her for just over 3 months, she turns 4 next week. She is an amazing dog, so friendly and affectionate... Well, maybe a little too friendly at times. Tess has had a LOT of issues with walking. When we first got her, we didn’t walk for the first 2 weeks because we couldn’t get past the front door. We have to get in the car and drive to a park, if we try to walk her anywhere else she freezes and we literally can not move her no matter what we do (unless we walk back towards home, most of the time). It seems like it is always one step forward and two back, just when she decides to try something new and we think we are getting somewhere, she’ll suddenly freeze and refuse to move. We’ve had to resort to carrying her at times just to get her home because after 30 minutes of standing still we have little choice. The only thing that will get her going is if a random dog walks past in the direction we need to go, then she starts flipping out and jumping all over the place before walking – sometimes. 3 months on and she walks much more easily now, she’s come a long way. But sometimes she will freeze at the door and will only walk to the car. It is still on her terms and she will still only do the same route at the one park. She walks back to the car with no problems, but again, she decides the route back to the car. The problem now: when we get to the park, any dog that comes near her she jumps all over the place excitably and barks excessively. It is evidently out of sheer excitement, her tail is wagging and she’s in the “play bow” position, but it is too much for many dogs – she is way to boisterous and often scares them (and their owners). I try to tell them she’s just excited and wants to play but it’s a little embarrassing, I have zero control over her when she’s acting this way, she just will not listen or look at me. Legally, we can’t let her off the lead to let her play (but I wouldn’t trust her not to run off regardless). I don’t want to take her to the dog park because she gets like this and others wonder why I walk her to a dog park and keep her on leash, but it is literally the only walk she will do so I feel like I have no choice. For the freezing- I have tried getting a behaviourist in, adaptil spray, adaptil collar, walking with other dogs, the “let’s go command”, standing by her and gently pushing her side with my thigh, patting her, talking to her, luring with treats (when she is anxious or over-excited, she flat out refuses to eat so training her feels near impossible). When my partner is with us, she still freezes, but her jumping and barking behaviour towards other dogs seems slightly better (which in itself is frustrating as he doesn’t see what I have to try to manage when alone). Unfortunately he is only able to join us on the evening walk, not the morning walk. We are working on training in the house to build a bond and trust (specifically “find it”, “leave it”, “look at me” and “on your bed”) – she often engages but loses interest very quickly. She has a snuffle mat and kong to keep her mind active when feeding or when we are out. This morning, she refused to walk back to the car – she didn’t want to leave the park because she wanted to play with other dogs in her usual boisterous manner. Now, this is surely not freezing due to anxiety, she does this walk every day and practically skips back to the car. This I believe was her wanting to stay at the park “playing” with the other dogs- I took her off the park because she was getting too over excited and barking incredibly loudly, and it was only 6am. It took 30minutes to get her moving, when a random man walked past with his dog. Can anyone offer any advice? Do I just persist with what I am doing, and just avoid the park until she has learned to calm down around other dogs? Any tips to get her walking elsewhere? I don’t know if the next step is a trip to the vets? I’d really rather avoid medication if she doesn’t absolutely need it. Please make no mistake, she is such an amazing and confident dog in all aspects of life, but outside of the house she becomes this nervous/over-excited maniac, and after this morning I am at my wits end. I want her to be happy and content but I currently spend all of my time worrying about her which is not helping the situation. Any advice or experience of this would be so appreciated. I know it is early days but I feel like every time she is improving, suddenly we end up back at square one, and I can’t put my finger on what has happened or what is scaring her. Sorry this is such a long post, if you have got this far, thank you Faye and Tess
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