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faustacaso's picture
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Has anyone had any experience with using meds to calm....my Bella is still agressive towards other dogs and when outside on our walks, totally "on guard" all the time and is so much so that she cannot concentrate on enjoying her walk or taking treats or my commands...my trainer has broached the subject of usings meds to calm her....I haven't yet discussed with my vet and would not give anything without alot of investigation and consideration because I am basically against using meds unless totally necessary...but wondering if any of you have any input regarding this.  Remembering Bella is a rescue, I have no information about what her life was before now...I have had her a year and she is a total loving pussycat in the house.....just changes into a 'Dr. Hyde' outside...not towards me but towards all other animals, even inanimate objects that she sees and doesn't identify as anything she knows. Thanks for any input....

D and Evie's picture
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Joined: 2011-01-28

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I personally have no experience giving prescription calming medication to a dog but there are a few commercial products that claim to help in these areas. There's these soft chews that at least have decent user reviews. And there is, of course the Thundershirt that many people have had success with.

 

Have you consulted with a rehabilitative animal behaviorist?

 

-d.

Kim
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Joined: 2012-02-05

Have you tried Rescue Remedy? It might help. There are also herbs that are calming for dogs. If it was my dog, I would try a lot of holistic methods. But Rescue Remedy is where I would start.

talisin's picture
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Joined: 2011-02-25

I have had good luck with Rescue Remedy with a very spastic collie, my rescue remedy was human remedy, there are two types, so mine had alcohol in it, and I do not know if the one without alcohol would have worked as well for Goofy as the one with.......but I would try Rescue Remedy as it takes the edge off and it sounds like that might be all you need to get your dogs attention and get your dog to snap into training mode.......

KevinK's picture
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what training methods and techniques have you used to try to calm your dog?  And what methods have been used to desensitize him?

Lori's picture
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I'm as much against meds for reason's like this as all the junk we feed to kids these days.   What are you doing when she acts like this?  is she diciplined in any way or just left to pull or growl?   Things like a prong collar can help you gain control and correct all at the same time if used properly.   Get her special treats for walks - something she can't refuse and start slow, walk around the front of your house a bit.  Watch her for signs of being more rigid and get her attention immediately.  Continue until your a littler further every few days. 

 

Sounds like something you can fix with some training and tools rather than just drugging her.

faustacaso's picture
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I don't think I explained well enough.  I too am against drugs for myself as well as my dog....she walks perfectly on her leash.  That is not the problem.  The problem is that she has what my trainer feels is fear aggression towards other dogs.  All other dogs.  So when she sees one on our walks or even when she is in our house, she goes into a total attack mode.  When she goes into this mode, I have to use all my strength to control her.  I walk her on an 'easy walk' harness and I now use a haltie when I know we might encounter another animal.  I am very leary of prong collars and choke chains because I believe a doberman's neck needs special care because of their tendency toward 'wobbler's'.    When she is in this mode she refuses even the most favored and delicious treats.  She cannot concentrate on anything other than the other dog.  She will not take any treat when she is outside of the house.  And I am talking chicken, everything...and she takes all treats when inside the house and I use them in her training every day.  She is totally trained as far as obedience and she desires more thananything to do what I ask of her but she just cannot control this aggression towards other dogs.  I have been through 12 weeks of training sessions at PetSmart and 12 sessions with my current trainer (the one who has suggested the drugs)..and this current trainer is experienced in training and behaviour training dogs with aggression problems.  Bella has no aggression problems with people...None. I  can accept that she cannot be around other dogs if it is to be but just want to be sure I have exhausted all options for her to lead a more stressfree life...I am not about to put her on ANY drug without doing alot of research and that is one reason I am asking you all for your input and your knowledge.  Thanks for taking your time to help...

HarleyBear's picture
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I wouldn't consider Rescue Remedy a drug by any means.  I've given a few drops to Ellie and have taken it myself.  It is almost like having a cup of hot tea to settle your nerves.  

talisin's picture
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Harley bear I'm confused with your last post, do you like it or not like it?.

I was about to say that Rescue Remedy is not a "drug" in the fact that it has no long term side effects or will cause organ damage from ingestion over long periods of time - Rescue Remedy is a flower essence and is no different than us drinking chamomile tea to help take the edge off so we can sleep better. It is not a drug like valium or prozac it's just a bit of natural essences to knock the edge off which is what this dog sounds like she needs in order to just listen to commands, if she is ignoring her most favored treats she needs something that will help her to focus, not put her to sleep or in groggy foggy land, just a bit to keep her from freaking out on other dogs long enough to be taught that this is not appropriate behavior.......it takes ALOT of rescue remedy to get a dog to feel groggy, unless someone is dosing a small dog with large dog dosages......it's not like saying "I need to go to training class let's drug the dog" and you go to class and your dog is in a stupor - it doesn't work that way, it soothes not drugs......

Goofy was the same way, he would go off on things that went by the house and I would actually have to get up and go to him and touch him to get him to realize whatever it was was now gone and he could stop barking and runnning, he would never listen - he couldn't - because his brain was so beamed in on the "whatever" that he totally shut the rest of the world out, but rescue remedy cut the edge off and I was able to speak to him and he would at least flick an ear so I knew he heard me and was choosing to ignore me, totally different issue there. But sometimes knocking the edge off is the only way to have the ears engage so the brain can process.....

I would try it, it's about $12 a bottle, and it only takes about 3-4 drops under the tongue so a bottle lasts a long time.

D and Evie's picture
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I'd still look for a qualified animal behaviorist -- if you've had 12 sessions with your current trainer and have made little progress in this area than it might time for a different approach to the problem.

 

Evie and I occasionally encounter a few dogs with similiar issues on our walks and it doesn't look too fun for the owner. Worse, it appears as though the owners have just accepted the condition and try to manage it with total avoidance and a lot of leash struggling:/

 

It's a toughy for sure and maybe the hardest "issue" to solve but, for me personally, I'd try all avenues of thearpy and training before the drugs(that's just me though).

 

I'm sure it's stressful for you both -- best of luck -- hope you find a solution.

 

-d

jerial13's picture
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I will agree with Lori on this to start.  I use a prong collar on Shelbi and she does not pull.  We initially started with it, and now I have moved onto using it with her regular collar.  I mean that we have graduated to hooking the leash to both collars at the same time.  I could probably take it off all together, but I keep it on just in case, but still have not had the need for it in about a year.  Shelbi is 2 1/2 yrs old.  Prong collars are not as damaging as they appear if used correctly, and using them correctly is very easy to do.  When you see a difference in your dogs behavior you will feel relieved.  You will find a thread on here which links to a demonstration of proper use.  If I can find it I will post the link.  I do not recommend choke collars at all.  I would give this a shot before the calming meds, but if this and training are not cutting it I would seek a behavorial therapist and see what they recommend.  I also agree that the Rescue Remedy is more of a natural calming not drugged calming.

Just my 2 cents,

Jeri & Shelbi

HarleyBear's picture
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I love Rescue Remedy and would recommend it.  Just a few drops and then work on some training.  You can't rely on just calming meds, you definitely need training too.  I just wanted to make it clear that Rescue Remedy wasn't a drug.

talisin's picture
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I thought that's what you meant but it got lost in translation.  Excellent way to put it rescue remedy is a calming remedy and then you do training - exactly it keeps the obsessive barking and ignoring down to a dull roar so the dog can even hear the commands. And finding a new trainer might be order as stated, and the prong collar. A combination of all these things should at least give you a bit of time where the brain is engaged on your vocal commands. It's hard with an out of control ignoring dog to just get a word in edgewise and be heard.

I have begun practicing the "look at me" technique and it is working for Ben. Because his bark is so LOUD he can't hear me over himself I have been teaching him in quiet time with treats to "look at me" and when he makes total eye contact in that millisecond I give the treat, and keep this up. He has now learned when I say "look at me" it usually means a treat. Give it a try. I know you said she is sooooo focused on the barking that she ignores EVERYTHING including her favorite treats, but training her on a verbal command in quiet time she might listen when she let's loose. Maybe??? Worth a try.......and consider rescue remedy chamomile tea for dogs, just soothing enough to not OVERreact.

faustacaso's picture
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thanks, everyone...I really do appreciate the input.  I will certainly try the rescue remedy...I'll let you all know how it works...here's hoping.  And I won't stop with the training...I feel that has to be a constant with her. 

bet 1941's picture
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I am worried about getting my dobie before I do something about Levi's screamling the whole time I am out of the house..  I live in apartments for seniors and have to close all the windows so they dont hear him.. but he goes nuts.. I tried the thundershirt and he is worse.. I got some natural calming treats but that doesnt help.. My vet said I can do dog prozac he was going to find out a dose for him.. he has separation angziety big time.. I feel so bad for him he wi miserable.. I dont go alot of places but some times have to go shop etc ..

I dont want the dobie I get to do the same thing.  the dobie with be an adult but still.. 

hugs

Bet

talisin's picture
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Bet have you tried the Rescue Remedy for Levi??? It really helped with my spastic collie, the thundershirt didn't work but the rescue remedy did, I would definitely try it before prozac.....just my thinking

jlarsen's picture
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Several trainers that I work with recommended L-theanine, an enzyme available at health food stores, to calm my rescued Dobie who has anxiety related aggression issues.  It works better than the rescue remedy, the dog seems less loopy and it acts directly on cortisol, released with anxiety.  My 95 lb. dog gets 1/2 of the 100mg. up to 2x a day.  I give it to him before going into training and other situations that I know will cause anxiety.  He is able to relax and concentrate and learn to change some bad behavior.

talisin's picture
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Thanks for the info will put that in my filing cabinet on my laptop of things to try should I need it again, hopefully I won't but you never know......

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Hello 

I have started my dog Rolo on something called Skulcap and Valarian its a herbal tablet. Its used for biting, anxiety, fireworks, travel issues, hyperactivity and epilepsy. Its not something prescribed by all vets as it is herbal but some do provide it. I order it online as advised by our behaviourist. We also use a thundershirt which is used for the same as above and it gives a noticible difference. It makes him feel more secure having something on his back and works by putting pressure on the nervous system making him feel more relaxed. If you are anti any sort of drug this would definitely be worth a go and can even be worn under a harness.

 

 

A well timed and severe correction will stop this unwanted behaviour. Drop the drugs, fancy harnesses, special shirts and get a good prong collar and leash. Learn your dogs body language. At the very instant that your dog stink eyes another dog (timing IS crucial), try to remove his head from his shoulders and move in another direction. Small nagging corrections will do nothing in convincing the dog that this is NOT allowed. You have to be willing to offer the dog (well timed) pain to correct this very dangerous behaviour. Being a rescue has nothing to do with it. If you don't stop this you'll never be able to walk down a sidewalk without having a problem sooner or later.

Find a way to set the dog up. This is safer than waiting til someone's little fluffy comes by and the dog lunges only to snap up a pocket rat. Work with a friend and their dog. The set up keeps you in control. If you don't think you can recognize the dog's body lanuage, find someone who can (not the guy who recommended drugging your dog).

Although the AKC says "An aggressive or belligerent attitude towards other dogs shall not be deemed viciousness." On the street or a IPO trial field, this is NOT acceptable and must be addressed.

I know I sound harsh but all the touchy feely stuff ain't gonna work. Been there.

Best of luck,

Gunny

 

 

 

bet 1941's picture
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Gunny

I took a peek at your dobies pictures they are beautiful.. I especially like Jewel.. she is outstanding..  I bet they are well behaved lol..

Mine is a rescue that should look like Jewel but doesnt.  for an older dog she is so easy to train.. I bought a training collar for her but due to finding the lymphoma i resorted to a squirt bottle being it is a short term situation.. I do believe that a firm hand has to be when this is a dangerous thing and setting up a situation is the best way to go.. 

Bet