Hi Everyone, I know I have been terrible at writing my blog lately. It’s because I am a pup that wears many many hats. My pawrents can’t get anything done without my supervision, so my work is never done. I have been working on some exciting projects, that I can’t wait to share with you, however, today I want to talk to you about my experience with a Canine Behaviorist.
If you have been following me for a while, or have watched my YouTube videos, you will know that being a rescue dog as well as deaf, I have suffered from some anxiety in the past. This has been a really big year for me. First I was moved into foster care. Just as I settled down there, I moved in with my pawrents. So many changes in such a short time.
My pawrents met the Canine Behaviorist randomly at the Pet Store. They got to talking and it was agreed that she would come and see me. The first thing we worked on was my horrible OCD with shadows and lights. This is something that has been plaguing me for some time now. My Mum has been trying to help me through this, but without the proper tools and knowledge, we weren’t getting anywhere. The Canine Behaviorist told my pawrents that she believes that at some time in the past, someone used a laser pointer or a flashlight on me to get my attention. This caused a lot of stress in me and gave me OCD. I have spoken about this in a previous post, so if you want to read more about this, click here.
The second thing that happened was she told my pawrents to get rid of my Pen. Basically what they had done (without knowing) was create a little puppy prison. Every time they put me in it, they made me feel like I was being punished which led to even more anxiety. Not only am I a lot happier that it is gone, but my pawrents now have half their dining room back. It looks so much nicer in our home now and it feels much better too. Just the simple task of removing the pen has reduced my anxiety dramatically. Also, I am just loving sleeping on the couch now. I don’t move around much at night now, and I am not awake and waiting for my Mum when she gets up in the morning.
We did some work on my anxiety around other dogs. With the Canine Behaviorist I was able to sit relatively close to a Pointer without panicking. He was locked inside a car, so I did feel I had the upper hand. Since then, my pawrents have taken me close to a sausage dog and I was fine. I saw my doggy neighbors and have walked past two other dogs. I wont say I love dogs now, but I feel like I no longer need to go into attack mode. Also, my Mum has realized grabbing onto me when she sees a dog does not help the situation at all.
We are also working on our walking. I am not really wearing my harness anymore on walks. We are using a training lead as opposed to the retractable lead. I just love the training lead, as it makes me feel like I am running free. I also now have a yellow “Nervous” lead, which my Mum is using along roads etc.
Before seeing the Behaviorist, I had a lot of anxiety and nervous energy. My Mum thought I needed to go on really long walks every day and we were even running every day. Now that we have sorted out my anxiety and I am in a better head space, we are now doing short relaxing walks. No more running for me! We have also started doing multiple short walks around the car park where I live, just to stretch my legs and get some fresh air. My pawrents have found this new routine much easier to implement and a lot more enjoyable too. I do think my Mum misses running with me though, but she now knows I wasn’t actually built for running.
Benefits we have experienced since seeing the Canine Behaviorist;
- I no longer have separation anxiety when my Mum leaves to work
- I no longer bark at night and I am sleeping through (on the couch!)
- Less aggression to dogs
- I am generally a lot happier and calmer
- My pawrents now know how to effectively correct my bad behavior (if I am ever bad!)
- I no longer chase shadows and lights obsessively. My pawrents no longer need to close the blinds as soon as the sun starts to go down.
- Less stressful walks every day. I am happy and carefree on our walks and so are my pawrents.
- My pawrents are able to go out without me without feeling huge amounts of stress and guilt. I am quite happy being left alone now that I have the run of the house.
As with everything in life, there is always a downside. The one downside from this experience is the Canine Behaviorist put me on a diet! She told my pawrents that I was too chubby and I need to lose some weight. I’m not enjoying this part, but she did introduce some seriously yummy treats so there is a silver lining.
Have you seen a Canine Behaviorist or ever thought about seeing one? We would love to know your experiences. Leave us a comment down below to share your story. Thanks so much for reading xxx