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Messages - Tinyplanets

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Introductions / Re: Hello
« on: Yesterday at 17:50 »
Hello and welcome to the forum.  What a lovely pup. I hope you can find a good food for her.

Hello and welcome to the forum. I had the same problem as my dog has become a little less active. I have reduced the morning portion and add a little oatmeal cooked with water for bulk. I also either add veg to a reduced evening portion or give a lower fat home cooked meal some of the time. It seems to be keeping  the weight stable. I am hoping for a small loss this week as she has done lots of walking on holiday.

General discussion / Re: Living with a reactive dog
« on: May 17, 2017, 18:34 »
Yes agreed that more exercise is another tricky one. A couple of Adrenalin charged meetings can cause an excess of energy but if we then did more walking that could increase the levels further depending on what happens on the walk. Sometimes it is more important for the dog to calm down in a safe environment. Luckily my dog is a water lover and will happily splash around in the bath. She also likes to do her puzzle games.

General discussion / Re: Living with a reactive dog
« on: May 16, 2017, 20:12 »
Not too much commitment growing a beard as OH was keen to have  one :)

We have found that a firm 'be nice' works well, not so much implying she should be worrying more that she should behave herself. Dogs on a lead are rarely an issue anyway. If passing in a tight spot, I allow a quick sniff if relaxed and we are on our way for the first meeting. I always carry treats and we did find them useful for dealing with things like  horses before the panic point as these things could be approached slowly. I do use them as well if an off lead dog is minding its own business while we pass. They are only useful before the fear sets in. I have made the mistake of giving them during the reactions which of course reinforces that behaviour although that said, at that point she wouldn't eat them anyway. My first couple of years post terrier was a very steep learning curve. :-[

General discussion / Re: Living with a reactive dog
« on: May 16, 2017, 18:27 »
All good points Coaster and ones I have considered and are important for others with similar issues to consider. I take any opportunity I can to meet new dogs in a controlled way. With dogs that we pass regularly, if she has walked passed calmly a couple of times, we try stopping for a quick chat and monitor. Sadly there are not too many people around, willing to work with us.  We try to go to fetes and shows where we know there will be lots going on but dogs will be on leads. She copes well. We also go to places like the deer park where there are lots of people and other dogs but also lots of open space. We make a point of going to the busier areas too knowing that we can go off if need be. Again we rarely have a problem as dogs are on the lead.

I did seek advice from a few trainers in the early days but they all pushed me to work with in a group with other dogs right from the start and I did not feel that this was right for us. She did have her basic training in the puppy group and after a week or two was okay with her group but when the next group started to arrive, she was really reactive and the trainers couldn't calm her. 

I would definitely agree that I was not helping in the early days either. I was very stressed when out and clueless. I make a concerted effort to stay as calm as possible when she is approached. I do feel more in control now I have learned to read her body language. I am sure I haven't managed to completely relax but work on that all the time too.

There are times when she is just being a terrier too and correction is needed. Again I have learned the difference between a fear reaction and not. EG I fussed a dog she is fine with recently and she told him off. I corrected her and fussed him some more and she settled down with  one last terrier swear. Sometimes we will pass a strange dog and she will just bark to let them know not to get in her space. I correct that as well because she is still in control. It is a fine balance. She was so scared of men, that she used to cower and urinate every time my OH went near her. Luckily lots of men have been willing to work with us and treat her. We got to the stage where it was only men with beards so when she was completely fine with OH, he grew a beard. Now she is fine with beards too. We have had to be mindful of this when correcting her too but she generally stops what she is doing without too much stress if we do correct her.

Reinforcing non reactive behaviour has become second nature so we will always do that.

In terms of sounds. I know what you have suggested has been really useful for some but I don't consider that as a major issue for us. She is fine with fireworks and bangs and traffic in general. She still gets skittish at night but I think that is a combination of not being able to see as well what is going on. She doesn't bark and lunge at night traffic now. The traffic that sets her off is those really noisy bikes that suddenly rev up when passing and large trucks that bang past. I think it is a similar thing to when an ambulance turns its siren on just as it passes. Most people will get a fright. My feeling is that no amount of condition will stop that kind of sudden shock. I think that is where I have got to with other dogs too. I will always keep trying to take every chance to create positive associations and encourage controlled meetings but  when she is on her lead and another dog is not backing off, she reaches a point of no return with her anxiety. Given that we can be around other dogs and be fairly close without an issue, I am wary of putting her in situations with lots of off lead dogs. My experience with this is that it makes things worse.  I don't feel in enough control of the situation either which won't help.
These days, true fear reactions are a rarity thankfully. If I felt that it was impacting on our quality of life I would seek further help. I personally feel that pushing her that next step to be comfortable around off lead dogs while she is on the lead may negatively impact on the work we have done already. Sometimes those dogs are not friendly and that just reinforces her fears.

General discussion / Re: Living with a reactive dog
« on: May 15, 2017, 21:38 »
Very true Meg.  I like to think I know my dog well. Since I stopped trying to work on her fears by essentially making her face them, things have dramatically improved for us. I feel that because walks are less stressful for both of us, she and I are better able to deal with trigger situations when faced with them.

At one time, she could not be static on the lead in the presence of other dogs without becoming very anxious. EG going to a cafe. We worked on this by sitting far from the cafe, one of us going in and bringing  out a sausage roll.  She was given a little and soon began to associate the cafe with the special treat. We moved closer each time until she was happy to sit right outside with other dogs on their leads at other tables. We felt very much in control because we worked at it in a deer park where all dogs were required to be on the lead. The trouble is with forcing her into interactions in other environments is that the actions of other dogs are unpredictable and a bad experience can make matters worse.
Personally I am pretty scared of cows. We walk through a cow field most days and I am familiar with the cows. They are docile and have never reacted to us walking by.  If I am somewhere different and a cow starts moving towards me or looks at me the wrong way, I am a wreck. My OH can be grumpy about it as it can mean going around the long way. However if he pushed me, we would fall out and it wouldn't make any difference. Last time this happened, several cows were moving fast towards us and I panicked. I then felt anxious even in the field of friendly cows for a couple of walks after that.

Dog foods / Re: Protein/Carbohydrate or Fat
« on: May 15, 2017, 20:28 »
Welcome to the forum Chloe. I hope that food works out well for you and your dog recovers fully soon.

General discussion / Living with a reactive dog
« on: May 15, 2017, 17:44 »
I have split this from the ' what is it that bugs you' thread
Coaster see this thread for a bit of background.
I had got to the stage where she was off lead and socialising well with other dogs but she was pinned down a couple of times and got distressed and one day she went for a dog who she had always been wary of and who had been very boisterous with her. She had to be on the lead after that which does not help the anxiety. Mostly she is just vocal when worried but she can be aggressive if very frightened.
She is okay with family and friends dogs but I am able to plan meetings. We usually meet on route and keep moving. The other owner has a treat assuming their dog isn't treat possessive. After one positive meeting, there are no further problems. Once she knows a dog, she will be fine but TBH largely indifferent to it.  I am also fine with meetings if I can have a discourse with the owner  before.  If they understand that she can be reactive  and that I may just make a sharp retreat if her body language changes. I try to keep the lead loose when other dogs approach. If she starts to pull, I move away and keep her away as she is already anxious.  As she doesn't seem to gain much from being with other dogs, I am happy to keep working at good manners on passing.  I don't avoid other dogs but I don't go out of my way to be with them. Her behaviour is consistent whoever is walking her. It is difficult to know what may have led to this as she is a rescue.
ETA I always treat and praise positive encounters.

I would worry about the owners response if I produced a deterrent spray too. They are often angry anyway, that my dog has had a fear response to their dog. I used to end up apologising. I don't now, If I they can hear through the barking, I take it as an opportunity to calmly inform them about assuming dogs on leads need space. I have got to the stage where a simple 'be nice' is enough for a quiet passing, even when the other dog is too close but once her fears take over, she isn't able to hear. I made some mistakes with her listening to others and trying to fit her into a box. Now I accept her as she is and work with her. It has gone a long way to making her a happier dog. I will not apologise for her again (unless it is my fault)  but often people just don't realise. The conversation usually goes like this, as a dog is running over
'its okay he/she is friendly'
 'She is not and needs space' 
'Oh well he will learn'
Yes but she is fear reactive and other dogs make her stressed, we are working on passing without her becoming anxious'
I usually get an apology or a dirty look. If it is a dirty look I have to remind myself to 'be nice' :D

My current dog is my first and I was pretty ignorant when I first had her. She was reactive to pretty much everything. We have done a lot of work and got to the stage where she is reasonably calm most of the time when we are out. She still reacts to noisy vehicles and some other dogs. It doesn't matter what I do in terms of working with other dogs, all the work is undone by dogs who are off lead and allowed to come over to her. She is always on a lead as her chase instinct leads to hearing loss and because of her reactivity. Anytime we go places where dogs have to be on the lead, we have no problem at all, (except narrow crossing points). I have tried a yellow vest which is supposed to alert people that the dog needs space but it was ripped off by a dogs who's owner was nowhere in sight. People say 'oh well it will teach him/her' when she barks but it isn't helping my dog!!!  Too many incidents on a walk can really stress her and set us back. It can sometimes be a day or two before she is ready to venture out again. 
Most people are considerate and put their dog on the lead when they see that she is on hers but I wish people would realise that some dogs, like some people, need more space

This is the vest that is now in tatters!

As a member has pointed out it may be useful to move this discussion to this thread

So I will lock the topic.

Before I handle any raw meat, I always run a bowl full of hot soapy water. I then  put utensils used straight in and also rinse my hands before touching the taps or anything else. I then wash my hands thoroughly and wipe the taps for good measure. We don't allow face licking but I confess I don't wash my hands every time I stroke her.  I do refrain from stroking after any roiling event until a thorough bathing!! The dogs raw food is transferred straight from carton to her bowl. It is stored on the bottom shelf of the fridge where only other raw meat is kept. This reduces the risk of cross contamination in the fridge. I use the same spoon each time and use it only for that purpose. 

I pretty much rely on hot soapy water for surface cleaning but there is no contact with the food.  I usually spray with antibacterial spray about once a week. If anyone in the house had a compromised immune system, I would probably have a rethink but am mindful of being overly sterile . If the food was taken from the bowl on to the floor, I would clean that area with hot soapy water and spray with antibacterial. If I drop meat on the  work top, I wash and spray that area.
Raw meat should be stored at no more than 8 degrees c (4 to 5 is best) in the fridge and minus 18 degrees c or less in the freezer. This should keep the growth of bacteria to a minimum.
Any food accidentally left out for more than a short space of time, I would throw away as that is when the bacteria could reach harmful levels.

I had to think long and hard about the bacteria issue. I personally think that as long as basic food hygiene guidelines are used, which should apply to handling raw meat for humans too. The risk is significantly reduced.

I agree there are many variables. I have seen people post to facebook groups with pictures of dogs dragging bones along on the carpet and tucking in to them on their beds. A cross contamination nightmare!  I can't help thinking that a lack of knowledge about food hygiene is a big contributing factor in incidents of infection.

General discussion / Re: First Aid and Emergency care
« on: May 10, 2017, 07:40 »
Yes I keep hibiscrub too. I mostly wash my dogs paws in plain water after every walk. If she shows signs of irritation I use the same concentration of hibiscrub as you and it seems to calm things down nicely. I also have lorotadine for stings or worse paw flare ups. That is only about 80p you can ask the vet for dosage recommendation depending on your dogs weight.

General discussion / Re: First Aid and Emergency care
« on: May 09, 2017, 18:04 »
Very useful information. I think I have most of those either in the dog medical supplies or the human one.

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