Friday, January 25, 2008


We've recently put Roxy in therapy because we want the move to go as soomthly as possible for one reason, another is; even though she has improved tremendously this first year, we still can't take her out and feel comfortable that she wont freak out at someone. we can't take her to the center of town to do shopping because we can't take her inside (too many people, too close together) and she gets freaked out waiting outside (too many people passing too closely to her)and no one wants to wait outside and take turns poking around in stores. PLUS we love her so much and her barking and growling and lunging is all because she's stressed about something and we don't want our dog to be stressed all the time in public, its not fun for her either.

she's had two therapy sessions so far. the first one went ok, i guess. pretty much what we expected: alot of barking and alot of growling and she wouldn't let the therapist near her.

last night was her second session and it went ALOT better. i was so proud of her and so amazed to see her acting calmly to her normal triggers: 1.someone rising from their chair 2. scuffing feet in said chair 3. THE DOORBELL! 4. someone running towards her. she sat so calmly for all exercises (towards the end of the hour and a half) we learned the correction technique that she resopnds to best, learned to use it whenever she is doing something we dont want her to. a little growl? BAM! correction. playing strip poker in our basement? BAM!
everytime someone comes to our house she is not to go in her cage anymore but to go on the leash (i tried to get gregory to follow suit on that technique a while ago but he didnt do it. he hated anything that gave her restraint. but now he sees she needs it. but of course i didnt have any correctional techniques to use with it so it probably wouldn't have worked out so well anyway)
we learned that she will work hard at staying calm for large yummy treats. so we will now keep a bag of large yummy treats by the door and if the doorbell rings and she's good she'll get one and whenever any guests come over they will be asked to take a handfull of large yummy treats and use it so they can come in the house calmly and sit down at ease and get up with ease.
luckily the "treats" we give her are actually kibbly bits from a store bought brand FOOD for dogs. in the world of dog food its cheap and therefore not healthy to eat as regular meals but we figure its better than actual dog candy. so if one of her three meals a day gets replaced wiith treats its not so bad because its still food and not candy. it still claims to have all the vegetable and minerals and vitamines in it, and its soft and chewy to make for fast chomping.

her next appointment is in a week. we will use this week to practice what we learned, and even invite some people over to help with the whole "people coming into the house" thing.
we were told no more than 2 new people at a time.

i'm so excited for her and so happy that she might actually become a calm dog outside of the home!(and inside with guests!) we might not ever be able to let her off the leash in public, and we might always have to ask strangers not to pet our dog, but if we can go on city walks and be around people and sit on terraces to eat a meal with our dog not acting like a killing machine then that is all we ask for.

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