Nisha and Talía (Negreta and Lulú).... a journey.

snowbunny

Administrator
Sounds like slow and steady progress! Do the other dogs go near the kennels/know that they are there?
Yes, they know they’re there (Nisha’s gob doesn’t leave any doubt 😂) and they were a bit put out at first. We kept them away for the first couple of days, but they’ve all gone up to see since then. They can’t approach freely, as the kennel area is apart from the house and fenced-in garden, but they can see each other through the fences.
Squidge is the most curious, as expected, and can’t quite work them out. The twins have visited but we called them away really quickly to avoid any snarking through the fence and now aren’t interested. Ginny has zero interest in them. She went over to have a wee under the olive tree in front of where they are, and they were barking at her. She didn’t raise an eyebrow 😂
 
Ginny's an OG: she's done her time in the Big House and knows her place on the sofa is secure. 😂

Can't wait to see what happens with these two over time. Your video on FB of tossing them treats with the clicker was really interesting. It's almost like they aren't domesticated dogs, but rather wild antelope. You have so much patience and respect that they need their space. How did you even get them home when you can't touch them yet?

At the shelter, did they have an open area with grass/nature like they do at your place? If not, they'll be getting used to that too. Kind of mind-blowing! Nisha being shouty is understandable. I still stay Talia is going to crack first. There's a love sponge just waiting to break free from her fears. ❤
 

snowbunny

Administrator
How did you even get them home when you can't touch them yet?
We gave them sedatives, and I tried to work with them to get close enough, but the drugs didn’t touch them; they fought them off and you couldn’t tell any difference. In the end, the boyfriend of one of the administrators basically manhandled them. They both ran into their kennels where the administrator manages to get harnesses on, then the guy dragged them out and into crates, which we then loaded into the van. At our end, we carried the crates into the enclosure before opening them.
It was horribly stressful for everyone, but I’m not sure there was another way, short of completely knocking them out.
 

snowbunny

Administrator
What will that do for them @snowbunny
They are anti-anxiety meds. Paroxetine is the same family as fluoxetine (Prozac) and gabapentin is just a wonder drug that's used for so many different things.
I had good results using fluoxetine with Willow, and it really ramped up when I included the gabapentin, too.
The reason I'm using paroxetine instead of fluoxetine with the ladies is that Flx can raise their emotional state in other ways, which I certainly saw with Willow, and I'd rather avoid that with these two.



In other news, we had dancing feet from Talia this morning at breakfast time! She was so excited and bouncing!! :inlove:
 
In other news, we had dancing feet from Talia this morning at breakfast time! She was so excited and bouncing!! :inlove:
That's so good to hear! :sun:

I would have been shocked in the past to think of using anti-anxiety meds on dogs, but they make so much sense when combined with the other work you are doing with them. Speaking from personal experience, the meds help your brain calm down enough to accept other information and learn, instead of just screaming, "No, no, no, nooooooo!"

This will be "duh!" for @snowbunny but one of the most interesting things I've learned in working with Carbon and our SD training is that when introducing new behaviours, he actually learns much better WITHOUT food rewards. While not anxiety, food amps up his food-mad brain so much, that all he ends up doing is bouncing up and down like a rabbit instead of learning. After he gets the basics, then I can introduce low value food rewards, but at the beginning, praise or petting work much better. An excited brain (from food or anxiety) just doesn't seem able to learn efficiently.
 

snowbunny

Administrator
I would have been shocked in the past to think of using anti-anxiety meds on dogs, but they make so much sense when combined with the other work you are doing with them. Speaking from personal experience, the meds help your brain calm down enough to accept other information and learn, instead of just screaming, "No, no, no, nooooooo!"
Yep, we know that SSRIs when combined with behavioural therapy can undo old learning and create new learning in ways that cannot be achieved with one or the other in isolation. The jury seems to be out a bit on exactly how gabapentin works, just that it does!

Aside from the funky things that the meds help with in the brain, none of us can learn when we're either really scared or really excited. It's common sense when you think about it, but sometimes it's hard to see that common sense when you're inside the moment!
 

snowbunny

Administrator
I've been talking with Jo-Rosie by PM and she's given me a game to play with their meals which gives us some measurable data. It's simple and we can easily measure its effectiveness, which is awesome.

We use a feeding "station" ( a bed) and cut their meals into several portions. I put one piece of food on the station, then back off to a point where the dog is comfortable to eat the food. I put a post in the ground at that point, and use that as my position for the next few days. I'll then take a step forwards and carry on for several more days. Of course, if the dog struggles, I back up to the previous day's distance.
This morning was day one, meal one. Already, we can very easily measure the difference between Nisha's comfortable distance and Talia's, and it's dramatic.

The difficulty comes with having them both in the same space, because we can't easily separate them at the moment. So we have to develop a solution for that, which will probably involve J distracting the dog with tossed kibble.

I have a big box of JR pate being delivered today, so that will make a really handy thing to use, rather than working with sloppy fish and veg :D
 

Beanwood

Administrator
Yep, we know that SSRIs when combined with behavioural therapy can undo old learning and create new learning in ways that cannot be achieved with one or the other in isolation. The jury seems to be out a bit on exactly how gabapentin works, just that it does!
This it what we had to do with Otter. Her single learned event (blasted vet!!!!) was so profound, especially as it was combined with pain. We needed to carefully unpick every neural pathway that became associated with the event, and rebuild new ones. The result has been nothing short of a miracle. It takes time, patience and a variety of approaches.
 

Cath

MLF Sales Coordinator
his it what we had to do with Otter. Her single learned event (blasted vet!!!!) was so profound, especially as it was combined with pain. We needed to carefully unpick every neural pathway that became associated with the event, and rebuild new ones. The result has been nothing short of a miracle. It takes time, patience and a variety of approaches.
How did you do this @Beanwood
 
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