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Choc lab probs

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Deansimmo, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. Deansimmo

    Deansimmo New Member Registered

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    Hi all many thanks for letting me join this forum .
    I have a 7 year old choc lab called Bailey . He has had quite a few problems over the years from : ear infections , allergies, back operation. seem to be constantly at the vets. Looking for help as he has now developed a fear of going out for a walk. This has been coming on gradually over the last 12 months now to a point where he looks like he wants to go and will get in car go to one of the several places we have been to before. But when he gets out the car he just sits or lays down with look of fear in his face. Have put it down to fireworks and any loud bangs such as bird scares in fields. Tried a course of adaptil tablets but made no difference at all. Hoping someone has come across this before and can find a solution. Thanks in advance for any advice.
     
  2. Mad Murphy

    Mad Murphy Well-Known Member Registered

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    Hi there, have you had him checked for any other possible cause at the vets?

    My little dog Remy got like this , he was ok when we walked with our other dog but if we let him off the lead or gave him him the choice he would just head home or back to the car.
    Sad to say we didnt find a soloution before he passed away only that he was more comfortable on lead and with another dog by his side.

    I hope you have more luck but try not to force anything, maybe a new place (quiet of course) with a very positive twist , a new ball or special treat when he gets there and staying no longer than he is comfortable with..
     
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  3. JudyN

    JudyN Well-Known Member Registered

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    Oh the poor lad. How have you been encouraging - or trying to encourage - him to get out the car and go for a walk? My feeling is that you need to take all the pressure off him, and let him choose what he wants to do. So drive him to his usual place & open the door for him. Assuming he doesn't get out (don't ask him to - that might worry him), give him a treat and go home. Carry on doing this till he seems quite happy with the new routine, then give him the treat, but then walk a little way from the car holding another (preferably stinky) treat. What you want is for him to know he's not expected to do any more than he wants, which will help him be brave and hop out the car for a treat. You could have a picnic with him right by the car, then move it further away. You could then introduce a favourite ball, which you throw just a little distance - if he doesn't want to get it, you could try moving away and throwing it to him so he doesn't have to leave his safe zone.

    Hopefully, with time he'll be relaxed enough with this new routine that one day, he'll forget his fears and chase the ball, and you can begin to extend the area of his 'safe zone'.

    If bird scarers are regular in your area, you might have to do some desensitisation - find a recording of one, start quietly, and give him a treat every time it sounds. If he hears one when he's out, give him a treat - and stay relaxed yourself, because if he senses you tensing up it will reinforce his fear.

    Have you spoken to your vet about this problem? I wouldn't have thought this was caused by a medical problem (other than his health conditions making him more susceptible to stress), as it's come on gradually, but I'm not an expert so it might be best to check. They may also suggest some anti-anxiety medicine which could help with the sort of behavioural training I've suggested above.
     
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  4. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    Poor boy and you. Certainly dogs can develop phobias but I wouldn't rule out physical causes. You say he's had back trouble? It's the commonest cause of pain in my experience with big dogs especially. If you think of human back ailments and people who report really sharp 'twinges' when bending down, say, he could be experiencing that. Which will make him fearful. :( I would talk it over with a vet.
     
  5. Deansimmo

    Deansimmo New Member Registered

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    Yes i agree I have been to the vets and had him checked over and he has not shown any symptoms that could be causing it . Does seem to be phobia like . I’ve taken him to the beach a place he’s always enjoyed and it did turn out to be a success we managed to have a good walk. Problem is we too far away to go regularly.
     
  6. merlina

    merlina Well-Known Member Registered

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    OK- well it may be you have to find a way of letting his anxiety ease. (One of ours would never go along a certain track because he'd been stung by wasps- I didn't force the point and went belsewhere- it did take nearly a year for him to forget though!) The other is to try your boy- with vet's agreement- on a steroid course. If he improves it's some sort of discomfort. This was how we found the corgi x who appears to have normal mobility actually had a slight back prob- a disc was inflamed and the drugs took the edge off. Good luck with your boy anyway.
     
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