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Help with worried dog please.

Biker John

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Hello all, my lovely Whippet Folly gets worried every evening. It starts around five and she only relaxes about seven. It has been the same for quite a time and I think it is related to fireworks last November 5th, (though obviously I do not have proof of this). Does any body have any ideas about getting her to relax? She is so bad she does not want a treat which considering how greedy she is normally means a lot. I can of course just continue ignoring her until she relaxes but if possible I would like her to overcome her problem and not have the couple of hours of worry. She is generally in good health and she is nearly thirteen years old.
Hi, first can I say it's great to see you back, although I'm sorry it's because Folly is having problems.

I assume you've tried all the usual things like white noise and distraction but do you think maybe taking her for a walk to create a complete change of routine might help? I don't think you'd need to be out for the whole two hours but if you went out sometime before she gets worried at five, maybe by the time you got back she would be past the point where her worrying starts.

You could also try a hormone product like Adaptil, or a natural remedy like Scullcap and Valerian (Dorwest herbs do this).
You say that it's been going on for a while - when did you first notice it, was it directly after the fireworks season? There's just a chance that it might be related to something else in her environment (e.g. an electrical device that kicks in at that time).

Does she consider 7pm 'bedtime', or is she then awake but happy again?
Agree with all those suggestions, and just wondering what time she is fed? Has she had any changes in her diet? Sometime, simple indigestion can unsettle dogs after they have eaten, and I'm wondering if she's affected by that, especially as she is refusing food. It might be worth changing her routine as suggested above as well as playing around with her diet, as nutritional needs can change over time.
Thanks for the suggestions. I have tried Adaptil with no apparent improvement. I have tried taking her out, she was really slow, looking round with her ears up and not leaving me at all and it did not appear to reduce the time she was bothered. As to feeding I used to feed her about six but now I feed her early say four or half past simply because I want her to have nourishment. She is still feed raw and eats, (apart from early evenings), very well. And yes it started just after the fireworks. I have tried ignoring her and tried comforting her neither made any difference. Previous years fireworks have not bothered her just lifting her head when a loud one went off but basically just acting normal. And after seven she is her normal relaxed happy dog, bed time is around ten thirty or eleven she sleeps with me, (under the duvet after all she is a Whippet and loves being warm and comfortable). Apart from the couple of hours she is very greedy and happily eats anything and everything so I do not think its indigestion.
Hello all again, now I might be totally crazy but since my original post she has been slowly improving. I am not sure it's possible, but I am wondering if there was some negative feedback going on. It started with her being worried around the time that the fireworks disturbed her. I noticed her being bothered and although trying not to show I was concerned about her I still felt it. Then she picked up from me that I was worried which caused her to worry etc. Then with me writing about it reduced my feelings leading to her feeling a bit better. Up to date she is not her usual fully relaxed self around that time but as I said she is getting there. Now will someone please let me know if my idea could possibly have a chance of being correct.
Absolutely, I think you might have hit the nail on the head. Dogs are far more keyed in to our emotions than they are often given credit for, and if just for a moment you notice the time and look at her, wondering if she's going to get anxious, she will. Maybe she's wondering why you always get anxious at this time of day - and maybe you need to find some distraction around this time!

Whatever the cause, I hope she continues to improve - which means you can relax, which will help her relax, and so on.
Absolutely agree! So yes fingers crossed as you relax more, she will too.
Many years ago I had a little dog called Emily, I lived with my grandma for a while on the first floor of a large block of flats. I used to work all different shifts in a nursing home at the time, so no regular pattern, but every day or night about 10mins before I walked through the door Emily used to suddenly wake up and go and sit in the hall... my grandma was amazed at the time because she didn't even know what time I'd be walking in usually. So yes dog's can be very much in tune with us for sure! I used to wonder if she picked up on me leaving work(which was about a 10min walk away)as my head was focused homeward then and on her...
Good to hear - I actually came on to post and ask if there was any change, this is great news.
My word, you’ve really been through it, Biker John. As has been said, these dogs will pick up on moods at the drop of a hat. I try to dissimulate (or even go to self denial) whenever our rescue needs something done - nails trimmed and/or attention to corns with an emery board. How effective I am with trivialising the event seems to be successful. You mentioned that your whippet will cuddle up with you under the duvet. So will Mabel. I’ve found that a light blanket covering my knees on the sofa attracts her like a moth to a flame - gets very warm but as long as she’s happy. Glad to hear from you.
I'm so glad to hear she's improving, and I entirely agree with those attributing attunement and sensitivity to Folly - and am feeling somewhat dismayed that this wasn't my first thought! Live and learn I guess.
Just their superior sense of smell is enough to explain dogs' uncanny ability to sense our emotions, but I also remember reading some research by Alexandra Horowitz (author of 'Inside of a Dog') that indicated that dogs' visual processing is a few crucial nanoseconds faster than ours - eg, they see tv film as a series of fast-moving but separate images where we see a continuous stream. This could explain why dogs seem to have a sixth sense, eg, they often avoid an object falling from above before we realise it is falling.
I think this may also be why, like horses, dogs seem to scent human intention in the air. My dogs always correctly read my body language and immediately distinguish between ne going out alone, me going with one of them, me going with both of them, and definitely anyone going to the vet, without (to my mind) any discernable cues on my part.
The more I live with them and observe them, the more remarkable dogs appear to be.
Feverfew, I should have thought of her picking up from me but in my defence I knew it started with an outside event and just tended to assume the event was the cause of it continuing. Certainly they can pick things up we can not. One of our dogs I am sure knew my wife was pregnant before we did, well ok before I did my wife might have suspected. And another was concerned with one spot on one of her breasts for months, (we joked about it but we both examined it carefully without detecting anything), then yes a small sign of something was found, leading to her treatment. How I wish we could have found it when the dog did, that might have given us a better long term outcome.

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