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Rachel's Visit A Success! Now We Know How To Address Jacques`

Discussion in 'Hound' started by Sadie, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. Sadie

    Sadie Wife, Mother, Nana, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Whip Registered

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    I'm posting this for the benefit of the kind K9 members who have kept my spirits up by privately emailing, as well as replying to my posts re: Jacques and his current problems.

    We had a young woman - Rachel Hopton - in this morning, and she achieved in less than 2 hours what we have failed to achiieve in 4 months. But not as you might think...

    ;)

    Rachel spent time observing Jacques doing certain tasks, and asking him to do certain things. She quickly deduced that he is a youngster who lives on his nerves when out of his "comfort zone" and this zone is quite small. Noises, strange faces, many different things/commands etc trigger Jacques pacing and panting. :>

    We only spent 15 mins out on the lead, and during that time a young 9 month old Jack Russell escaped from his home and challenged Jacques (who was obviously on his lead). Although this seemed a disaster at the time, it was actually a blessing in disguise, as Rachel quickly determined Jacques was submissive,, not quarrelsome or aggressive.

    Timmy on the other hand did a lot of snapping and "big" attitude. Rachel stood between the 2 dogs and quickly got Timmy's attention by offering him a treat. By the time Jacques and I had walked away (without fuss) Timmy's very apologetic owner appeared, blaming the postman for leaving the gate open! At least we know Jacques will not retaliate quickly when threatened (and at 9 months old,Timmy's owner probably knows she needs help with him!!)

    Rachel suggests we leave outside exercise on the back burner for now. That we slip Jacques` lead on, stop on the porch, gain eye contact with him and reward him for focusing on us with treats. Up until now, once Jacques is out of the house, hell or high water won't get his attention, as he is on "red alert" at all times! (w00t)

    We`re to try this method of reasurring Jacques for as long as it takes. Garden exercise will be sufficient until he gains enough confidence to approach the big, wide world. Step by step, not lead or collar by lead and collar!!

    Rachel likened the task we have been asking Jacques to do, as asking someone with Agoraphobia to stand in an open field!!!! NOW we see why the battle has been so hard! Jacques` natural instinct to take exercise and socialise has been negatively tempered with his huge lack of confidence and peace.

    We are also adopting a different method of feeding him. Protein at different times to Carbs. which should help give him a natural feel good factor. Apparently, even humans can benefit from eating certain foods at certain times, to encourage the Serotonin to be released.

    Watching Jacques in the back garden with Rachel was wonderful, as he was completely relaxed and at home. Our job is to let Jacques show us when he is ready to tackle being outside, and on walks. We thought that to walk him every day would crack the situation. Rachel's experience has been to take dogs back to the nursery slopes to rebuild their confidence and allow them to associate the lead and collar with fun and good times, not anxiety..

    I can heartily recommend this young woman, who most definitely knows doggie ways and has a gentle, but firm approach. It was def money well spent, as we all have a "to do" list for Jacques that should ease him into the big, wide world with a smile on his face.

    If nothing else, I hope this info helps someone reading. We know our whips are beautiful dogs but sometimes they need a touch of human wisdom to help overcome their canine hiccups! :thumbsup:

    Sadie x
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 4, 2012
  2. AnnSa

    AnnSa The one and Only .... Registered

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    Glad your morning with Rachel went well :thumbsup:

    Sounds like you have some ideas to work on with Jaques. Im sure all this time and patience is going to

    pay of and at the end you will have a happy, confident Jaques.
     
  3. Sadie

    Sadie Wife, Mother, Nana, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Whip Registered

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    Hi Annsa.

    Yes, we think we are on the right track now! Rachel explained that it wouldn't have mattered what lead/collar/route etc we tried with Jacques, since Sam passed away, he has lost his confidence completely. We now have to start again as with a young pup.

    Such a relief to know that even my thoughts on adding a youngster to the household to help him were natural, in her opinion. Not wise perhaps but natural, under the circumstances.

    We had all got so used to Sam being the quiet, gentle bedrock in the home, and just didn't appreciate how his passing would affect the lad.

    Now that we have a regime to follow, we will go at his pace, not ours. The aim is to get him responding to us as quickly and comfortably outside the home as he does inside. That the world will hold only fun for him and not fear. Literally yard by yard we are to help him reclaim the ground outside the front door. As you can imagine, after losing so much money and going thru quite a lot of turmoil with this youngster, we are determined to succeed!

    Thank you for being one of the few who took time out to keep me sane! :huggles:

    Best wishes,

    Sadie x
     
  4. Sadie

    Sadie Wife, Mother, Nana, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Whip Registered

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    Because we are following a regime of no outside walking for a week, we have started a twice daily routine of "training" with Jacques that involves getting and keeping his attention, as well as getting him to do small tasks.

    Today we used a small amount of chopped chicken to reward him for 1) sit 2) left paw 3) right paw 4) and the new one was "lie down". In two short sessions he has got the hang of the last one, and his reward has been extra play time in the garden.

    He seems very content at the moment which is good. No straining or whimpering to go out, so hopefully the "schooling" is a good replacement for now.

    Tomorrow we will do "stay" - always a tricky one but he's a clever boy so I'm optimistic! :thumbsup:

    Sadie x
     
  5. Hula

    Hula New Member Registered

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    Sounds like he is already responding .
     
  6. eingana

    eingana Do my ears look big in this? Registered

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    Awwww, if the poor boy has lost his 'rock' then it's quite easy to see how he's feeling shaken and unable to face the world really. I'm a firm believer that as with people, there are dogs who are leaders and dogs who are followers, and if a dog who is a natural follower gets put into a position where they feel they have to be a leader it can be disastrous for their mental health. Whatever you have to do to show him that it's OK to be a follower and to do things inside your comfort zone is what you need to do.

    Have you considered getting him another leader to follow? We see this with GSDs quite often, and although people often think of GSDs as a good lone dog (if there is such a thing) some of them really don't function well as an only dog because it's really hard to be a follower when you don't have a leader to follow.

    Wouldn't things be so much easier if we could find a way of telling them that we don't expect them to stand up and be brave just for us? Poor Jacques.
     
  7. Sadie

    Sadie Wife, Mother, Nana, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Whip Registered

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    Eingana you sound a very wise, compassionate lady!! We thought we were helping Jacques to be a proper dog when in fact we weren't allowing him time to come to terms with Sam's passing. Now that we are taking a more holistic approach everyone is happier.

    We had our first visit to the vet yesterday. She checked him over and pronounced him fit and well although his ears are a bit mucky. We have Spot On to help clear away any mites, plus Calmex if we need it. He ever let her clip his toe nails which is almost impossible for me to do!!

    Before we left the waiting room a youngster came in. 3/4 greyhound 1/4 whippet and made a beeline for Jacques. The boy was fine although a bit distant! Then another Lab joined the fun but Jacques stood quietly and let them both sniff and say hello. I thought that was VERY good progress as one month ago he would have gone berserk!! The lady with him said she was fostering him and at 7 months he was coming along nicely - would we like him!!! My hubby is very anti having more dogs just now so I had to decline but we will see! Perhaps Jacques will suprise us all in the end!

    Thank you ladies/gents for all your messages of concern. kindness and encouragement. We were all in a bad place 4 weeks ago, but time is healing nicely.... :thumbsup:

    Sadie x
     

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