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Thread: The long down!

  1. Re: The long down!

    I wanted to tell you about my progress with Delilah and ask a question.

    First, Delilah responds to the conditioned response relaxation thing, but it has made something very odd show up. She is always pretty hyper, but when she comes up to me and about claws me to death asking for attention, I make her sit and I start massaging her shoulders and she STOPS like she has been shot. Just sits perfectly still.

    But then I realized the bad part. She pants like 3 times as fast as a normal dog when she is just walking around the house (I kind of didn't notice it when she did it ALL the time), fast enough that it makes me wonder about her heart. But then I touch her shoulders for like 2 or 3 seconds and she barely breathes at all.

    Is it possible that her fast breathing thing is some kind of self-created high? Difficult to deal with these self rewarding behaviors.

    The reason I didn't think Lilah actually had a heart defect was that if she is asleep or trying to relax, the fast breathing stops. Walking around, she breathes at least 3 times as fast as the other dogs when they are panting. I thought, she MUST feel hyperventilated...and I know that is its own kind of addiction.

    She's very loving but she is one of those dogs who will snap at your face as if she's trying to kiss on the run. She means well, but it will never be ok for her to be around kids.

    I am not sure why she was called dog aggressive (that's supposedly why she was returned to me)...it must just be reactivity, not necessarily the hostile kind. She has not tried to start trouble with any dog here, but Liz and Ciarah both found that they had to drive her to the ground to control her hyperness...she did not react at all when they did that, just lay there submissively. I wish I had been close enough to hear her breathing.

    So now the issue is getting Delilah to relax past about 30 seconds. She DOES seek out the massage thing periodically, but mostly she is a very busy dog. She got a rat last night and a poor bunny rabbit this morning...right in our own back yard. I have no idea how the rabbit got there. ACK, talk about self rewarding behavior. She has a big tum right now.

  2. #12
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    Re: The long down!

    I don't think the position she is in when you help her to achieve relaxation is of that much importance right now, but it does sound as though she is comprehending and willing to go there as she does this very quickly.

    Yes, I believe that the fast rapid panting is part of her seeking and maintaining high excitement levels, it's probably similar to bridging, chanting, repeating a mantra; it is fast and rhythymic.... probably helps her maintain it.

    Thirty seconds is a long time for a new dog to maintain CR; this is where your bridging cycles come in handy; two cycles is probably under ten seconds, and two is about where I feel like the dog has a solid foundation and is ready to move up in the three d's, distance, distraction, duration.
    George Bailey

  3. Re: The long down!

    OK. Starting distance today. We shall see!

  4. #14
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    Re: The long down!

    It helps enormously to actually tell them what you are doing and what you expect them to do, Jackie. Always give information, and don't be afraid to go backwards at times and help out with bridging, massage, whatever it takes for the particular dog. It really helps (particularly with physically hyper dogs) to teach body part targeting- chin and tail specifically, and more if needed.
    George Bailey

  5. Re: The long down!

    Quote Originally Posted by George Bailey View Post
    It helps enormously to actually tell them what you are doing and what you expect them to do, Jackie. Always give information, and don't be afraid to go backwards at times and help out with bridging, massage, whatever it takes for the particular dog. It really helps (particularly with physically hyper dogs) to teach body part targeting- chin and tail specifically, and more if needed.
    It's so infuriating when these damn dogs refuse to read my mind! LOL

    Well, we were at bitework training last night and the trainer said, down her over there. I said, um, I don't think she's going to down out here in front of god and everybody. And she didn't. So I had to make do with a sit. Poor Delilah just doesn't have the confidence yet to make herself that vulnerable. It'll be awhile longer! But I can see that the day is coming, because she is calming down a LOT. No more rushing from one end of the house to the other and chewing joyously on every dog and human in her path...she is gradually learning to just walk up and kiss. WHAT a relief. And sometimes she even walks around without that uber-fast panting thing.

    I sure wish I knew what happened to her in her other home to make her feel so...LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME!

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