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  1. D'Elle- I think we should have named after chocolate manufacturer as we seriously don't know what we'll get day to day. Now, we rarely ever hear Master Toby barking but last night my daughter was watching this youtube video and he instantly got alert from his comatose position in the crate, ears up and started barking. He then proceeded to the front of the crate and starts barking, looking around him. We were all really surprised when he leaves the crate and proceeds to walk around the living room through the house as if looking for something. Occasionally stopping to bark. And so it was for 2 minutes, barking, stopping in front of the stairs seemingly looking for the source of the noise. Eventually he stops. Grumbles a bit, goes back to his happy place in the corner. 5 Minutes later while I'm working on my lap top he comes up to me and pushes his nozzle under my hand, flops the floor, gets into i'm ready for my rub down position, mouth wide open and seemingly happy. This is the second time he has done this in response to this sound with him becoming this super cuddly dog after. I'm trying to figure out if he is irritated by this sound or does it trigger something familiar for him. I have to say he has a similar squeaky toy at a lower pitch that he used to perk up with, but no more. Has anyone had a similar reaction with their dog to this particular squeaky sound?
  2. D'Elle- A doggy door is not an option at this time. I can get him out of the crate by putting on his leash, giving a gentle tug and saying "Let's go" . He seems less likely to urine with this method vs me saying "Let's go" and waiting for him to come as he tends to cower in the corner at that point. I am putting more effort into ignoring him, looking away and allowing him to be the one initiating contact. When I am holding the little dog which seems to light his soul, he will leave his crate and approach me. She's getting all the fluffing and attention and and he will push my hand on top of his head with his nozzle in a "What about meeeee kinda way". Last night he laid his head and front paw on my legs to get a massage and fell asleep there so he might be warming up a bit more. Hopefully he continues to progress although I know he will take 10 steps back at times. Regarding his walks- he can walk to the end of the block which is a total of 4 houses. Not much in the way of exercise. If the little dog is in the car he is more willing to go in without too much of a fight, he will totally ignore treats for a nuzzle with her. Our last walk on Sunday in the park had him doing better. Much less spooked but still wary. Someone had a drone overhead which understandably freaked him out so I removed him from that area. Surprisingly the train blowing it's horn didn't phase him. In the end I thought it might be waaay to much stimuli on that end of the park and just ended our outing. He is doing better with our Pet Smart trips. He will stand close to the entrance watching people and dogs. He is anxious at first but approximately 35 mins later will relax and sit but NO EYE CONTACT WITH STRANGERS. At this point he will respond to gentle, sit and come commands. I'm kinda scratching my head on that part. At this point. we're just gonna let Toby be who is going to be and see how it goes from there.
  3. Xanax has been the recommendation so far from his vet that has some expertise in behavioral issues. His behaviorist suggests meds as a last resort as well. D'Elle- I have read your entire thread regarding your journey with Kelso. It's pretty much what kept me from giving up on him. I think it's fair to say we gave up on him having therapeutic effect on my niece and just try to see when and if he turns the corner. In a lot of ways he has made a lot of progress from when we first got him. He will come up to me for side rubs if our 4lb Chihuahua/Yorkie dog is nearby. He seems to live for her and is guaranteed to illicit a tail wag 95% of the time. He is a wonder to watch when he normalizes in the morning. He gets a happy look on his face and breaks out into a happy leap and trot. Getting him to come back in casually is a bit of a struggle and cause of concern as he ran into my lower leg trying to get in quickly (it's a wonder he didn't break his nozzle) For the most part I leave him alone, but then the time comes to go potty. If he doesn't want to leave the crate and I have to go to work,this fellow will submissively urinate when I try to get him out. We had to pull up the carpet because of this and I'm cleaning up pee everyday for this reason. I have to admit this is the most stressful part of the journey with him.. well that and getting him into the car. Now the interesting thing with him is that his first breakthrough came after I picked him up and gave him a full body massage on week 3. The following morning is when the first signs of possibly normalcy occurred. He has to be groomed due to heavy shedding (started the 2nd week after we got him) and I will include a full body massage with that too. He will not usually initiate that interaction but I can't get rid of him once I start. :-) He'll turn over, try to mouth but doesn't seem to know what to do and just be an all out love bug. He didn't want to walk at the park at first due to the cars that passed and bicycles zooming by... now he just looks at them with interest and then ignores them without any sign of distress. Walks on the hiking trail....boy he pants likes he's about to have a heart attack. All 5 miles of the loop. We get to the waterfall and 70% of the time he won't even drink with all that panting. Yet, he doesn't want to leave the trail . If I get back on he'll act like yaaaayyyy we get to keep walking, but panting all the way, Just scratching my head. Does he like it or is he just scared of the ordeal of getting back into the car? This is my boy on the trail. Thank you both for your input. I'll forgo the farm stay and keep him with us and see how he progresses with us ignoring him more frequently in the house.
  4. Hello Everyone, Our family rescued an almost 2 year Border/Assue (or so they say) from one of our Metro Atlanta rescue groups. My niece chose him as he was the easiest to handle on leash and was so sweet and allowed her to hug him during their first meeting. She suffers from anxiety and depression and instantly fell in love with him. The fosters who had him at the time were anxious for us to have him sleep over for the week. Too much if you ask me. We were told all he does is stare out the window and go to his crate and is a bit skittish at times. This is an understatement. 3 months later after adopting Toby, he is still fearful of sounds, gets irritated around my 7 year old when she is in the room and is shutdown approximately 70% of the time. He does not play, know what to do with a ball or respond to commands. He is unable to do obedience training as he does not respond to eye contact, treats because he is waaay to stressed. Walks consists of going to the end of our cul-de-sac and back because he is so fearful he is almost choking himself running to go back home. Interestingly enough he loves long hikes at a nature trail that loops for 5 miles. I'm surprised he can do it as he walks so little each day. In the morning he is almost normal and pleasant and then shuts down approximately 1 hour later. In the evening he has Dogzheimers... which means "have I ever met you? What are you doing in this house" :-) We have had behavioral health specialists visit him and the usual chicken and walk away assessments have been given and the last suggestion of bringing him out to their farm for training where he would sit in the front office, watch people walk buy and toss chicken at him to get desensitized for the nice amount of almost 2K. Not possible at this time. He seems to be getting better at opening up and a friend offered to have him on her farm for a month to see if he would learn to be a dog around her other 4 farm dogs. I am concerned that any strides we have made in getting him to open up to us would be lost in the month with someone else. Would we set him back in fear again or would other dogs help? I am truly hoping to get this sweet dog to turn the corner soon but his shut-down demeanor isn't helping to improve my neice's disposition when things go bad. The other day she was feeling really badly and we encouraged her to help herself feel better by grooming Toby, talking to him and stroking him. He just made himself smaller at first, turned his back on her and then walked away. She just busted out in tears at that point. I was so hoping that it would help. She sooo loves this dog as do I and just want him to have the best life as possible. He is not the least bit aggressive. We did 1 dose of Xanax and he almost buckled completely because he only walks from his crate to the window (approximately 12 ft each day) May run 2 laps around the yard at most. I've read the posts regarding Kelso and some of it has helped. It's hard to ignore that sweet boy and not reach out to him and I'm tryng to do better with that.
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