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The Prozac might be a moot point. Brodie refused to eat today. Coaxing and hand feeding got him to take a few bites of breakfast. He took his prozac then spit it out. Half an hour later we tried again. This time he took it but vomited it up after 5 minutes. Hmmmmm.....I am a critical care nurse and fairly familiar with the concept of steady serum levels. Not sure how easily we'll be able to attain this....we'll see.

 

I don't know how you are administering the drug....My vet was very insistant on my buying the 10 mg tablets, which are scored for easy breakage. My dog was weaned ONTO the prozac. The original plan was 10 mg at a time to a maximal dose of 20 mg. She was on the 10 mg for 2-3 weeks before I bumped her up to 20 mg and at that point, she stopped eating, so I went back down to 10 mg, and then we did 15 for a time before attempting 20 again...

 

I coat the drug in peanut butter and my dog eats it readily.

 

She still refuses food occasionally and has recently vomited on a few occasions in the AM. I suspect that this is from the drug, but she is going to the vet tommorrow to be sure.

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Hi Blackdawg,

We bought the 'reconcile' which is the vet. form of Prozac...chewable beefy thing, 8 mg dose per day. He started yesterday on the first dose in the am, no problem getting him to take it but he vomited dinner then refused breakfast this am. Ate a little 30 minutes later when fed by hand, along with his pill...vomited it all up after 5 minutes.

 

I've stopped the Prozac for now because this boy was on 2 courses of antibiotics for pneumonia until mid June and lost alot of weight. I need him to eat so he doesn't drop down too low weightwise so for now I'll use the DAP collar, follow everyone's good advice and revisit the Prozac issue soon.

 

He was out on leash with me today when we had guests in our home. I did not request that he greet them. He settled into a corner of the room with a chew toy very nicely. No stares, no jaw clenching..an occasional worried glance at the guest, who ignored him. Checking in with me or DH with gentle nose bumps on the hand, as he's been taught. My other two are starting to do the nose bump now too, as they've seen that Brodie gets rewarded when he follows the 'touch' command .

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1) Thank you for giving him a chance.

2) 7 weeks in not a long time. Your dog needs to learn that you will manage the situation for him.

3) Explain to your son he needs to call you before he shows up with friends ( it seems that every kid has a cellphone ) or work with him to crate the dog while his friends are outside. Reward the dog with a great treat for a good crating.

4) I have worked with somewhat aggressive dogs. You need to spend a lot of time getting them to bond with you. Find a fun activity that they can be good at ( frisbee, agility, etc) that should build confidence. Always give full attention to your dog. He is always sending messages - you don't want to miss the one that is really important. A lot of times the dog has given clear signals to please stop doing something and their human is just not listening.

5) Try to stay calm and strong - you won't accept even a threat of biting - time out the dog immediately when signs show. Handle is calmly - try to be the boss and communicate that is just not acceptable. But don't be a big scary human - all that will do is confirm he was right to be alarmed in the first place. Remember - you will need a lot of patience- but sometimes the dog learns to trust again and find the world not such a scary place. Unfortunately, even the best efforts sometimes fail. Good luck.

cody you are right. 7 weeks is not a long time. Why have I been forgetting that? The last few days have been very good for Brodie and he is growing in confidence and trust. I see lots of nice things. One is that he watches and gently thumps his tail now when I stroke the other dogs. Clementine and Sage have always done this. Visible affection to one seems to make the others happy too.

My son has agreed to call/ring bell before opening the door. He's no novice to dog training, having done guide dogs through 4H for years. But, like us, he has a learning curve re fear aggression ie just redirecting at the front door won't work here.

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I also just wanted to thank you for giving him a chance. I wish you all the best. This board is just full of people that have worked with reactive dogs - they give great advice based on their experiences, as you can see. :rolleyes:

 

I just wanted to second Julie's idea for making all the dogs move away from the door to a particular spot when someone comes to your home. Neither of my dogs have issues but they are told to lie down on their beds which are in my bedroom when someone arrives and not allowed out until I let them. This is nice for my guests as by that time the dogs are more calm when they greet them. And for you, this would give you control of Brodie and it would make visitors coming to your home less stressful for him.

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Nonaberry, do take LizP's experience to heart. If the prozac doesn't work or the side effects are too harsh for your boy, there are other anti anxiety drugs to try. If aspirin didn't work for your headache, would you give up on all anti inflammatories, or try another type the next time your head was pounding?

 

I have clinical depression, and went through 4, maybe 5 different anti depressants before I found the one that works for me. And it works like gang busters. Depression and anxiety can both be caused by a few different 'wiring' problems, so one medication will not work for every person or every dog.

 

You and your family are doing a great thing by working with Brodie. Working with my own problem child has been difficult and is very rewarding. Thanks for keeping us posted.

 

Ruth

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Hi guys,

Tried the Prozac again this am...8mg, so far he is keeping it down and kept down breakfast. If he starts vomiting again I'm going to call the vet to see if it's ok to start him on 4 mgs instead.Thanks again everyone for all your support; because of it I'm feeling like Brodie might actually be rehabilitated. I'll have to take more pics and post them so I can share how elegant and beautiful he is.

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I also just wanted to thank you for giving him a chance. I wish you all the best. This board is just full of people that have worked with reactive dogs - they give great advice based on their experiences, as you can see. :rolleyes:

 

I just wanted to second Julie's idea for making all the dogs move away from the door to a particular spot when someone comes to your home. Neither of my dogs have issues but they are told to lie down on their beds which are in my bedroom when someone arrives and not allowed out until I let them. This is nice for my guests as by that time the dogs are more calm when they greet them. And for you, this would give you control of Brodie and it would make visitors coming to your home less stressful for him.

Hi Daisy,

Here's my front door scenario.

Sage, my oldest, is a chow/lab. He is my second chow mix. I like this mix because the majority of the time he is a couch potato. He lays around like a slug, we step over him and he is relaxed and friendly with guests who enter the house. But he alarms when anyone approaches our home. I live in an urban, downtown neighborhood, mostly nice stable neighbors but with some transient folks around and a county jail just one mile down at the other end of Main st. So I feel safe with Sage at my front door. I always respond immediately to his notice and he is easy to call off ,although not perfect.He usually gets in a final soft 'woof' after I've told him to stop.

The thing is that his bark is actually a crazy bellow....like a bull or an ox. This is a great deterrent for possible intruders but also sets off the young ones. Right now we are crating Brodie when anyone comes to the house. Clementine stops barking when Sage does. Nobody jumps up and they are friendly when I open the door but they definitely crowd arriving guests for the first minute or two.

Maybe I will crate Clementine when I crate Brodie. Any thoughts?

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Hi Daisy,

Here's my front door scenario.

Sage, my oldest, is a chow/lab. He is my second chow mix. I like this mix because the majority of the time he is a couch potato. He lays around like a slug, we step over him and he is relaxed and friendly with guests who enter the house. But he alarms when anyone approaches our home. I live in an urban, downtown neighborhood, mostly nice stable neighbors but with some transient folks around and a county jail just one mile down at the other end of Main st. So I feel safe with Sage at my front door. I always respond immediately to his notice and he is easy to call off ,although not perfect.He usually gets in a final soft 'woof' after I've told him to stop.

The thing is that his bark is actually a crazy bellow....like a bull or an ox. This is a great deterrent for possible intruders but also sets off the young ones. Right now we are crating Brodie when anyone comes to the house. Clementine stops barking when Sage does. Nobody jumps up and they are friendly when I open the door but they definitely crowd arriving guests for the first minute or two.

Maybe I will crate Clementine when I crate Brodie. Any thoughts?

 

BP (before pups) we had just Ladybug and Scotty -- two older rescue dogs who were well mannered and quiet, so had no worries about "the door" -- until one day the UPS man came and, my two LOOOVEEED to ride.... I was in the back yard when the van pulled in (this was before we lost Scotty so no fence, no double lock gate system at the head and foot of the porch stairs leading to the driveway.). Dogs charge down the steps.....UPS man worried that dogs are pursuing him does a YIKES! and hops in truck.....doesn't get door shut fast enough....dogs also hop into van....melee ensues. It was a long time before I dared order anything that would be delivered through UPS. :rolleyes:

 

New policy: If the person is a stranger, (lots of strangers around these days), and we're in the house, the dogs sit behind me and I open the screen on the door, or the window next to the door if I'm upstairs. If it's family, we practice our manners. Everyone goes to their spots. No one charges the door. If we're in the back yard, I don't open the gate for a stranger. Family waits until I have them under control...no jumping around, no carrying on - by the dogs that is :D.

 

Liz

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I've been following this thread and what your dog has gone through truly breaks my heart. He was never given a chance and I simply want to thank you for giving him the chance he deserves. I can't add to any of the knowledeable and experienced advice you have already been given. These boards have truly been a huge source of information for me.

 

My Chase is fearful, although he doesn't react in the way your dog does, his tendency is to shrink into a heap or run and hide. Not quite the dog I was expecting since I like to participate in dog sports. With my patience and understanding of him and management, he is blossoming into everything I imagined he could be. I can't say it's been easy and there have been tears of frustration and sadness along the way. However, it's been most satisfying for me to see him able to hold himself together and live easier in the world, the way he deserves to live. And now able to participate with me in the dog sports I enjoy (and so does he). I wouldn't trade this journey he's taken me on for anything. I do believe that Chase is in my life for a reason and I love him for it.

 

I hope that everything works out for the best for your family and your dog :rolleyes:

Thank you for giving him a chance.

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I want to thank you too for giving Brodie a chance. He is a beautiful dog and looks so sweet. Fear agression is so largely misunderstood by the populace at large. The nose touch thing truly breaks my heart. When we were trying to rehabilitate my Pan, that was one thing she picked up on really quickly and it was a healing thing for her. Unfortunately, in the end, we couldn't rehabilitate Pan, but she was much much worse off than Brodie and you are intervening in all the right ways far earlier than we ever knew how. Brodie sounds like he may actually recover, and I think it's wonderful that you are doing all the right things and have come so far after only 7 weeks. For what it's worth, Prozac didn't help Pan, at all (in fact it made things worse for her), but carbamazepine did somewhat. Every dog is different though, and Pan's aggression was almost epileptic--and the carbamazepine is used to treat siezures. I second the notion that other drugs might work if the Prozac doesn't or is too hard on his stomach.

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Good Morning Everyone,

Brodie took his Prozac yest and this am and kept everything down. Slight decrease in appetite but he is eating. When hiking off leash this am we were surprised by a runner coming around the corner fast. All dogs ran towards him with DH and I at full speed behind them, calling. My heart stopped. The runner stopped, held his arm straight out and said 'stop'. Brodie stopped in his tracks. I then called him to me and he came, I leashed him....... :rolleyes:

This guy runs on the off leash trails frequently and is never nice about off leash dogs (not sure why he chooses to run at this location??). The bad thing is that the interaction could have been awful. The great thing is that it wasn't. Still, I feel like I was an irresponsible owner. It seems like there's no risk free way to give Brodie the daily workout that he needs. We've decided to go right at sunrise tomorrow.

On another note, I found a local behavioral consultant who has his own dog sitting business. YIPEEEE!! I've been looking for this combo. He got his training at the Marin County Humane Society with Trish King, a well known/respected behaviorist here in the SF Bay Area and he uses all positive methods. He took a short intake over the phone and will come to our house this Sunday am. I like that he asked me if Brodie had any food allergies and queried me about which 'high value' rewards work for Brodie.

Clementine and Sage were attacked by my friends newly adopted, 3 y/o female, deaf Jack Russel yesterday. She has an older, mellow JR (believe it or not) that my 2 have a love affair with and she wanted to introduce the new girl. Relayed that she was very dog friendly but no obedience training yet. We took introductions slowly and I kept Brodie crated in another room. Within 5 minutes the new JR had cornered my 85# boy, biting his face repeatedly..he cowered then lashed back. As I took his collar, the JR turned and went for Clementine who flew through the house like a bullet. I put both my dogs away with treats and words of comfort. My poor dogs.....

Very traumatic for all. My friend was in tears. We finished the visit with her new girl back in the car. We tried to end on a positive note with our two and her older Jack having a little time to regroup and play together. This went very well and seemed to calm everyone down. Brodie heard the whole thing, however, and was more reactive yesterday aft., jumping up and barking at the slightest sound and checking the front door from time to time.

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I don't understand why you would have him off-leash. You are setting him up for failure. He should be kept on a leash since he can't be trusted - period.

 

 

Agreed. Him for failure and yourself for a lawsuit (unless he is always muzzled). Why not just get a long line.

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. Brodie heard the whole thing, however, and was more reactive yesterday aft., jumping up and barking at the slightest sound and checking the front door from time to time.

 

 

Having Brodie in your life is a tough transition for you as I remember reading that you and your family were active in raising guide dog pups who needed to be exposed to different environments, people and dogs but for your current situation, caution will be your watchword both in and out of the house. Play dates (even if he doesn't participate) and off leash rambles are out for the foreseeable future until you begin working with the behaviorist.

 

It is a tough adjustment. Though he loves people, my Brodie is reactive to certain types of dogs. A very kind person demonstrated to me several weeks ago that before I can successfully retrain the dog, I must retrain myself. As he is the first dog I have owned with this particular issue, I have to constantly remind myself to pay attention to my surroundings when I go out with him and be vigilant in planning to head off problems, and act/react when I am with him. My husband, who used to scuba dive said it best...."plan your dive and dive your plan."

 

Best,

Liz

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A very kind person demonstrated to me several weeks ago that before I can successfully retrain the dog, I must retrain myself. As he is the first dog I have owned with this particular issue, I have to constantly remind myself to pay attention to my surroundings when I go out with him and be vigilant in planning to head off problems, and act/react when I am with him. My husband, who used to scuba dive said it best...."plan your dive and dive your plan."

-

 

This is so very true! Having owned Buddy for five years now, I'm acutely tuned in to what sets him off. And oh, there's a long list. Behaviors that look "normal" to owners of normal dogs (head over the back, eye-to-eye meeting, humpy games, sudden approaches, mirthful romping play) are triggers for Buddy, and I simply pre-empt them by avoiding, stepping in to prevent bad meetings, or moving my dog before the other dog can get in his face. So, on a walk, I'm extremely vigilant: looking forward, looking backwards, calling out a warning to approaching dog owners.

 

If you saw us walking around the neighborhood, you would think my dog was perfectly adjusted and not at all reactive. But if you sent him out with some clueless chump who doesn't know his triggers, I suspect you'd see a dog fight within 15 minutes, and also potentially an "aggressive" act (growling, barking) against a dog-language-impaired human within an hour.

 

So, yes: if you now own a reactive dog, you've gotta adjust your thinking when you are out with that dog. It's possible to live a peaceful, uneventful life, but you've gotta make it happen in a way that the owner of a "normal" dog doesn't.

 

Mary

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I completely agree with Liz and Mary. If your dog's rehab is to be successful, you must completely change your way of thinking and managing your dog and its housemates. Letting your dog off the leash in a public area was an enormous mistake. You should find a qualified behaviorist, preferably a DVM, ASAP. In the meantime, please isolate this dog from its triggers and manage your household to keep the dog's stress levels as low as possible.

 

And management is forever, regardless of any progress that your dog makes.

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Nonaberry,

 

I'm sorry that your family, people and dogs, had to go through such a distressing thing yesterday. It's a painful lesson that will serve you enormously well if you let it.

 

I'm glad you found a good trainer to work with you, and I have the utmost respect for Trish King and the dog training academy, but I agree with blackdawgz, you need a vet behaviorist as well.

 

Good luck with your boy. All of us who have dogs like yours do understand and wish the best of luck to you.

 

Ruth

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This is so very true! Having owned Buddy for five years now, I'm acutely tuned in to what sets him off. And oh, there's a long list. Behaviors that look "normal" to owners of normal dogs (head over the back, eye-to-eye meeting, humpy games, sudden approaches, mirthful romping play) are triggers for Buddy, and I simply pre-empt them by avoiding, stepping in to prevent bad meetings, or moving my dog before the other dog can get in his face. So, on a walk, I'm extremely vigilant: looking forward, looking backwards, calling out a warning to approaching dog owners.

 

If you saw us walking around the neighborhood, you would think my dog was perfectly adjusted and not at all reactive. But if you sent him out with some clueless chump who doesn't know his triggers, I suspect you'd see a dog fight within 15 minutes, and also potentially an "aggressive" act (growling, barking) against a dog-language-impaired human within an hour.

 

So, yes: if you now own a reactive dog, you've gotta adjust your thinking when you are out with that dog. It's possible to live a peaceful, uneventful life, but you've gotta make it happen in a way that the owner of a "normal" dog doesn't.

 

Mary

 

You know Mary, since I've become more aware and Brodie knows it, his whole attitude is really changing when he is with me....he's already become much more confident because he now knows that I've got his back. It's a sweet feeling to know that your dog trusts you to protect him from idiocy. :rolleyes:. ETA -- just plain rudeness, or even what he perceives as threatening behavior.

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Hi everyone,

thanks again for all the input. Brodie has been working with a vet behaviorist since the first week he came to us. We were looking for (maybe have found) a dog sitter with enough of a 'behaviorist' background to help reinforce the program on a daily basis.

 

Re our am hikes: We have always hiked in the early am with the same group of people. The group varies slightly from am to am but consists of the same 3-5 dog trainers/sitters and a string of 5-8 dogs. We hike mostly off leash but leash up when necessary. The area is on the levy trails, specifically off leash for dogs, remote and not used by many people which is why those of us who avoid the dog parks etc...go there.

 

Brodie was on leash the first 4 days then off leash with this group. He has done very well in this situation, a little shy at first but friendly and responds well to recall from all people in this group. They do not lean over him to pet him but do offer him rewards for good recall/sit etc..and to evaluate his stress level when accepting payoffs.

 

We have not had any issues of aggression/stress at all with him in this venue. Our behaviorist scheduled our second encounter down here with him 'off leash' for this reason. The incident the other day did not involve any aggression on his part. That said, I was very afraid that it might. Having listened my own fears and to the input here, we are now using a long line on the levy trails. And we continue to observe him for signs of stress. For what it's worth, Brodie is not/has never been dog aggressive.

 

The incident at my house was entirely d/t my poor judgment and will not be repeated.

 

Brodie's main issues have been with one on one introductions to new people and those passing by our home.

thanks again,

Nonaberry

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Hello again,

Just a follow up.

Brodie allowed his classroom trainer to approach him yesterday and did target work with her. Accepted payoffs with a nice, gentle mouth.

We also met with the potential dog sitter who we will probably not be using. He's a nice man and has had some behavioral training in his background. But he appears to still be using dominance theory training mode, and in silly ways.

 

Brodie met him on leash, moved in nicely doing basic obedience moves for rewards for him. VERY interested in the hot dog reward, which we do not use but trainer does. Trainer was sitting on my couch with a coffee table in front...not much leg room. As trainer asked Brodie to 'down' between the couch and table Brodie stepped on trainers foot...then moved back and into a down, mouth open and smiling, great eye contact with trainer the entire time. Hot dog, hot dog, hot dog....

 

Trainer's interpretation was that this was a dominance move by the dog...."any time a dog steps on a human's foot it's an attempt at dominance"......hmmmmm.....I could maybe buy it if a dog steps up and STAYS on your foot.....

 

Just last night I was reading a study done by UC Davis behavioral staff about the dangers of labeling dog behavior too soon in the evaluation process. The study postulates that many people, lay persons and trainers alike, use the term 'dominant' as a catchall to describe dog behavior and that dominance aggression is actually pretty rare. They state that 95+% of dog-human aggression is not a bid for dominance. And that the term is too vague. It's an easy out and stops us from looking further for answers and understanding. Boy did this resonate with me....because.....

 

Kind of like labeling a human psyche ( or other) patient 'crazy'...it doesn't really tell you anything about the patient's condition.

I work in human medicine and all to often see the label 'manipulative/controlling' pasted onto patients. This usually occurs if a patient is frustrated, hostile or unusually insistent about something. Or angry. Or grieving in a less than perfect way. Or non compliant. Often the clinician has not taken the time to understand the patients needs or is telegraphing a lack of respect or interest toward the patient. I find this practice incredibly patronizing. It usually tells us volumes more about the clinician than it does about the patient.

 

As a side note: Classical counter conditioning works! It is hard/embarrassing/scary/frustrating etc.. to reward your dog for growling/lunging at strangers but we keep at it, with the behaviorist pushing us from behind sometimes. 8 weeks in, Brodie is definitely beginning to associate strangers with good stuff :rolleyes:.

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Hello again,

Just a follow up.

Brodie allowed his classroom trainer to approach him yesterday and did target work with her. Accepted payoffs with a nice, gentle mouth.

We also met with the potential dog sitter who we will probably not be using. He's a nice man and has had some behavioral training in his background. But he appears to still be using dominance theory training mode, and in silly ways.

 

Brodie met him on leash, moved in nicely doing basic obedience moves for rewards for him. VERY interested in the hot dog reward, which we do not use but trainer does. Trainer was sitting on my couch with a coffee table in front...not much leg room. As trainer asked Brodie to 'down' between the couch and table Brodie stepped on trainers foot...then moved back and into a down, mouth open and smiling, great eye contact with trainer the entire time. Hot dog, hot dog, hot dog....

 

Trainer's interpretation was that this was a dominance move by the dog...."any time a dog steps on a human's foot it's an attempt at dominance"......hmmmmm.....I could maybe buy it if a dog steps up and STAYS on your foot.....

 

Wow...yeah, I wouldn't consider that a dominance move. More like a dog accidentally stepping on him. For a fearful dog, positive training is definitely going to be key. Mick's fear was with children, and we got over it through exclusively positive training (frisbees and balls).

 

And, I don't fall into the clicker training camp either. As in, Mick is weirded out by clickers and has nearly zero food motivation. Sinead is very food motivated, so she gets treated for doing well. I'm a fan of the Leerburg methods with Mick. I know that probably isn't popular with a bunch of people here and isn't right for most Border Collies, but it honestly works really well for him. Like amazingly well.

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Trainer's interpretation was that this was a dominance move by the dog...."any time a dog steps on a human's foot it's an attempt at dominance"......

 

Oh wow, I'm no expert but I've never heard of this interpretation :rolleyes:

 

Chase must be one dominant little dog (so not) as he always puts both of his front feet on my feet when I formally recall him. It's more like he slides in so fast he's up against my legs and his feet have nowhere to go but on mine :D

He can put his feet on mine anytime. LOL

 

I agree that we tend to label dogs too quickly.

It's nice to hear that Brodie seems to have had some really good experiences over the last couple of days.

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