New cattle dog in the big city!

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New cattle dog in the big city!

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Old 06-15-2015, 01:22 PM
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New cattle dog in the big city!

Hi!

I live in Brooklyn and live a very active life in the city, work from home and make lots of time to get out traveling and adventuring - I just adopted an extremely high energy heeler mix who I hope to bring along with me as my sidekick on all my adventures.

His name is Chicken, about two years old - and brilliant. I LOVE him.

I noticed right away that he has anxiety - both separation anxiety and anxiety in general. It comes out in panting, whining, pacing, not listening to commands, and even having accidents in the house.

I know the breed is prone to anxiety without enough exercise so I made sure from the start to develop a rigorous daily exercise routine - with a long morning run, an hour long mid-day play in the massive park with other dogs, and evenings at the beach playing fetch and swimming.

Even still, his anxiety only seems to worsen as the day goes on and he gets more and more exercise. In the morning he is calm and very responsive on our walks and doesn't pant or pace in the house.

Right now I'm working on different things to figure out what he needs - maybe more purposeful exercise, like a job? or maybe he only needs more time to adjust to his new home.

My goal is to be able to take him on road trips with me, take him traveling and camping and staying at friends and family's houses. I want to control his anxiety so new experiences will be easy and fun for him and not stressful.

I would LOVE hearing if anyone has any tips to help me and Chicken be the best pair we can be!!

Thanks!

Natalie
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Old 06-15-2015, 02:20 PM
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Chicken the heeler mix

Here's a photo of my Chicken!
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Old 06-15-2015, 02:26 PM
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He's new, so it may just be a matter of time.

That being said, I have 2 pieces of advice:

1. Talk to your vet about when to try medication like Prozac. It's cheap and it really helps dogs with anxiety. I think your vet will want to wait and see if settling in helps any, but maybe not. Maybe your dog is showing signs of anxiety beyond just new rescue jitters.

2. Back off the exercise and add in some settling training. A lot of herding breeds don't have an off switch built it and need their owner to train them how to calm down. Even if the issue is medical or just a result of being a new rescue, it doesn't hurt to train a dog how to settle.

ETA: He is pretty!

E(again)TA: If you're using any force-based training- leash popping, cans of pennies, vocal punishments, anything negative- stop! Some dogs, who have hard temperaments, can take that kind of training and stay calm, but nervous dogs fall apart under the strain. So stay positive, in everything you do with this dog.

Last edited by amaryllis; 06-15-2015 at 02:28 PM.
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