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Discussion Starter #1
Today I saw just how much progress Jax has made with his two biggest issues and I genuinely feel like shouting from the rooftops I'm so happy!

So instead of looking like a bit of an idiot, I'm going to share here instead!!

This morning we were out on our walk when we came across the local dog walker with six terriers and her friend who had a westie, the terriers were all highly reactive and going mental, to my amazement Jax just sat next to my scooter while I fed him treats as they all walked past us, it wasn't like he was staring at them or doing his suspicious body language, he genuinely sat there as though they weren't even there! I was so pleased I threw him a huge party with treats and praise and whooping and hollaring and then I realised the two ladies were doing the same as they know what an achievement that was, it was lovely!

The second thing is even more impressive, not once has Jax reacted to any outside noise today, no huffing, no barking, no full on panic attack, he's not even looking up any more, he just lies there and waits for his treat to be delivered!!
I didn't even realize next door had got returned home from work, normally just the sound of the car pulling up sends him into meltdown and then it's continuous as she shuts her car door, opens her gate, walks up the path and shuts the door, it's always been too much for him and yet today, he just lay there in his bed, nice and relaxed with soft eyes instead of anxious ones, we sat there and listened to the whole routine I couldn't have asked for more from him!

So we had a ten minute game with the ball, some treats and a groom for his efforts!

xxxx
 

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Congrats nice milestone

Can you give us some backdrop on this story. What was Jax like before when the same situation happened.

Now that he is behaving better, what did you do to train him to have this attitude and how long did it take?

Good job.:)
 

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Yay, it's so awesome when there are positive results like this! Good Jax! :)
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Hey Yvon,

Yes of course, I'd be happy to, I just didn't want to bore everyone but as you've asked it'd be rude not to!

Like I said we've had Jax for nearly two years, he's my first dog and came with way more issues than we realized, generalized anxiety, fear aggression, reactivity to other dogs and people, reactivity to anything going on outside the house, resource guarding- obviously I didn't know any of this in the beginning and I'm not going to lie and say it's been easy, it's been awful at times and I've been way out of my depth, however I realized early on that only I could do something about it, I had to make a choice and step up to the plate, there was no other option.

So I set out to learn as much as I can, reading anything and everything I can get my hands on which helped me realize just how bad the situation was and that all of the issues were fear driven, so I started looking into ways I could reduce the stress in his life, I can't emphasis enough how important this was, silly things such as instead of letting Jax work himself up into a full on panic attack for hours before the postman came and then throwing himself at the door when I put the post through, I just stopped getting it delivered, he was so over-threshold constantly, there was no getting through to him, i needed him to be able to relax before I could start even trying to work with him.

After speaking to my vet, he was put on Xanax, it was a very difficult decision for me to make and I shed a lot of tears over it, thinking I was a bad owner and beating myself up, however it was the best thing I could have done for my dog, I knew it would never be a miracle cure but if used in the right way, to simply take the edge off to allow training to take place, then it's a useful tool as there was no way Jax could learn with his brain in the state it was!

It's been a multi-faceted approach and we're working on everything, all of the time, I'm lucky in that because I'm disabled and unable to work, I have a lot of time (illness permitting obviously!) to dedicate to working with Jax I can give him lots of exercise while being careful not to increase arousal, lots of brain games to tire him out and make him think and I can do lots and lots and lots of socializing and then some more!! I got all the local shops involved, I took packets of treats to the vets, charity shops and pet shop and asked the staff to help, everyone's been great and now Jax is a mini celebrity around here as he comes everywhere with me and everyone knows him!! He loves it now, watching him walking with a spring in his step after a meet and greet with his people as I call it, is one of my all time favourite things!

Most importantly and I cannot stress this enough, Jax is my priority, I know my dog now better than I know myself and I know exactly what he's thinking at all times, this means I can get him out of situations that stress him out and prevent mishaps or backward steps in training, the most important thing is to manage the situation to prevent the unwanted behavior occuring, you need to be your dogs biggest advocate and supporter, I have no problem ignoring a human if I need to focus on Jax, I have no problem appearing rude if I need to, Jax is always my priority and focus and I will do whatever it takes to make sure he never feels so scared he needs to defend himself, that's my job now!

I'm sorry if this is all a bit rambled, I didn't sleep too well last night and my brains a bit addled!

If you have any further questions though please feel free, if you haven't already noticed I could talk about Jax all day, he's my greatest achievement in life so far! X
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey Yvon,

Yes of course, I'd be happy to, I just didn't want to bore everyone but as you've asked it'd be rude not to!

Like I said we've had Jax for nearly two years, he's my first dog and came with way more issues than we realized, generalized anxiety, fear aggression, reactivity to other dogs and people, reactivity to anything going on outside the house, resource guarding- obviously I didn't know any of this in the beginning and I'm not going to lie and say it's been easy, it's been awful at times and I've been way out of my depth, however I realized early on that only I could do something about it, I had to make a choice and step up to the plate, there was no other option.

So I set out to learn as much as I can, reading anything and everything I can get my hands on which helped me realize just how bad the situation was and that all of the issues were fear driven, so I started looking into ways I could reduce the stress in his life, I can't emphasis enough how important this was, silly things such as instead of letting Jax work himself up into a full on panic attack for hours before the postman came and then throwing himself at the door when I put the post through, I just stopped getting it delivered, he was so over-threshold constantly, there was no getting through to him, i needed him to be able to relax before I could start even trying to work with him.

After speaking to my vet, he was put on Xanax, it was a very difficult decision for me to make and I shed a lot of tears over it, thinking I was a bad owner and beating myself up, however it was the best thing I could have done for my dog, I knew it would never be a miracle cure but if used in the right way, to simply take the edge off to allow training to take place, then it's a useful tool as there was no way Jax could learn with his brain in the state it was!

It's been a multi-faceted approach and we're working on everything, all of the time, I'm lucky in that because I'm disabled and unable to work, I have a lot of time (illness permitting obviously!) to dedicate to working with Jax I can give him lots of exercise while being careful not to increase arousal, lots of brain games to tire him out and make him think and I can do lots and lots and lots of socializing and then some more!! I got all the local shops involved, I took packets of treats to the vets, charity shops and pet shop and asked the staff to help, everyone's been great and now Jax is a mini celebrity around here as he comes everywhere with me and everyone knows him!! He loves it now, watching him walking with a spring in his step after a meet and greet with his people as I call it, is one of my all time favourite things!

Most importantly and I cannot stress this enough, Jax is my priority, I know my dog now better than I know myself and I know exactly what he's thinking at all times, this means I can get him out of situations that stress him out and prevent mishaps or backward steps in training, the most important thing is to manage the situation to prevent the unwanted behavior occuring, you need to be your dogs biggest advocate and supporter, I have no problem ignoring a human if I need to focus on Jax, I have no problem appearing rude if I need to, Jax is always my priority and focus and I will do whatever it takes to make sure he never feels so scared he needs to defend himself, that's my job now!

I'm sorry if this is all a bit rambled, I didn't sleep too well last night and my brains a bit addled!

If you have any further questions though please feel free, if you haven't already noticed I could talk about Jax all day, he's my greatest achievement in life so far! X
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sorry for the double post, I can't seem to delete it!

I just wanted to say that with Jax, everything has been about building his confidence, being pro-active in a situation rather than reactive, setting him up to succeed at all times and letting him learn in his own time, we celebrate the wins no matter how small and he's always rewarded for making the right choice, he trusts me, is much happier and I get the dog I always knew he could be, it's all about effort and consistency!
 
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