Reactivity in dogs, you can make a difference.

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Dawnspell
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First Name: Alison
Dog #1: Barney RIP 8/3/19
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Dog #2: Jasper
is a: White Mini Dog
Born: 25 Apr 2019
Location: Guernsey

Reactivity in dogs, you can make a difference.

Post by Dawnspell »

For anyone with reactive dogs I just wanted to do a post to give you hope it can be changed.

About a year and a half ago I started games based concept training with Jasper. At this point away from the house he was super vigilant to everything, he wasnt able to accept treats as a reward and couldnt settle anywhere. If there was a dog in sight no matter the distance it was impossible to get his attention away from it. Any sound of a child he would woof, he could be at the back of our house and woof hearing the children across the road. The sight of a child especially one moving would set him off into a woofing lunging frenzy. In the car he would woof at anything coming near the car. I took him into Pets at home around this time and had to leave quickly as every person he saw he woofed and lunged at in the enclosed space and hes stranger wary.

We've just come back from a boating holiday on the Norfolk broads where there were more distractions than you could shake a stick at and we hardly had any melt downs.

This is him on our last morning when we went out for breakfast. A year and a half ago there is no way he would have even laid down and settled like this in our garden or even someone else house he was used to going to, never mind in a place hed never been before.
Image

He's still got loads of room for improvement, he has daily natural calming supplements, we still do lots of training and I try to manage his environment as much as possible eg we went to eating places as they first opened and chose quiet corners to limit his view, and try to avoid things that I know will cause a reaction from him. Theres no way he could cope walking into a crowded pub or cafe and sitting at a table with lots of people passing by all the time or a dog at the next table, or go to a park next to the childs play area, or go to a place with lots of other dogs, or cope walking through a crowd of people, I dont let strangers come near him if they ask to say hello. Yes, he also still woofs at the postman but some things you can live with =)) and other things can still be improved but it will take time.
Our first family dog
Barney - Pocketpark Biali Eyebright 6/2/13 - 8/3/19 Gone too soon
Motto for owners who groom their own Schnauzers -"Never mind it'll soon grow back"
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zeta1454
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Re: Reactivity in dogs, you can make a difference.

Post by zeta1454 »

Thank you for sharing this post and your journey with Jasper over the past year and a half - definitely an inspiration and encouragement to anyone with a dog that has over-reactive issues.
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

Magic - Silversocks Sharade at Darksprite
Trilby - Darksprite Rosa Bud


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Schnauzerluv
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Re: Reactivity in dogs, you can make a difference.

Post by Schnauzerluv »

Well the postman is on HIS turf, I don't blame Jasper for woofing ;) Thanks for the write up, it will help anyone with a reactive schnauzer for sure!

PS I agree, games are the absolute best for schnauzers!
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Re: Reactivity in dogs, you can make a difference.

Post by Bee- »

Great post thank you so much, a real big help it’s a journey for sure with an anxious, reactive dog . My young dog is exactly the same as your Jasper ( and a handsome white too 😜) so found this really encouraging, we do games based training too as well as sometimes 1-1 with a trainer who completely gets him. Tried many different calming supplements but not had much success so far. Any recommendations welcome ?!
Keep up the good work Jasper !
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Dawnspell
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Posts: 4563
Joined: 05 Mar 2013, 18:27
First Name: Alison
Dog #1: Barney RIP 8/3/19
is a: White Mini Dog
Born: 06 Feb 2013
Dog #2: Jasper
is a: White Mini Dog
Born: 25 Apr 2019
Location: Guernsey

Re: Reactivity in dogs, you can make a difference.

Post by Dawnspell »

The thing with a lot of the calming supplements is they have to be given everyday and it can take several weeks for them to make a difference, but they wear off quicker than they take to act. Theres been a couple of times where for some reason hes hasnt had them for a couple of days and by the third day you just notice hes a little more aware of things and quicker to react.

Nothing I give him sedate him like some of the things you can get from the vets.

Daily he has, this for 10kg dog.
Dorwest skullcap and valerian he has 2 tabs in the morning for his weight but another 2 can be given in the afternoon if its a challenging day.
iKarmel calming ( from amazon ) these have camomile, passiflora, thiamine, ginger and magnesium.
L'Theanine 200mg per day
Petastical Probiotics (ebay) these ones have the full range not just one or 2 strains. Its been found in humans as well as dogs that gut health can have an effect on mental well being. He doesnt have digestive issues but they wont do any harm anyway.

If I know theres an event coming up that he may find stressful then a week before and daily up to the event I'll also give him a supplement with L'Taurine and insitol in and on the day or if something unexpected comes up I will give him YuCalm (which Ive just seen has changed its name to YuMove calming care so need to check ingredients havent changed) tablet that contains Gaba a neurotransmitter (not gabapentin) and L'tryptophan 2 hours before. I've found the Yucalm doesnt work as well if used for more than 3 days. These can all be given daily as well as the above.

I have triple checked maximum doses on all the active ingredients even done a spreadsheet and everything to make sure he doesnt exceed any doses of anything and can be given safely to Jasper who has no health issues but I'm not a vet this is just my own research. I know from other people using supplements its a lot of trial and error as to what works for each dog.
Our first family dog
Barney - Pocketpark Biali Eyebright 6/2/13 - 8/3/19 Gone too soon
Motto for owners who groom their own Schnauzers -"Never mind it'll soon grow back"
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