Monday, June 21, 2010

Wrap It Up Already!

We're not done with our catching up posts yet, but those will continue shortly. In the meantime I'm looking into some ways to further facilitate our behaviour modification attempts. It's extremely difficult doing behaviour mod when your dog can't have high-value rewards (although I'm going to try boiled chicken and some plain cooked steak and maybe some turkey bacon) because he's so stressed/distracted outside that he doesn't want kibble (who would!?) and even the canned food in the food tube isn't effective anymore because it's just the same old thing. We are going to try some more foods as well as peanut butter in the food tube and maybe plain yoghurt mixed with his canned food to see if it intriques him but I'm not holding my breath. Due to that we're beginning to look into some alternate ways to "take the edge off" to where he'll be comfortable accepting food rewards and we can continue with the behaviour mod.

Note: The methods to be mentioned are not excuses to be able to slack off on our behaviour modifications but they are tools that we may use until we get Eclipse's anxiety to a managable level that we can work with simply using typical behaviour modification techniques.

One of the tools we want to try is not medical, at all. In fact, it's simply a shirt. Okay, so maybe not so 'simply' but it's based on the same principles as weighted blankets and TTouch. Dogs have pressure points, in putting constant pressure on those points you can greatly decrease a dog's anxiety. This particular pressure wrap, as they're known, is meant for noise reactive dogs but would likely help with Eclipse's anxiety when staying at home, riding in the car and on leash. It's called the Thundershirt and doesn't look like a crazy training aid (which is a big reason I like it!).

The Thundershirt is $36 so not too expensive and they have a money back guarantee so if it doesn't help we would send it back, get our money back and the wrap would be donated to a shelter or rescue to help the homeless dogs. I could see it really helping Eclipse though, and a bonus, I think it'd look good on the boy!

We're also looking into dietary supplements. Tabatha has used Rescue Remedy on him before and has some left over that she's offered us to try so I think we'll give the Rescue Remedy a shot and see if we notice any improvement.

There are other dietary supplements I'm doing research on as I'd like to find a supplement that is given daily with the meals as Teddy could benefit from it as well. We will keep you all updated.

I think I'm going to go get me a pressure wrap! Maybe it would help my ever-worsening anxiety as well.

Ally & Arthur (visiting 6/7 year old miniature poodle/mix, the other dogs are at home with Alex while we babysit)

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