Twinsane’s Weblog

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an update

Posted by --- on Wednesday 6 August, 2008

Ok over the last couple of weeks Lexie has grown such a lot. We’ve also had to deal with a few issues

After I’ d said how good she was with the kids and her food, she began showing signs of guarding (head low over her bowl, gobbling as fast as she could) Now, I might be being over sensitive but I’m not going to get it wrong if it is food guarding and can not make her worse by being cautious.  I stopped the kids feeding her for a few of her meals and stopped putting the DUCK in her bowl. I gave her AG only and kept the DUCK to one side. With a chunk of duck in my hand I went to throw it into her bowl and as I put my hand towards her she stiffened and started the head low and gobbling. I put my hand next to her and dropped in the meat. I continued breaking off chunks and dropping it in. I kept this up until I was confident she was happy with what I was doing and then let the kids do it under supervision. We’ve been feeding her like this ever since and she looks up at you to drop bits in if you’re too slow! She is quite happy to have her dish removed while she is eating as she gets her DUCK added 🙂

Our other hurdle was the car. at the start I was doing daily runs with her of less than two minutes. The problem was that she still needed to go in the car for vet appointments etc. On her first visit to the vets she was ok, not happy but ok. She was sick in the back. The next time she went she was sick again. She didn’t like the nurse that gave her the microchip and turned her back on her and wouldn’t respond to her trying to talk to her. It’s the first and only time I’ve seen her do it but she was quite deliberate. When the nurse called her, she flicked her ears in her direction but would not turn towards her or get any closer – it was amazing to see really.

Anyway, back to the car. After the last vet visit, she didn’t even want to come out of the gate and trying to get her to the car was a nightmare. She was trying to run backwards on her lead and pulling like crazy. I sat with her for a while. I read on a website ages ago (I’ll have to find it to link to) that it wasn’t fair to put them in places they’re scared of to face their fears and how would we like it being thrown in a room full of spiders!? I can’t look at our boot in the same way anymore…

So I went to the pet shop and bought her a roast knuckle bone. I put it in the boot, dragged her to the car, picked her up and put her in with me sitting on the back. The bone was in the back corner so I showed it to her and she was completely engrossed. Dubiously I shut the door, her ears flicked but she carried on gnawing. I went around the car, opened and shut doors, opened the boot and shut it and the most attention I got was a glance. I decided to start the car and she didn’t flinch. I reversed up and down the drive – guaranteed to bring on copious drooling and nothing happened. I decided to go to the island and back, nothing, around the block and still nothing. I came home and parked up. Opened the boot and tried to get her out. She came but reluctantly. I took her in the house and as we needed fuel, decided to take her with me. This time there was no pulling and only a slight hesitation as I opened the boot door. She took one look at her bone and settled down with it. I went to the garage, fuelled up and came home the long way up the A road. When I got back she was still munching away! She’s been okay ever since. Fingers crossed we’ve cracked the car problem!

Now our problem is other animals. Dogs mainly but she really didn’t like the cows either! She’s had two staffy’s on differnet occasions go for her – either playing or not I’ve no idea but we’ve been on a walk and she starts to bark and they’re off. Thankfully the owners have them on a lead. I think they’re defending themselves as she is the one doing hte barking! I had one of them tell me I should learn to control my dog! I would if I knew how to stop it. As far as I know, if I do anything when she is acting like this, I will encourage it more. I have shouted at her, and turned her around and ignored her etc but if she spots another dog, the hackles go up and she barks and tries to get behind me. I took her to the puppy class and she hid under the bench we were sitting on. A young English terrier came up to play with her and she backed against the wall, he became boisterous and came at her; she was growling and barking at him and pinned in the corner. In the end she snapped at him and we were trying to get them out from under the bench. From then on, every pup that got too close got barked or growled at. In the end the whole class put their dogs on the lead and just lexie was off and people were trying to encourage her with treats. It was like watching a skittish deer. She would edge out and skuttle back. At the end of the couple of hours, she was actually letting one dog come by her and playing. She was bouncing about, ears up, tail up and although she was barking, she was trying to swipe him with her paws and my hopes lifted that she was getting somewhere.  Then we went to the EGSC (dog club) and as soon as she saw the dogs she was off again barking etc. It’s embarrassing – even the puppies look at her like she’s gone bonkers and the adults look at her as if they want nothing to do with this noisy whelp! At one point a lady decided to introduce her dog to Lexie as she thought it would do her good. Her dog is good with puppies. This dog managed to almost get within sniffing range and Lexie acted like she was being murdered. She was yelping and squealing and wrapping herself up in the equestrian equipment! I couldn’t get to her as she’d gone around the barrier and the woman and dog were in the way. The woman kept telling her it was ok and I was trying to be polite and ask her to take her dog away but I’m too meek; I need to develop a set of lungs and some confidence! Again, after a lot of work she settled with them and I think it will be ok with time but I dont think it will happen overnight.

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