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From: Callie (
Subject:         Small steps
Date: November 27, 2009 at 9:19 pm PST

In Reply to: A food aggressive, socialy timid and paranoid dog posted by Rebecca on November 25, 2009 at 8:58 am:

Dang ... I just worked for an hour and lost it. (This is when *I* am tempted to growl ... not at you but at the software).

First and foremost -- I would *not* take this dog to a dog park. Not now ... and perhaps not for a long, long time. You can't 100% control this dog even in your own presence -- and this is a very dangerous dog to have at a dog park. Someone or someone's dog could far far too easily get hurt.

Rather find somewhere you can take this dog for exercise where there are no other dogs -- and don't let this dog off leash unless you have 100% perfect recall.

The next thing I'm going to suggest is to hand feed this dog. Even if you simply keep kibble in your pockets -- you feed one kibble at a time. Low pressure. it's YOURS until you put it in the dog's mouth. Make it cease to be a resource to "guard". But I would not allow a situation where the dog growls or snarls at you. Not near not from far away.

In fact, honestly the first thing I would tell you to do is take this dog to the vet. And to be particular, I would *not* use a regular vet.

It's likely a regular vet would prescribe something like Clomicalm or prozac for this dog. That might not be a bad idea, but honestly I have a gut feeling this is more than just a "nervous" dog.

Some of the things you are telling me sound almost like obsession -- the result of the dog being constantly fearful or ill at ease. This can be more physical than you'd imagine -- in fact, this could easily have it's roots in an almost seizure type state -- which could account for some of the strange unpredictable behavior.

My best suggestion would be to find a vet who does TCVM -- Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. Acupuncture can have incredibly helpful results in situations like this. I have a peke who was a rescue -- and when she first came to us four years ago (and she wasn't a young dog then -- she was like 15 years or so old).

She was an absolue MASS of bizarre behaviors -- and I didn't even see the "pattern" of it myself until my TCVM vet examined her. Kee Shu is simply on some herbs (and Chinese herbs are pretty potent -- very unlike what we have here). But what an amazing change.

Even acupuncture can do amazing things to help calm an animal down ... to help the electrical impulses from the brain do what they should do. Particularly to calm the dog down.

I'm going to link in to the Chi Institute -- it's a qualifying agency for acupuncture vets. If you are in the US there is a locator on the left -- simply look by state or by zip code (or try both if you are near a border).

If you are outside the US, there is a sentence link just under the 'locator' that will show you TCVM vets in Canada and all around the globe.

This isn't a Chinese vet -- this is a vet who practices Eastern medicine -- and any sort of neural problem is truly something they are good at.

Feel free to email me if I can help you further -- my email is:
callie at critturs dot com

(no spaces, and use the punctuation).

good luck -- but seriously you need help with this dog that you can't simply get on the internet (and I've been around her for about 12 years ... and I've helped a lot of folks, but I also know when something really needs help hands-on.)

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