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From: ellie (149.168.240.9)
Subject:         Re: Callie -can you help me with my nervous/previously abused border collie?
Date: January 17, 2014 at 1:33 pm PST

In Reply to: Callie -can you help me with my nervous/previously abused border collie? posted by katrina on January 9, 2014 at 9:50 am:

I haven't been on this board in forever - and just by chance, I was thinking about Callie too and moseyed by....I'll email her and ask her to check this board and reply to you.
here is what I can tell you....with MASSIVE anxiety like this, where you are having to de-sensitize to nearly everything, you'll need to do two things: one is break down the desensitizing into smaller chunks. Focus on ONE fear situation at first. When your pup (what's her name, btw?) experiences some success that will help her with the next steps. for instance, say one situation is being near or in the car. Start with just your car. Put her on leash (uh oh - is she afraid of the leash? if so, you'll have to start with that first) and get some of her very favoritest treats, and go jsut close enough to the car for her to start to tense up. Stop there, and just stand. talk to her calmly, matter of factly, telling her it's okay. Give her a treat. continue to stand until she just begins to relax a little bit. praise her like crazy, and take her away from the car. a little while later, repeat. Next time, get a little closer. The idea is to work your way up to riding in the car without anxiety, but to do that, she has to be able to be calm at each step closer to getting in the car. whatever you do, stay calm and matter of fact yourself. don't fall over yourself reassuring her or msitakenly praising her anxiety response. Now, you've still a a dog who is incredibly anxious and wound up and still isn't fully trained, but she has had the experience of getting over a fear, and YOU have been her rock of security in this. On to the next feared object....

I do not push meds by any means, but this poor girl is so overwhelmingly anxious that you might want to try Rescue Remedy for her. and in any case, a thorough vet workup is needed.

The other part of this is that she needs to know what to expect day to day. To the extent that your work allows, try to be absolutely consistent about your comings and goings. Don't make too big a deal about leaving and coming home, make it a relaxed, casual leavetakign and greeting. and DO use "Nothing IN Life Is Free" training. Google on it and you'll find a full description of how to do it. Nothing will reduce her anxiety better than knowing her place with you and what to do to please you.
Finally, she's a BC. what kind of exercise and mental stimulation is she getting? a bored BC is a nervous BC.......

Callie will know more. I'll give her a holler and see if she can fill you in better than I can. God bless you for rescuing this baby!


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