Feb 22, 2021
3 mins read
This dog is over 4 years old. He is a male Weimeraner, neutered at about 6 months of age. Owners have owned him since puppyhood.
They resided in Casper, Wyoming for the first few years of the dogs' life. They moved to Boston just over a year ago for 6 months and then moved to Maryland.
They currently live in an apartment at the harbor in Baltimore. The dog has become increasingly anxious, and owners can not leave him alone because he barks and whines.
When the dog came for the evaluation, the owner had him on a loosely fitting harness, was having difficulty getting the dog to 'settle' and repetitively, almost subconsciously stroked the dog to keep him still.
The dog had enzyme stains along the skirts of his loin and along the underbelly, as well as on the inside of both hind legs, and I asked the owner if he had been seen for allergies. The owner indicated no.
This dog is not aggressive, but for a moment towards the end of this video, he came out of his state of anxiety for a brief foray into the possibility. He decided it wasn't worth it, but still. For a moment it was an option.
Moving him away from his owner gave me an inclination of how much he was willing to resist separation, but the table is where he showed how willing he was to face discomfort over cooperation.
We use the tables a lot in training. They tell us a lot about a dog's willingness to cooperate or resist, ability to overcome caution, even fear, and how quickly they recover from being forced to function outside their comfort zone.
This dog was pretty willing to give up his owner for comfort, but the discomfort of the shaky table, the noise and the rough surface was a bit harder for him to break through.
Although it is difficult to ascertain exactly how much collar pressure I am applying by watching the video, note that the hand is steady and trying not to react to the amount of oppositional force the dog was applying -to me-.
He weighs a hundred pounds. He is rarely exercised because walking him is unmanageable, and now that they are being threatened with eviction, it is time to 'do something' about this dogs' behavior.
Ownership is interested in a board and train option. A minimum stay would be no LESS than 6 weeks. There is no touching this dogs' issues in a two week anything. Detox, maybe. Clear his head of all the chlorapromazine and other drugs that have been hit or miss darts slung at a moving target.
This is the amalgam of allowing inappropriate behaviors over the course of this dogs life.
The absence of obedience has taught this dog that his behavior will be nurtured, either externally by his owners directly (coddling, petting, not altering the behavior) and internally (endorphins being dumped creates a cycle of arousal similar to addictive behavior in humans).
The presence of obedience would certainly hold the dog accountable for his decisions.
Training provides options. Training helps the dog develop new neural pathways that enable them to make informed choices about how to respond.
I discouraged this owner from a board and train for two reasons. The breed and age of dog make him an excellent candidate for GDV and I'm not interested in having to deal with that on my watch.
My PRIMARY reason for declining this client as a BT candidate is his owners helped create this neurosis, and they should not be exonerated from it's resolution.
Let me know your thoughts, and feel free to give me suggestions!