Yes, all of them. He actually does well with people once he gets a chance to know them (for instance he now runs happily into our local pet store to greet his favorite employees), and we know that given time with another puppy he did ok off leash based on a few weeks where his puppy class only had one other pup and consistently it was just us two and he got comfortable. We don’t have friends or family with dogs we could trust to socialise with him before he was fully vaccinated though. Our only family member with a dog has a very dog aggressive dog, which obviously wasn’t the way to go. Now that he’s fully vaccinated we’re trying to work on more time with other dogs, but it’s being hindered by a combination of his anxiety and us just not having a lot of dog friends. Our trainer actually helps with this too, they have a group where we can seek out other appropriate dogs to socialise with once we have the back to school chaos over with (which the first day of school was just thjsIs he afraid of them all? He's only 18 weeks. Sounds like time for more doggie/people socializing.
This is where my thoughts are right now. It sounds like there’s a very high chance it will at least be a few weeks and I don’t want him to be miserable.If it were my dog, I would prefer to start with the behaviorist. 1) I would want the behaviorist to see how the pup behaves under normal conditions 2) a vet behaviorist can write scripts if medication is needed.
However, I also would not want the puppy to suffer with unmedicated anxiety for weeks or months while waiting for an appointment with the behaviorist. If it seems like you will indeed need to wait a while to get an appointment, I would go with the advice of your regular vet and trainer. Medicate if they think it will help keep your puppy stable while you wait. I'm glad your trainer is admitting this problem needs to be handled by someone with a deeper toolbox and is also suggesting early intervention.
All four trainers in the group we use are certified and often work with the behaviourist here. They’ve also watched his anxiety increase week to week at puppy classes, to the point where the last few lessons he needed a barrier to not see the other puppies and even then was still crying and anxious. They’re really familiar with him and know him well enough to know that while he’s making improvements in some areas they’re still being outweighed by increased issues in other areas.I agree with @cowpony. If this is an experienced, certified trainer, whom you trust, I see no reason to second guess them. I don’t think they’d sound the alarm for normal social deficits. They’d make sure you were enrolled in a good puppy class, working through a socialization checklist, etc.
How much sleep would you say he gets a day? Could you describe what his anxious responses look like?Since he came home we’ve been dealing with anxiety about going outside, other dogs, random objects outside, strange people, and much more,
Yes, we’ve been following the same link for the relaxation protocol, and indeed that is the same Dr. Overall who works at the college here! She runs the behavioural program hereI have no opinions on meds - if the experts say use them then I'd likely try them. I sometimes think Trixie, our highly anxious Yorkie would do well to have them.
Have you tried working on relax on a mat? Annie wasn't anxious, per ce, - well, except seperation anxiety- but very very alert. All the time. Relax on a mat was really really helpful in teaching her how to calm, and recover from excitement and go back to calm. I am definitely not suggesting this as an alternative to a behaviourist, (except, didn't Karen Overall literally create the Relaxation protocol???) but as an idea to try while you wait. I know how challenging getting into trainers can be, I can't imagine a behaviourist!
Here's the link I followed:
I’ll definitely talk to them about getting some time to for something like you described. We’ve already planned for them to be there for his first few meetings with other dogs to help because I’m not the greatest at reading body language in real time so having an unbiased and experienced eye is key. They also have connections to dogs (some they own, some they know from training them) who they can match well with Tuck to help us make sure his interactions are with them are positive. Funny enough he already has cat tunnels from out cat at home!That is one cute puppy! 18 weeks old, Here is what I have done with pups that were 12 to whatever age. While you are waiting I will suggest you contact the training facility and ask if they offer free time in the arena. If they do set up a mini agility course yes agility not full jumps just very very low jumps and weave poles and cat walk etc and train/PLAY with your pup to build confidence. Do this without any dogs with you. When he is enjoying himself at a fast pace [you must have fun and use Good treats] add one more dog that is not interested in the puppy and very stable. Do not add extra dog for at least a week or two!!. This will not cure the separation anxiety but confidence building does amazing things for anxiety reduction.
Anyway that is what I have done in the past and it has always worked. You said your pup enjoys the dog store and the employees so this is a great sign that confidence building is the way to go.
You also mentioned that you suffer with anxiety as well so if you can bring a friend or trainer with you to also work the dog that would be great as when you introduce the other dog into the mix he must be handled by someone that does not carry that energy for the fist time..
Agility cannot be done on a puppy this young so be sure to make it clear you are doing confidence building and not "jumping" the dog,
Also cat tunnels can be bought for in house fun training
Good luck to you and I hope things get better, I am sure they will from what you have said about the little guy.
I’ll reach out to the breeder to see what she thinks too.I'd definitely contact the breeder to ask if any other siblings from that litter are having similar issues.
I can't disagree with getting an early handle on this, but to jump to medication at only 18weeks has a not-right feel to me. This is not advice to you, only my personal feelings.
I like the idea of training to build confidence. Success begets success. To Tuck, it's just fun, not work, and getting praise and other rewards just for doing something he enjoys, icing on his cake.
How much sleep would you say he gets a day? Could you describe what his anxious responses look like?
In all the pictures you've posted of Tuck, and granted, you're not choosing those photos to display his anxiety, I haven't seen an anxious posture or look in his eyes. What I hear you describe sounds like sensitive puppy, not full on anxious and not something so far out of puppy ordinary that it can't be helped. I'm in no position to second guess your trainer so please read my post as only a different voice.
That’s funny you say that, our trainer wonders if the anti barking collars our breeder used on her adults caused anxiety and rubbed off on Tuck.I've dealt with noise-induced anxiety in my non-poodle dog. The advice you've been given is the same as what I learned at the time. The purpose of the meds is for dogs who can't relax enough to respond to training. I didn't notice when my dog's phobias began, and concur with addressing this issue as quickly as you can. I wonder if my dog would have improved if I had noticed the fears sooner and addressed them through a behaviorist.
My dog is on Alprazolam (Xanax), which hasn't affected her personality. It's allowed her to relax enough to improve her appetite. She sleeps well, but she's 12.5 years old, which may be a factor. It's not a perfect solution, the month or so of fireworks this year were still challenging, but I also am better at managing her fear. This includes not freaking out when a "situation" develops, as she can respond to my anxiety about her reaction to noise.
When I brought my poodle home, I was told that he could be influenced by my other dog's fears. That's another reason for addressing this problem soon, in case another dog is brought into the home at some point and could learn how to be afraid. Good luck with your treatment.
This is my hope. If we could use them temporarily to help him be able to settle enough to work through desensitising and building confidence we could wean him and he would have a better foundation to work with day to day.Merlin has been evaluated by a behaviorist and was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. He was on clomicalm (clomipramine) for a few years. It helped me get him used to many life situations and accept them more. He does get calmer with medication, but he also gets less playful. I chose to wean him off because of that, but I believe having him on those meds for a while was beneficial.
No issues with fear or anxiety from the parents from what I’m told. His mother is a champion show dog and has no issues being at shows surrounded by lots of people and dogs. His father I’m told is confident and playful.Yeah, what you are describing sounds beyond a typical puppy "stranger danger" fear stage.
Do you know if either of his parents are anxious or fearful? If so, then he could be genetically more prone to fearfulness and anxiety, and a major traumatic incident at a young age can make a huge impression.
I believe they were shock collars. When I picked him up that was when I found out. Her males were barking from their kennels (when I arrived she was putting them away) and she picked up a remote and pressed a button and then called into the kennel “don’t make me use it” or something like that and told me she “usually only has to just the warning beep”.What do you mean by anti barking collars? Shock collars? If your breeder uses those methods on her adults, it’s very likely there is instability in the home. I would also be concerned about the methods she uses on her puppies.
One of the worst cases of anxiety I’ve heard about was triggered by an invisible fence.
I definitely will!P.S. I hope you’ll share your experience with us, with Dr. Overall. What an incredible resource! Tuck really is in the very best hands with his loving family and such top notch animal professionals.
This is the exact issue, balancing his needs is a lot.