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Julie
Thanks for support
Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:41
63.239.65.11

Thank you for your support. I have had my guy on Prozac pretty much ever since we got him three years ago, but stupidly I took him off of it in April of this year. I had been seriously ill myself and when I got better I was feeling wonderful that I was still alive, and my optimism led me to believe that everything would be fine. I thought that since I was feeling better I would be able to work with him more and therefore not need the Prozac. I was wrong. He is back on it now. Other than that the vet says he is in pretty good shape. I take him and my other dog walking or running every morning, a minimum of two miles - on the weekends we go up to five miles. His diet is pretty good. He does not see as well as other dogs and I suspect this makes things worse because he does not always know what is going on. He is not blind but has trouble in dim light. I know his distance vision is not good because he doesn't see the squirrels, deer and birds that my other dog sees. The vet said it will never get better but he does not expect it to get any worse either.

I can't really crate him when people are over because these days people that he doesn't know are over all of the time. He would be spending his life in a crate. I do keep him in a bedroom or in the fenced-in back yard for short periods of time if it is not too hot.

I think you are right that he is fear aggressive and territorial. I will look up those books you recommend. My husband and I have talked about pulling together enough money to work with a behaviorist again. We consulted with a behaviorist about two and a half years ago, had several sessions with her and developed a treatment plan which we have followed ever since. It worked for many of his problems (growling at family members, fear of eating if humans were around, fear of dogs and people when we were on walks or at the vets or groomers, etc.) but it never worked for strangers at the house. This is despite two and a half years of counterconditioning and systematic desensitization. I have another mini that we got from an all-breed rescue who needed some work but she responded beautifully. She is a more confident dog and just needed some training, leadership, and consistency. His problems are fear-based and due to total lack of socialization for the first year and a half of his life.

an important piece of information is that since I first posted here I was able to track down my guy's original breeder. He came with papers and is a physically beautiful dog. His breeder, bless her heart, is very responsible and said she would take him back at any time during his lifetime. With all of the unscrupulous puppy mill and backyard breeders around I was very pleased and impressed with his breeder. She clearly cares about her dogs and takes full responsibility for them. I still would rather not give him up, and frankly I would feel bad giving her a dog that would be just as difficult for her as for me, but at least I know that this is an option now.

In any case, thanks for your support. I can tell from your post that you are dealing with similar issues with your dog.

  • Your MiniChristine, Thu Jul 15 12:04
    Hi Julie, My little rescue has had his share of issues, and has twice snapped and just barely missed biting two different men on the buttocks (i had his leash tight). I have been working with several ... more
    • Thanks for support — Julie, Fri Jul 16 11:41
      • Vision problems may well contributemss, Fri Jul 16 11:53
        I have heard of other vision-impaired dogs that have fear-agression problems because they don't know what's going on around them well enough. The rescue organization of another breed is dealing with... more
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