Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Decision Time

     Today, Brando had his umpteenth training class.  He has this new fear of shiny floors, so he drops to the floor the minute we step foot into anywhere that has a shiny floor.  Training is no exception.  He now shakes with fear if we're doing any exercise that requires my daughter and I to step away from him.  I feel that at this point, I should discontinue Brando's training.  It seems cruel to put him through this.  Today, a man in our class was complaining to my daughter about Brando. (Sometimes it takes Brando a little longer to accomplish something because of his fearfulness.)   I wished I had been there to set him straight, but she ignored him, which was probably the right thing to do at that moment. 
     Like I've mentioned before, Brando's trainer wants the vet to put Brando on medication for Generalized Anxiety Disorder.  The vet wants to give him a little more time before we do that, and it seems like a wise choice.  We've seen some amazing progress.  I think if we work one-on-one with him, maybe he will come out of his shell.  He's no longer afraid of other dogs, or his trainer.  He will also take affection (in small doses) from a stranger.   I want to look into other ways to help Brando, instead of relying on a drastic drug with who-knows-what type of side effects it has.  I don't want to close the door on anything right now.  If we decide that we've exhausted every possible avenue to help Brando, then we can talk medication.  As of next week, Humphrey Bogart will take Brando's spot in training.  Brando will still continue to do workshops towards CGC.  If it takes Brando a little more time to earn CGC, I've got nothing but time. 


  1. That man should not have been so rude. We are all scared of somethibg. I think you should be able to help him without medications. Maybe you should call Dog Whisperer, he helps dogs with anxiety. I say to definitely try the Thundershirt. It helps with anxiety, and has a satisfaction guarantee I think!

  2. Woof! Woof! Interesting ... shiny woods floors. FYI: I have a current giveaway from Canine Calm Balm. Check it out the product on my Golden NEWS on the top right side bar...organic n safe blam it might help. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  3. Try the Thundershirt. It helped me up greatly with my anxiety for loud noises. It really helps.

    Nubbin wiggles,

  4. The more Brando socializes with other dogs, the more brave he will become. How about a doggy day care? Like for an hour or two several days a week? The more he interacts with other dogs, the more he learns to be not so afraid of things.

    And that man really needs to shut up!!!!

    About the meds... We have had to give Freddy anxiety pills before and they do seem to help. He doesn't need it anymore. We keep them for 4th of July and New Year's with all the fireworks and all the commotion, and it really helps Freddy not go into a panic and start shaking like crazy. So if you do go the route of pills, just know that Brando may not need it long term. Maybe a week or two, maybe a month... depends on the dog's temperament... and then you can try going off it and seeing how he does. For us, while Freddy was on those pills, he didn't care about the things he usually did and after we took him off it, he was no longer afraid because he learned while he was on the meds. He was able to give things a chance. Before, Freddy was terrified of the vaccuum. He would find the furthest corner of the house to hide in. Now he can stay in the same room with the vaccuum running, and this is with no pills!

  5. Well, it sounds as though Brando is making progress. We bet he just needs a little more time and patience. Paws crossed!

  6. Hi Y'all,

    We told y'all we were glad we found you (your PBU post). We've signed on to follow regularly.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

    P.S. Ooops. Comments that don't pop up won't let me use by active blogspot blog. You'll find a link in the livejournal introduction.

  7. I agree with your vet, he just needs some more time. One of my foster puppies was deathly terrified of our hard wood floors and refused to budge an inch if we put him on them, he would only walk on the carpet and since the doggie door was across the room with hard wood if we didn't carry him out he would soil the carpet. We just couldn't figure out what to do.. But we were patient and kept encouraging him with little progress, then he bonded with another foster puppy of ours and when they would play the older foster would dart out onto the hard wood and of course the little one would stop, well slowly but surely he got tired of being left behind so he started with a few steps then more and more and finally lost all his inhibitions about the hard wood floors! They all learn in different ways, you'll find Brando's, I'm sure of it. :)
    Vicki June

  8. I would give it more time, I have a fearful dog myself, Bob, our bulldog. He has gotten better as he got older, his worst fear stage was at about a year. I did recently buy him a calming collar, www.calmingcollars.com. I wrote about on my blog, urban hounds-

    It might help your little guy

  9. i'm so sorry to hear you're having trouble with insensitive people in your training group. i feel like dog owners are such awesome folks, but there are always a few who make you wonder why they even have a dog themselves.

    anyway, i hope brando can work out some of his fears. love and patience and support and consistency are the best things you can give. i fully agree with waiting out medication options, but if it turns out to be something you need to do for brando, don't let it make you feel like a bad mom or like you've given up. some pups just need a little extra help.

    best of luck!