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Indie is getting jumpy again
Topic Started: 6 Mar 2014, 20:25 (852 Views)
Indie chick
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After Indie had her first lot of surgery last year she went through a spell of being frightened of traffic and alarm barking at people coming towards us but thankfully she got over it fairly quickly once she got used to being out and about again.

Since the last lot of surgery she has started to be quite jumpy around the house. She used to be happy to lie in the kitchen while I emptied the dishwasher and clattered about putting pots and pans away but recently any noise and she has her tail tucked under and leaps away often scurrying as far away as she can get sliding on the tiles as she goes. Rather than getting better she seems to be getting worse. This evening I had my rucksack on and her on a lead ready to go out to the car for their walk, my rucksack bashed against the door as we were going out and she nearly did us both damage leaping and charging to get away from it. Even the food bowls are making her jump which is most unlike her as she loves her grub.

Any suggestions. I already have adaptil plugged in the lounge.
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pangolin
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Do you have the Adaptil on all the time? Just wondering if the behaviour could have coincided with that, I found Kiki because more anxious when I tried the Adaptil spray.

Otherwise maybe a thorough vet check to make sure there's nothing health-wise. Though being sore/recovering from her ops could be a cause in itself
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Indie chick
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Yes the adaptil is on all the time and has been since late October. I left it on because I thought it was helping keep Colt more relaxed. I did wonder if it was pain related but she had her knee checked by the specialist on Monday and he said it felt fine even though she has been growling when we touch it :dunno:
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woofgang
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I know....creaking gate here....but is she still on the melatonin? We have had a dreadful november to february here. First fireworks then terrible weather, then fireworks, then terrible weather. My dogs have generalised from fireworks and thunder and wind noises, to other hollow booms, eg my crocs dropping on the wood floor, a heavy blanket load rebalancing in the washing machine and so on; and other quasi thunder or firework noises including high pitched ones on the TV, squealing brakes, car alarms and reversing beeps.
I put them back on the melatonin and have been doing "bar open" desensitisation with the predictable noises and avoiding the unpredictable ones as much as possible. We are slowly making progress. I was really reluctant to keep on medicating them but decided it was better than their being so upset.
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Indie chick
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No she isn't on the melatonin anymore. I gradually reduced it down as she was allowed to do more and more so being calm and quiet wasn't so important - she has been off it completely for about 2 weeks which thinking about it has been her worse time. Just now she came in from the garden where OH said she was spooking at nothing although we think a fox was in the garden earlier, I was getting their food out of the freezer and she lept sideways like a scary monster was in the room :( She has never been this bad before which seems odd.

Should I be giving her some melatonin for a while to see if she settles down again or turning the adaptil off :dunno: :dunno: The only other change is her raw diet which shes been on for about 4 weeks but in general terms I would say she is much calmer for that (not jumping on the boys or doing wall of death around the furniture).
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BunterJo
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If she is a generally worried girl (which it sounds like she is) I would be doing some counter-conditioning/desensitisation with her. You will need to carry some sort of treats on you all the time for it to work. Kibble is great if she sees it as high enough value, otherwise you will need to up the stakes to whatever she finds irresistible - chicken, liver, sausage...

So, every time there is a scary noise, 'bones rain from the sky'. Pair the scary thing with yummy stuff. The scary thing becomes a predictor of yummy stuff. Pretty soon, the scary thing becomes less scary...
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Indie chick
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BunterJo
6 Mar 2014, 23:48
If she is a generally worried girl (which it sounds like she is) I would be doing some counter-conditioning/desensitisation with her. You will need to carry some sort of treats on you all the time for it to work. Kibble is great if she sees it as high enough value, otherwise you will need to up the stakes to whatever she finds irresistible - chicken, liver, sausage...

So, every time there is a scary noise, 'bones rain from the sky'. Pair the scary thing with yummy stuff. The scary thing becomes a predictor of yummy stuff. Pretty soon, the scary thing becomes less scary...
Thank you. So the sort of thing I was doing last year with traffic and when we saw people approaching - but do that even when I don't know what it is she is spooking at?

You are right she is a worried girl but she hides is quite well. Like whenever we leave her at the vets, she bounds in wagging her tail, asks for fuss from everyone and mobs the vet but when we pick her up she always has a terrible upset tummy which I've always put down to her being nervous of other dogs so not enjoying the kennels part of the stay.

This morning she seems to be alarm barking at nothing (unless its Mr Fox hanging around) and is very on edge again so I've given her some melatonin and will try the treats.
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woofgang
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Given that I find it helps and doesn't harm, yes I'd give her the melatonin, maybe at a reduced dose if you think the full dose would make her too sleepy.
I know that Niki has her worried collie on it longterm. Sh's been able to reduce the dose recently.
The bar open (bone shower) has worked for me with melatonin but didn't work without.
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Jazzlet
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While it is helpful if you know what is spooking her because you can respond with the treat more quickly, you don't have to know if you respond to her reaction quickly enough that she associates whatever scared her with the treat you are giving.
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Indie chick
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Thanks. I'm going to give her the melatonin but not as much as she was having just after her surgery hopefully it will just be a short term blip :fingers:

When I took her out earlier I kept the goodie bag in my pocket so I could get to it quicker. She was very spooky in the back garden, sniffing the ground madly, back up, barking and shying so she had lots of treats and we left the garden although she was not keen on going up the steps to the gate. She was still a bit odd around the front of our house/drive but settled down completely once we got further along and was absolutely fine the whole walk :dunno: OH is convinced this big male fox he has seen hanging around has been in our garden and that its smell is spooking her :dunno: I'd be surprised the boys aren't going mad if that is the case though. Anyway as Becci says it doesn't really matter what it is we just have to try and get her over it. She seems pretty relaxed now. I might sleep downstairs with her tonight as for the first time in many months she woke us up crying at the baby gate on the stairs last night, OH came down to her but she didn't really want anything. I'm loathe to start letting her upstairs because of her dodgy joints and usually she is perfectly happy downstairs on her own as long as she can be on her sofa.
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BunterJo
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If she's worried about the garden, I'd fling food around it. Maybe scatter feed her out there. Again, it'll change her underlying emotional response to being out there :)
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Rossingleton
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How is Indy doing now?
Been thinking about her (and you). Are you both coping?
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Indie chick
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She seems much more settled again now thanks. She is still having a low dose of melatonin and seems happier in the garden and is less jumpy around the house. I have no idea what that was all about but :fingers: she remains calmer. She is still a nut case out on walks whenever she spots one of her "special people" of course but I don't think we want to change that really.
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woofgang
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I m glad to hear Indie Pup is happier again. I sometimes think they do it on purpose to keep us on our toes
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