BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS

So many books, so little time! Here are a few I’m enjoying:

Magnificent Mind at Any Age by Daniel Amen. This is a fascinating book by a psychiatrist who began doing SPECT scans of his patients brains and discovered how many psychological/behavioral problems related to brain function. It’s an inspiring book for anyone looking to improve their health and behavior, and besides being motivated to exercise more and stop drinking diet soda (I know, I know), I find myself thinking about dog behavior on every page. Daniel relates multiple cases of people with behavioral problems (fear, depression, anger, impulsivity) that are improved through diet, exercise, supplements and medications that specifically work on areas of the brain related to those problems. Anyone out there see any dogs who are fearful, impulsive, etc etc…?)

Your Dog’s Best Health by Nancy Kay: The subtitle of this compact, highly readable book is “A dozen reasonable things to expect from your vet.” This book is a great summary of how to have the relationship you’d like with your veterinarian, written by a vet herself. Just as the book above can be extended to our dog’s health, I’d say this book could also be expanded to our relationships with our physicians. This book is short, sweet and full of useful information.

There’s a Dog in the House by Nancy Chwiecko and Amy Fernandez. “A practical guide for creating today’s dog friendly home,” this has got to be the only book out there that looks at your home from your dog’s perspective, advises on dog-proof but attractive furniture, has a chapter on helping dogs with special needs and how to repair the wall that your dog with SA chewed through.

I also just finished Therapy Dogs Today, which I read as part of my preparation for the seminar I’m doing in Naples on January 12 on AAA and AAT. By Kris Butler, this is by far the best book I’ve read on the subject, far superior to anything else I’ve seen. What I like about is especially is her focus on the patient’s and the dog’s needs, (owner/handler–your job is to present your dog and get out of the way) and her understanding that real ‘therapy’ can only occur if a true relationship has been formed between the dog and the receiver. She also emphasizes the importance of observing your dog carefully for signs of stress or discomfort, a common problem I’m sorry to say that I’ve seen often in my experience. If you are interested in ever doing this work with your dog, this is a great book to get.

What are you reading? I always love to hear . . .

MEANWHILE, back on the farm:

Great news about Willie. I’ve put him back on a strict diet w/ no chicken or lamb, increased his greens, got him acupuncture, increased his mental exercise, carefully managed Sushi in a way relaxing to us all and put his hobbles back on when we are out or he is meeting unfamiliar men. I speculated that the hobbles acted almost like an anxiety wrap or thunder shirt, and that taking them off (as I have in the last few weeks) when he was free and off leash was at least one factor in his regression. Think of prisoner let out of jail with not enough time to adapt to freedom. It’s only been a week since I made all those changes, but he’s met several guys (all dog savvy and carefully coached), and Willie has showed no signs of fear or anxiety. He ran right up to all the guys like they were his best friends. Yeah!

The first guys Willie met were all off the farm, then the next ones met him outside the house first before coming inside. Tonight a dog savvy friend (yeah Justin!) is coming over. They met on Monday first outside, but this time I’m going to have him meet Willie inside the house (where Willie was first shocked by the presence of a guy several weeks ago.). It will also be at night, and most fearful dogs are more easily frightened at night than during the daytime. So I’ll go slowly and carefully. I’ll keep you posted. It’s very early in the process, so I’d never say that we are “done,” but I am encouraged at how things are going. I should add that, with dogs like Willie, one is never really ‘done.’ They slide out of balance so easily that one has to always be on the look out for regressions. If you want to read more about my speculations about what’s going on, go back to the earlier post and read my comments.

It continues to be warm and gloriously sunny, although snow is predicted for tonight. What a change that will be! Poor Tootsie is going to have to wear her coat when we go out again. Willie will love the cold weather; he doesn’t seem phased until it’s below 10 F, and it doesn’t look like we’ll get anywhere near that. We’ll have a lovely New Year’s dinner with friends at the farm, and then it’s all about getting ready for the seminars I’m doing in Orlando and Naples.

Here’s Tootsie, showing off her hair extensions (We are developing a story about a poor 5 year old beauty contestant, whose mother bought her hair extensions and elaborate costumes, but was unable to cover up her Andy Rooney eyebrows. Thus, her career was doomed from the start — judges being unlikely to award blue ribbons to little girls who look pissed off all the time.) (She’s not. Tootsie, that is. She just needs a stylist who does eyebrows.)

Comments

  1. Barb says

    My girl had undiagnosed chronic pancreatitis for three and a half years with the resulting vomiting and food refusal. She was more skeleton-like than anything. I got Nancy Kay’s book Speaking for Spot too late to avoid getting into a slightly uncomfortable relationship with my vet.

    In any case, we got the diagnosis, worked with accupuncture, diet, and Chinese herbs, and the dog is stabalized for the most part. I am convinced that those three and a half years did a number on her brain development. Her behavior definitely becomes obsessive, and once she’s over the top in her limbic system, she is very difficult to pull back. I would love to get her into a program that would study her brain and then try to supplement what she needs for “normal” brain activity

    But she’s a sweet girl and happier since she’s been eating regularly! Aren’t we all! I’ll be happy to get Nancy Kay’s new book!

  2. Kat says

    Sitting in my pile of books I’m reading right now are Feisty Fido, Control Unleashed and Bones Would Rain from the Sky. I just finished Love Has No Age Limit and Cautious Canine. Yes, there’s a definite theme going on at my house and we’re reviewing all the books on my blog (http://rangerandhiskat.blogspot.com/2011/12/ranger-recommends-t.html) as we finish them. The posts will actually happen more slowly than the reading and reviewing if anyone cares. I find it helps me to review books I’m reading for help and to note the specific help I’m taking away. For fun I’m reading All Clear by Connie Willis about time travelling to the Blitz in 1940′s London. It’s the second volume Blackout being the first and comparing Willis’ story with the actual stories I hear from people who lived through it she’s spot on with her history. I’m enjoying it very much.

  3. says

    Funny you should post this today – I’m nearly done with Love has No Age Limit, which I received as a Christmas gift this year! (Great handbook by the way, wish I had had one like it way back when I adopted my first dog.) After that I’m on to Paws & Effect, yet another gift I’ve been looking forward to reading.

  4. Pike says

    Yay for Willie’s progress and Tootsie’s beautiful looks!

    My current favorite book is “A Small Furry Prayer” by Steven Kotler. The subtitle is “Dog Rescue and the Meaning of Life”.

    Lots of interesting facts and his unique hypotheses around philosophy, science, spirituality and history make this a fascinating read about our place in the overall animal kingdom extrapolated from his relationship to his rescue dogs. It doesn’t hurt that Steve Kotler is an excellent writer with a great sense of humor as well. Great reference section in the end, incl. (of course!) Patricia McConnell. I would love to hear if you remember his phone calls and questions about the team running up and down the arroyo walls. That was hilarious!

  5. Jennifer Hamilton says

    Great news about Willie’s improvement! Your theory about a prisoner with tight rules being let out without few rules is consistent with what I’ve seen with other ortho dogs with similar issues. One dog I know could never leave its crate without falling to pieces…even though physically there was nothing wrong any more. That’s one reason I opted to wait until my dog was 2.5 years old before we began our surgery journeys. She could have started at 18 months from a bone maturity standpoint, but I didn’t think her brain had matured enough to handl ite. I was worried it would change who she was if done too soon in her mental development.

    As for books, just finished “Scent of the Missing” (thanks to you…very enlightening), “Omnivore’s Dilema” (inspiring), and “Are You There Vodka. It’s Me Chelsea” (very naughty, but hysterical!). I just started “Cool, Calm and Contentious”…a humorous account of a women’s relationship with her terribly critical and unhappy mother.

  6. Rebecca Fouts says

    I’ve currently reading:

    That Winning Feeling!: A New Approach to Riding Using Psychocyberneti?cs . . . by Jane Savoie
    This I’m re-reading. I read this many years ago as a teen when I was riding horses professionally. It’s actually a sort of sport psychology book for serious riders — but I’ve discovered there’s quite a bit of cross-over that could be applied for dog sports and even training in general.

    Animal-assisted? Interventions for Individuals with Autism . . . by Merope Pavlides

    The Golden Bridge: A Guide to Assistance Dogs for Children Challenged By Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities . . . by Patty Dobbs Gross

    Next of Kin: My Conversations with Chimpanzees . . . by Roger Fouts and Stephen Tukel Mills

    Inside the Animal Mind: A Groundbreaking Exploration of Animal Intelligence . . . by George Page

    And for fun, I’m reading the Scottish Prisoner by Diana Gabaldon.

    It would be fun to create a group for dog folks at goodreads…I’m always looking for good animal behavior/training book recommends. If I had the time to read them, and money was no option, I’d have a whole room full of books on behavior and training.

  7. Annie R says

    After losing my oldest and dearest friend to cancer around Memorial Day, I was finally able to get myself to read “Let’s Take the Long Way Home” by Gail Caldwell, around Halloween time. I’m now working through it for the second time. It’s wonderful on so many levels — a great tribute to female friendship and to the incredible life-affirming writing of Caroline Knapp (“Pack of Two”); and also to the gift of friendship and connection that can be facilitated between humans by their canine companions.
    For those of us who find kindred spirits in other animal lovers, it’s a sweet, honest, uplifiting, relatable story.
    For anyone grappling with loss and impermanence, Gail’s description of the ongoing process of integrating tne gifts a close friend brings to one’s life, even long after their physical presence has departed, is a truly healing and encouraging light, assisting us in navigating the long dark cave of grief and loneliness.
    If Gail should happen to read this, thank you, thank you, thank you. You have helped me in countless ways.

  8. says

    I’m so glad Willie is getting better! Good thing about stepping back is that getting back on track its a lot easier than the first time.
    Books, I’ve just finished “The behavioral biology of dogs” ed. P.Jensen, glorious book. Also “Inside of a dog: what dogs see, smell and know” by Alexandra Horowitz. Great information, really new. I’m re-reading “The domestic dog: its evolution, behavior and interactions with people”, ed. Serpell, I never get tired of it.
    And for fun, Quicksilver, by Neal Stephenson. I’m into Sci-Fi, and Stephenson is great.
    My “Reyes” gifts (“Reyes Magos”, spanish Santa) are “A modern dogs life: How to do the best for your dog” by Paul McGreevy and “Carrots and Sticks: principles of animal traing” (going back to basics, am I?). As I’m not getting them till January 6th, can’t tell you more, but I’m sure I’ll like them.
    Happy New Year from Spain!

  9. trisha says

    EmilyS: Good question about Willie’s eyesight, I’ll keep an eye on it (no pun intended). But I will say that it is extremely common for anyone with any fears to be more reactive at night. We primates just don’t feel comfortable in the dark…

    To Kat: Thanks so much for the kind review of Love Has No Age Limit, it’s greatly appreciated. (We just heard that Dog Writers of America nominated it for an award. Thanks DWA!)

    Thanks Pike for the review of Kotler’s book. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s definitely on my list. And yes yes I DO remember talking to him about his dogs on the hike and the arroyo!

    Anne R: Isn’t Gail’s book amazing? Is it possible to write any better than that? I don’t think so.

    And thanks to all of you, Barb, Kat, Donna, Jennifer, Rebecca, teresvet, Jette for the other ideas, I love hearing about no-dog related books. A novel I finished recently that I absolutely adored is The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. Good reading everyone!

  10. The_LG's_mom says

    Tricia, I always love your posts, not the least because of your reading recommendations/reviews. I wish I’d been reading your work while my Tom was alive–he was a lot like Willie (loved us to bits, but so, so reactive and sound-sensitive!).

    As the delighted “mom” of a Cavalier (LG the “Little Guy”), I love to read your Tootsie observations & look at her pics. I wonder if just trimming the outer hairs of the “Andy Rooney Eyebrows” would help? It’s just the tips flaring out into points that are making her look peeved–if they were trimmed, she’d just have two brown dots above/between her eyes. She might look worried, maybe, but not actively annoyed. :D

  11. Linda says

    I haven’t been able to get thru “Let’s Take the Long Way Home” without bawling each night! So I have switched gears for awhile with Tina Fey’s “Bossypants”! Trisha, what I love the most about your blog besides the wonderful advice & your compassion, is your wicked sense of humor:) Tootsie is adorable.

  12. Jennifer Hamilton says

    I also forgot “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk” a dastardly set of fables with interesting life lessons if you can past the cyanide pill in most every story. For dog lovers, “The Faithful Setter” is quite an interesting perspective. And for the ethiologists on this list, “The Grieving Owl” will make you feel like “finally someone out there gets me”. Fair warning, the short stories are addictive and wicked all at once. I couldn’t stop reading even though I was constantly afraid of what the next page would bring. Simply well written and with no punches pulled.

  13. Cindy says

    I’m reading “Herding Dogs” by Vergel Holland. I especially like the funny but helpful cartoon type drawings. I’m training my gsd and many herding books concentrate on border collies and their style but this books covers other breeds and the differences in the way they work.

  14. Beth with the Corgis says

    Glad to hear Willie is improving, and Tootsie is just the cutest thing ever. Regarding the comments about night time and reactivity: neither of my dogs is what I would consider reactive; they both have normal socialized dog responses to things that they think could possibly be threatening. As herders they are more in tune to “different” than some breeds, but both are what I would consider very well socialized and confident.

    Yet when we walk at night, they are much more likely to stop and stare at rustles in the bushes, people getting out of cars across the street (but not right in front of them), approaching dogs, etc. Dogs see better at night than we do, but still see better in the day than at night and mine definitely are more “on alert” when it is dark outside. I think it’s a normal response of a healthy individual to be more wary when she can’t see more than a few feet in front of her.

    A happy-go-lucky lab who thinks the world has no enemies may not behave this way, but any dog with protective tendencies is likely to and we have noticed that when we meet dogs we know out at night, they initially go on guard til we are nearly on top of them. WE behave differently for knowing this, making sure we announce ourselves well ahead of time and not walking straight up to greet. These are dogs who would normally start circle-wagging at us from 50 yards away, yet at night they see us as potential assailants til we are within eye-sight— at night, a few yards away.

    Hats and heavy coats don’t help the matter, of course.

  15. Kat says

    I’m fascinated to learn it’s not uncommon for dogs to be more reactive on night time walks. That hasn’t been my experience at all. Mr. Confidence Ranger was delighted to walk anywhere anytime in hopes that he might meet someone who would pet him and scaredy dog Finna is much more relaxed on night time walks. I suspect it’s because at night there are fewer people and dogs out so less chance of meeting something that frightens her. I think some of it too is that we introduced her to late night walks and I’ve observed that if she’s experiencing something for the first time with us she learns it isn’t scary and how to deal with it appropriately. It’s the responses she’s having to unlearn that are the problem. I wish we’d had her from puppyhood. She’d be such an awesome dog today if she’d been properly socialized. Still, if she’d been socialized as a puppy I doubt we’d have her today so there’s a silver lining.

  16. Rich says

    I am almost through with Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog, by Ted Kerasote. He has referred to you, and The Other End of the Leash a number of times in the book. I’ve enjoyed it so far though I dread the inevitable end that seems to come with every book about a dog. Prior to this it was A Big Little Life, by Dean Koontz and The Divine Life of Animals.

    Poor Willie has had more than his fair share of trouble. I’m glad he is doing better.

  17. lin says

    I’m continually hoping that Nancy Kay will write a book on medical care for cats.

    I’m enjoying “The Eighty Dollar Champion” by Elizabeth Letts. The true story of a plowhorse who became a champion show jumper in the late 50s and early 60s. Yes, if you liked “Seabiscuit” you will like this title. Like the best of these books, the author interviews the social history and explains the arcane details of the sport. I’m not a horse person, but can totally relate to the deep understanding that a rider and horse can create.

    Happy New Year to you and Jim and all the creatures at your farm.

  18. Christine says

    What a lot of books for my reading list! Thanks for all these suggestions!
    My favourite books about dogs are “Calming Signals” and “Barking: the Sound of a Language”, both by Turid Rugaas. I’m sure Trisha knows this Norvegian animal trainer and her “soft” way in training dogs. My Juralaufhund and I took some training sessions for “Dog Trailing” here in Switzerland with dog trainers who follow Turid Rugaas’ philosophy! It was just amazing!!!

  19. says

    So glad to hear about Willie’s progress! I agree with you 100% about dogs being more frightened and reactive at night. I’ve had 2 very fearful dogs and both were much worse once it got dark (tensing at the sight of a stranger 100 feet away, versus 20 feet in the daylight).

    I’m currently reading “Culture Clash” by Jean Donaldson as well as “Bones Would Rain from the Sky” by Susan Clothier. I’m really enjoying both and can relate to a lot of what the author’s have to say, especially Clothier’s stories about her early training days.

    I also got your book “Play Together, Stay Together” which is a huge help for me with my newest dog, who is a far too overzealous player! I was happy to see I was on the right track with how I was teaching him to control himself, but the tips in the book are a huge help :)

  20. says

    I love it when you do book reviews! I’m reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and just finished Secretariat. Both good. Also reading Outwitting Dogs. It’s not new information, but the way it’s presented kind of is. I really like it and will recommend it after The Other End of the Leash

  21. says

    Susan Orlean’s “Rin Tin Tin”. Wonderful history about dogs in the USA, in the 20th century, in addition to being an interesting biography of Lee Duncan and Rin Tin Tin (actually, the many Rin Tin Tins). Subjects include, but are definately not limited to: dogs in the movies and TV, dogs in WWI and WWII, dogs in Obedience in the 1930′s, dogs in conformation shows in the 1920′s, etc.

  22. jackied says

    Glad to hear Willie’s programme is back on track.

    I am currently reading Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve, a young adult book which is annoying me because there are so many good things about it but personally I don’t like the writing style. Most recent doggie reads were Love Has No Age Limit and Feeling Outnumbered, since we adopted a second dog at the end of October.

  23. Margareta says

    This hobbling thing. I am from Sweden and I have never heard of anyone using hobbles, maybe somebody use them in horsetraining although I have never heard of that either – but I don’t think it is ever used in connection with dogs here in Sweden. Do you have a picture of Willie wearing hobbles? Maybe you have written about this in some earlier blog that I have missed? I am very intrested in why it is used, which reaction one hopes to get from the dog and if it is commonly used i US?

    King regards
    Margareta

  24. trisha says

    Margareta: The “hobbles” is a medical device that is designed to keep dogs from extending a front leg too far either front to back or laterally. Willie wore it for months after his surgery to keep his left leg from abducting (moving out to the side away from his body) too far and straining his tendons and ligaments. There is a photo of it in my blog of Sept 6, 2011. So no, it’s not common at all, and has nothing to do with ‘horse hobbles.” Glad you asked, I’d hate for people to think I’m hobbling Willie’s feet together!

  25. Marcia in NorCal says

    I need to take 10 minutes and write down all these book titles — it will keep me in reading material for at least a year!
    Me … read “Love Has No Age Limit” a couple of months ago (Trisha, THANK YOU! for taking the time to make that the focus of a book). More recently “Secretariat” (I see someone else listed that) and “One Good Dog.” Currently in the midst of “All Clear” (someone else likes Connie Willis too) — the two books of the series frankly are a bit challenging because there’s the inevitable back-and-forth of a time-travel story, but if you can keep the chronology clear, it’s an interesting study in the psychology of knowing vs. not knowing (and also just a good story!).

  26. Laura says

    Hi all,
    I loved the book reviews. I’ll have to get some for mymom, who adores any bookabout dogs. I’m so glad Willy’s doing better. I know he’ll continue to improve, given he’s in the best of hands. I did have one question, just something that started kicking around in my head with all the posts about fear. It seems to me that there are a lot of visual cues that dogs give when they’re afraid. As someone who’s blind, but who lives and works with her dog 24/7, I’m wondering what are some non-visual cues dogs give? I know they can bark or whine when they’re afraid, or pant or growl, but I’m wondering if these signs are given after the fear has already begun to ramp up. Is there a way for us humans without working eyeballs, to catch a fear early enough so we can help our dogs?
    thanks for any feedback,
    Laura and the amazing Seamus

  27. says

    Reading: Biography of Ann Sexton by Dianne Middlebrook; Run by Ann Patchett; Dog Sense by Bradshaw; How to be a productive writer by Sage Cohen.

    …And yes about the reactivity at night. I’ve had that experience with more than one dog. Thank you for your book recommendations; will read Daniel Amen and Nancy Kay’s books.

  28. Kerry says

    For dog books, I recently read Grisha Stewart’s new BAT book and it was quite good. I knew most of it already but loved the description and discussion of “magnetic pull” that draws a reactive dog into something he finds scary/intriguing because it’s just such a great term and a great way to think about this contradictory state dogs find themselves in.

    For people books, I am re-reading Gail Carriger’s Parasol Proctecorate series. It’s kind of Jane Austen meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but far more subtle and funny than that makes it sound. Perfect book to curl up with after a too-cold dog walk when you come in and settle down with a cup of tea.

  29. Alaska says

    Another thanks for previously recommending “Scent of the Missing.” I devoured it in one sitting and have since recommended it and gifted it to others. For those who aren’t damiliar with it, “Scent of the Missing” is the story of a woman getting involved with SAR and subsequently raising her first SAR dog from a puppy. Thoughtful, interesting, and likeable on many levels.

    I am currently reading Rory Stewart’s “The Places In Between”, about walking across Afghanistan, and acquiring a dog along the way.

  30. Caroline McKinney says

    Not long ago I finished The Divine Life of Animals by Ptolemy Tompkins. One man’s quest to discover whether the souls of animals live on. Explores the evolution of our (human) ideas about whether animals go to heaven. Not to mention the idea of whether there is a heaven and where it is.

  31. mgr says

    Laura, my dogs get tense and do a lot of yawning and lip-licking when something upsets them. They also tend to stay quiet and as close to me as possible. When the fear escalates, the muscular tension will sometimes progress to trembling, almost shivering, and in some cases they’ll “go to ground” by hiding under the furniture or taking themselves off to bed. (It’s strange for them to go through the stages slowly, though – they usually go from getting startled to reacting without much in between.)

  32. Amelia says

    I’d highly recommend “The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature” by Matt Ridley to just about anybody. This book examines research on the evolution of sexual behaviors in humans and other animals in very plain language. Fascinating stuff. It was required reading for my university Biology class, and just about everybody in my very large class enjoyed it

  33. says

    My wheaten is a therapy dog and we’ve been volunteering twice weekly at a nursing home for the past 3 months.

    On Tuesday, we had our most recent visit and I noticed that he was visibly stressed with certain residents: yawning, looking away, not wanting to stand still for petting, etc. I’m going to drop down to once a week and see how he is. If he is stressed at our next visit, we’ll obviously have to quit, which is unfortunate because the residents love him. :( His comfort is the most important, though, and I have to remind myself that it’s *my* dream to do this, not his.

    Another thing is that I think that the calm, sedate older residents bore him. He adores the young and energetic employees, and he eagerly searches out for specific residents that are over-the-top expressive with him.

  34. Holly says

    I just finished “The Art of Racing in the Rain.” An absolute MUST read for any dog owner!

  35. Laura says

    I also read Scent of the Missing at your recommendation and thorougly enjoyed it. Thanks you.

    Just read Finding Jack by Gareth Crocker about a service dog in the Vietnam war. I did not know that the service dogs in Vietnam were not allowed to return to the US after the war. I have confirmed that this is true. It was a very emotional book and excellent book foe me.

    Also, just read Homer’s Odyssey by Gwen Cooper about a blind cat and how he changed his owner’s life for the 4th time in less than a year – I am addicted. Have also started rereading the Joe Grey series by Shirley Rosseau Murphy (talking cat detectives) for the second time. First time from the library and now I am buying them. On the waiting list at the library for the 3rd Chet and Bernie book also per your recommendation.

    Love the book recommendations!!! Thanks!!!
    Best wishes to you, Willie, Tootsie, Jim and all your animals in the new year. I thoroughly enjoy your blog and of course, your books!!!

  36. Margareta says

    Thank you for the explanation of hobbling. I will look at the photo, so I can understand it better.
    Regards
    Margareta

  37. says

    Trisha, if you’d like to bring Tootsie to Michigan, I’ll be glad to give the lovely Tootsie a trim. I do my Springers myself, including Pixie, who is also a tri-color.

  38. Rusty says

    Two books I’m into right now: An audio book I’m on my second time through is Scent of the Missing about a SAR team. Very interesting. I’m really fascinated by her description of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and subsequent search efforts.

    The other book I’m working on is one of your own: Cautious Canine. I’ve started implementing some of the ideas with my younger dog, Max, a 22 month old Doberman Pinscher. He is just too reactive to visitors and even people walking by the house. Fearful? I don’t think so. I think it is just a working/guard dog doing what he perceives as his job. He just does it too well for my liking. I just don’t want his alerting to strangers to turn into fearful aggression as sometimes happens as dogs age. …a fearful aggressive Doberman living in the city as I do would be a recipe for disaster. I’m being proactive here. Anyway, what little chance I’ve had, including throwing treats as you mention, has shown promise.

  39. says

    I’ve been doing a lot of research lately into diets for high anxiety dogs. My dog Sophie is high up on the anxiety scale and has developed a few OCD behaviors as a result. We changed her diet to a raw food diet that includes a lot of goat, elk and turkey as well as a healthy dose of spirulina every day. By choosing foods purposely high in tryptophan we are giving her the building blocks for her brain to create seratonin better and we are seeing amazing results. Working with a holistic vet as well and have started her on homeopathics once a week. So far we have been able to cut her dose of clomipromine in half and will hopefully be able to completely wean her off of it in the coming months.

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