It’s the Little Things (Beh’l Regressions Part 2)

willie and elephant

Earlier I wrote about Willie's extreme and fearful reaction to a visiting man about a month ago, speculated about its causes and discussed how to respond. Here's an update, and a few things I that might be helpful for anyone dealing with a behavior problem. The good news (yeah good news) is that Willie is doing much, much better. He's responded well to the last 5 unfamiliar men he's met, running up to them immediately, getting close, asking for petting. There are no overt signs of fear anymore, (but keep reading), which makes me very happy. To quickly review, I've changed his diet back to avoid chicken and lamb, put his Hobbles back on when meeting strangers, gotten him acupuncture, and managed his interactions with unfamiliar men, such that he met them first outside or in the office Read More

Treatment Plans for Behavioral Regressions

willie in wonderland 2011

Or, alternative title: Adventures in the Willie Wonka Fear Factory. If you're cocking your head in confusion, this is about Willie's recent (and relatively new) fear of men. To review briefly: As a puppy he was pathologically afraid of other dogs, exceptionally sound sensitive and, in some contexts, quick to anger. But he adored people, loved everyone. As an adolescent, like many dogs, he developed new fears, and became cautious around unfamiliar men, but it was easily handled by having guys throw balls for him. I always knew I'd need to manage it and that I could never completely close the book on his fears, but it was easily handled and he usually appeared to be thrilled to meet unfamiliar men after about 4-5 months of counter conditioning. And then, three weeks or so ago, he barked Read More