More Great Ideas for Calming Dogs

Just received this email from Fritzi about Sassafras, her Deaf OES:

I don’t remember when I last felt such gratitude and love for an object, much less a dog training tool.  But…  after several months of car travel with a compulsive barker, I now enjoy almost completely silent rides.  Sassy would be in the seat behind me, so she would be barking right into my ears.  I would leave the car even deafer that usual and my nerves felt as if they had been sandblasted.  Sassy didn’t just bark, she completely stressed out, panting, drooling, etc.  Once she was in that mode, absolutely nothing would snap her out of it.  If I had tried a bark collar, it would have been ineffective because she was beyond feeling anything to interrupt her barking.

When Nick Dodman at Tufts evaluated Sassy’s OCD behaviors, he came up with several suggestions (including meds) and approaches to the issues.  In passing, he mentioned that I should try a “Calming Cap” to see if that  reduced the car barking.  He also recommended that Clonidine be used prior to situations that would stress her out.  Clonidine is a human blood pressure med.  Went online, found a source for the Calming Cap (made by Gentle Leader) and ordered one.I had worked up to the maximum dose of Clonidine but she would still stress out during car rides.  I oriented her to the Cap for a couple of days then I started using it last night.

IT’S A MIRACLE.  No barking at all during the first car ride, with no meds; no barking at all during the second car ride and only a little barking at the beginning of today’s car rides.  The cap does provide some vision, but seems to scramble the moving object triggers that would cause her to stress and bark.  Only a little fussing about wearing something on her head. Last month after barking in the car to and from our obedience lessons, she was completely stressed out and barked all the way through the lessons, and I mean non-stop.  We would go for a time out and she would start up again.

Today, at her “Nose Work” scent class, she didn’t stress at all, and only barked a little when she was crated between exercises. I am praying to DOG that the Cap continues to work at least until she can overcome her stresses.  I believe the Cap can be used for other stressful situations and they make them for cats??? And I have seen horses wearing them.

Fritzi Batchelor, Zen (the peaceful dude), Sassy (diva no more?)Storrs Mansfield, CT

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: