Well happy 2015..it was nice to have a few days off between Christmas and New Years. Well and truly back at work now and working hard.. summer is always busier than winter in the vet clinic.
Tex has been my main project with Red on a summer break (with the exception of one thing.. more about that soon!) I enrolled him in the Fenzi 'Bogeyman' course, specifically for dogs that have fears and anxiety. I had moderately high hopes for the course.. I did not think it would 'fix' him but I was hoping to get some real insight as to how to work with him. Unfortunately, that didn't happen as the instructor couldn't help him. She has clarified his issues for me, she thinks he has 'fuzzy' triggers (read undiagnosed, to my mind) and therefore we could not help him using her Play Way like other dogs. I knew I was struggling with this dog.. *so* often he just does not want to play/interact with me and I didn't know why. I actually think he is worse now then when I started the 2 Fenzi courses (I'm just little! and Bogeyman) although of course whether this would have happened anyway since behavioral issues often get worse with age, I don't know. Now he seems to get very, very suspicious of 'training' (even inside) as I was trying to make him more comfortable outside by letting him look and rewarding his looks back at me. It has made it very difficult that he is still over threshold even when there are no other dogs present in the park, so impossible, sometimes, to get him comfortable.
She suggested medication.. so we are 2 weeks into starting fluoexetine (prozac) and I will see if that helps. I am not holding my breath, and pretty close to abandoning agility with him. I made a promise to myself that I would *only* do agility with dogs that enjoyed it.. as this is supposed to be a hobby and fun for both parties. I am not sure how to make it fun for Tex at this stage, and goodness knows I have tried hard. He is now choosing to not train with me inside either and I am almost at the end of my road of hope with him. Disappointing- yes, extremely. The instructor was very nice, and I enjoyed working with her, I am just disappointed at the (lack of) outcome.
Its now mid jan and I am looking forward to bringing my Red Dog back into training. I decided that since there is only one trial in Jan, and then only a country trial in Feb that I will not go to, that I would not do the Jan trial. I will start trialling with her again in March and start jumping her again in Feb. That way she will have had a full 8 weeks off (all of Dec and Jan). She will be very ready for it by then (actually if she had her way she would have never stopped..) My parents leave again shortly so she will be coming back to live with us :)))