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  #1  
Old 12-08-2014, 09:56 AM
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Default Nibbler's Journey

I have decided to use the diary function here to write about Nibbler's Journey as we both work through his fear and anxiety. He is seeing a Behaviour Vet, is medicated and undergoing rehabilitation training. He has already improved so much but there is still a long road ahead of us...

Nibbler came to me at 3-4 weeks with his Mum and siblings and was an almost instant foster failure. Even my husband held each of the pups, yet only planted a kiss on Nibbler's head when he put him back in the puppy pen. This is something he does with each of our dogs before he puts them back on the ground. It was a sign.



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Old 12-08-2014, 10:06 AM
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Nibbler's Mother Sirella was extremely fearful as she had been seized from an Urban Puppy Mill. The puppies were all fearful of anything new, including people to begin with and I worked hard to socialise them at a pace that allowed them to be in control and paired all sorts of yummy treats with each new experience.

First his siblings and then his Mother found new homes and while he was great with people he was really frightened of other dogs. Nibbler would bark, growl and lunge at any dog within a 100m and he didn't even weigh 1.5kg!

We took part in an online puppy class after it became apparent that he couldn't attend a real class. There was no way that I could be far enough away from the other puppies to keep him under threshold.

Nibbler loved training and excelled in his online class while I worked on his fear of dogs separately.

This is the graduation video from his online class:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31Bpag9FPYs

Last edited by Kismet; 12-08-2014 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:18 AM

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So pleased Nibbler is improving,you're doing a great job with him.Can't see the video i'm afraid
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:24 AM
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Thank you Michele. I think the link to the video is working now.
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:30 AM

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oh he's wonderful,he's learnt so much and you can tell he's loving it ,little tail doesn't stop wagging .Well done to both of you
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Kismet (12-08-2014)
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:34 AM
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Kudos to you for finding a way to train Nibbler! I put all of mine through obedience, it's on of the best gifts we can give out sweeties. I never heard f an on line class, sounds perfect for him. Good luck
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:35 AM
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Things were moving along well with Nibbler's training and he was confident with most things, loved new people and was able to enjoy free-run with my other dogs.


Other dogs were still a problem, we were keeping our distance and creating good associations but sadly other people would make mistakes. One woman let her dog run up to him at Agility, another came up and threw her dog into a drop right next to him thinking that she was 'helping'. I got really tired of people saying 'sorry' after their dog had invaded his space.

Then he broke his leg. He was just in my kitchen alone and started screaming and when he ran to me was holding his right front leg high in the air. the screaming went on for a few minutes and we rushed him to the after hours vet clinic.



He had surgery by an orthopedic specialist and this is where our problems really began.

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Old 12-08-2014, 10:46 AM
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I wish that vets knew more about Behaviour! I wish that they understood that some dogs can take harsh handling but that those with a genetic predisposition to anxiety cannot!

This Vet fixed his leg by putting a plate on it and broke his brain when he was just a year old. The worst thing is that working as a professional trainer I KNEW IT WAS HAPPENING!!

They didn't give him enough pain relief so that he would wake several times per night screaming. I'd let him out of the crate to soothe him and he would hurt himself on me, scream and run away from me. He started to be frightened of *anyone* touching him. When I questioned them they said that he was getting as much as a 1.5kg dog could get. I have since found out that he could have been given other drugs which would have helped much more with the pain relief.

He had to have regular bandage changes and the nurse would bring him back saying that he had vomited and pooped during the bandage change. When I asked for sedation because this was destroying his trust in people I was told with a laugh "we don't even sedate the ones that try and bite us, we are not sedating him".

I really tried to explain what was happening to his brain but they smiled at me, patted me on the leg and told me not to be a worry wort, they knew what they were doing. I cried, I screamed, I threw a tantrum in the waiting room trying to get them to understand. I will forever feel guilty that I didn't do enough.



Weeks of crate rest and then physical rehabilitation left me with a dog with a perfect leg who was terrified of everything including me.
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