About Me

I am the Dog Trainer Girl. A wife to a wonderful husband, momma to 2 boys, one that is a mini-me and makes me call my dad and appologize on a regular basis. I am owned by a Corgi named Yadi. I'm a Baseball girl, who likes bats, ball and bases on my diamonds. Go Cardinals!!!

Saturday, February 15, 2020

How does my life effect my dogs???

When I started the blog it was to share with you my friends what I do and how I train.  Over the years, that I've been writing I've changed why I wanted to write it, but it has always been about making sure that parents know they are not alone in the daily struggles they are facing.  This has been something that has really been on my mind lately.  Last year when Yadi began to have issues with his guarding me and barking at other larger dogs.  There had been links about a study linking Long-term human stress levels and dog stress levels, and though it set off huge bright Red warning flags, I thought I could get everything under control.  I mean come on I have a career I love, a decent training reputation that has allowed me to open my own business.  I got to start my writing career with Dogs Monthly, and have been working on putting together a training book.  I have a great husband who supports me at every turn and have been blessed with a son that I never thought I would ever be able to have but also with my husband's son who I love dearly and want to build him up to succeed as well.  We just recently bought our first house and I have two precious Corgi's my dream dog breed as well as this lovely Poodle who stole my heart the first time I saw her picture.  What is there to be stressed about right???

What I have not been doing though, is taking care of myself.  I am a caregiver by nature and so it is very easy for me to put everyone else first and take care of them, and work towards their problems getting fixed without working on my own.  Avoidance is my favorite form of "therapy" though I know it only makes things worse, I just have problems putting my needs first.

4mth old Yadi, The day it all went wrong
As I sit back now and think about it, there have been signs over the last year that something was going on but I was dealing with them one at a time and not seeing the larger picture.  I was seeing little things like Yadi guarding me, he had been resource guarding for a while he had been attacked while trying to drink some water, by  an Austrian Shepherd that belonged to my previous business partner while he was under 4 months old.  That was the last time I let him run around and play while she was out.  The damage had been done but I though that it was something I could fix as he was growing up.

Loki Austrialian Cattle Dog
In August of that year we had to rehome our Australian Cattle Dog.  He and Ian had an issue, he had been chasing something and Ian was in his way.  Ian fell and became so afraid of him that he couldn't even be in the same room with him.  It wasn't fair for Loki to be stuck behind a baby gate all the time and he had been partially trained, and I let him go to a new home that could continue his training.  Though it broke my heart, I knew it would be best for him.  However what I did not know, was how attached Yadi was to Loki.  After Loki went to his new home I don't know if Yadi sensed my stress or it was just him missing Loki so much himself but he quickly developed a level of separation anxiety that made me feel like I had no clue what to do.  If I left him for any length of time, he walked around crying and howling.  It broke my heart.  When other dogs were around though, he would bark and growl at them.  I saw him as being a cocky adolescences Corgi, who was becoming reactive.
Yadi and Loki mid play session

What I did not see was that I was failing him because my Compassion Fatigue, the loss of yet another close mentor and trainer friend to suicide and how mentally and physically exhausting it was to put on my confident face that was needed for my training clients, that I just curled up and wanted to avoid everything when I got home.  I was not giving him all the structure he needed at home to let him know that I was ok and he didn't need to take care of me.

Yadi and Marley
When Marley came to live with us we worked on his food aggression.  It took quite a while but we got thought it.  I started with me just sitting on the floor feeding them on either side of me a little at a time as long as we were nice and quiet, taking away the food bowl if Yadi became fixated on Marley.  Now they could eat out of the same bowl if they wanted.
They are definitely a bonded pair now.  They need to know where the other is at all times.  What ever Marley says goes, she is the oldest in the house at almost 3.  She is also our fun police as we call it.  She doesn't like anyone to be running around having playtime, she will often get after Ian or Connor for running in the house and nip at their heels.  She has a grudge against Connor.  Before she came to live with us Connor who we thought at 17 was old enough to know how to behave for us to leave him home long enough for us to run pick up Ian from Daycare less than 5 minutes away.  When we got home, I could hear Connor shouting in a deep voice and Yadi barking.  As I opened the door, Yadi ran out and would not go back in without me.  Well incident has cause us no end of issues with Connor and the Corgis.  Yadi took his guarding to include Connor now.  Keeping him from me and from Ian.  I told Connor for weeks before we brought Marley home that he needed to get it under control.  He damaged the relationship, he was the one who had to fix it.

Marley having gotten caught
herding Kona in the
crate
Since bringing Kona home at 14 weeks old, they have all 3 slept in the same crate 95% of the time.  There were very few times they they were not all together.  Marley had started recently over the last couple of months just started developing this issue where she would run away from her bowl to bark at Kona while she was eating in in the crate, and then back to her bowl.  I decided it would be best to have a small crate for Marley to eat in to keep from having any issues creep up with her and the food bowl.  One day she even barked and growled over her food bowl when the other two were outside.

Marley would often herd Kona into her crate and sit in front of it and not let her out.  I didn't really pay much attention to it other than her just being the fun police and most of the time when she did it, Kona and Yadi had been getting pretty rowdy and playing around.  I would call her off and she would behave herself and let Kona out of the crate and go on.

I started to notice at one point that Marley no longer wanted to go outside anymore.  I would have to let Yadi and Kona out and then go pick Ms Marley up and carry her outside.  I didn't pay it much attention other than it was getting colder and we had been having so much rain, I thought that it was just too muddy for her.  What I don't understand is that if she was having problems with Kona in the crate, she never acted like she didn't want to get in the crate.  As soon as I stood beside it, she was the first one in it.

Marley supervising
Yadi and Kona playing
I always thought if a problem was going to come up it was going to be with Yadi, like I have said, he is my trouble maker with other dogs.  A week ago I got up like normal around 4:30am  when my husband was getting up to take a shower for work and went to let Kona out as she had barked to go out.  Yadi of course was right there with her and Marley came out but as we went into our Sunroom, Marley jumped up and bit Kona on the side.  I got her off Kona and was just startled I put her in the small crate I had been feeding her in.  When I brought Kona and Yadi back in, Marley went out and there were no problems and I thought we were good maybe Kona had bumped her or stepped on her coming out of the crate.  I put Marley back in her crate and the other two back in the big crate and I went back to bed for a bit.  I got up at 5:30am as usual gave the pups their breakfast and started my morning routine.  I started my cup of coffee and let the pups out of their crates for a few minutes to get lovings before they went out after eating breakfast.

Before I knew what was going on at my feet the girls were in a knock down drag out.  I didn't think twice, I just reached down between them trying to get them apart.  After what felt like a hour of trying I finally managed to get them across my kitchen and apart to get Kona in her crate and Marley in hers.  It was then as the fear and adrenaline started to clear that I realized that someone had got me a couple times while I was trying to get them apart.

Right after the fight
After going to see
the doctor
Now for several months now I've been struggling with Kona and her fearful reactions of other dogs.  I've been working with her and we have gone from her fear snapping at other dogs to just barking at them.  That was a lot of progress, now I fear all that may have been lost.  I'm working with them everyday and I'll make more posts in the coming weeks and months as to our progress but I just wanted to share with everyone what's been going on.


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