Bella the 2 Year old deliquent......

Discussion in 'Labrador Training' started by CDM, Nov 11, 2016.

  1. CDM

    CDM Registered Users

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2014
    Messages:
    732
    Hi all

    It's been a fair while since I was last here but it is great to read and see how you are all doing. I was pleased to see Fiona's pinned post - 'Its ok to go back to square 1', as unfortunately Bella has turned into a bit of a delinquent these days.

    As some of you will know, Bella had to have TTA surgery on both knees just after her first birthday due to cruciate ligament disease :( which as you know means a very long recovery. We were just about to be discharged from hydro a few months ago , all was going well.............. and low and behold she had a meniscus tear (in the stronger leg!!).

    The Dog walkers were letting her off for 30 minutes as agreed, with one other dog, but decided that day it was ok for her to run around madly with another excitable lab ........which led to my dog being crippled when I got home from work, me paying out over £1000 for the meniscus removal surgery due to the insurance not covering anything else after the £6000 they initially paid for the TTA surgery, lots of tears and the dog walkers getting sacked. :(

    So here we are, finally back to 40 min on lead walks, a new dog walker who walks Bella for 30 mins a few times a week, ALONE and ON THE LEAD and me starting to let her off for 5-10 minute bursts. We are also hopeful to be discharged from hydro in about 4 weeks. Fingers crossed.

    But my little angel, is now a bit of a delinquent. She barks, a lot, for attention- at home, in the pub, in the shop, anytime the attention isn't on her or she wants to go say hello to furry friends and cant. It's embarrassing to say the least and ignoring it doesn't work. I must have somehow encouraged this but not sure how I have. At home when she does it, I either shut her out of the room for 2 mins or now just asking her if she wants to go out there stops it. So more manageable at home. But at the pub its cringey and I have to bribe her with treats as the rustle of a crisp packet makes her quiet (I know I know). I'm guessing the clicker needs to come back out when we are out.

    She also pulls when she sees other dogs (understandably desperate to see her furry friends and escape the mean lady who keeps her on the lead). Twice she has suddenly pulled away to a dog in front and I've lost the lead end. She's wearing a harness but other dogs are more rewarding than treats it would appear

    She barks at strangers. She has always been wary but now its full on barking if they are nearby.

    She jumps up at people walking/ running/ cycling past.

    She jumped up and 'nipped' the dog walker in the snow yesterday. She's never done that and although she was super excited by the sounds of it, I'm not liking this 'nipped' chat.

    She can now do stairs!!!!!!!!!!!! after a year of fear and and not even daring to go past one step!!! yep .....I came home to my chewed hairbrush in her bed, tights etc all over on the landing and Bella boo shaking that booty in extreme joy at the 'secret world upstairs' she had finally discovered :) So the baby gate has returned. Forever, it would seem.

    She is a food thief- always has been if its available, but now she's getting more blatant. Its always my boyfriends food, I mean who leaves a salmon fish cake or cheese sandwich out for the taking? Even if you are stood right next to it washing your hands :)

    So the list goes on...............

    My brother is getting a Boxer, I think I want one too, might ask if I can part ex Bella ;)

    I love my little Boo, she turned 2 last month and had a cake and all. I'm hoping once she can release that frustration things will improve somewhat, but I also think I'm going to have to go back to square one. I just don't know where to begin. Good job she already has kennel club Bronze and Silver awards as I don't think she would get those again anytime soon!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Sorry for the long post! Any pearls of wisdom throw my way :)

    Ps She's starting to become more of a duvet than a sheet - she's on a diet.:p
     
  2. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Messages:
    22,603
    Oh no. So sorry to hear you had to deal with a tear on top of everything! :( Thanks be I dodged that one - so far, anyway.

    Lots of sympathy, really. I still struggle with Charlie - he has never got over that long, long, long, period of isolation and enforced rest, behaviour wise. Obviously, it's a lot to do with the dog he is, a calmer dog may not have turned out the same. And I think I got off lightly. He whines in frustration, but doesn't really bark and he isn't reactive although doesn't feel the same way about other dogs as he once did (that's a bit of a blessing too though, because he doesn't find them as distracting as he once did).

    But the good news is he is much, much better than he was. I'm never now going to calm him down to a 'normal' level - the mix of the dog he is and his life history means that's not possible.

    You do have to go back to square one. You have to do everything in tiny steps. And you have to massively up your rate of reinforcement for calm behaviour. Do lots and lots of impulse control and frustration tolerance exercises too.

    So, in the pub for example, there is nothing wrong with feeding her - it's exactly what you need to do. (The gold standard is a settle without using food, but given where you are, I recommend you use food and a lot of it). You can start by just establishing quiet behaviour on a mat using kongs, then quietly drop a treat on the mat everytime she is quiet. Don't worry if you are dropping a LOT of treats! But don't have her focussed on the food (otherwise you get a hyper alert dog that is 'working' for food), wait until she puts her head down or looks around, anything that indicates relaxed behaviour. You can start this at home using the same mat and you sitting similar to how you would in the pub.

    You have to do everything else in the same way. Make it as easy as you possibly can, prepare a cue at home, and use more food than you think is possible! And keep the duration really short. So think in terms of maybe just 20 minutes in the pub - say 15 to eat a kong and 5 minutes on a mat for example.

    The other thing is, don't let her get away with stuff. I felt so very sorry for Charlie, that I celebrated his freedom and I wanted him to have everything and anything he wanted after all the horror he had been through. This was a mistake, and resulted in him having far too much freedom when he should have been asked for more control. Of course it's a balance - your poor dog has to stay sane, as do you!

    Best of luck with it
     
  3. CDM

    CDM Registered Users

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2014
    Messages:
    732

    That's really helpful thanks. I'll have to start cutting down her food and/or using them as treats. Would you still use a clicker so she knows why she's getting the treat?

    I think I've also probably been guilty of spoiling her and it was mainly me with her during recovery so she gets a bit jel when its not all about her now.

    Glad to hear Charlie is doing well!
     
  4. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Messages:
    22,603
    I tend not to use my clicker for things like settle, chin rest etc. my dogs go into 'work' mode when they hear the clicker and they also view the click as a release (I can change this, but it is their default). The ideal for a settle (apart from not using food at all) is for the treat to just 'appear' on the mat in front of their noses. It's best if they don't even see you move your hand to your pocket or bag (which acts like a click for a huge amount of pet dogs, including mine). I tend to put a pile of treats on the table, wait until my dog forgets about them, then just slide one off the edge of the table onto the mat. The more settled the dog is, the easier this gets over time.
     
  5. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Messages:
    22,603
    Charlie is appalling for this. Except he doesn't bark, he fetches stuff. :rolleyes: For example, if I start chatting to the dog walker in the morning, and my attention goes off him, he immediately sees what he can pick up. I tend to just put a slip lead over his head because then he stands still. :rolleyes: Same if someone comes to the door etc. I can't seem to stop him doing it otherwise apart from to have absolutely everything in the house nailed down.
     
  6. CDM

    CDM Registered Users

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2014
    Messages:
    732
    Ha ha they r so funny - Bella always brings me her toys even if I've only been upstairs a few minutes. she also greets special guests with one
     
  7. CDM

    CDM Registered Users

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2014
    Messages:
    732
    Total nightmare her right meniscus muscle has now also gone , happened at hydro. So in just over 12 months she's had 2 TTA operations and 2 operations to remove damaged meniscus, well 18th Jan is next op. Seriously how unlucky especially as I have followed everything to the letter . Both knees getting done in such a short time hadn't done us any favours. This is the most expensive dog I've ever owned and thank god she's got me who is willing to get into debt for her as I love her too much. She's only 2y 3m. Came from a kennel club breeder with a good history. I even drove 2 hours as I wanted a good reputable breeder. Unlucky doesn't even cover it. Anyway I have a really good specialist who repaired the last tear and is doing this one , wish he had done the knee ops but he said they r looking fine. I will find out how far athritis has spread when they operate and X ray both knees. He's told me as other vet did to stick with hills but not use supplements yet although I'm inclined to start her on something?! Suggestions? I questioned both on contents of hills food j/d he said it's good for omega and stick with it but too much on top can cause more problems so not to overdo anything.
     
  8. drjs@5

    drjs@5 Moderator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    Messages:
    14,915
    Location:
    Fife, Scotland
    Oh no!
    So so sorry to hear this. Luck has not been on your side :(
    Poor Bella.
    Glad to hear you have a good specialist you feel you can trust.
    @JulieT is the expert on the diet stuff. Think the evidence for good is weak, but the only harm is to your pocket, but will be happy to be corrected.
    Keep strong x
     
    CDM likes this.
  9. CDM

    CDM Registered Users

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2014
    Messages:
    732
    Thanks. Yer the vet said the other stuff is minimal he would only recommend for omega 3- but said weigh up with normal food ( James wellbeloved) and salmon oil etc - its £51 for a 12kg bag so not loads in it if I supplement wellbeloved. The c and c he doesn't rate- I can't spell them chrosmstine thing. He said omega is the key and all he would recommend so tempted to switch as think beloved and salmon oil will still be cheaper....I'll do whatever's Best But don't know anyone in same position re 2 TTAs and 2 meniscus tears. I want to prolong all I can :(
     
  10. CDM

    CDM Registered Users

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2014
    Messages:
    732
    Still heartbroken at this whole thing.
     
  11. drjs@5

    drjs@5 Moderator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    Messages:
    14,915
    Location:
    Fife, Scotland
    :(

    My ortho vet said Omega-3's most important.
    That's all I have ever given Lilly, but recently invested in some Yumove with the chondroitin and hyaluronic acid in it too. Really just with Lilly getting older and more clicky.
     
  12. Yvonne

    Yvonne Supporting Member Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2014
    Messages:
    837
    Location:
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA
    Oh, this is terrible.....you poor thing! Bella too, of course,but you have to foot the bill. You both have certainly been unlucky. Let's hope it stops at this point and all goes well from now on. Fingers crossed re surgery on meniscus......
     
  13. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Messages:
    22,603
    I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this. It is indeed the most rotten luck. :(

    From what I've been told by the vets, and read, I think your money is best with Omega 3, yes. I do feed glucosamine and chondroitin but only because I use a supplement with krill oil and it comes with G&C (and I feel it's harmless, and so I sort of might as well....just in case). I feed salmon oil and calculate the total Omega 3 to stay well below the maximum limit guidelines.

    So - for what it is worth - I agree with your vet. The best bet is Omega 3 and you have to calculate the total amount you feed carefully. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing!

    Charlie is still free from any symptoms of arthritis. I know that he has been luckier (although still unlucky, of course, to have the problem in the first place) but still, you don't know that it's bad news in terms of the effects of arthritis, so try to stay calm about that until you know. The whole point of doing the operations is to slow these effects, so there is reason to hope for good news.

    Everything crossed here for a successful - and final - next step for you and Bella.
     
  14. JulieT

    JulieT Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2013
    Messages:
    22,603
    Sorry, just to say that Charlie did have a meniscus tear on his right, which happened before his op and was trimmed at the same time, and he still has no detectable signs of arthritis. Of course it's a matter of time, but there is no sign yet on either x-ray or CT, or any symptoms. So reason to be hopeful for Bella.
     
  15. Pilatelover

    Pilatelover Registered Users

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2015
    Messages:
    1,517
    Location:
    Coventry
    Oh dear I'm so sorry to read this, I have a couple of long posts about Mabel's recovery from two lots of surgery due to her ED. So I know exactly how you feel. She is only 7 weeks off lead gradually building up to 2 x 1 hour walks a day as recommended by her specialist. Mabel will be 2 years and 2 months on the 27th January and everything you describe has been, and at times will still be Mabel's behaviour. I never ever go anywhere without the clicker in my pocket and a range of treats ranging from her kibble to high value.

    3 months last year and over 4 months this year on restricted exercise has definitely taken its toll. I take the same approach as Julie in cafes and pubs. I take Mabel a minimum of twice a week, (had to stop ordering cake, I've put on almost a stone in weight :() she is definitely improving, it is without a doubt baby steps all the way.

    Barking at people can be so embarrassing, I will turn and walk the other way as Ive now recognised the way some people walk will trigger her, for example fast walking in a straight line. In a nut shell I remove her away from the situation that causes fear as quick as possible. If she looks and doesn't react C&T. We can have days of success then a day when she barks at everyone and anything. I actually think her elbows must be uncomfortable on those days.

    I bought myself a notebook, as a training log I once started really wasn't working for me. I write an assortment of different things one of which is aspects of her behaviour I want to work on, for Mabel it is self control. At times she doesn't have any so there is absolutely no point attempting to train when she is over the threshold.

    I am thrilled with her, I do get plenty of comments on her impeccable behaviour I need to hold on to those as there are also plenty of negative comments. When you are at your wits end remember something good Bella has done and hold onto it, no matter how small.

    Mabel's diet is permanently monitored, I have her on 3/4 recommended daily allowance of Arden Grange Light with Youmove and High potency Omega 3 thrown in as well. She is still on Metacam which will hopefully be stopped in March when she has her next follow up appointment.

    It's perfectly natural to be heartbroken, there aren't really the words to explain the sheer sadness you feel when such news is broken. Take one day at a time and focus on what you CAN do, however small.

    Fingers and paws crossed for Bella and you of course. :)
     
  16. CDM

    CDM Registered Users

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2014
    Messages:
    732
    Thanks everyone.
     
  17. CDM

    CDM Registered Users

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2014
    Messages:
    732

    Was it omega 3 tablets you gave Lilly?

    Re Mabel, poor girl and I'm glad to hear she's recovering ok. Licks from Bella too.
     
  18. CDM

    CDM Registered Users

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2014
    Messages:
    732
    Licks for Mabel, brave girl :)
     
    Pilatelover likes this.
  19. drjs@5

    drjs@5 Moderator Forum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    Messages:
    14,915
    Location:
    Fife, Scotland
    Just Omega-3 Fish Oil capsules "High Strength". I was told to give double the dose recommended for humans so one twice a day. I just use a high street chain brand.
     
  20. CDM

    CDM Registered Users

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2014
    Messages:
    732
    Thanks. As she is currently on hills I don't know whether giving her extra omega 3 tablets is too much?!?! I don't know how much she needs or how much is too much.
     

Share This Page