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Old 01-01-2013, 06:54 PM   #21 (permalink)
Jag
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I am hearing things a little different. It sounds like there are many things going on in your life that are making you stressed. I also have chronic pain from my back and joints. Every single day is a battle. You're not alone. First and foremost, you need to get your pain addressed. If you don't currently have a doc that's addressing it, then you need to get a new one. Check into alternative pain control if your insurance will cover it or if you can afford it. If not (or maybe at the same time) find a pain doctor that can work something out to manage your pain. With some pain control comes the ability to deal with other things a little better. Days that I'm in a lot of pain, every single thing seems like a HUGE deal and I want to strangle someone. Leave the stress of your job when you walk out the door from work. Don't think about it at all once you leave. Don't overwhelm yourself with errands, housework, holidays, etc. Do what you can do and lower the expectations of yourself.

NOW- when your pain is addressed and you've left work at work and you've stopped trying to please others and have lowered your own expectations down to what you can handle... you'll see that your dog is who she is. Lower your expectations of her, also. No one is perfect, no dog is perfect (although we tend to see their good points or how they could be better). Try to see what life lessons you can learn from her.. just the way she is. She is in your life for a reason. There are things you can teach her, and things you can learn from her. Slow down and enjoy this time that she's in your life. I had a crazy, unpredictable bitch. She'd just attack people randomly without so much as a growl or showing her teeth. I tried for years to get her to ignore people (which she learned) and to not attack people (which she NEVER learned). I spent a lot of time and money and effort trying to change her basic genetic makeup. It was never going to happen. It was like banging my head into a brick wall. Then for years I just enjoyed her at home. I tried my best to keep people safe. She was SO sweet in the house. We were her pack. There were lessons to learn from her.

I think that when the other things in your life are under control, you'll feel better about her. Forget what your husband said. Take care of YOU first. Then (and only then) can you care for others... like your dog. It will be OK, but the path you're on isn't working. You have to change something, and it's not about your dog. Good luck to you!!
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:55 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I have asked at the daycare if they knew of anyone interested in get togethers. Maybe I will ask again. I rarely see anyone coming or going from there at the same time as me. On the few times we did, there was no problem.
The reaction she had to the 2 dogs she knew from daycare was just so extreme and bizarre. I have never ever seen her act so terrified. And neither dog was doing anything that warranted Stella's reaction.

I have to say, even at her worst, she usually would settle down with another dog after a while, especially if we were just walking together.

For now I guess I will just use the daycare so she can get some positive dog interactions and playtime. I was thinking of letting her go again today but I was watching the facility on the webcam they have and I didn't see any of her buddies there....plus most of the dogs were just laying around. Maybe tomorrow or Thursday...then Friday it is back to class.

I will try and avoid other dogs during walks for now. Maybe we can take a peek at the dog park from a distance and just let her watch. Not that I have any plans on taking her there. But I think I will bring some tasty treats and try to have her associate dogs with that. I am thinking we may have to be far away for her to stay calm.

On a positive note, my old boy who generally has no use for Stella, has been giving her a little play time when outside. He doesn't last too long, (his back knees are a problem)but it gives her a little fun.
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:59 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I think that is a good idea, observe from afar, let her observe

Sometimes our dogs will react to something so off the wall, we can't even imagine where it came from,,and will never really be able to figure out, if only they could talk.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:08 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Hi,
First off, stop beating yourself up. I've been through over 2200 posts, and I still haven't figured it out. I commend you for tackling this head on, and NOT giving up. You WILL be rewarded in the end. Hang in there.

Are you certain that daycare is a positive experience for her? Maybe she gets abused by other dogs, and is feeding her fear.

What I HAVE learned, is that certain dogs simply are not good with other dogs.. period. Kira is one of them. It took me a long time to accept this. I was in complete denial. In my mind, "socializing" meant playing with other dogs. Kira does make me think she wants to play, but she obviously doesn't get along too well. She has fear like Stella, and other dogs pick up on it, and turn her into today's prey.

I also think that allowing Stella to meet the dog she was just barking (reacting) at, was a bad idea. The level of excitement could only get her in trouble. Either another dog will feel threatened by her, or not buy into her bluff, and become aggressive.
Also want to add that Stella should not have been allowed to create mayhem in your house. That's where a crate comes in handy. Sometimes, they just need a time out. Stella picks up on the high energy and anxiety, and only escalates.
Kira will sometimes get SO EXCITED about having guests, I've had to crate her away from the action to get her into a calm state. It works like a charm. It turns that switch right off.

Is there a possibility that you're putting too much effort into your dog? Giving everything she does, too much thought? Over analyzing her every move and action? Too eager to please her?
I was guilty of all of the above. When I finally backed off, and made her adjust to MY life, and not worry too much about socializing, reactivity, etc.... She settled into my home, nicely.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:12 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Jag, you are right. Everything is harder when stress exacerbates the pain.

For now work is under control or as under control as possible. I am going to a pain doctor and we are trying to get things under control. I was scheduled for an RFA back in September but thanks to Hurricane Sandy, it was postponed. Of course I developed a terrible cold/cough and it had to be postponed again. Before I could get it rescheduled, I wound up in the ER. They tried a new little cocktail of pain medication and it worked. My pain doc said if I am feeling ok, then let's just put off this RFA for now. I agreed. So, things were not too bad for a while there. But I really have to watch out that I don't overdo things. (which of course has been happening during the past few weeks) No one in my family seems to get it....simple things that I used to be able to do without a moment's thought, I cannot do now. Or I pay the price. It is so very frustrating. Last night all I did was play "Just Dance" on the Wii. That was enough to set off some neck pain. Grrrrrr.

So my resolution is that I will have to make a conscious effort to not be so hard on myself and Stella.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:28 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Anthony-I do believe daycare is positive. She never hesitates to go in and I think I said somewhere before that yesterday when she went, she had a peek in the window and she just looked so happy and eager to say hello to her friends. I talk to the owner about her and the only issue Stella has ever had is with other little dogs....her prey drive kicks in. But they handle it. The neat thing about this place is that there are webcams in every area. I get to watch what is going on. So far I haven't seen any negative. Of course I don't watch every second of her time there. (well, at first I did.)

I probably do try to analyze her too much. And I think I do let her run my life a bit too much. Will have to think about how to change this.

Did I say she created mayhem in my house? I don't remember that. She is generally well behaved even when there is company. She will go into her crate on her own if she needs some downtime. The only mayhem is when my 3 year old grandchild comes over.....he leaves toys all over and Stella thinks they are new chew toys for her! And I don't trust any dog with a 3 year old so it is a lot of watching both of them. They seem to have a lot in common!!!!

I guess I have still not fully convinced myself that she is not good with other dogs. She seems to really enjoy playing with them once she knows them. But maybe this is another thing to think about.

Curious....how did you get Kira to settle down with other dogs? I know from your previous posts that Kira had issues....
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:30 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katdog5911 View Post
So my resolution is that I will have to make a conscious effort to not be so hard on myself and Stella.
I made this exact same resolution! I just had to come to terms that my Golden just wasn't going to be the dog I could take places off leash with other dogs like I'd always wanted... It's disappointing for sure but when I get down I try to think of all his good points... How amazing he is with my GSD puppy, Ollie and how far he's come on the NILIF program.

As far as pain goes, I am not on any pain medication ATM... None of the anti inflammatories I tried worked and my doc won't prescribe me anything with narcotics even though they help and I've never been addicted to them.

So right now I'm trying natural supplements so the future will tell. When I can't get out and walk my GSD I play tug with him and use a flirt pole which tires him out. Though not sure how those would work with your neck problems.
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Old 01-01-2013, 07:42 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by katdog5911 View Post
Anthony-I do believe daycare is positive. She never hesitates to go in and I think I said somewhere before that yesterday when she went, she had a peek in the window and she just looked so happy and eager to say hello to her friends. I talk to the owner about her and the only issue Stella has ever had is with other little dogs....her prey drive kicks in. But they handle it. The neat thing about this place is that there are webcams in every area. I get to watch what is going on. So far I haven't seen any negative. Of course I don't watch every second of her time there. (well, at first I did.)

I probably do try to analyze her too much. And I think I do let her run my life a bit too much. Will have to think about how to change this.

Did I say she created mayhem in my house? I don't remember that. She is generally well behaved even when there is company. She will go into her crate on her own if she needs some downtime. The only mayhem is when my 3 year old grandchild comes over.....he leaves toys all over and Stella thinks they are new chew toys for her! And I don't trust any dog with a 3 year old so it is a lot of watching both of them. They seem to have a lot in common!!!!

I guess I have still not fully convinced myself that she is not good with other dogs. She seems to really enjoy playing with them once she knows them. But maybe this is another thing to think about.

Curious....how did you get Kira to settle down with other dogs? I know from your previous posts that Kira had issues....



I didn't.

I decided to take the advice and stay away from other dogs. I don't speak canine, I'm not CM, and nor am I qualified to figure out to read the signals.... No matter how much I talk about it, or read about it.
Kira WILL bark at other dogs. If i'm near her, she will stop on command. If she's in my home, and a dog walks by the front, she will go bonkers, until I call her off. She will NOT stop on her own. I've noticed that she will lunge at small dogs, and scare the heck out of them. She's apprehensive with larger dogs. Still unsure of the result of an encounter. She's been attacked before, and she knows it.
She's 100% neutral with people, when leashed or off leash in public.
She's unpredictable in my home, with strangers.. 99% of the time, she accepts guests. Every so often, she'll scare the cr*p out of someone for no reason. ( I honestly can't see a pattern, or reason). Because of this, I now secure her when stranger enter. I will either keep her in a down, stay next to me, or I've instructed my family to crate her when guests come over. She has NEVER been comfortable with guests in my house. It took me a while to understand and recognize it

As you can see, I have her number in most cases, and do my best to rebut her actions. I treat each scenario as it happens.
Yes, they are a lot of work. Kira is a handful.

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Old 01-01-2013, 07:46 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Katdog ... It's good that she has such fun at doggie daycare ... that can certainly take the edge off all that energy.

A "re-suggestion" - I would put up a poster if you can at the daycare asking for the owners of Stella's "faves" at the daycare if they are interested in playdates.

Ky has tons of friends ... she's got about 30 dog friends that she simply loves to play with. BUT, depending on the dogs that she's with, sometimes it's only her and her other friend. There's a couple sets of "threes" (including Ky) that she plays very well with ... but more than her and another dog (not including those other three) is usually trouble - too much energy, and then whammo ... there's a scrap (I mean scrap too, not fighting.)

I have about 10 different friends (Ok, they were originally Kyleigh's friends LOL) that I rotate playdates with on a very regular basis. It works beautifully, and I never have to worry about the outcome when we are out with these dogs.

On another note - if you feel that someone else can do a better job that you can ... you're right ... there is ALWAYS someone out there that is better than we are ... that's just the way it is ... that's life. No matter what we think we are really good at (and we can be AWESOME at it) someone out there is better ... does that mean that Stella would be better off with them? I'll let you answer that question!

All the changes you want to make for yourself and for Stella ... the FIRST place you have to start ... positive thinking ... and in how you write it down ... doggiedad had it bang on ... don't HOPE for a better year ... DO a better year

Set manageable goals that you want to fulfill. Write them down and put them up somewhere.

Have a goal that you can do daily (i.e. walk the dog for 2 miles). Have a goal that you can complete in a week (teach Stella a new command - make it a fun one). Have a goal that you can complete in a month (mark at the beginning of the month an unwanted behaviour of Stella's and work towards fixing it - mark at the end of the month the progress ... i.e. reacted at 10 feet to a squawking duck ... brought it down to 4 feet). And finally, set 3 quarterly goals ... (reorganize the living room, redo the bathroom) ... BUT, and here's the key ... these three goals are ALL about YOU ... and no one else.

I'm one of "those" insanely organized individuals that drive people nuts .. I have all my goals for the year (just like I outlined above) listed on a piece of paper and it's taped to my wall by my computer. I have completely structured my days, and Ky's training was pretty much mapped out from the day I brought her home (yes, there was lots of rearranging LOL ... she is a dog, not a robot!!!) ... but I had everything down on paper and it made it easier to tackle when something wasn't working out.

I hope this helps you, and looking forward to reading about all the WONDERFUL POSITIVE things that WILL happen to you in 2013
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:58 PM   #30 (permalink)
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It sounds like you've done everything you can,should ,ought to. Your a good dog parent and definitely from your posts handle Stella. Its hard to live w/ a "specail needs dog'. While Daisy was wonderful as she got older if I had to relive her first 3 to 3.5 years I would have no hair. I managed her based on what she could handle. You really work on things w/ Stella and that can be so tiring. BTW Daisy had two aggressive episodes both during the holiday season. I think holidays with the disruption of routine and lots of bustle are tiring and stressful for everyone. It is also hard when you need someone to say "This is not you,your doing a good job and you dont hear it. I also think sometimes you just need to blow the steam off and let family know what you need. I also think venting is a great stress reliever. Wishing you and Stella a great New Year filled w/ peace and relaxation
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