Ollie gets a new idea - and not a pleasant one - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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Ollie gets a new idea - and not a pleasant one

Today we had a first.

I fainted again despite an alert - he just couldn't sense it fast enough.

I have him licking me in the face to stimulate me to wake up. He has done it consistently for weeks.

However, today it must have been a really bad one. I was out for over 5 minutes and awoke to Ollie pawing vigorously at the back of my head. My face was soaked, so it's safe to say that he tried licking first.

This is not appropriate and is downright unsettling - luckily it wasn't my face!. He has never offered this behavior before, but I'm assuming that he was really freaked that I wasn't waking up as I'm usually only out for a few seconds to a minute. Normally just a couple of seconds of licking will wake me right up.

I don't want this behavior to happen again, but how the heck am I supposed to correct/redirect it? I could see him getting in the habit if it brought the desired results.

I'm thinking I could go back to fake fainting and "refuse" to wake up to see what happens, then just reward for the correct behaviors. I don't know that I want any kind of adversive resulting from it as I'm scared that if I have a real episode afterwards, that he won't do anything.

And he was doing SO WELL!
It's possible that it's a one time occurance, but he can't do that kind of thing.

Any suggestions anyone?

The extreme duration of unconsciousness if extremely rare, but first things first, it's to the doctor for me!
I am going to contact the outside source that evaluated him for me, but that won't be until next week.

oh the joys of having a GSD - they certainly are self thinkers!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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ps: thought about going along the lines of teaching him that if he doesn't get me up in a few seconds, then to go bury himself under my knees to lift my legs up so the blood will return to my head. Though this may not work since I sometimes land face first, and that would require him to go under my ankles to bend my legs...

that may be asking too much, but would be really helpful for when I don't have a person with me to do it.

He's certainly physically able to do it now, but would that have poor consequences when he's older?


As this disorder gets worse, I'm finding I need him for more than I initially thought!
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 03:25 AM
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Location: North Central FLorida, east of Gainesville
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The problem with licking the face, as I have seen more then just you post, is with a dog that begins to get frantic when that doesn't work. Licking can sometimes lead to nipping ....

Don't knowing what all your medical concerns are (and I'm not asking ) perhaps you can sit down and think of a "job" for him to do.

Some people have trained their dog to:
~ roll them onto their side to make breathing easier
~ go to someone in the house with a trained action to bring person back
~ push a 9-1-1 button mounted on wall (only good if you happen to be in the home)
~ push a Life Alert (or other brand) button that the handler has on person. (I don't know how far the distance is for these to work.)

After the dog does whatever task it needs to do it can then be trained to lay down next to the handler. If the handler doesn't respond then the dog would be doing what it was trained to do - lay down vrs. getting frantic and possibly injuring the handler.

If you ever get to the point where your dog is pushing a button to summon help you also need to work with your dog to allow strangers into your home. This is of course harder to work on but you can't expect a dog to guard the house and allow rescue personnel easy access into your home.

It is always a good idea for an owner trainer to have access to a trainer with SD training experience to have on call for advice and a couple of hours of time to explain and demonstrate how to work with a dog if needed.

TJ aka Theresa A. Jennings
Pyro vom Wildhaus aka Kaleb ~S.T.A.R.~
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Last edited by ILGHAUS; 10-11-2011 at 03:29 AM.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-11-2011, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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He has the down by my side down pat. This is the position he was in when I woke up with him slapping me with his paw.

I also have trainers available to talk with as I used to work with an organization as one of the trainers. I just won't be able to talk with anyone until next week.

I've started training another behavior, I'm just looking to pick other's minds about how to deter him from the pawing behavior since I'm unconscious when he does it. It would be helpful to have a second person on hand that could redirect him, but I'm home alone most of the time.

I know teaching a different behavior would help to prevent it, but if it occurs again, I don't know how I'd like to handle it.

He hasn't done it again since yesterday, so it could very well be a one time thing. I did redirect the behavior when I regained consciousness, so maybe it stuck....
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