|Barked: Sat Dec 3, '05 7:21am PST |
|Hi Dodger, I agree that shaking is a sign of stress. Here are some other things to look for: yawning and licking the lips. Is the shaking very very frequent or does it only happen in certain situations, like when there are lots of people in the store, or the store smells funny or whatever? If it happens all the time, even in deserted stores, I agree with Nolte that you should get a trainer to evaluate him. However if it is just when things get "too much" then it is something you can work on. For example, Sabrina used to lick her lips constantly on the escalator but now she handles it like a pro and isn't worried at all. Since you are started Dodger's training out as an adult, you will have to take it a little slower because he hasn't be exposed to busy stores, escalators, elevators etc. ever siince he was a pup. It can be done to get him used to it, you just need to pay attention to his stress signals and don't overload him. If you work him up to things gradually and get him used to it, then he can become a great service dog. You mentioned that you went to a crowded mall recently, and that might have been a little too stressfull with all the people and stores etc. so that may have been why he is shaking. But it's not something you can train out of him, it's a normal stress response.
As to the whining, I don't think I can be of much help because the only time Sabrina whines is when she's about to have diareah on the floor in 5 seconds or less! But I'm wondering if you can teach a "thank you" command for the whining when he alerts you to anxiety attacks? If so, you could use them in line, too. It is possible that standing in line is stressfull for you (it is for me!) and so he is picking up on the same signals you give off before you actually do have an anxiety attack and so that is why he is whining. In any case, a "thank you" command for the alert would probably help. But I have no idea how to teach it. Again, perhaps you should contact a trainer in your area for this one, as it is a pretty advanced command (because you don't want him to stop all together).
Good luck and keep up the good work!
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