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Excessive Whining

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Dodger Doodlenski

Are we gonna- learn something- new yet?
 
 
Barked: Thu Dec 1, '05 6:14pm PST 
ok my mom needs some advice. The main way I alert her to a pending anxiety attack is to whine, however I start whining if we are standing in line waiting to pay for something in stores. How can my mom stop me from doing this without taking away my only way of alerting her to a pending anxiety attack?????PS Having me stand up and/or touch her hand won't work because that is how I alert her to a pending disassociation spell. Also how can she teach me not to shake while we are in businesses??????
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Nolte (Retired Guide Dog)

Guide dog work- is a joyous- thing!
 
 
Barked: Fri Dec 2, '05 8:56pm PST 
If Dodger is shaking so much out in public it is undoubtedly a sign that he is stressed and not comfortable and probably lacks confidence. It's so important with any SD that the animal be socialized from an early age as possible to develop confidence and social behavior that will make it suitable for working in routines and stresses of every day life.

If he hasn't had such exposure, and is showing these signs of stress, it's not likely it can be overcome. IMO, a dog who is not confident and shows such obvious signs of stress in public does not belong there... sounds harsh, but a SD needs to be able to handle all the stress of the work, at home and in public. If he can't handle it, it's not fair to expect him to work as a SD.

My suggestion would be to get into a training program with a certified SD instructor to have your dog evaluated and see if this can be overcome.

Karen Ann
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Sabrina- 2000~2012

To break- injustice we- must break- silence
 
 
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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Dodger Doodlenski

Are we gonna- learn something- new yet?
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 3, '05 3:27pm PST 
hey everyone, I don't start shaking I just whine. My mom was wondering if maybe it's a boredom thing cause I don't really like sitting still for too long if I don't have too. Now she is wondering if she gets a little stressed about waiting in lines and i'm picking up on that. On the positive side though I do stop when she says "Quiet" Today we went into a few stores and I did fine. I didn't whine at all. I got so many treats cause of that. Oh by the way I'm a female not a male but no offense taken.....mom and dad named me when they were told I was a male and by the time they found out i'm a female I was already used to my name and refused to respond to anything else.
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Sabrina- 2000~2012

To break- injustice we- must break- silence
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 3, '05 3:41pm PST 
Doh! I knew you are a female!

You asked in your post about shaking while in businesses, I assumed this was the like shaking like when they're wet or something? That is what I and I think Nolte were talking about. That type of shake off the water type shake is something that dogs to to try to calm themselves down. If they're doing it a lot, they're stressed.

Good for you that the whining is getting better! It is fine to give your SD commands like "quiet" as long as they listen to them, so that is an OK solution in my mind.
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Dodger Doodlenski

Are we gonna- learn something- new yet?
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 3, '05 8:13pm PST 
Dodgers' mom here.........Sabrina, you are right it is the shaking water off shaking. I've been trying to think since I posted what shaking you were talking about and it just struck me cause she just did it when I took her for her nightly walk. She doesn't do it a lot and it's mostly when we first walk through the doors. The only reason I'm asking how to stop it is because i've gotten told by people on another site that it is not ok for service dogs to do that because of hair shedding etc. She doesn't seem stressed or scared when she does it and it's not just in businesses either.....there are times when she does it when I take her for her regular walks as well.
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Sabrina- 2000~2012

To break- injustice we- must break- silence
 
 
Barked: Sat Dec 3, '05 11:28pm PST 
I know you don't think she is stressed, but really it is a "calm down" sort of thing. Sabrina does it after we pass by a particularly hard to pass by dog, or a dog behind a fence barking. You'll often see it at the dog park after two dogs have been playing they'll stop and shake it off to calm themselves down so nothing gets too serious. That or licking lips or yawning are Sabrina's stress signs. And usually I can't even tell she's stressed until she does these things. She still licks her lips a little in the elevator, but that's my fault because I don't like elevators so we don't practice them a lot.

Yes, it's improper ettiquite to do, but I don't really know how you can stop it just in certain curcumstances, except for to get Dodger more comfortable with these types of things. Try to take note of the exact circumstances she's doing it in to pinpoint exactally what is bothering her. And consulting a trainer about this particular thing that she's worried about could prove really helpful. Believe me, you want to nip any problems in the bud and not let them get out of hand!
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Dodger Doodlenski

Are we gonna- learn something- new yet?
 
 
Barked: Sun Dec 4, '05 6:32am PST 
I have a question. Could it be cause she knows that she has to be calm in the business? She (a-being young and b-being half sled dog breed) has a tendoncy(SP?) to be a little on the hyper side. I have noticed she does it mostly after I tell her she needs to calm down because of pulling. So could I have inadvertanly taught her to do this??????If so how would I possible correct it?
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