|Barked: Mon Aug 5, '13 12:14pm PST |
|Becker is an LEK dog but had to be retired due to extreme fear and anxiety issues. Although we tried everything suggested to us, nothing made a difference and his fears just became worse and worse. He was very stressed in public as well as at home. He had many things he was either afraid of or very uneasy about even from the very start. After trying for two years to retrain and desensitize him to his issues without much lasting improvement, we decided to retire him for his own best benefit. However, upon retirement he became worse and developed extreme separation anxiety to the point of injuring himself. We then were out of options other than to put him on medication. This helped him but we still had quite a long road to recovery for him. After we acquired another dog to start training, his anxieties started to effect the new dog. It was then decided that we needed to find another home for him. Luckily a very good friend of mine had been looking for a trained dog as a pet for several years. We had been there many times, so Becker knew them and their home. It ended up being a perfect match for him. I still have limited contact with him and have helped with his transition but he is now much happier without the pressure of my anxiety and issues causing him added stress.
Much of beckers failure I believe stems from his lack of early exposure to things service dogs encounter on a daily basis. He was not able to easily recover from being startled by things and became easily fearful of things that startled him. I also wonder if there is a genetic component as well because his full brother was washed out due to fear issues as well as a sister from that same litter. I also question LEKs ability to properly pick appropriate dogs for psych disabilities. They seem to often pick nervous, soft, emotionally needy dogs to be paired with clients who themselves have psych issues. I do believe that their ability to train a mobility dog is good, but I would not ever go with them again for a psych service dog.
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