At 9 months old, I discovered that my puppy Maizy seemed to be having behavior problems, which had not been displayed before. I didn’t see the early signs of anxiety and thought I was experiencing what I thought was a reversion to naughty behavior that sometimes happens when a previously well trained puppy reaches that age. Maizy had “earned” her way out of the crate because of great behavior. Then she had a dangerous “reversion”. After leaving to run a few quick errands, I came home about 90 minutes later to discover that Maizy had pulled the computer cord out of my lap top, out of the wall (thank goodness) and had chewed clear threw it. Out came the old crate and I thought, just a bit of reinforcement of the training we had already done.
Then the neighbors began to complain…Maizy was crate trained very successfully and never uttered a peep while she spent her allocated time there. Now, I was hearing from my neighbors about the persistent barking, whining, crying….so I knew now that this was not a simple reversion back to puppyhood. This was a bigger problem. And that was where Sally came in. After a thorough intake with me and also time spent observing Maizy, Sally created a full program that has included multiple exercise and tactics. At Sally’s advice, we have combined relaxation protocols and training with augments such as the Thundershirt, changing Maizy’s diet, adding in holistic supplements to create a more calm atmosphere and a more calm dog.
We have made a lot of progress! While Maizy still remains in her crate if I am gone for longer periods, she is a calmer dog altogether and we are letting her stay out for short stints (up to an hour) with no complaints from the neighbors and no destruction in the house. Anxiety is a challenging condition to treat but it can be managed. It takes a strong commitment from the owner though, and in my opinion, a very talented professional trainer like Sally in order to put a successful program together. One unexpected outcome? Because of the work I have done with Maizy, I have also created a much stronger bond with her and although her condition has occasionally exasperated me, I have come to truly appreciate ALL of her qualities and have seen what a special and truly amazing dog she is!