Labradoodle Rescue & Goldendoodle Rescue
We are so happy with our new Doodle, Twinkle. She is making marvelous progress, as reported recently. No accidents after the first 24 hours; those we had were corrected chaulked up to relocation nerves. Socializes will with the two adults here, our teenaged granddaughter who visited, and the two other "girls" (read: dogs).
Yet, if I'm seated and adjust my position or get up she is off an running! Virtually, any unexpected motion and her previous calm (she's lying at my feet now) is gone in a flash (like if I were to get up for more coffee). We expect this given her history before the love and care given by her foster, but want to take the proper steps/actions to help her put this too behind her.
Last night's family discussion covered what we are going to do until we are made smarter. SWe have decided we know not what to do, so we are going to:
1. Avoid rapid movements, but still go about our routines startle or not
2. We will make every effort to go in an opposing direction to avoid heightening the anxiety
3. When Twinkle is ready to accept our loving we'll make sure she is comforted
4. Pray that time will tell or some smart person will provide a better approach; currently holding off on formal training as I do not believe she would endure it well, but would love to add training to a confident Twinkle when and if that can be achieved
Time does help a lot and I think training when you feel she is ready. If it is not tooooo stressful, I would take her places to expose her to new things - like sitting at a park and watching, or near a school at exit time, or at the entrance to a store or mall; perhaps car rides too.
NNC, you have echoed the advise of my vet to the tee and we have been on several outings to expose her to the sounds and things going on around her. She is "getting it", for example, on a first walk out of our development a couple of days ago, she started badly at garbage bags along the route, but by the time we returned they were no longer an issue. Thanks for you help.
I had that with my guy Jack when I first adopted him. He would jump at any little ordinary thing, a garage door opening, a small statue in a flower bed, a crow cawing, etc. I had a trainer who told me not to say "It's okay" when something frightened him, because it would reinforce that there was really something to fear. Instead, I was to say "Good boy!" in a very upbeat way. It sounds so simplistic, but it really did help. And the more accustomed he got to seeing & hearing these things, the less fear he displayed, until eventually it went away completely. There is a small statue we pass on a daily basis without him even noticing it, and I always smile when i think there was a time he was afraid to walk past it.
I think your plan sounds very good, Edd. I'm so glad that Twinkle found a loving home with owners who understand and appreciate what a long way she has come, and where she has yet to go. I think with patience, love, and a very steady routine, she will grow more and more comfortable and confident. Time is your best friend in this.
Edd, I got your letter and photos today. Twinkle looks amazing and soooo cute with her new groom. You, Sharon, April and Nina were just what Twinkle needed. It gave me happy tears to hear and see her progress so far. A couple of things that a trainer suggested and worked for me. Was not to do a lot of verbal praising like you normally would while training. Instead use less verbal praise in a calm tone, single words, limited eye contact and lots of waiting. I discovered that if I didn't think about it or pay attention to how she was going to react. Twinkle became less reactive and realized nothing bad would happen. Twinkle could not be in better hands. Talk to you soon.
Edd, check out Nina W's update blog on Lacey. It will give you hope that with time, Twinkle will learn to trust and settle right in. Lacey has been with them for several months now and just this week had 3 pretty huge break threws. Thank you for give Twinkle a new life. She is beautiful.