Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The frustrations of dog training...

Things were going really well with training my dog Jamie to adjust to his phobia of cars.
He had stopped shivering (a stress signal) and we went for two rides in the car where he seemed to cope better than before. The last ride was to the vet. All went well on the way there.

Jamie had to have stitches out after his neutering op and he had managed to damage his toe while walking. Unfortunately the vet said he would require another round of anti-inflammatory and antibiotic pills and no major walking for a while. (How am I going to keep sane if my dogs do not have their walk/run as an outlet?)

The journey home was quite hot and long because road works in Johannesburg in preparation for the 2010 Soccer World Cup are causing local motorists an absolute headache.
I arrived home to find that Jamie had been sick all over the back of the car. My worst fear had been realised - a major set back in trying to persuade him that cars are not so bad after all.

So now my vet has said he should take another medication to overcome car sickness! This was one of the first questions I asked about Jamie - whether he may be suffering from car sickness but according to the vet he did not display the normal signs of nausea. Was it the heat or maybe the stress after a visit to the vet or a combination of everything?

I gave the training programme a break for a day or two then started again. Yesterday I thought I would take Jamie and Jemma for a short, slow ride to the shops. The idea is to progress from getting Jamie comfortable in a stationary car to a moving vehicle by starting with small trips and gradually increasing the length of the trip. But soon after we left he refused treats (a sure sign of stress when he refuses to eat) and curled up in a ball. I turned around and went back home after travelling only 100 metres.

I am feeling enormously FRUSTRATED because I am going to have to start with the stationary car exercise all over again. This may prolong the whole behavioural modification process which means he might have to be on tranquillisers longer than I wanted and I may also have to give him anti nausea pills in case he gets car sick!!!!!!

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