Canine Depression is a real, debilitating condition that many dogs suffer from alone.
It can be hard to diagnose but when you have worked with a few cases you tend to get a feel for dogs that are effected. About 5 weeks ago, I had a client come to see me with a foster Great Dane, Jedda. Jedda is under the care of Great Dane Rescue who I help with Behaviour cases.
I spent he best part of three hours with Jedda, observing her behaviour and discussing with Kylie her behaviours at home, Jedda really would not show any sign of interest in anything other than responding to noise that she felt threatening.
It conveyed to me that she was in Learned Helplessness and although she was being very well looked after with Kylie, she wasn’t responding to any training or treatment at all.
Sometimes when a dog spends a lot of time in a mental situation such as this, depression can set in and we can spend a lot of time and various strategies with no improvement, sometimes we need to use medications to stimulate better brain activity so that the dog may start the road to recovery.
Whilst I watched Jedda and ran some tests, I also watched Kylie, who was very keen to learn, take notes and was going to do her best with this Foster dog that was in a very bad place.
Kylie had made a very long round trip to see me, 17 hours I think and she was keen to give Jedda every chance.
I designed a program for them and emailed it off, I would not have been surprised if Jedda didn’t recover easily or even at all, as she was in quite a state of poor mental health.
True to her word Kylie implemented my program and sent me email updates that showed some small improvements and we made adjustments as time past.
It has been about 5 weeks and I received an email today I didn’t expect. Here are some parts of that email.
Well I am happy to tell you that I have been following your program to the tee and FINALLY I am starting to see a huge improvement! wish you lived closer as I would love you to see her now!
Ok so improvements are as follows-
We have had a great improvement in her meeting and greeting other dogs and people away from the home. She went 4wd in the bush last weekend and had a ball, swimming and running through the bush with her foster brother. There were plenty of other people and 4wd around and not once did she show any signs of stress as I was closely monitoring her the entire day.
The guarding at home as dramatically dropped from running around silly growling and barking at nothing to just the odd bark but will remain seated.
She is showing allot of love and wanting to interact with the day to day things now where as before she just acted like you saw.
Her separation anxiety is also practically gone too!
I was so scared to admit the difference in her to Great Dane Rescue in case she reverted back to her sad sulky self but its really been the last few days that I have seen a huge difference in her attitude and behaviour.
Thanks again Steve you have really helped me to help turn Jedda into at least a happy loving girl which compared to before is incredible looking forward to any adjustments you would like me to make etc
I was delighted to read this as Jedda was really a long way down that hole. It would have been well within my expectations for Kylie to wave the too hard flag or for Great Dane Rescue to give up on Jedda, but none of them faltered but gave the time I asked for to test and see what we can do.
Jedda is on a behaviour modification program alone, no medications or sedatives, she is on the Calm Supplement and using a DAP diffuser in the home, but I attribute much of her rehabilitation to a patient foster carer who is both dedicated and willing to meet Jedda where she was.
From a dog that did nothing but mope around, drool out of stress and anxiety to this…
Unbelievable work, outstanding result for Kylie and Great Dane Rescue!
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