Thursday, 30 April 2009

Car fears part 2

So how often does Finn need to travel and how necessary is it...
  • to see our specialist vet in Leeds (about 45mins each way) usually every 6 weeks for acupuncture and homeopathy follow-ups but can be less often
  • once a week or less to go with our dogwalker when I am out of town at meetings etc
  • Monday evenings 15mins trip to dog training classes
  • once or twice a week to go for longer walks
  • usually every other weekend for 1-2 hours to go hillwalking
  • rarely to go to the small kennels we use

When we initially worked on our DS and CC (desensitising and counter conditioning) I was able to not take him out in the car at all - we went to see our vet once and after that did most stuff over the phone where possible. From my learning I think that for CC and DC to be useful you really need to minimise any other exposure to the stimulus. Our challenge now is two-fold

1. no other close by person to assist (Janet has offered and is brilliant but lives in Leeds!)

2. unsure if I can actually eliminate car trips from our schedule for long enough that the DS and CC has a chance to work...

Thoughts on duration of a no-car-travel period would be really helpful :-)

Have also been re-reading some stuff on fear etc in dogs (and loving FearfulDogs.com ebook) which has sharply reminded me once again that Finn is not in any sense a 'normal' dog nor is it reasonable for me to expect that from him. Perhaps I have been pushing his boundaries because of selfish desires to do more walking/CaniX etc. Regardless, one of the main reasons for being able to travel in the car is for his enjoyment of walks when we do arrive - he is such a happy relaxed boy out in the countryside.

Another possible option which I will discuss with my vet tomorrow is going back onto the Valerian tincture which was so helpful in taking the edge off many of his other fears and phobias.

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