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The wonders of sleepy classical music and 24hrs

Posted by Amanda Beasley on Thursday, June 23, 2011 Under: Reactivity Training
So, yesterday after the huge affair in the middle of the night when we had to turn the musical back on, etc, Kenzie only barked one time all day, and that was at 9am. It was not a full throttle bark, instead of the usual "oh my gosh! I just geard something that is going to eat me, I just know it!!!!!!" bark, it was more of a "I think I just heard something, but I'm not sure, so I'm just going to bark to be on the safe side". From when I got up at 6am, she was on a new program...since we had not been successful in getting her to not react for even half of a day up to that point, I decided that things needed to change. I found a classical XM radio station that we could tune into and leave running, rather loud, all day and all night: it never got turned off. I also turned a radio on in every room, so that if Kenzie went in it, there would be something to drown out any sounds that might cause her to react. We stayed inside for most of the day, only going outside to potty as few times as possible, and I made sure to keep Max on a leash as well as Kenzie, so that there was no chance of him running and chasing something, causing her to react. By that evening, I saw a HUGE difference in her! Steve came home and turned on the TV (ok, I guess the music did stop for a short time while he watched his show), a commercial came on and dont you know, the very first sound was a dog barking. I jumped up saying "What a good girl! Push mute, push mute!" as I ran to grab a handful of dog food to give her. Up until this point, her reaction to unknown sounds was: react first, see what it is later. Well this was obviously: listen, decide whether it is a threat, respond if needed, response. This is HUGE. I saw it again this morning when we went outside to get worn out. After we played for a while, I noticed that there were a LOT of birds flying around, right over out heads, chirping their little heads off, and Kenzie was just lying down beside me, flicking her ears around listening, but NOT tense!!!! She was back to her usual outside behavior: hang out and enjoy the sights. So we stayed outside for a while, just enjoying the pretty weather. I kept her on leash, but Max was mean to Riley, so he got put back inside, and then Riley was running the yard free. Well, Riley ended up barking at random things a few times, and I was shocked, but Kenzie did not jump up barking like I expected! She sat up and listened, but when I told Riley that it is okay, and that he should come lay down, she flopped right back on her side again, as if she did not have a care in the world. Unfortunately our neighbor who owns the cows next to us came over, and got the cows all riled up, causing both Riley and Kenzie to bark at him/them, while I drug her back in the house. But, once we were back inside, she was calm again, and did not seem to be on edge. This was about 10am, so this meant that we went a full 24hrs without any kind of reaction (our first full night of sleep, yay), and as a result, she calmed down considerably. She did bark when I pushed pause on the music to answer the phone, but I am not sure why. This tells me that the incident with the cows did stir her up some, but I do not think that it undid all of the work we did yesterday, it just set us back a little. We will see how she reacts when I let her outside next.

In : Reactivity Training 

Tags: "reactivity training" reactivity 
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