Molly's progress

HandyMacOctober 18, 2009

Last year, we adopted a whippet(mix?) from a kill shelter. We let Max(Alpha dog) pick from several choices. He picked Molly. He was so dog aggressive(he was also a rescue with no control) he would have possible hurt (or worse) a dog he did not like.

She was so fearful, she would not walk/lead/move. She was extremely emaciated, petting her was unpleasant because of exposed hip joint/ribs/shoulder joints.

She needed a special diet(lamb and rice or chicken and rice)and a LOT of support and encouragement to come anywhere close to being a normal dog.

I have worked with several aggressive dogs and successfully calmed their behavior. I was not sure I had the knowlege to work with a basket case.

We have a fenced yard and I exercise her by kicking soccer balls so she can get a burst of full speed and stop the ball(capture instinct). She has learned to walk on a leash moderately well.

So, last week, I took both of them to PetsMart on a dog food run. First time she has been anywhere except the vet and back to the shelter for the staff to see a success story. She did well, locked up twice---just flopped on the ground and shivered. Like she used to do. Those episodes lasted mere seconds. Someone would walk by and she would jump up to be petted.

She sat up in the seat, looking out the window of the van---another first.

She does not like loud motorcycles or the garbage truck.Will run from one sdie of the yard to the other to bark and chase them away. (Good sign) I can now even correct her for doing that(unwanted behavior) without her locking up. I even yelled at her from across the yard yesterday and got a look as she complied that was---"What? I scared that mean motorcycle away!"

She will climb up on my lap and go to sleep---instead of needing stroked and petted all the time.

She will not do stairs. I have heard greyhounds and whippets do not like stairs. I know she does not. She can navigate them if I force her, but I have only done that twice---choosing not to instead.

All in all, since Max lets he climb/chew on him whenever she wishes, the progress is amazing. Much more difficult to take away the fear than to still the aggression.

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sephia

handymac - nice update. I remember you writing about her last year and the poor condition she was in. Sounds like she has come a long way. Looks like Max picked out a winner.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 12:53AM
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housefairy

It is SO NICE to hear such an uplifting story. Molly sounds like she is definitely feeling like she fits in with her pack. Kudos for putting in the time and energy to help her become "just a dog" without the issues. Besides all dogs have to keep the monster motorcycles away, especially those Harley's!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 1:19AM
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mazer415

Good work. Try using food rewards on the stairs. Little bits at once.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2009 at 1:28AM
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