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I'm interested to read the next installment. Oh my dear Stella


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 12th, 2016 07:19 pm (UTC)
may bounce off people or furniture. Some dogs will redirect their excess energy on “killing” their toys, pestering other dogs, or barking.

Hahaha, there's a whole lotta that in my house when I get home. I think some form of "stress behavior" is apparent in almost any dog who is experiencing a change in situation or energy (in the house, in the car, at a show, on a walk, etc.) It's how the dog copes and how the handler helps them cope that's key.
Feb. 12th, 2016 09:18 pm (UTC)
Wouldn't that be joy in that instance when you come home? I don't think of excitement and love and rejoicing as stress
Feb. 12th, 2016 10:46 pm (UTC)
Excitement (maybe with a bit of joy). But isn't there "stress" in excitement? There is for me.
And add to that the fact neither of the humans is particularly happy about the bouncing off walls, furniture, humans... and you get stress. There's stress there, for certain. Just like in any big day-changing event.
Feb. 12th, 2016 07:44 pm (UTC)
My corgi Kirby stressed "up" at obedience trials. It wasn't very much at first but then it started increasing. Most people thought he just loved what he was doing and they thought he was so cute, but I could see the stress and I ended up retiring him from obedience trials. He did not stress up so much at agility trials so we stuck with that. He had some anxiety issues and he did not like when he had to work away from me in obedience (Utility and Open). In agility we could work more closely, although interestingly, he was pretty good at Gamblers. Go figure. ;-)
Feb. 12th, 2016 09:21 pm (UTC)
I have at times thought Stella just didn't like agility, but then when we come out of her shutdown periods--I can see she just loves it. But as she's gotten older she just has so many more worries and not just at a trial or class, but in the yard and even in the house sometimes. I think Razzle actually has helped her... He's pretty even keel
Feb. 12th, 2016 08:26 pm (UTC)
For dogs, just like for humans, it's how you cope. If you walk into a room of "strangers" depending on your personality, you're either going to shut down and hide, or be all goofy (and try to be funny -ahem, me...) until you can get your bearings and settle yourself. Giving a speech, doing an interview, etc. No matter what "novel" situation we find ourselves in, we have to calm our reaction and work with what we have.

The cool thing for dogs is they have US as their wingman! We, humans, can certainly perfect our wingman-ness and understand our dog's stress behaviors and not try to eliminate them, but weaken them or soften them by being a rock, or a helping hand. I know that when I am stressing over a situation my dogs read it and get worse. They trust me to be "cool" and I do my best to be cool for them. It's something I stress with my clients as well "can you be 'ok' with this situation and HONESTLY communicate that to your dog?" the results are amazing (to them anyway). The key is honesty. If you're freaking out, NO WAY most dogs aren't going to at least somewhat respond to that.
Feb. 14th, 2016 06:19 am (UTC)
Joey and Matilda both stress up and down, I think. Matilda when she 's not engaged tends to stress down in agility. She used to totally shut down all the time, but her reactivity is stressing up, yes? Joey goes way over the top when he sees people and/or dogs he knows and likes. In agility he stresses both up and down. He can be zoomy and he can be sniffy, scratchy, or freezy.
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