Cassidy, a lovely eight month old German Shepherd Dog went home from our dog board and train behavior rehab program on Thursday evening. Her veterinarian had diagnosed her as OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) due to extremely frequent episodes of spinning and tail chasing. She was on heavy doses of Acepromazine and it had been suggested she be returned to her breeder or put down.
Fortunately for her, her caring family found That’s My Dog! through a web search and contacted us to see if we could help. Cassidy’s family traveled here from a couple hours away to meet with us for a free evaluation of her behavior. When we first met her, she was nerveous, shy, and apprenehsive. Some of her insecurities manifested as barking and lunging type behavior. We also saw clearly through video tape her owners had brought along that she did indeed spin a lot for no apparent reason.
At least no reason apparent to the untrained eye. I want to thank my great friend Maryna Ozuna for heightening my awareness of canine structure and normal gait. I now see things that a mere two years ago I would of missed.
Cassidy needed some training to elevate her confidence around people and dogs, a task we accomplish fairly routinely here at the farm. But the thing that I believed was causing the spinning was the fact that two vertebrae where out of place in her tail. One about 1/3 of the way down from the base and the other about 2/3 of the way down. Whether she suffered an injury no one was aware of or whether she was born that way….it didn’t matter, she needed to have a body session and her tail worked on to get things in the correct place. It was my opinion that the spinning started as a response to some likely tingling or other strange sensation and she was biting at it. And it continued and had become a learned behavior.
Well, three weeks of training, obedience combined with exercises to increase confidence and some body work did the trick. Cassidy came in fearful, with significant issues and on medication and returned home as a tail wagging pup ready to play with other dogs and greet people on the street. On one of her last days in training she got to go for *field trip day* which included lunch at a local dog friendly cafe in Dubuque, Iowa. She was the perfect lady and laid under the table while we ate lunch, then we all went for a walk in the historic shopping district and she had a few dog biscuits from one of the vendors who came out to say hello.
The spark in Cassidy’s eye is bright. We were glad we could help. We encourage anyone who thinks they are facing a last resort option with their dog to contact us. Our evaluations are free, so there is nothing to lose in giving us a call. Your dog just might thank you for it!