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> Frustration And Focus And Exercise
rosiemongrel
post 1st Apr 2012, 6:52 pm
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QUOTE(muttlover2 @ 1st Apr 2012, 6:29 pm) *

I wonder how much frustration feeds into over focus or ocd type behaviours


I can only add my own experience to this, which may or may not be relevant. My Rosie had social phobias (people & dogs), extreme sound phobias (inside the house as well as the more obvious gunfire etc), stereotypies (e.g. staring at the ceiling for hours) and OCD behaviours. The veterinary behaviourist whom we consulted said these behaviours were symptoms of cognitive dysfunction, and said that her neurotransmitter levels were abnormal, similar to those in a depressed person. The very first line of defense for dogs like her was to increase their exercise levels to give them a 'feel-good hormone boost'. So although she was fearful of certain stimuli when out and about, staying at home & resting 'to let the adrenaline levels come down' was absolutely not the right thing for her, as she was neurotic about all manner of sounds & sights at home (curtains and doors moving, the sound of coins in a wallet, or a zip, or a computer starting up, or the microwave going 'ping', the quietest rattle of a window in its frame etc), so staying at home was not relaxing for her anyway. At her worst, she would be in a phobic state for 6-7 hours a day (by which I mean she was either completely withdrawn and unresponsive, you could have draped Parma ham across her nose and she would not have responded to it, or she was extremely wired & frantic, trying to claw her way out of rooms in a blind panic).

Her panic attacks and other neurotic & OCD behaviours did increase if she was not physically tired, as she needed the 'rush' that carrying out these behaviours gave her. If we took her for long walks, allowed her to chase rabbits, and played a lot of ball with her to give her that 'feel-good hormone' fix, her phobic behaviours at home decreased. She had real trouble sleeping through the night because of her fears, so if she had had a bad day phobia-wise we often took her for a walk across a golf course at night and allowed her to run and hunt in the dark, so that she would be able to sleep through the night.

So Muttlover, I think that might an example of a dog who is very wired, obsessive and prone to phobias and neuroses for whom increased exercise and a fair amount of chasing was a a necessity, to get her problem behaviours (distressing to her at least as much as to us crying.gif) under control. Rosie's 'twitchiness' about certain sounds noticeably decreased when she had had a big swim / a good run / a tiring outing. Enrivonmental enrichment was also a really important part of her management, as being busy with food games etc at home prevented her from obsessing & panicking, but it was not a replacement for exercise, it went hand in hand with the exercise.

I can also relate to Jackied's observations about Lucy. If Barney has a particularly exciting walk, he is not more settled and chilled at home, he in fact remains alert & wired for longer, and barks more. Predictable walks of a certain length result in a chilled Barney, too much of a good thing and he finds it hard to settle and becomes Mr Barkypants rolleyes.gif .
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coinsky
post 1st Apr 2012, 7:25 pm
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I've had an impromptu experiment with mine this week. Kofi sliced his paw last saturday so although they have been having walks, they have only been of about 1.5hrs max each walk and no ball throwing at all.

The first few days they were fine but I have noticed the last couple of days both of them have been getting restless and are not tired enough. They come back from walks and then run up and down the garden barking at birds or Shilah will keep getting a toy and barking at me to throw it whereas normally, they come home..drink and then relax.

Shilah especially has been a pain today, repeatedly dive bombing Kofi and barking and whining on the way BACK from the walk as if he thinks we are off somewhere else. rolleyes.gif

I have just given in and taken them up the park for a ball session and just did lots of obedience with Kofi and some little throws while I threw Shilah's.

I think the problem with my 2, is that they don't really go very far on walks, they stay very close to me unless it's a really exciting new place (or there is water) so even a 3 or 4 hour walk doesn't do a lot to physically tire them out and they do need a good session of fetch at least every few days to take the edge off the energy.

This post has been edited by coinsky: 1st Apr 2012, 7:27 pm


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rosiemongrel
post 1st Apr 2012, 9:27 pm
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QUOTE(coinsky @ 1st Apr 2012, 8:25 pm) *

I think the problem with my 2, is that they don't really go very far on walks, they stay very close to me


That does sound irritating - I'll pop down and swap them for Barney tomorrow sneaky.gif , he can usually be relied upon to run off into the next county mad.gif

tongue.gif tongue.gif

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coinsky
post 1st Apr 2012, 9:31 pm
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QUOTE(rosiemongrel @ 1st Apr 2012, 10:27 pm) *

That does sound irritating - I'll pop down and swap them for Barney tomorrow sneaky.gif , he can usually be relied upon to run off into the next county mad.gif

tongue.gif tongue.gif



lol.gif I know its generally a good trait but I do also envy people who can sit on a log and watch their dogs run about sniffing and playing. I sit on a log and have two dogs sat on my feet and they don't move again until I do. rolleyes.gif lol.gif


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rosiemongrel
post 1st Apr 2012, 9:50 pm
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I envy people who can actually see their dog mad.gif

(only kidding tongue.gif )

Back OT: Interesting observations re. your boys when Kofi's walks were by necessity shorter this week!
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celia
post 2nd Apr 2012, 10:21 am
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QUOTE(rosiemongrel @ 1st Apr 2012, 10:27 pm) *

That does sound irritating - I'll pop down and swap them for Barney tomorrow sneaky.gif , he can usually be relied upon to run off into the next county mad.gif

tongue.gif tongue.gif


I have one of these and.............


QUOTE(coinsky @ 1st Apr 2012, 10:31 pm) *

lol.gif I know its generally a good trait but I do also envy people who can sit on a log and watch their dogs run about sniffing and playing. I sit on a log and have two dogs sat on my feet and they don't move again until I do. rolleyes.gif lol.gif



.........one of these .

rolleyes.gif lol.gif
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Akitas
post 3rd Apr 2012, 2:31 pm
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QUOTE(coinsky @ 1st Apr 2012, 7:25 pm) *

The first few days they were fine but I have noticed the last couple of days both of them have been getting restless and are not tired enough. They come back from walks and then run up and down the garden barking at birds or Shilah will keep getting a toy and barking at me to throw it whereas normally, they come home..drink and then relax.

Inja has always been like this too. Although a good obedience session does help quite a lot. He's now 10 years old, but had cruciate ligament surgery last week. So not sure what he'll be like with 8 weeks (minimum) of no running .... we may have to re-start tracking rolleyes.gif
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celia
post 3rd Apr 2012, 3:48 pm
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QUOTE(rosiemongrel @ 1st Apr 2012, 7:52 pm) *

I can only add my own experience to this, which may or may not be relevant. My Rosie had social phobias (people & dogs), extreme sound phobias (inside the house as well as the more obvious gunfire etc), stereotypies (e.g. staring at the ceiling for hours) and OCD behaviours. The veterinary behaviourist whom we consulted said these behaviours were symptoms of cognitive dysfunction, and said that her neurotransmitter levels were abnormal, similar to those in a depressed person. The very first line of defense for dogs like her was to increase their exercise levels to give them a 'feel-good hormone boost'. So although she was fearful of certain stimuli when out and about, staying at home & resting 'to let the adrenaline levels come down' was absolutely not the right thing for her, as she was neurotic about all manner of sounds & sights at home (curtains and doors moving, the sound of coins in a wallet, or a zip, or a computer starting up, or the microwave going 'ping', the quietest rattle of a window in its frame etc), so staying at home was not relaxing for her anyway. At her worst, she would be in a phobic state for 6-7 hours a day (by which I mean she was either completely withdrawn and unresponsive, you could have draped Parma ham across her nose and she would not have responded to it, or she was extremely wired & frantic, trying to claw her way out of rooms in a blind panic).

Her panic attacks and other neurotic & OCD behaviours did increase if she was not physically tired, as she needed the 'rush' that carrying out these behaviours gave her. If we took her for long walks, allowed her to chase rabbits, and played a lot of ball with her to give her that 'feel-good hormone' fix, her phobic behaviours at home decreased. She had real trouble sleeping through the night because of her fears, so if she had had a bad day phobia-wise we often took her for a walk across a golf course at night and allowed her to run and hunt in the dark, so that she would be able to sleep through the night.

So Muttlover, I think that might an example of a dog who is very wired, obsessive and prone to phobias and neuroses for whom increased exercise and a fair amount of chasing was a a necessity, to get her problem behaviours (distressing to her at least as much as to us crying.gif) under control. Rosie's 'twitchiness' about certain sounds noticeably decreased when she had had a big swim / a good run / a tiring outing. Enrivonmental enrichment was also a really important part of her management, as being busy with food games etc at home prevented her from obsessing & panicking, but it was not a replacement for exercise, it went hand in hand with the exercise.

I can also relate to Jackied's observations about Lucy. If Barney has a particularly exciting walk, he is not more settled and chilled at home, he in fact remains alert & wired for longer, and barks more. Predictable walks of a certain length result in a chilled Barney, too much of a good thing and he finds it hard to settle and becomes Mr Barkypants rolleyes.gif .



That was a very interesting read about Rosie . Must have been a real struggle err.gif

The neurotransmitter info is interesting too. I wonder how much fresh air and daylight dogs need so as to have optimum serotonin levels? Barney in particular really relishes a bright spring day . Perhaps when restricting exercise the access to daylight is an important factor as well as the energy levels?
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woofgang
post 3rd Apr 2012, 8:10 pm
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Now that is interesting about daylight. My dogs have just about unlimited access to the garden when I am home which I mostly am.
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Lindsay
post 4th Apr 2012, 8:04 am
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QUOTE(coinsky @ 1st Apr 2012, 10:31 pm) *

lol.gif I know its generally a good trait but I do also envy people who can sit on a log and watch their dogs run about sniffing and playing. I sit on a log and have two dogs sat on my feet and they don't move again until I do. rolleyes.gif lol.gif


lol.gif lol.gif what are they like! lol.gif

Banya stays closer than my other two, who used to just race around all over the place chasing each other.

Lindsay
x
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GSDSian
post 4th Apr 2012, 10:18 am
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QUOTE(coinsky @ 1st Apr 2012, 10:31 pm) *

lol.gif I know its generally a good trait but I do also envy people who can sit on a log and watch their dogs run about sniffing and playing. I sit on a log and have two dogs sat on my feet and they don't move again until I do. rolleyes.gif lol.gif


You have Shepherds rolleyes.gif


I remember years ago going for a walk with a close friend of mine. I had a couple of friend's dogs with me. Altogether between us we had 5 GSDs, 2 labradors a labradoodle a v. odd collie rolleyes.gif
We let the dogs off the lead the labradors, doodle and the collie bogged off while the 5 GSDs although running round stayed within about 20feet of us. If we called all the other dogs came back as well (apart from the collie rolleyes.gif)

We've seen it quite a few times and some of the Shepherds used to get quite put out at the labs that refused to stay within the group. rolleyes.gif
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muttlover2
post 4th Apr 2012, 10:44 am
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Thanks for that interesting reply, Rosiemongrel.

Rosie sounds a very complicated dog, poor her and you. It's interesting that exercise could help reduce the stress-related behaviours. I do wonder if there's a connection between the desirable behaviours in some breeds and adrenaline or stress.

I would like to think about it a bit more.

I am with Coinsky in wishing for a happy pottering dog sometimes. I was ill recently and it was sunny so instead of our usual big walk I took a book and took him out in the car and then found a great place for him to run and spend time outside whilst I sat as I was so rotten and couldn't go far with a chest infection.

He just sat by me looking thoroughly miserable. My childhood dog would have loved to mooch and meet people and dogs and be outside. My present one - if we are not DOING something together - preferably super active - at all times, gets like above. It can be frustrating.

I was advised once by a collie rescue that if he got a fright that using up the adrenaline by running with him or whatever could help. I did think this was interesting and made me wonder about these energetic dogs and frustration and adrenalin and the relationship to fright and startlability andall those things.
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rosiemongrel
post 4th Apr 2012, 1:38 pm
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QUOTE(muttlover2 @ 4th Apr 2012, 11:44 am) *

Rosie sounds a very complicated dog, poor her and you. It's interesting that exercise could help reduce the stress-related behaviours. I do wonder if there's a connection between the desirable behaviours in some breeds and adrenaline or stress.


Our veterinary behaviourist said that dogs who carry out OCD behaviours do so not so much because of adrenaline, but because carrying out the behaviours release endorphines & boost 'feel-good' chemicals. That's why the exercise & chase outlet were important, because they are mood-boosting, too, thereby reducing the need for the practice of OCD behaviours.

(I know it's much more complicated than that, and from what I understand, a lot is still unknown about how these things interact in the brain, so I realise I'm vastly oversimplifying. I just wanted to point out that we shouldn't oversimplify things into reductive formulas, it's not just about adrenaline levels. We know for example that following periods of major or repeated stress that the individual has no control over (such a kennelling for dogs), cortisol is secreted in great quantities over a long period of time. In people, this hypersecretion has damaging effects on the individual, to the point of accelerating aging and facilitating the onset of illnesses such as depression. I would be surprised if something similar did not take place in other mammals, too.)
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riotous_uk
post 4th Apr 2012, 1:42 pm
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from the readng I've done on OCD, it isn't clear whether the endorphin rise (morphine like compoun dos addictive) is a factor in causing or mainting OCD behaviours,. There doesn't seem to be much to say why these behaviours occur in the first place as stress isn't always a contributing factor (sometimes these behaviours have been reinforced by owners). Tis a really difficult area
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