Ruby Update

Posted by dtismv
Apr 18, 2012
Hi all,
Just wanted to give an update on Ruby, our rescued Manchester Terrier mix.
She has gotten much much much better with her fears and anxieties of people and dogs in public. I am continuing to work hard to desensitize and counter condition her though, with lots of exposure to different environments and people and lots of treats! She is still terrified of garbage trucks and such but much better.
Nonfamily members at the house is still a different story: with men she is still very reactive and puts on a big aggressive display, yet with lots of fearful body language. My husband still thinks its not all that abnormal, ("oh she's just protective"):rolleyes: but I think it is clearly not "normal" given all the fearful body language and how difficult it is for her to settle.
After the 2 incidents of biting my 9-year old, both times on the cheek (not breaking any skin - thank goodness for bite inhibition), I was so concerned I was ready to throw in the towel. My husband talked me down though, pointing out this was a really important lesson to work through! We realized much of the problem had to do with my daughter constantly pestering the dog for hugs. I really had thought she understood this wasn't OK but we realized we needed to redouble our efforts and continue to reinforce how to interact with the dog and read her body language. We have started an obedience class with my daughter as main trainer so she can learn from someone other than mom and dad, who never know what they're talking about We are also about to start some sessions with a behaviorist who works with a lot of shelter animals to get a better assessment and hopefully work on her fear aggression. Whew! Do I still have a job? I didn't know I was basically going on maternity leave when we adopted Ruby! :eek:
Thanks so much for all the help,
Posted by KOPCaroline
May 1, 2012
Hey DTis,

Really glad for the update - thanks for writing! And even happier to hear things are continually looking up with Rubi - I hope you keep having success and wish you the best of luck!