So, we have a young puppy, always been happy and confident and up until a recent ear infection in one ear she was also happy to have her ears cleaned. However upon her ear becoming inflamed she went from standing still to have it cleaned to flailing and yelling in panic.
Completely understandable as her ear was very sore and red but obviously as care givers we have to administer her medicine so her ear can get better. We have quickly discovered with Rosa that any form of restraint makes her uncomfortable, she doesn’t even like to wear a harness’ but prefers a collar. So restraining her in order to get the ear drop where it needed to go caused the chaos mentioned above and the realisation that whilst we have been having great fun teaching her tricks and working on foundation behaviours for competitions or showing, we have actually neglected the most important of all……co-operative care!
What now? Now I begin work, focusing on co-operative care! We have started with the foundations of Chirag Patels ‘Bucket Game’ if you’ve never heard of it then please have a Google as its a brilliant work to invite your dog to be part of the dialogue of its care. Other things we are working on is desensitisation so that we can lift her ears etc, counter conditioning so that we can change how she feels about the sight of a cotton wool pad (that we use for ear cleaning) and classical conditioning for our zen bowl and special co-operative care mat (bit of old vet bed!).
In addition I have already called our vet, found out how long an appointment slot is and I’ve booked her a slot. This slot isn’t for anything other than giving our vet a chance to be part of the ‘Bucket Game’ in relation to working on Rosas ear(s). In my opinion money well and truly well spent.
So my purpose of this post? Take a moment…..
- Be honest, where do you need to invest?
- Be brave, ask your vet if you can do some work with your dog during vet visits if you need to.
- Be clear, give your puppy/dog clear input especially on important issues such as co-operative care.
- Be proactive, take a look at your dog, find the gaps in its care that need work and start work on them the first chance you get