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Finally Getting Help with Play - Ember - 11-10-2017

Had the best play session today when trying to interview for a private consult. I think I finally see a few issues I didn't originally pick up on.

1) Possible resource guarding (even though she almost always before deferred, even to the cat)

2) I am working very hard to keep her in the game, but this was the first time she looked like she wanted to say

3) I may be correct in thinking that arousal is too novel for her

I'll use this thread to keep up our progress. We have a 1 hour 1-on-1 session with Denise Fenzi for this, so I'm finally getting some real professional eyes on us. And yes, I fully expect that most of the changes are going to happen on my end. So, here's our first submission...

Time: 2:08 minutes





RE: Finally Getting Help with Play - Tasha's&Mattie'sMom - 11-11-2017

I wonder if it isn't resource guarding but Ember just trying to figure out how to play with you with the toy.  Three months ago, for the first time, Mattie played tug with me and she growled.  Not an angry growl but a playful growl.  I was so happy because I felt like she was beginning to understand the game.  I let Mattie win and take the toy from me but if I had wanted I could have easily taken the toy from her.  

I look forward to your updates and I love your kitty in the video looking completely unimpressed with all that you are doing.  Smile


RE: Finally Getting Help with Play - Gideon's mom - 11-11-2017

I didn't see anything that would say resource guarding to me, not in the least. I did see one spot where she thought about being overwhelmed, but she quickly decided she was ok.


RE: Finally Getting Help with Play - Ember - 11-11-2017

It's hard to tell, but yea probably not. She just doesn't really want to give up anything that she claims. She holds it and tries to turn away or tuck her chin. But she's just so polite she'll give it away anyway. This does make sense though, since she defers almost always - it's the one time she has something that's "hers" and now I want to take it away.

Denise loved the session and said pretty much the same as you guys lol. We have a few "what if you do this" things to film now. My first one was letting her win, as you guys said (which I already knew how it would turn out, and I'm glad my dog is consistent there). The second was seeing if she was willing to just "hang out" with a chew and not be on the couch. She wasn't too keen on that either.

Yea, Anya was probably calling us fools the whole time LOL!






RE: Finally Getting Help with Play - Ember - 11-14-2017

After only 30 minutes of our allotted online hour, I have come up with this video and am INCREDIBLY happy with the results! It has helped so much to change my mindset about the laying down and the diverting to couch/cot. Though it may mean "I need a moment", not always, and surprisingly, not that often. It is literally just her default. It's her comfort zone, it is where she is safe, and I can (and have) start teaching her games using the couch as a "home base".

This video was made a little later than normal for us to be playing, and she's kinda "eh", but then clearly has "why not" moments. It's THAT attitude that I was unable to recognize. I have very clear ideas on how to proceed, though I am awaiting some input once Denise has seen this video.

So, what do you think? Do you see where I was coming from in my thinking, and where these new thoughts are true?






RE: Finally Getting Help with Play - Trifan - 11-15-2017

Yes, I see what you see and I also would have no problem with the couch being her default. I think the more she is allowed to use her comfort zone the better play will progress. In time she may feel that need less and less because she knows it is there and always OK to use. It might be interesting to see what happens if you take a stretcher bed to your parents backyard for outdoor play sessions. That security might just inspire her to feel more confident with outdoor play as well.
I love that you let her win, it is so important ! I was a little concerned towards the end when she did seem to have had enough but you absolutely did the right thing buy encouraging her one last time and being able to finish on a high note.
She is clearly so eager to please and and her decisions to keep going "for you" are easily seen. You do such a great job with her and open doors to new pleasures. With another type of person who might be content to just let her veg out she would miss so much and perhaps never realise how good life can be.


RE: Finally Getting Help with Play - Gideon's mom - 11-15-2017

Almost all of my dogs and 2 of my cats have the same behavior, so I definitely know what you are talking about.


RE: Finally Getting Help with Play - Ember - 11-15-2017

I am so excited about this. I actually have a half hour left to work on backing up now LOL!

Seriously though, it's changed a lot. I play with her in bed when I wake up, and that looks very different from playing with her before meals or potty break. She has a LOT of "still" moments and I see her processing everything. I pause, let her think, then try again - and almost always get either a little more energy, a tail wag, a different expression, or some combination of the three. Now we just both need some practice. It doesn't have to make it outside - but I know she'll love it if we do!

Trifan - that's an amazing idea! We have that cot in the video - it could go out! Though I doubt she'll know what to do with it outside of the context of our training room LOL!

And then today I pushed a little too hard and she gave me a very clear signal - again, a confirmation that I know what to look for and she knows how to tell me "no" if she means it. Anything else is fair game until I get that signal.


RE: Finally Getting Help with Play - Trifan - 11-15-2017

(11-15-2017, 03:49 PM)Ember Wrote: I am so excited about this. I actually have a half hour left to work on backing up now LOL!

Seriously though, it's changed a lot. I play with her in bed when I wake up, and that looks very different from playing with her before meals or potty break. She has a LOT of "still" moments and I see her processing everything. I pause, let her think, then try again - and almost always get either a little more energy, a tail wag, a different expression, or some combination of the three. Now we just both need some practice. It doesn't have to make it outside - but I know she'll love it if we do!

Trifan - that's an amazing idea! We have that cot in the video - it could go out! Though I doubt she'll know what to do with it outside of the context of our training room LOL!

And then today I pushed a little too hard and she gave me a very clear signal - again, a confirmation that I know what to look for and she knows how to tell me "no" if she means it. Anything else is fair game until I get that signal.
I was thinking that she likely has emotional attachment to it so might see it as a safe place no matter where it is. When I reflect on her yard play there might be a degree of uncertainty/insecurity as to where she should be in the game. If she did make the bed her starting point she might also make it her default comfy spot when she returns with the ball and then there is an opportunity to reinforce the game guidelines.