Foxy Gryffin update
You may remember that we were doing some desensitisation work with this gorgeous little man a few months ago.
Gryffin needed his world expanded at a very slow pace. Gryffin reacted to so many things, especially new noises including household appliances. When stressed, he would also jump onto sofas, tables - any surface he could!
He has already learned that jumping up on surfaces or worktops is not really worth the effort and will happily away if he is tempted!
Gryffin is now able to cope with various household appliances running if he has had sufficient mental stimulation/enrichment beforehand. The main focus now is getting him used to the sound and unpredictability of television!
Our session last time began something like this:
When the "scary monster" comes on (TV): a prepared licki mat with pate appears like magic!
After a number of repetitions, the TV coming on predicts the appearance of the licki mat.
We discovered during that session that it was the moving images as well as the sounds that triggered a reaction.
When I arrived today, he came to greet me but happily wandered off back to his enrichment toys without becoming over excited. What a star.
This session we ditched the licki mat and his lovely rescue lady set up the room with lots of enrichment prior to my arrival.
Gryffin wears a light trailing lead - just in case something triggers his arousal levels, giving us an option to use to prevent him practising any unwanted behaviour. We try to set dogs up for success and we didn't need it!
We began with the television on a very low volume. He noticed and looked at the screen – and received a treat and praise from me.
Scary monster = something wonderful
We did this several times and he returned to his “work” of finding the treats in the enrichment toys. Over the session, we gradually increased the volume. Gryffin continued to work his way through the toys, occasionally looking at the screen but quickly returning to his “work”.
At one point, Gryffin chose to self-calm and returned to his blanket to chomp on his ostrich bone. This is something he does to help him calm down. We turned the television off and waited until he was ready to engage with the toys again.
Gryffin made huge progress today. It is so tempting to try to rush things, especially if they are going well but this can lead to flooding and undo all the previous training.
The television was turned back on and we began to slowly, in small increments, turn up the volume, as he engaged with the toys. He looked at the screen several times and then returned to searching.
At one point, I took him outside to the garden and his lovely rescue lady turned the volume up for when we came back in. Gryffin was a star – no reaction – he quickly engaged with the searching again.
He is making so much progress and is lovely to work with.
Gryffin is sadly in kennels and needs a calm, quiet home with someone who will help this young lad adjust to life in a loving home.
The desensitisation work will continue, and support will be given to his fosters/adopters to continue to help him reach his potential.
Gryffin is with Terrier SOS. You can read more about Gryffin and the work that this wonderful rescue do with their dogs here Terrier SOS