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Old 06-21-2013, 12:20 PM
grayada1 grayada1 is offline
Big Dog
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 178
Default Behaviorist in SE Tennessee area

My 4 yr old Rhodesian ridgeback has always had some fear and self confidence issues. With me he has been able to function and does not spend much time stressed. His biggest problem is strange people and we just recently got married so we had a lot of people at our house that he hadn't met before. This was a very stressed time for him. After our wedding he went to my moms house who takes great care of him but this is the first time she has had him since he was full grown without me. She is worried that when walking him he might see a stranger get scared and run away which could end very bad.

She has been taking him to her trainer and vet and they seem like they know what they are doing. They are working with him to put him in new situations and try to get him to relax. The thing that seems off is they have been working with him for a little over a week and think he needs to be on Prozac. I just don't think that's enough time to really know what he needs. Also (/and this is what I told them) I think way before medication is talked about we would all need to talk about his issues and what can be done about them and where we want him to be one day.

So I guess back to my OP I am looking for a good behaviorist in the se Tennessee area to work with us on improving his reaction to strangers and becoming more confident in new situations.

Thanks for any help you can give and even if you just read the whole post,

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Old 06-22-2013, 01:23 AM
grayada1 grayada1 is offline
Big Dog
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 178

I found a lady that comes to chattanooga twice a month from Knoxville. Has anyone heard her or worked with her? Do her credentials look like someone you would want to work with?

Dr. Elizabeth Shull is Board Certified in
Veterinary Neurology (1986) and Behavior
(Charter Diplomate 1993). She received her DVM
from the University of Tennessee, completed an internship at Michigan State University and a residency in neuro/neurosurgery at UTK.
Dr. Shull was a faculty member at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville for 16 years before starting her private practice in Knoxville in 1999.

Again thanks for any help you guys can offer.
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:09 AM
ForestPhin ForestPhin is offline
Active Pup
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 8
Default nervous RR

Hi Adam,

I just saw your post. Have you met with anyone yet?

If you have not, or your Vet Behaviorist did not work out, here are some further resources;

All of the organizations/sites promote and/or certify positive dog training. You should be able to find someone in there in your area.

RE the Prozac, its a tough call. I have tended to find that vets are quick to prescribe drugs before really tackling behavior modification through training. That's not to say all vets are that way, but it is not uncommon. They are usually more comfortable with pharmacological solutions, as that is their area of expertise.

I do also have to say that if I have met with a dog consistently over a week period and have seen it in multiple scenarios that it would be possible for me to make a recommendation on whether or not the dog truly needs drugs in addition to behavior modification. An experienced trainer or behaviorist usually can nail a dog relatively quickly. Again however, in the rare instances when I do recommend medication (>2% of cases), it is ALWAYS with a behavior modification protocol.

Good luck and I hope you are able to find a productive solution for you and your dog!
"A really companionable and indispensable dog is an accident of nature. You can't get it by breeding for it, and you can't buy it with money. It just happens along."
- E B White, The Care and Training of a Dog
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