“Training secrets” is the theme for this week’s Positive Pet Training Blog Hop and I wanted to focus on my newest positive training secret – Canine CBD Oil!
Simon and Piper are both rescue dogs. I don’t know whether this is a coincidence or related to coming from rescue backgrounds but both dogs have fairly significant anxiety issues. I describe Simon’s anxiety as “Excess Energy Anxiety” and Piper’s as “Fear Anxiety” In both cases, their anxiety can make training sessions difficult.
Simon is extremely food motivated but when his anxiety is over threshold, he has a little trouble distinguishing between treats and my fingers 😉 While we hike and go to special off leash trails where Simon can burn off some of his energy, he remains at a pretty high anxiety level all the time. (I will be testing Canine CBD Oil with Simon and will report back in a future post)
With Piper it’s especially challenging to do any training when she’s fearful or anxious because she’s not particularly food motivated. Finding positive training alternatives requires tremendous patience and creativity. If you follow Sarcastic Dog you know I’ve been working with Piper for more than a year to overcome her fear of the car .
Piper always loves where we go but getting in the car to get to and return from our destination is quite traumatic. We’d been gently moving closer and closer to the car with lots of treats and praise but the minute I would open the door to the car, she’d freeze. While this was a huge step forward, given that for months she’d put on the brakes at the edge of the parking lot, no amount of treats would get her into the car.
Our veterinarian recommended prescription medications for both dogs but I’m always afraid of going down that road. In an effort to avoid prescription drugs, I started searching for non-pharmaceutical options to relieve their anxiety so that we could continue our training efforts. I will talk about Simon in a future post about CBD oil but for the positive pet training hop, I am focusing on how canine CBD oil is helping Piper overcome her fear of the car.
In advance of a weekend trip to the mountains, the first in more than I year where I would be taking Piper, I spoke with an incredibly knowledgable salesperson at a local natural pet store. I settled on a CBD Oil from a local Boulder company. Based on the formula we selected (500mg) and Piper’s weight, it was recommended that we start with 3-4 droppers about 30 minutes before attempting to get in the car.
Normally, Piper resists getting into the car and once in the car, she freezes with her head bowed but not resting on the seat. She doesn’t relax or look around and she is clearly distressed. The day of the trip, I gave Piper her dose of canine CBD Oil, directly into her mouth and while waiting for the oil to take affect, I loaded the car and got everything ready so all we’d have to do was grab some treats and head to the car.
I am a devoted Harry Potter™ fan so you can feel confident that I don’t just throw magical terms around willy nilly. When I say that our first experience with CBD Oil felt like I’d won a bottle of Felix Felicis AKA “liquid luck”, (see Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince…No joke! You should totally see it! And read the book. It’s so good! But I digress.) you know I am being completely serious!
Piper was still tentative but she got right into the car. It took her a moment to decide that she wanted to be in the front passenger seat where she could lay her head on the center arm rest console and see me the whole time. I created a safe “nest” for her (we’re going to have to work on that but, as the saying goes, “baby steps”) and off we went to the mountains. While she didn’t fall asleep on the 90 minute ride up to Summit County, she was relaxed and looked around a bit and when we drove home the next day, she actually slept a bit in the car!
Piper chillin’ in the car after a hike in the mountains!
I am so excited to keep working with Piper and can’t wait to see how Simon responds to CBD oil!
Canine CBD Oil
I will be sharing much more about CBD oil in future posts but in a nutshell, Cannabidoil. (CBD) is hemp oil is made from high-CBD, low-THC hemp. For dogs in particular, the low-THC hemp plant is a much safer choice, as it produces no psychoactive effects (meaning your dog will NOT get high). CBD oil products are non-psychoactive. You want to make sure that you are using a brand of canine CBD oil that is specifically formulated for dogs with the lowest possible THC level.
CBD oil is legal and safe. Your dog cannot overdose on CBD oil. However, as with any other product, you want to read and follow all directions. Typically, dosage is based on weight and dependent on the number of mg of CBD oil in the formula.
This is not to be construed as veterinary advice. While many veterinarians are beginning to learn about the benefits of CBD oil in treating arthritis, pain, and anxiety in dogs, many are not aware of or able to provide answers to questions. We highly recommend contacting companies who specialize in canine CBD oil directly with any questions or concerns.