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Ep. 10 Transcript

Episode 12: unPACK Session (Isabel)

This episode of Unpacked is brought to you by the Complex Canine Community, a supportive space for owners of complex and complicated dogs. This is a truly one-of-a-kind space in the dog world. Jess Adam, licensed therapist and coach with a passion for helping the human side of the leash, helps guardians and trainers work through the very real emotions of working with big feeling dogs, drawing from proven clinical psychotherapy techniques. In this community, you'll have access to discussion threads, a resource library, and

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Welcome to Unpacked, an open-minded podcast taking a clinical and not political approach to helping pet parents around the world. I'm Sailor Jerry, Certified Dog Trainer, Virtual Dog Training Revolutionary, owner of Tulsa Pack Athletics and creator of The Open-Minded Approach. And I'm Madison, her friend, Certified Dog Trainer and behavior consultant. Together we have nearly three decades of experience in behavioral dog training.

We've been working with real dogs and the humans who love them to create solutions to problematic behaviors that feel too big for them to tackle on their own. In this episode, we are getting you a peek into our worlds and minds, following through on our promise to add transparency to this industry. This is your chance to listen in as we fully unpack a case plan with one of our incredible guests. You will hear a breakdown of specific suggestions and protocols that are given at the start of a training program.

You will also hear every question our insightful and inquisitive guests toss at us. If you're looking for a glimpse behind the scenes of detailed training plan conversations, settle in with us and unpack.

Well, hello, Isabel. We are so excited to be meeting with you today and we're going over your plan. One of the first things that we like to do before we kind of go section by section through it is to kick it over to you, see if you have any questions because I think a lot of times you can read through a plan like that and be like, oh, I need to clarify some things. So talk to us about what you were kind of left with after reading it. I was kind of...

What got most of it, but my main questions were knowing that, you know, I'm expecting this week, I think I'm kind of wondering how to introduce Taz and the baby and we're not introduced then, but more so like how will I respond when I walk in the door with the baby, something completely new to him. So I'm kind of- What is your classic and specific question about like the moment that you're coming home with the baby?

So let's not answer that right now, but let's make sure when we get to the part where we're gonna talk through all the baby-doggy introduction interaction stuff that we can highlight that specific moment and things that we can do to really set that up for success. But high-level answer is that the baby and Taz are not gonna be interacting for quite a long time. It's gonna be all observation with lots of safety and management. Jerry, you have anything to add? I know we're just quickly touching on this, but anything to add?

that I concur. Cool cool cool. As a mom of oh so many children I concur. Isabel you have some pretty big things going on right now so you're due in less than a week and you're due in four days. Yeah I was talking to the other guests that we've kind of on boarded at the same time as you and I was like with all the love in the world y'all have to wait.

Because Isabelle and Taz are like, we have a time. We have an actual due date. We have an actual deadline. So we're going to prioritize that, and we're going to get with her. And you moved. You moved two, three weeks ago now? Yeah, I would say it's about a 2 and a half.

So it's important to, even in a little bit of time that we have left, try and do what we can to set TAS and UUP for success with this new life. Aw, new life. Beep, beep, beep. OK, so, Jerry, I know there was something when we were looking through the medical intake information. There was something that you wanted to talk about related to the persistent, I think it was like a persistent UTI, right?

Yeah, I want to pull this up so that I have that in front of me. Isabel, why don't you tell us about TAS of UTI? It was in house training. I was like, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. There was something really specific. Go ahead, Isabel. I'm sorry. About, it actually stopped when we moved here. But before then, for the past six, seven months, I would say, he started getting frequent UTIs. Here it is. Yeah. And that would happen monthly.

to the point where we would wake up and there would be like little little spots on the bed where he was you know kind of like leaking the like blood I would say but it wasn't bloody it was more pinkish but it was still alarming. Blood tinged? Yeah. Okay and then what happened? Well when I first saw that I freaked out I was like oh god like I need to do something so I called the vet and they were like oh well you can give him these cranberry chews from Tractor Supply.

for a day and if it doesn't stop it, then come back and take him to a vet. So we did that and sure enough the next day he was fine. There was no issue, everything was fine. So for the next 30 days we gave him two of those a day and it stopped it. And then so I followed up for two months with that and he had no problems at all. I was taking him out very frequently, giving him way more water and then it wasn't until he was off of those for a week. And after that week, then they started to come back.

The same thing. We woke up with that same stuff on the bed and we're like, Oh God. So I ran to the store again and I got him those. And I've also been giving him. What is it that you're giving him? Tell us exactly. Say it again. I'm sorry. Apple cider vinegar. We've been giving him two tablespoons a day and that so far he hasn't had any EUTR at all. But I think I can. How are you? Is he just drinking it? Yeah. We put it in his kibble and then we rehydrate it with water. Okay. And who told you to do that?

Where did you, like, where did you get that? I was actually looking, calling, I called a local vet and they were like, oh, well, sometimes the enzymes in the apple cider vinegar will help them flush out anything, any bacteria in their system. So I was like, okay, tried it. And so far he hasn't had any problems. So I'm not sure. I think it's working because he hasn't been on the chutes. It's just been apple cider vinegar. So after hearing you say all of that, regardless of the way that you were treating it, like if we took the, all the treatment out of the

It's a recurring infection. So it may appear as though you're getting, he's getting symptom relief from it. But if there's no, there's really not a reason that a dog should be having recurrent or like recurring urinary tract infections say that this particular dog has a problem with crystals or which there are different kinds, or the dog has some.

Like, let's say a dog that has really long hair by its vulva and it's not getting cleaned and then that bacteria is sitting there and then they get recurring UTIs from that. What I would say about that, again, not a veterinarian, just longtime vet tech that has looked at more urine under a microscope than I really realized until this moment. Just wow.

I mean, every day you're looking at it. It's just a big part of your job as a vet tech is to read your analysis. And so when I think about the medical history that I've taken from people, your analysis that I've looked at, the things I've learned from veterinarians, and then of course the classes that I've taken. First of all, I think the supplement that you were giving is geared towards urinary health in general. So it could give some benefits, but generally that's geared towards, I would say more kidney health.

And it's something that you do as a maintenance to maintain urinary health. So it's great if there's nothing wrong with giving that if you were suggested to do that, especially if your dog has chronic UTIs. But the issue, what you're leaving out there, which you potentially could be leaving out, is that there's a bacterial overgrowth that's really just being kind of suppressed to the point of not being symptomatic anymore, and then going up again and being symptomatic and then going.

because it certainly wouldn't be normal for a dog to just keep having recurring UTIs. Dogs will absolutely have one-offs in their life. That can happen. Sometimes this isn't scientific, but territorial changes, like, or territory changes. It's something that they say happens in all animal bodies, even ours too. Those can trigger UTIs. Anecdotal take-up, would it's work? Yeah, I think it's probably. But I would say.

like you said, more designed for support and not treatment so much. Yeah. And it's not like he has like an issue that needs to be treated. So well, generally that looks like them doing a full complete urinalysis and they're actually not super expensive. You just, you know, they get some urine and then you, they look at it under the microscope to make sure that they're not missing anything because a lot of them we know that we know for sure. Yeah. And I will tell you.

If a dog has an underlying chronic infection, it absolutely can affect their behavior. Absolutely. It's like when we have a chronic underlying condition and it's like, it just makes you it really on edge so that that's possible. So I just wanted to mention that because we, as trainers,

have to stop at that first step and be like, I think something is going on here that is outside the area of my expertise. Yeah. And I need to, you know, we need to just give you that, that information the best that I can. But I mean, I think my information's a little bit. No, I think that- Extra, because of my experience, but still, I'm not a vet. So, but that's what I would do. That's what I would really like. This is a very, very important piece of the puzzle. Yeah.

Yeah, I think he definitely needs to, whether or not, you know, he's seen in an office exam, because we could talk about like if that's something that's really stressful for him and we have to talk through that anxiety as well. But the urinalysis can normally be done with just a tech visit where you don't need to have a whole exam. And I can absolutely, I can 1000% teach you how to make a urine catcher out of any number of household items. Any number.

And I fact Instagram live doesn't happen soon. I swear I'll unfollow you. I'm so ready for this. Before they made urine catchers where you could actually purchase them like from suppliers. Those like were packed in out of cutoff cups and wire hangers. I tell you what I could catch you and like not believe. I'm so ready for this. If you don't make a reel or a live about this, I swear. I know I need to. I'm ready.

Okay, let's, I know we have limited time here and I wanna make sure we can get through everything and then also have time for your specific questions. So let's move on to the assessment. So what we saw, and this is something that I went through everything, I gave my assessment. Jerry separately, before she reads my assessment, goes through everything and then she makes her assessment and then she uses that to verify mine. That's how we work together, is I collect the input, we both separately review that input and kind of just like,

take a look at what we're seeing here and she's gonna see some things I don't and vice versa. So this is our sort of combined assessment, combined and verified. I also need to mention that if we did it any other way, it wouldn't get done. I think that's the important part of this. It would be a lot of sticky notes on a wall. Requires Madison to do an incredible amount of work and maybe I'm a good editor. Maybe that's what I bring to the table. So we saw a dog with a very high level of excitement.

and needs more arousal management, but you have a pro at that here who, you know, we're just gonna, right off the bat, we're gonna be able to give you access to Jerry's course, which is gonna give you at least something to get started with that. I know he's reactive on the leash and he's a low-confident dude and those things, well, the reactivity especially is gonna have to be a conversation for another day and a plan for another season of your life because we have other things we need to be focused on right now. Because Taz is a...

is displaying aggressive behavior around the food items that are dropped on the floor and against the cats and or towards the cats, I should say. And he has a long list of sounds that produce a pretty substantial fear response. And following the recent move, it's also showing some separation anxiety, howling and escape attempts and things like that. But our number one priority is to...

In the assessment we wrote, it's for Taz to be prepared for the new baby, but really it's to help you be prepared to manage Taz and the new baby. Like that's what it is. It's really about you feeling confident and then just a couple of days here going into that feeling like everyone can be safe. That's the number one goal. Number one priority is safety right now. Everything else can and will come later, but can't can't come later unless we do safety now and like risk management now. Anything to add to that, Jerry or Tag on? I am.

I'm just thinking about the conversation I had with you, Madison. Well, I would say that I can't echo enough. And this is coming from a trainer standpoint and a vet tech standpoint too. I cannot tell you and I won't tell you some of the things that I have seen because people did not manage their very large dogs around their babies. And I had one friend in particular who, this is not the story Madison, this

I had a friend who, her boundaries were different than mine and with her children, with her dogs. She allowed her son to climb and still does to this day, I'm sure she has more kids now. Bill allowed her son to climb all over her dogs and it disturbed and they were labs and they were pretty affable, you know, so it just disturbed me because I've never had that kind of a dog. I've always had the kind of dog that you and I have.

And it would, I just couldn't even go over to her house and I never ever let her children around Enzo. Because I just have seen some really bad things happen. And I can't tell you that I've ever seen a person blamed. It's always the dog. And it's just really frustrating as a person that is, you know, kind of on the other side of it that we want to get this information to you guys, because we really do want to prevent it.

these types of traumas. It's straight up trauma. If something happens in your home and especially on your watch, if it could have been protected. So that's my spiel. I'll stop there. No, I think that's really valuable. I think people need to hear that. I really, and I don't mean to demonize any particular breeds or anything. It's really just about- How is this not about that? Yeah, the right management for your dog. There's always gonna be that dog that's like, I love kids.

come hither to meet children of the world. I've never had a dog like that. I've had dogs that tolerate children if they're advocated for and they just are pretty neutral around them. But I've never had that. So it's okay if your dog is not like that. I think they're rare. It's still workable. Yeah, I think they're rare too. Because dogs love predictability. Dogs love predictability and children are not predictable, period. That's right. It's super uncomfortable for them. So one of the things- It's not.

Oh, I'm sorry. One of my best friends now has a little two year old and Enzo is cool, calm and collected by him. And she also has a very different parenting style than I do. And her children will run in the house and scream and do, but Enzo knows they're not going to touch him. So he does like to go over there with me. We're in a different circumstance that would make him very uncomfortable. But those kids never touch him. And so he, he feels much more at ease there.

And that's an appropriate management system for me. So I can include him, but other people's kids, I don't know them like that. You know, her kids, I can be like. So keep that in mind that there's always gonna be in terms of management, there's gonna be people in your life that you know will listen to you. And there's gonna be people in your life that you know are gonna blow you off about what you say about your dog. So keep, you know, you gotta pick up the slack in those areas for them. I do, that's the thing I've noticed.

who is when I have family over and I'm like, you need to leave him alone and kind of back off. They're like, well, I know, like he needs to dress. No, I can read his language. He does not like that. Like it's not the most like, but I agree with you guys on the, on the kids and the dog. Like I don't really like those situations either. And I hate seeing it in my family because I'm like, oh, like anything can happen. And yeah, sure. Sure enough, the dog will be blamed and it's not for people. Yeah.

So let's- Well, you're ahead. You're ahead if you know that. You are. You know, like, hey, something's not right. I need to look at the body language. That's, you're on the right track because a lot of people are either ignorant to it because they just truly don't know or they don't wanna know or whatever. Well, and you're ahead here because we're here and we're talking about this. And we may only have four days, but that's four days more than if you came to us after you'd already given birth. And-

Yeah, I think that there are opportunities to have these conversations earlier on, but again, you're here and you're showing up and we know how serious you are about getting this put in place. And none of that was to scare you, that's not what it's about, but it is a reality of what we face, unfortunately. So it is, I think, really valuable to share that. So let's take a quick kind of goal reframe, knowing that we had a long list of things ultimately that you do want to help TAS with.

of like top priority number one, baby prep and baby boundaries. And then short term, working on some of the food aggression with the cats, working on some of the in-home fears and working on the arousal. And some of that long term stuff that we have to, again, another conversation for another day we can get into the leash reactivity, the separation anxiety, the confidence building exercises. But for now, we're just going to put management in place for that. So let's look at our management plan. We are going

management mode. We're buttoning up every button, every single one, right? We're not even going to really talk about modification in terms of behavior. Not really. We're going to talk about modification in terms of some of his fear responses and helping him feel a little bit differently about that and sort of de-stressing his everyday because if he's still having this constant stress from the cats and his resources and the noise from the washer machine and then now there's this new baby, like that's a lot, right? So we need to try and reduce the...

The stress hormone production, that's kind of happening in a 24-hour period. So like I said, the other stuff is just going to have to come later, like the leash reactivity. And we have tons of resources for that, self-paced and not for, you know, as in when you're like, okay, I really need to work on this right now. But we know we have today things to work on. So the baby boundaries. I sent you a resource specifically of an amazing Instagram account to follow. It's called Dog Meets Baby. And they are...

fantastic, phenomenal resource. I recommend anybody that is planning to start a family or in the process of starting a family to just have that content be coming into your world, because I think that's really, really helpful. As we mentioned before, Taz and the baby are gonna observe, but they're not gonna interact, period. You're gonna use all different kinds of management. Always one piece of management for sure.

And in some instances you might want to, and we could talk about that. So different forms of management, types of management, we're talking a leash, a kennel, a gate, a muzzle, right? I think a muzzle is a great tool, not that we wanna use it as an excuse to put our dog in like really risky situations. I don't think that that's ever a good idea or ever called for or ever fair. But when we are ready to start taking forward steps, we can do so.

while still maintaining safety, right? Anything to add with that, Jerry, and specifically around like the food in turn? So where should, you know, Taz be when the baby's eating, when the cats are eating, vice versa? Well, for me, I know what I think is safe. I can't, I can only make suggestions from my perspective as a mother. I can't, you know, so there's always, you're gonna hear different things from different people.

I, when my kids were really little babies, babies, infants like that, it's not as big of an issue because you're not feeding them. I mean, it's mostly you're either nursing or if you're doing bottle, whatever. So in the beginning, there will be a tendency to want to think that that doesn't count or that doesn't matter or whatever, but it does build in a habit of you letting him around when there is.

something going on where the baby's taking food in. And so I just, you can use different things for that. Some people will say, don't let the dog in the room at all. Some people will say, you can be on your place bed and be in the room. I think that it's different for every dog, but I certainly, as children get older, if they are eating, they will be doing the scatters accidentally and they have it on their hands and dogs.

who are at their level, at their eye level. Jampot. No, they're not supposed to lick things off of their fingers. And then the kids like, and it's all very innocent in theory, because I think people want to believe that their dogs somewhere in there are rationalizing that they need to deny instincts because their relationship with their dog parent is so wonderful. That's.

delusional, you know? I mean, that's so if there's a little kid around with sticky fingers dropping food on the floor, the dog's going to hang around and pretty sure that pretty soon that child is going to become bigger and start moving around. And then it's going to become, it can become a situation where resource guarding happens against a child in the home and that you do not want to go down that road. It, you know, that's going down the road of a bite.

that's going down when really it could all be prevented by just making whatever rules that you feel. So a lot of that has to do with what your house looks like. You know, if you've got six different rooms that you're going in and out of, yeah, you could, you got a different room, dude. But what happens when you've got a mostly open space, baby gates. That's a big one that I used. I know Madison uses the play pens a lot too, but make sure there's something there because it takes one weird.

sound from a baby that a dog has not heard before and food being involved in a history of this happening for something catastrophic to happen. Yeah, and I think that when you're looking at Taz's meal time, I think that's something where again, it's just a habit where Taz is in his kennel while he's eating because again, it's just built-in management and that way as your baby, you know, starts to be a little bit more mobile.

And you don't have to have that concern of, well, is he going to crawl over towards, you know, towards the feeding station when I don't worry about it because you have the kennel and everybody's safe. And I would even, I'm sorry, I want to add what you said about the kennel. What I would say for when babies are crawling and toddling, I really honestly don't even like just the kennel. Because

If your dog is eating in the kennel and there's not some really specific management rules around, we do not touch the kennel to your child, they go up to it. And that can create anxiety and a need to guard, you know, in a dog. So there's nothing wrong with making sure that you've got a door closed in between the two when he's eating or whatever that that scenario looks like for you, or maybe there is a baby gate to that room where his kennel is. It's just.

Also try to avoid babies going up and window dancing in the kennel because they will. They don't know. They're just like little kids. They're just out doing what little kids do. I think that when anything high value is involved for Taff, whether it's the baby or the cats, they're just going to be a part of his life. So I think that's where you want two levels of management, like the kennel and the gate.

or the kennel and a door, right? I think that's perfect, like best case scenario. In another room, behind a closed door in his kennel, perfect. Ain't nobody gonna mess with him with that stuff. And that's not like punishing him. That's giving him the gift of privacy. I think he will enjoy that, I would. Like, you know, especially with, if the cats are really annoying and when he has stuff that's like really special and valuable to him, now he can just relax.

and have that time. And he might really enjoy being set aside and having like quiet decompressing. You could put like the light noise or some classical music for him, give him a little relaxation zone. You might, you know, you might want to be building yourself a relaxation zone, but we could do that for Taz too. Let's, while we, you know, have time, I don't want to get cut off before we get back to your very specific question.

So let's talk about the day coming home with the baby. Because you have access to us, you can always come back and ask questions about this plan. It's a lot to go through. It's not designed to be like, okay, plan done in one day. What's next? Like, no, this takes a while to sift through and start to step into those solutions. So first of all, in between now and then, if you haven't started like unpackaging baby things, I want you to start doing that several items a day.

having him getting used to seeing them and not interacting with them, right? Baby toys look a lot like dog toys. I want you to start using any products that you're gonna use after you give birth now. So you get start, starts getting used to the smell of them now, because that can be really weird of like, oh my God, everything has changed, right? It's so overwhelming. That's, I think that's the most overwhelming thing to dogs is the smells. The smells. Like I love the smell of babies. And, but it's like, we're hardwired as human beings, especially women to love that.

and it does something to us. That non-dolls. But it's potent. It's potent. And they smell it. Like they know when a baby walks in and you can almost see it if they've never encountered it because there's this like pupil dilated, like what is that moment? It's gonna touch me, yeah. Right, right. So don't just like, okay, we got off the call, I'm gonna go unpackage everything. Couple items at a time.

start to introduce it, think about too what schedule shifts are going to happen in your life in just a few days. And this is advice for you too. I don't have any kids, but start making those schedule shifts now. It'll be, you're doing your body a favor starting to get onto this new flock. Yes, I'd like to interject here. Thank you. Please. Whatever schedule that you're making, you can crumble it up and you can throw it into the trash can. That's probably true. And then light it on fire.

Your plan B and C also, right? Also gonna burn. Yeah. You're not, you're not gonna know, but I know what Madison means. So things like, you know that if now, or you're sleeping until whatever, that's not gonna happen anymore. You're not gonna have that time. So if you can't sleep and you still have to get up at the same time and you know that you can't and you're need, whatever, all these things like maybe just bump stuff an hour earlier. You know, maybe just start some.

wild difference that you know that's gonna happen. No matter what you do, it's gonna be really hard to plan for it. I think it's really more about your support system. So is the support system there to help you win and the literal baby potentially hits the fan? Do who's there to help you? What, who's there to help you in community? I actually have a lot of people. I have my she hunsay, my mom, my brother, my sister.

My grandma, so I have a very... I don't know, what is my part? Okay, perfect. So I actually want you to get at least one extra set of hands at your apartment the day you're coming home with the baby. And I want you to practice that in the next couple of days. Have that person come over and be like, I want you on Taz's duty. Show them how to do some place work, some stationing, giving Taz some snackies over away, over away from the baby. I don't want Taz having food being near the baby.

But I do want it to be a positive thing. And I want it to be associated with positive things and things that he likes. And I think keep it really, really short. So build whatever nice decompression zone is gonna be his and practice that over the next few days. And then after he's had about 10 minutes in the new baby environment, put him up, right? Put him in his nice little quiet zone with something awesome in his kennel behind that closed door with that classical music, because that was probably enough for him, right? And do little bursts and try and keep it really, really calm.

put gates up in between them, use those levels of management. Have them across the room on place on leash, embark on the muzzle conditioning, right? Like we have options here, but I think it's important that there's always one to two levels of management involved and day of, keep it really, really short. Don't expect him to just, okay, now I'm around the baby 24 hours a day. I think give him little bursts of relaxing on his own. And I know we're getting short on time here. So any...

Last questions from you, Isabelle. I would say for when he is feeding with like I know with the cats and stuff like that, I did try closing the door and it worked really well. He was like a lot more at ease. But I noticed when before I closed the door, when I went to give him his food, he kind of got his body language changed. He was very stressed. I was seem stressed. His eyes were like really wide.

Um, then his ears went back almost like he was in trouble, but I hadn't said a word to her. Is there. I think he's probably used to having to protect his food from the cats and then thinking he's done something wrong or being yelled at for that maybe. And so there's just like a lot, I think of not great emotions around the eating process. And as we give him this space and build that trust back up, I think you're going to see less of that because we are, we are stopping. Um,

the situation that was happening before, where the cat sort of had access to him while he was eating. I think that's as a result of that, and we should see that change. And it's an important thing to keep an eye on though. Good job catching that. It's really important. Yeah, I just wanted to know if it was okay for him to be separated and close the gate of the cage and then still close the door. If that was gonna...

causing more issues or if it was just gonna like, if it's okay for him. Cause I know we were doing scattered feeding. Is it okay if he's just eating one of his- I would go back to the bowl for now. Yep, just for now. Yep. All right, well we will be in touch soon to go through the rest of this with you. But thank you so much for your time today. And we will talk to you soon. Thank you for appreciating. Congratulations. I'll talk to you soon. Talk to you soon. Bye.

Unpacked was created by Jerry Sheriff and Madison Simpson, edited and produced by Josh Wasta under the supervision of Straight Up Dog Talk, LLC and Emily Breslin. If you are enjoying this podcast, follow or subscribe to be sure you don't miss an episode and leave us a review on your favorite podcast platform. Looking for more honest and relatable dog content? Check out our sister podcast, Straight Up Dog Talk. See you next time.

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