Emily & Opie

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I love my sweet Opie, our kitties, houseplants and long weekends at home in my pjs.Opie is an Akita-Pyrenees-Staffordshire mix.He loves fashion, his babies, our kitties (sometimes), and getting away with mischief by looking super pitiful.
Hi everyone! Our boy Opie loves learning and training, but he has an anxiety disorder. Has anyone else tried this with an anxious/fearful dog? We think it could give him more tools to tell us what he needs, so maybe it could help. Has anyone else tried this with their anxious dog? Or noticed any impact on anxiety/fear/stress?Β 

PS- Our next appt with our behaviorist is in December, and as always, we will talk to her then before trying anything.Β 
Hi Emily!

Our pup Scout has some big behavior issues we have been working on since we adopted her in May. She came to us needing to learn a lot of manners, and since we were home due to the Covid shut-downs we were up to the challenge. I have a background in Mental Health and Education, (and of course I had been following Stella and Bunny), so after a few weeks of having Scout I thought "eh, it's a long shot, but I'll try some buttons and see if that helps her feel less frustrated". She learned her first button, "outside" in less than a day, probably less than a few hours. She was OBSESSED, lol!

We saw a HUGE decrease in unwanted behaviors (mouthing, barking while eating, destructive behaviors in the house) as soon as we introduced the buttons. We started with "outside" and "play", her two biggest needs. We take it really slow because I think it's more important that she knows the buttons well, likes them, and it relieves stress rather than adds stress or confusion. As we add buttons we always prioritize what she really wants to communicate over what we wish she would say. (She now has water, potty, and ball).

Scout's not a perfect angel by any means or done with training yet, but I truly feel the buttons have helped to give her a voice to let us know why she's frustrated or upset. They have changed her whole world. Rather than focusing on getting rid of all her behaviors, we are able to find out more about why they are occurring and what unmet needs she has.Β 

You can check out my recent post under the Temperament section for more input from others on doing the buttons with dogs who struggle with anxiety or excitement issues, and you can check out my Instagram @Scouts.Journey.Home for videos on Scout's progress and details about how using the buttons has impacted her behavior.

Feel free to reach out to me at any time with any questions and I'll do my best to help or offer moral support!
I’m a dog trainer, and when I am going to work we model β€œMama Help Scared Friends”. Two cool examples: Lil saw me cutting up meaty treats from the fridge and said β€œCold Eat Scared Friends”
Two days ago, she saw me through the front window walking a client dog and told my wife β€œMama Help Friends”

Give your pup emotions buttons! When your dog seems scared, ask if they are scared using the buttons. We also have happy and sad. I haven’t done β€œmad” because I am trying hard to avoid that energy.
Kellie replied
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