Ear drops

Share your experience and tell us how using positive reinforcement training methods has changed yours and your dogs' lives.

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Ear drops

Post by JudyN » Tue May 16, 2017 1:50 pm

As some will have read, we had the devil's own job getting ear drops in Jasper a while back - he wasn't going to let us do it by choice, we had to start treatment straight away so didn't have time for desensitisation, and trying to do it by force... well, it wasn't pretty, and it wasn't particularly successful. But at least the ear infection did clear up.

I saved and washed out the bottle after the course was completed and worked on holding it close to his ear in exchange for a treat. Then I held it closer, for longer, and so on... then I filled the bottle with olive oil to drop in his ear.

He is now quite happy to have a drop of olive oil in his ear, though obviously doesn't particularly enjoy the experience as he shakes his head straight after and often rubs his head on the ground. I'll continue with this, but now I'm really working on my technique - getting the drops right down the ear canal, and giving it a rub before he can shake them straight out.

The difference between attempting to make a dog like Jasper submit to something he doesn't like and effectively giving him a choice (and making him want to make the right choice) is profound - anyone who witnessed our attempts at the former would find it hard to believe he was the same dog :D
Jasper, lurcher, born December 2009

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Re: Ear drops

Post by emmabeth » Tue May 16, 2017 10:19 pm

We do the same with Womble and now I realise I have not taught him ear drops - I have taught him 'have your eyes peered into with someones face close to yours, same with ears, paws, bumhole and wearing a muzzle.

We are working on nail clipping and we have a rock solid chin rest to hand for examining teefs too.. but not ear drops!

The difference IS amazing, he will not tolerate physical restraint and he will fight it to the point of hurting himself and those around him (and if those people are strangers I suspect he'd hurt them VERY badly indeed, his impulse control and bite inhibition really do relate ONLY to Mike and I) but I can ask him to let me look at a paw wound for example and even though he is clearly worried it will hurt and he would really rather not, he WILL let me.
West Midlands based 1-2-1 Training & Behaviour Canine Consultant

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