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Hi everyone! So today was our second session and Teddy did a lot better than before however he had several episodes and was anxious throughout the class and told us to consider getting him prescribed for solliquin. We really didn't want to medicate him but we are giving it some serious thought. What is everyone opinions on using medication to mellow out your dog? (At least during training). Or has anyone used It? Is a temporary medication or are we going to need it permanently even after training is done?
 

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Is Teddy anxious in other situations, or is it just training class? What does his anxiety look like, and what have you and the trainer done to try to improve it?

Solliquin seems to be a calming supplement, not actual anti-anxiety medication in the sense of doggy Prozac. The goal of most medications - and I assume this supplement as well - is to bring the dog's anxiety down to a level where they can take training and behavior modification 'on board', with the hopes of eventually being weaned back off once they've been desensitized to their triggers/can better cope with them. Some dogs, of course, may need it the rest of their lives, but it's a highly individual thing.

I personally feel that medication should be considered any time that anxiety interferes with a dog living their day-to-day life and basic behavior modification techniques aren't helping. That doesn't mean it's right for every dog in that situation, but I do feel too many people dismiss the option out of hand or save it for a 'last resort' when the dog would majorly benefit from it. I haven't needed it for my own dog, but there's a few success stories with medication on there and I've seen several of those people say they wish they'd tried meds sooner.

That being said, if Teddy doesn't have trouble outside class, this is the second time this trainer has seen your dog, and they have tried little to no behavior modification and management to help the both of you, I'd be a little miffed that they jumped right to a prescription instead of actually helping you with this.
 

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He is reactive to just about everything. He barks and growls at people for attention (which people tend to misunderstand as him being aggressive) and but aggressive when it comes to other dogs. He shows all the 'regular' behaviors of a reactive dog.
This is their second time working in the class but they are going to try a different approach next class that isolates him a bit more.
All in all he is a very energetic dog. We tired him out before the class and he behaved a lot better than before
He is not afraid at home really and he enjoys himself just fine when none of his stressors are present (which is basically everything)
So solliquin is more like melatonin or a vitamin than something like Zoloft?
 

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That's what it looks like. I hadn't heard of it before, so I looked up the website: http://www.solliquin.com/ You can see on the ingredients list that it uses some natural compounds and proteins that are supposed to help with relaxation and focus, so yes, closer to something like melatonin or Rescue Remedy than Zoloft or Prozac. Since I've never heard of it before, I can't speak to whether or not it works, let alone whether it's more or less effective than an OTC calming product like Rescue Remedy. My guess is it depends on the dog or situation.

The reactivity is definitely fear based? I ask because I have a frustration/excitement reactive dog, myself. It looks very similar to fear reactivity on the end of the leash, but it's because he REALLY wants to say hi to the other dog and can't, not because he's afraid/anxious about other dogs. He's also frequently a pain in group classes.

Giving Teddy space in class is a great start. Ask your trainer if they can give you some guidance for desensitizing him to other dogs, too, either that you can do in class or tips to help work with him on your own time. Most trainers are really helpful and want people to get the most out of their classes. If they're not able to guide you in that for whatever reason, it's probably a good idea to look for someone with a little more background in behavioral modification - meds help, but the best and longest-lasting results are when they're used in conjunction with a behavior modification program.

I should ask, too - how old is Teddy? Dogs go through a lot of funny developmental stages when they're puppies/"teenagers", so if he's in that age range I'd personally be more inclined to stick with bmod (and maybe some otc calming supplements) until he's a little older and more mentally mature, unless it becomes clear that the reactivity is making his life miserable.
 

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IMO, medications should not be a last resort. These two articles (here and here) explain very well why I feel that way, but in short - we don't let infections get as bad as possible before we prescribe antibiotics, and we shouldn't just sit back and let neurotransmitter imbalances get worse and worse until we can't stand it either.

Full disclosure: my own dog is on anti-anxiety medications. My only regret is that I didn't pursue it about a year sooner. My dog also seemed "fine" at home, but she always had this kind of... nervous energy and looked slightly worried. That worry appears to have gone away since we started medications.

ETA: It looks likes solloquin is not a prescription medication, but a supplement. By all means, try it, see if it makes a difference. At lower levels of exposure, I did see a difference with some natural supportive remedies. But depending on the cause of your dog's problem, it might be worth going straight to a prescription anti-anxiety medication. They're not just for reducing "anxiety", either - they can also reduce a dog's recovery time after a scary event.
 

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Sollequin isn't an actual anxiety medication but a supplement. My vet likes it. We also tried Adaptil spray.

I don't have experience with needing it for a situation like yours. But Jackson has very high anxiety with certain things -- loud thunder, gun shots, fireworks, etc. He also began getting some anxiety in the RV (loud noises while driving, bumpy, etc, it just freaked him out). In 90% of life, he's totally fine and an awesome go with the flow dog. But it's that 10% where he just gets so panicky and it's hard to see him sooo stressed.

We tried Xanax and it did nothing. Vet suggested Trazadone and I love it for him. It doesn't sedate him or make him zombie-like, it just takes the edge off. I give him a half prior to a thunderstorm (if I know it's coming) and it allows him to not pace as much, pant as much or shake as much. He will do it a little bit but he's more likely to just go and find a comforting spot to lay. Same with the car -- rather than constantly being super curious, not laying down in one spot for too long, etc, he's more likely to just go and lay down.

We also use Vetriscience Composure chews in conjunction. I don't know if it actually helps or not to be honest.
 
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