Gracie the dog

Whilst Gracie is still an anxious dog, she has made incredible progress and if we are completely honest, more progress than we thought she could make. 

Gracie came to live with us from the Retired Greyhound Trust. Gracie was finding life very difficult as she was incredibly anxious and her inability to sleep through the night, cope with anyone other than us coming to the house and her extreme nervousness on encountering other people on walks was making us doubt if we could keep her. This was extremely upsetting for us as she is a very loving dog. As a result of Gracie’s issues and the stress it was causing her and us, we were referred to Second NatureBehaviour by our vet.

Zoe visited us at home and spent over three hours observing Gracie and talking with us about our experiences with her. This consultation was very successful and almost over-night enabled us to improve the ways we approached and helped Gracie, through:

  •     Diagnosing Gracie’s condition as generalised anxiety disorder and gaining a full understanding of the implications of this condition;
  •     Working in partnership with our vet to create a clinical as well as a behavioural plan;
  •     Teaching us how to “address” Gracie in order to reduce her stress levels – this technique we were able to share with visitors and had a great calming effect;
  •     Using treats to reward small steps forward that quickly grew into lasting improvements;
  •     Recognising some of Gracie’s stress triggers and developing a regime that reduced them / where possible avoided them; and
  •     A behavioural programme that helped Gracie during stressful times.

Gracie has now been part of our family for 15 months. There is still a lot to be done to continue to help Gracie, but thanks to Zoe’s input, when she is at home with us she is now a happy, playful, confident and very affectionate dog. During walks she is nowhere near as scared of traffic, people, noises as she used to be, and no longer 'freezes' as she used to at times.

The coaching we have had from Zoe through the initial visit and follow up has given us confidence that we can, over time, continue the progress Gracie has made so far to help her live an even fuller and happier life.

We would absolutely recommend Zoe to anyone who has an animal struggling with behavioural problems, as the progress we have seen Gracie make is wonderful, and has made our lives much better, too.

Thank you, 

Anette and David