Yesterday I gave Pongu a Xanax half an hour before his obedience class, because (as noted in the previous post) this was something that another fearful dog owner (who, unlike me, is an actual certified trainer) reported doing with considerable success. So I figured, why not? The Prozac hasn't kicked in yet and the Thundershirt didn't help enough to let Pongu focus at all, so what harm could a Xanax do.
I should probably have dosed him a little earlier because, it turns out, this is how Pongu responds to 20 mg of Xanax:
0-30 minutes: no effect
30-60 minutes: whining, pacing, made a real big poop
60-90 minutes: TOTALLY HIGH. No fear of anything! Everything is fun! Let's play! Let's do obedience exercises! This is GREAT! I know all these tricks! I am so much better than any other dog in this class! Yes I LOVE jumping over stuff! I'm going to jump over everything! Five times! Oh crap my back legs are all wobbly woah what's going on *crash*
90-180 minutes: gradual comedown, legs still wobbly, really interested in sniffing every last blade of grass in the potty patch
180 minutes - rest of night: *snore*
So overall the Xanax was extremely effective in helping Pongu get past his fear and relax and even have fun in class, and I may well use it again, but I am definitely NOT using it anytime he needs to be especially well coordinated. By the end of class he was getting pretty loopy, everyone was all "why's your dog walking weird? are his legs okay?"
Then on the way home he decided that he was going to leap up an entire flight of stairs in a single bound and face-planted straight into the staircase halfway up. After that I made him go up and down the stairs on leash until the Xanax wore off.
I'm hoping the Prozac starts kicking in by next week. It would be real nice to have a dog who can relax in class and also walk a straight line at the same time.