His use of appropriate medication (very thoughtfully used) and heart rate monitors is also something we need to continue to explore with dogs.
(Note the groundbreaking work done by CAABs Peter Borcheldt and Nancy Williams on heart rate variability in dogs.)This is such a complex topic, I could write about it for hours for today.
With dogs, that might mean letting it have a “safe house” to go to, without being forced to interact for predictable portions of the day. Dogs can get back some sense of control too, by teaching them appropriate behaviors that get them what they want, and letting them learn that they have some control over what happens to them.
This means that, because it takes time to accumulate repetitions, recovery takes time and patience…” He goes on to note that regrettably, neither qualities are in abundance in today’s society. There is so much more in this book that can apply to dogs: [In the 2015 post I began by talking about an amazing book, The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog] One of the most important is the author’s “neurosequential” approach, which involves figuring out the stage of brain development at which the trauma occurred, and providing what the child didn’t get at that stage of development, even if it has little to do with the child’s chronological age.
That is trickier with dogs, but the fact is that understanding the brain and its development in relation to behavior is an important ingredient in treating trauma.
(Note that many of the children Perry writes about were subjected to extreme force as “treatment,” including by professionals in the field.) You might also be interested in the work of Rise van Fleet, a child psychologist who uses play to work with traumatized children, and has used similar techniques to help traumatized dogs.
The best book I’d ever read, up to reading Perry’s book, on trauma and recovery was written by Judith Herman, titled, appropriately enough, Trauma and Recovery. But if it interests you, pick up Perry’s book right away.