Still eager for any tactics that will get me off the hook for implementing management techniques to ease Fozzie and Lamar's tensions, I have been experimenting with Pam's suggestion to use a calming elastic on both my dogs to see if they can relax more around each other.
Vets and groomers will tell you that a muzzle is useful not just for its intended purpose of keeping a dog from biting, but also because it seems to calm them down.
What I've learned from TTouch is that the area in contact with the muzzle--especially the base of the nose right under the eyes--is an area that releases endorphins when stimulated.
So along with lots of TTouch around the nose and mouth, a great complementary tool is the calming band or face elastic. According to Unlock your Dog's Potential by Sarah Fisher, the purpose of the calming band is to enable the dog to become aware of himself, and to release tension through the muzzle. As a result the calming band or face elastic can quickly settle and quieten a hyperactive or excessively barking dog. They also help increase confidence and can encourage a dog to accept and enjoy contact around the face and mouth.
To use a face elastic, just take a piece of sewing elastic and place the middle of it over the dogs nose. Cross it under his jaw, then tie it around his neck, just behind his ears. Tie it just tight enough that it creates a bit of pressure.
I have been using a calming elastic on both my dogs at night, as we explore different ways to manage our tense bedtime relations. With his calming elastic on, Lamar does seem to be calmer and more receptive as I do TTouch circles all around his face. A little less tense if Fozzie comes close, and more tolerant even of our new little foster pup.
The boys are both still big barkers, and Fozzie is mouthy as ever. I am curious to find out how much headway we can make by working and elasti-fying those mouths and noses!