The routine needs to be changed constantly so the dog does not get used to it. Have you read the links I gave few posts earlier?
Originally Posted by zaar
Try not feeding before you leave. Limit his space to one room or hallway or whatever is suitable for you in your house. In the room leave his bed and give him toys stuffed with food such as kong, various rubber or plastic cubes that you can stuff with food. Make sure he gets good walk before you leave, but walk should include some basic obedience with lots of positive experiences. It builds dog's confidence.
plenty of toys and feeding before we leave.
Radio and TV could be triggers as well. Switching a radio or TV on when you are about to leave anounces to a dog that you are about to live. It becomes a cue.
We tried background noise radio and tv and for a while thought golf commentary is actually working being as sedate as it is.
How do you do it? I would suggest what someone else suggested before - NILIF. Do not have any interaction with a dog unless it's on your terms only. Meaning no patting, no talking, nothing unless the dog does what you ask him for. For instance, dog gets petted only when he's on his mat. You can try this by showing a dog to his mat, petting him for a while, then leaving. If necessary tether him then come back, praise him and pat him. No sleeping in your bedroom, especially not in your bed. It teaches the dog to be by himself.
We try to actively discourage ‘shadowing’ (he still likes to follow us around the house).
Correct. Crated dog with severe sep. anxiety can seriously injure itself when crated.
A behavioural specialist from rspca advised against crate. She said Pete’s symptoms are too severe and would distress him further.
Just as TV and radio bones became a cue. They announce to him that you are about to leave. Try not feeding him from bowls at all only from toys. It will mean his daily portion of food will be portioned in several meals a day through toys when you are at home and when you leave. I don't know about your lifestyle, but it is suggested that people take holidays so they can devote all the time to solving a problem by doing different routines every day getting in and out of the house, practicing and teaching the dog to be able to be alone. In time different routines slowly "merge" into a approximate routines that you have in a normal life.
The thing is he is too anxious to play with toys and bones (that I buy from butcher hoping he won’t be able to resist) and does not touch them unless we are around.
Obedience does not solve behavior issues. It never did, it's just a tool in management of certain problem behavior issues. Obedience is good for practise and because every dog needs basics at least. Through obedience with lots of positive reinforcement, through fun and play you build dog's confidence. Apart from usual obedience lots of thinking and problem solving games should be introduced. Sometimes intense game of hide and seek or searching and problem solving can do more than 2 hour run in a park.
As far as his walk routine goes we stick to at least 1hr daily. He’s very athletic and loves to run, so any time we can stay longer or give him another shorter walk on top of the regular one we try to do so (it’s not a regular thing).
So it seems to me that obedience training is not actually doing anything for his anxiety.
Sweety, stop thinking he's trying to be an alpha. He is not. He's just a very insecure, scared dog and you should see him just as that. If your behavior therapist suggested that, please I urge you to find another one because it's plain nonesense.
It sounded logical that if he stops thinking he’s alpha in the house it will reduce his anxiety re us , but it doesn’t.
Although behavior specialist do not suggest this in general, perhaps a company of another dog would help ease his fear. If you are absolutely certain he can stay alone with another dog, maybe you should consider getting him a company as the last option. But it should be a very stable older dog as young dogs that are still developing may make things worse and even copy his behavior.
Another peculiar thing is that as worried as he obviously is about us, when we leave him with friends or with another dog (few times we left him with a friend’s dog, but he has moved house and is too far
) he is absolutely fine.
Last edited by Fedra; 04-26-2011 at 07:49 AM.
Respect and you shall be respected. Animal is always right.