Separation Anxiety Steps 4-5
Stage 4: The master must assign areas in thewhere the dog can lay down to rest. If the dog attempts to sleep elsewhere than the assigned places, the master will have to send him to an acceptable area. Remember that the dog will do everything in its power to maintain olfactory, visual, or better still, physical contact with his master. We cannot overemphasize the importance of creating a "sensory rupture". As for stage 1, it is strongly recommended that you limit play periods to a few minutes each day. Avoid games in which the dog must use his jaws, such as pulling on objects and roughhousing, as these activities reinforce the dog's position. Furthermore, destruction and excessive aggressiveness will ensue.
The cage can also be used. This requires a special sensitization period. The master places an object (or biscuit) at the exact spot where the dog must lie down. He gives the command or "PLACE". He then lets the dog explore to his heart's content before demanding that he remain there for a few minutes. If the dog cries in the master's presence, he waits until he calms down before freeing him. If the dog must stay put without the master's presence, he gives him the command "STAY", and waits 5 minutes before letting him go. If the dog reacts badly, he uses punishment from a distance to redirect his behavior. He repeats this procedure as many times as possible during the day so as to reach a 10-minute period of isolation or longer. It is important to practice this maneuver often, in the dog's presence, so that he avoids associating the cage with a separation (for example, were you to practice only at night, before bedtime).
Stage 5: In order to reduce the dependency level of your dog (for example, your dog follows you everywhere). Order the dog to "STAY", move to another room and come back immediately. Repeat this procedure many times, at different time s, and in different places.
Note: These places are not necessarily the same as the activity centers. Progressively increase the duration of your absence.
The technique remains the same, no matter what position the dog finds himself in (standing, seated, or lying down):
- Place your left hand, palm up, in front of the dog's eyes.
- At the same time, tell him "NAME + STAY".
- Starting with your right foot (not to confuse with departures which are done with the right foot in the "walking to heel" section), make a complete revolution around your dog before you assume your original position.
- Pet the dog and start over the above procedure.
- If the dog remains stationary after many attempts, make a brief stop in front of him before resuming your position.
- Gradually distance yourself from the dog every time you make a new attempt. Proceed slowly and congratulate him promptly with the SR "SOUND + GOOD'". If the dog has a tendency to shift from his position, put him back in his place by indicating the gesture in front of him, without repeating the command.