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Alone Training Question


Guest lemon
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Guest lemon

So I'm working on alone training and am wondering what my next move is. Tosh has absolutely no problem with me being in a different room while we are both home together so I began to leave for short periods of time giving him a stuffed Kong each time I left, keeping it low key and starting with really short absences- open door, step out, close door, come back in. I'd remove the Kong each time I returned and keep it low key. Each time I've left I've actually just sat by my front door so I could listen in to see if he started whining etc. Each time I extended my absence a lit bit and basically once I gave him the Kong he could care less that I was going and when I came back and he was still working on it he showed no signs of being anxious. However, as the time increased I left and when I came back I noticed he was panting and his Kong was empty (I can't make them too hard or he has a tendency to give up). I didn't know if this was panting from playing with the Kong or panting because he was anxious. So I used my webcam to record him the next time and this is what happened, he couldn't care less that I left and spent time getting everything out of his Kong. When his Kong was done he looked out the window ears up, whined softly and walked to the patio door. He did another soft whine and then laid down in front of the couch panting and occasionally yawning. He was like this for two minutes until I came back in and was panting when I returned. He is absolutely fine when he has his Kong full but gets anxious when it is done. So what's my next step?

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It sounds like you're doing all the right things! His anxiety seems very mild. There are dogs with severe SA that vocalize for hours, have accidents, become destructive, etc. So I'm not sure you need a next step if the only issue is a little whining and panting. That's something that will probably just go away over time. :)

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I would work on extending the time -- do some very short times, as you've been doing, and some 15-30 minutes and see how he does. No one can predict, but I suspect if you're gone a little longer he'll do a few whines and sighs, and then just fall asleep.

 

You could freeze part of the Kong and then just add a half inch of non-frozen stuff. The frozen part could be tiny treats or kibbles just barely held together with yogurt or peanutbutter. Might keep him busy a tad longer.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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P.S. Forgot to say, if you try a longer stretch and he gets upset, then you need to drop back to the shorter times and gradually work up.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Guest grey_dreams

Each time I've left I've actually just sat by my front door so I could listen in to see if he started whining ...

 

They know when you are just sitting by or near the front door. You really have to physically leave the area. If you always leave by car, then do that. The key is to do everything like you would normally do when you leave the house, which includes actually leaving :)

 

It may be that he got used to the fact that you sat at the front door while he ate his Kong. But then he realized after he finished his Kong that you were not sitting at the front door.

 

You are taking the right approach, keep extending the time away a little bit at a time, and mix up the times that you leave for (i.e., don't simply do a linear progression of time).

 

You will both get there, just be patient and give it time. Good luck!

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Guest Clawsandpaws

 

They know when you are just sitting by or near the front door. You really have to physically leave the area. If you always leave by car, then do that. The key is to do everything like you would normally do when you leave the house, which includes actually leaving :)

 

^^^ YUP. Dudley has no SA whatsoever, but heaven forbid if I water my plants outside and don't invite him, he will howl like he's being tortured.

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You can also leave more than one kong. One non-frozen to start him off, then one frozen with peanut butter or cream cheese in etc. You could also leave treat balls as well.

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Guest lemon

Thanks for all the tips and advice, he is doing really well with his alone training and we continue to make a lot of progress. He is usually either still working on his Kong or sleeping when I return, once he couldn't even be bothered to get up from his bed. I've started freezing his Kongs and he has become a lot more persistent with them, happily working on them until he gets most stuff out.

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