Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Separation Anxiety Part 3

Today is the conclusion of my little ditty on S.A. you can view Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Create a schedule for your dog and stick to it!

This will really pay off if you can do it (it will also help solve many other common issues like potty training). Although dog's are resilient, they thrive on routine. To me, the more rigid, the better.

For Example: Fido get's woken up out of his crate at 7:00am, he sits at the door and goes outside to potty, once his owner gives the command. He get's called back in for breakfast and sits before being allowed access to his morning grub. After breakfast, he goes for a half hour walk around the neighborhood at 8:00am. From 8:30am to 9:30am he may hang out in the living room with his favorite chew toy. At 9:30am he goes to Daycare at The Fort (sitting before he comes in the door of course) and get's picked up at 5:00pm. He get's fed his dinner at 5:30pm, sitting before being given the OK to chow down. From 6:00pm to 9:30pm Fido hangs out with the family. At 9:30pm he get's one last potty break and or romp in the yard before bedtime at 10:00pm.

Please note, this is just a rough example however I'm pretty sure you get my drift. It's a sample routine that makes dealing with Fido easier... It takes out the guess work. If you would like to go a bit more in depth with working out a schedule for your dog, talk to one of the Fort Fido staff members in person.

Pertaining to daycare, we have customers who bring their dog as little as one half day every other week but you know what? It's the same day, same time and the dog knows that he/she is going to The Fort and can't wait to play. This type of daycare schedule AKA consistency, assists the dog in finding it's groove with the pack. The opposite style, popping in randomly can have quite a different effect on a dog. Especially one prone to S.A. or combined with other bad owner habits. The dog never knows whether it's coming or going and can't relax because it's constantly worried about it's owner.

No rewards for bad behavior!

Let's make this one quite a bit more condensed and to the point. Here I sound like a broken record but BE CONSCIOUS OF YOUR ACTIONS WITH YOUR DOG AT ALL TIMES. It is all about choice, do not allow yourself to "act a fool" or subconsciously reward a behavior that you swear you don't want your dog to do hahaha... I get that one all the time. Many times we do not realize we are doing anything wrong. That's fine for a moment but stop yourself, think and realize. Dog's take things literally! Everyone is smart enough to figure this stuff out. I've seen small children do better with their dog than their parents do!

Example: Fido jumps up on the counter, near the treat bowl, at doggie daycare. You scold him then give him a treat because he obviously wanted one.

Fido now thinks that if he jumps up on the counter he will get a treat after a scolding that basically means nothing, doh!

Example: Fido doesn't jump on the counter but you want to give him a treat. You make him sit and stay calmly, then hand him a treat.

Nice job, Fido now thinks that if he sits and wait's patiently he will get a treat. You've rewarded behavior that you want, good job owner! It is so very simple!

That about wraps it up for now. Please, if you have any questions do not hesitate to ask a Fort Fido staff member. We can get very busy but try our best to answer any questions that you have, do not be embarrassed to ask! When working with your pet, be confident, don't allows others to make fun of you or question your methods. If you have other people in your household make sure to get them on the same page. Don't let them undo your efforts.

The proof of success will be in your dog's ability to stay under your command in any and all situations regardless of others actions or behavior. This is the goal, total control at all times and a happy healthy pet! Also, remember to see the baby steps or little improvements along the way and have fun! Don't stress yourself out, just promise to do better and better each day for you and your dog! We can still get our human emotional needs met, we just need to better understand the differences of the K9 brain. Make your interactions with your dog on your terms, not theirs!

Brrr! See you around,

P.S. Our friend Hope summed S.A. up nicely, "An independent dog is a happy dog. I suppose it feels nice to "feel needed" but not when being needed eats your couch!". Hahaha, awesome!

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