Separation Anxiety Treatment Log Wk4

Here is Week 4 of our progress. Again, a time-N means he stopped eating the bone, but remained on the dog bed unless otherwise noted.

Day 22: Worked for 23min with the gigantic bully stick. We did 20sec, 40, 2x10. Then I offered him a chicken rawhide and he took it for a 60sec-N. I was ok with this, as he remained on his dog bed and was very calm, jut not touching the bone. Back to the bully for 15sec, 150, 40, 10, 5min, 60, 5, 40, 5min!

So this was great! We did two 5min departures today!!!

Day 23, session 1: Worked for 26min with a variety of bones. Started with a pigs ear (half eaten) for 10sec, 30. He chose a chicken rawhide for 15-N. Back to the ear for 60, 150-N (ate for 105sec, then remained on bed). Switched to a beef bone for 20, 30-N, 10. Brought back out the gigantic bully stick which we used for the rest of the time: 10, 90, 30, 150, (took a 3 min break for a phone call, still in kitchen, but no bone), 20, 75, 10, 5.5min.

Also great! We did a 5.5min departure today!!! I've discovered that Vito likes pigs ears that have already been started, maybe it's easier for him to chew. However, he still is really only working for bully sticks.

Day 23, session2: Worked for 23min with the gigantic bully stick. We did 30sec, 10, 90, 20, 180, 10, 45, 5.5min, 10, 30, 40, 5, 6.5min, 5.

Hurray! We did 6.5mins this session! Also he chewed the bone the ENTIRE time!

Day 24: Worked for 26min with mainly the gigantic bully stick. Started with the bully for 30sec, 15, 90. Switched to a pb flavored rawhide chip for 20sec. Back to bully for 5min-N (ate for 3min, then remained on dog bed for last 2min), 10-N, 10, 10, 30, 5, 60, 20, 40, 120. Back to pb chip for 10, 60-N (ate for most of it), 30-N. Back to bully for 150.

This was ok. He wasn't as into his bone, so longest trial was only 5min, but he only ate for 3min of that. After that trial the longest time I did was 2.5min.

Day 24, session 1.5: I didn't do a real 2nd session, but decided to put Vito in the kitchen with a bone while I stayed in the living room. I started out ok, Vito chewed on the pb flavored rawhide chip for about 5 min. Then we sat by the outside door, quietly, for another 15min. I ignored him, and finally decided to see if he had to go out. He pooped right away outside, and then as we came back in he went straight for his bone. I popped over the babygate into the living room and Vito chewed his bone for maybe 2 minutes. He was then by the outside door for 10 minutes before he suddenly jumped over the babygate into the living room. I upset, shouted "ah ah" and carried him back over, setting him back on the doggy bed. I leave, and 2 minutes later he is standing by the babygate. I look over and he is just shaking. Seriously shaking his entire body, pupils dilated, and panting. I step over into the kitchen and sit myself on his dog bed. I have to call him over to me where he curls up into my lap and just shakes. I try not to really do much but gently stroke him. I know that it's impossible to reinforce fear, but I still don't want to be over the top. It takes him about 15 minutes to stop panting like crazy, and another 5 minutes to get off my lap. I've been sitting in here with him for a total of 40 minutes now, and overall he's just been lying here next to me, ocassionally starting to pant, but mostly just sitting here. I'm ignoring him and just sit here. I know he's not fully calm. Just now, 40 minutes into it he grabbed his rawhide and is chewing it. My plan is to sit here another 5-10 mintutes and then leave together.

I just can't believe his reaction. It's not like the first time I've put him in the kitchen without me. He doesn't always chew his bone, but he's never reacted like this, at least not since he was an itty bitty puppy. It also shocks me that he didn't whine at all before jumping the gate. I guess he really has learned that I never let him out unless he's quiet. This is also the first time he has ever jumped over the baby gate, he's been big enough for awhile now, but I don't think the thought has ever occured to him. I just hope that this doesn't destroy everything that we have done so far.

Day 25: Worked for 26min with mainly a pb flavored rawhide chip. Started with the gigantic bully for 10sec-N, 10, 10, 20-N, 10-N, 5-N, 10-N, 4xO/I-N, 2xO/I, 3xO/I-N. Switched to pb flavored rawhide chip for 4xO/I, 4x5, 2xO/I, 5, 10, 3x5, 10, 5-N. Back to bully for 5, 10-N, 5, 5xO/I-N. Back to pb chip for 3x5, 10, 2x5, 2x10, 5, 15, 5, 2x10, 2x5, 20, 5, 20, 2x10, 30, 5, 15, 45, 10, 30,10, 60.

Unfortunately, I think yesterday really was a setback for us. It took him forever to start eating a bone. Even doing a whole bunch of out/ins he wouldn't eat. He never got off the dog bed, but I didn't give him enough time too. The longest time today was a 1min trial at the very end.

Day 26: Worked for 26min with mainly the gigantic bully stick. Started with the bully for 5sec-N, 2x5, 10, 5, 10, 20, 10. He chose the pb rawhide chip for 10, 5, 30, 15-N, 5. Back to the bully for 10, 30. He chose the pb chip again for 30-N. Chose the cowhoof for 10. Back to the bully for 5, 30, 10, 65, 20, 90, 30, 10, 120, 2x10, 45, 180, 5, 60.

We're getting there. I took it very slow so we wouldn't back slide again, but longest trial today was 3min. I feel by the end string Vito was doing really well, but was worried he would get bored if I kept going. I want to try to keep all sessions under 30min.

Day 27: Worked for 27min with mainly the gigantic bully stick. Started with the bully for 15sec, he chose the pb chip for 10-N, back to bully for 20sec, 5. He chose the pigs ear for 10, and then we stuck with the bully for the rest of the time. 30sec, 60, 30, 10, 150, 20, 60, 4min, 40, 10, 30, 5min, 60, 20, 120.

Almost back! I'm still trying to keep it somewhat slow to make sure, but longest trial today was 5min and there was only one trial in the beginning where he stopped eating.

Day 27, session2: Worked for 27min with the gigantic bully stick. We did 10sec, 30, 10, 60, 20, 45, 20, 150, 10, 40, 4.25min, 15, 60, 20, 5.5min-N (chewed for about 2min, then remained on dog bed for rest), 2x10-N, 5-N, 5 (pb rawhide), 5 (bully), 5-N, 2x5 (pb rawhide).

Ok. Longest successful trial was just over 4min. On the 5.5min trial there were a ton of noises outside and the upstairs neighbor came home, so I don't know if that contributed or not. Unfortunately I couldn't get him back into it once he stopped.

Day 28: Worked for 28min with the gigantic bully stick. We did 20sec-N, 2x5, 10, 5, 20, 10, 60, 15 ,10, 120, 30, 60, 220-N (ate for only 120sec), 10, 2x5, 20, 10, 60, 45, 105-N (ate for only 75sec), 6x5-N.

Longest successful trial was only 2min. After that he wouldn't go longer than 60.

Summary:
So this week started out amazing! I was very quickly able to do 6.5min trials without a problem. However we soon had a major setback (day 24) where Vito was an absolute wreck from being left in the kitchen when we were home. I have no idea why he was so panic stricken that day since it is not the first time we have worked on him being separated from us, but still able to see and hear us. I am getting really frustrated as I expected it to taint the next few sessions, but Vito is still having issues 4 days later. He isn't whining or anything in the sessions, but it still really bugs me that he isn't eating his bones. I am really not sure if I am even doing things right.

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