Separation Anxiety Treatment Log Wk5

And we are on week five of our adventures! I can't believe that it's been 35 days of me entering and leaving the house repeatedly! So here is the daily reports for the week, skip to the bottom for the summary if you aren't interested...

Day 29, session 1: Worked for 22min with the gigantic bully stick. Started 2x10sec, 30. He chose a pigs ear for 30-N, 10-N, chose a plain rawhide chip for 30-N, back the the bully stick and also left the chip down for 10-N, 60-N, 30-N, 105-N, 10-N, 30-N. I discovered Vito had the hiccups so I sat with him for a bit. Then did 5-N, 20-N, 90-N, 15-N, 5-N, 120-N.

So Vito didn't really chew any bone at all. I don't know what to think anymore. You'll notice that I still did some "longer" trials just to see what he would do. Even though he wasn't eating the bone, he did remain on his dog bed the whole time. I've noticed though that when he's not eating the bone when I come in he tends to shrink back and curl up when I take away the bone. It's like he thinks I'm upset with him, although I know I am keeping my body language the same and even talking in a very happy voice. I generally give him one stroke on the head/back when I come in and this brings him out of his curl.

Day 29, session2:
Worked for 21 minutes with a dried sweet potato, pig ear twist, and bully stick. Started with the potato for 5, 15, 5, 60, 10, 120, 180. (On this last trial he finished the potato, went to get some water, went back to his bed, lied down after a little bit, and then just started to nibble on his pig ear twist that I also left down on this trial). Since the potato was gone, I just left the pig twist for 10-N, 30-N. I then also put down the bully stick for 5, 60, 10, 5min-N (ate for 3min, then just stared at the door. some panting), 10-N, 5-N, 20, 10-N.

This was a little better. Vito's never had a sweet potato before so he was very interested in it. Unfortunately they don't last all that long so it was soon gone less than 10min into the session. He has also never had a pigs ear twist (but has had plain pigs ears) but didn't seem that interested. I figured he wouldn't eat the whole 5min I was gone one trial, but thought I would see what he would do. Again he remained on the dog bed but did start panting a little bit. He wasn't shaking and didn't seem that anxious, so I don't really know if I should make something of it or not.

Day 30, session 1: Worked for 24min with a variety of bones that he mainly didn't eat. Started with a pb rawhide chip for 5sec, 15. Bully stick for 5sec, 30. PB chip for 10, 60-N. Bully stick for 20-N, 5-N. Rst of the trials put down the bully stick, pb rawhide, and the pigs ear twist for 130-N, 20-N, 60-N, 10-N, 180-N (at 2.5min got up, went partway to the door, and immediatley went bck to his bed), 20-N, 10-N (little panting), 60-N, 5min-N (by door after 90sec), 10-N, 5-N, 20-N.

So Vito didn't chew at all after the first 5 trials. I'm keeping going under the premise that since I can't get him to eat at all, I might as well see how calm he can remain for longer trials. He did a little bit of panting by the end, but video shows he wasn't panting when I was gone. I am bummed that on the 5min trial he sat by the door instead of remaining on his dog bed. At least there is still no whining or pacing.

Day 30 session 2: Worked for 20min with a beef bone and then the bully stick. Started with a new basted beef bone for 10sec, 30, 10, 60, 5, 180, 20, 5. I then gave him both the beef bone and the bully stick and we did 5min (started chewing the beef, at some point switched the the bully), 10, 30, 5.25min.

This was actually a good session!!! Vito chewed a bone the entire time and I was able to do two 5min trials! I debated about doing another long one, but wanted to end on a good note. I also had a DAP diffuser plugged in for the first time, so this may have made a difference, who knows. I plugged it in right before starting the trial and don't really know how long it takes to have an effect.

Day 31: Worked for 30min with a variety of bones and the tricky treat ball. Started with a basted beef bone for 5sec-N, 5. Bully stick for 10, 30, 5, 60, 10. Pig stick for 15, 5-N. Bully for 120, 20. Pb rawhide chip for 10. Bully for 5.5min-N (ate for 4.75min), 5-N, 10-N, 5. Kibble in a tricky treat ball (his 2nd time using one) for 10, 5, 30, 60, 30, 4min, 5.

Ok session I guess. He wasn't really into his bones, and didn't eat the full 5.5min on his longest trial but it was ok. At leat he was willing to work for his kibble in the tricky treat ball!!! It's still very novel to him as it was only his 2nd time using it, but still he worked for boring kibble for 4min.

Day 32: No session done :(

Day 33: Worked for 26min with mainly a bully stick and also a dried sweet potato. Started with bully stick for 10sec-N. He chose the beef stick for 10, 5, 30-N. Back to the bully for 10, 30, 60, 20, 120, 20, 4.25min, 10, 60. Brought out the tater for 6.75min (finished tater in 4min, immediately chewed bully for rest of time). Bully for 20, 120.

Great session. Once he started chewing the bully stick he really got into it. I was extremely happy that even after the dried tater was all gone, he immediately grabbed the bully stick that I had also put down for that trial. yay!

Day 34: Worked for 23min with a bully stick and then the tricky treat ball. Started with the bully for 10sec, 30. Switched to pb rawhide chip for 20sec. Back the bully for 60, 30, 180, 20, 45, 6min-N (he ate for 5.25min and then I think the upstairs neighbors came home and the noise stopped him). Kibble (and a few treats) in the tricky treat ball for 60sec, 6min.

A good session. There was only one refusal to eat, but I'm not too worried about that trial. I'm pretty sure it was right as the upstairs neighbor came home and we can hear that pretty well from our place. He also was really into the tricky treat ball!

Day 35: Worked for 25min with a stuffed pigs ear (he's never had a "stuffed" one before). We did 15, 30, 20, 90, 20, 200, 45, 6.5min, 30, 7.25min.

Yay! Longest trial done was over 7min and Vito chewed his bone for the entire time. I was actually shocked that he ate the stuffed pig ear since he has refused to eat a pigs ear in a long time.

Week 5 Summary: We're not where I had hoped to be after 5 weeks, but I at least feel a ton better about this week than last week. The first part of the week still sucked, but then he did really well almost every day. I think that it helped using some things Vito's never had before (dried sweet potato, tricky treat ball, stuffed pigs ear) but I hope that he will still show interest in those objects next week. Longest trial done for the week was 7.25min.

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