Separation Anxiety Treatment Log Wk6

It has been 6 weeks of this crap. Skip to the summary at the end if you desire...

Day 36: Worked for 23min with a stuffed pigs ear. We did 30sec, 60, 20, 180, 70, 8min, 60, 5min.

Yay! We did an 8 min trial today!!! He also at the bone the entire time, and I was able to leave for 1 min on only the second departure!

Day 37: Worked for a whopping 40min with a new steer stick, and tricky treat ball mainly. Started with the stuffed ear for 45sec, he chose the bully stick for 30-N. I got out a new steer stick for 120, 10, 8.75min-N (he ate for 7min, stood up, and then sat back down to wait), 10sec-N. Stuffed ear for 20sec, 60-N (ate for 45sec). Got out TT ball with kibble and treats for 3min, 7.25min-N (it apparently fell down the stairs after 3.5min, he was under the kitchen table for the remainder), 60sec, 4min.

This was an interesting session. I was bummed that he wasn't wanting the bully stick or the stuffed pigs ear, but apparently he was ok with a steer stick (go figure). I don't know if I jumped time to high or if he just wasn't into it, but he didn't make it the 8.75min trial. At least he was content for 7 min of it! What really bums me though is that even though he isn't majorly stressed and is quiet when he's not eating his bone by the end of the trial, he is obviously too stressed to even chew a bone for any amount of time on the next trials. Unfortunately, I had left the basement door open a crack for the cat on the TT ball trial and it rolled down the stairs. The stairs are steep, and Vito knows he's not allowed in the basement anyway, so he hid underneath the table for the rest of the trial. I don't know if he "hid" because he thought I would be upset, or if he was really more anxious than the other sessions. He was quiet during that time, but it seems like a shut down behavior that Vito is good at doing at the slightest hint of tension in my demeanor.

Day 37, session 2: Worked for 20 min with a new stuffed pigs ear. Started 10-N (with pb rawhide chip), 20, 60, 5 (with steer stick), 210, 30, 8.5min, 200.

Great session. Longest time was 8.5min and he ate the bone every time but the first.

Day 38: Worked for 20min the the stuffed pigs ear from yesterday. Started with 45, 120, 20, 4.5min, 60. 9.25min (also with a dried sweet potato for the first 4min), 30-N, 10, 30, 180-N, 5-N.

Good session. Got up to 9.25min!!! I think he was thirsty on the last few as I forgot to bring in the water and he drank a lot when finished.

Day 39: Worked with a variety of stuff. Started with a new stuffed pigs ear for 60sec. Used a steer stick for 15, 105, 20, 4min-N (only ate for 10sec). Back to stuffed ear for 10-N, 10-N. Back to steer for 10, pb chip for 10-N, steer for 10sec. Got out tricky treat ball for 120sec, 8.5min-N (played for 6.5min, then kinda showed interest off and on for the remaining).

Not the greatest. Vito wasn't interested in his bones much at all. The tricky treat ball was ok, but it was a bit wet inside since I had to clean it out and the kibble/treats got a bit wet. This may be why he was more reluctant to play with it after 6.5min, maybe not...

Day 40: Started with a new big bully stick for 60sec, 45-N, 20, 60, 5-N. A new stuffed ear for 15-N. Back to big bully for 10, 20-N. A small steer stick for 10, 20, 60, 90, 180, 20. All bones for 5min-N, 30-N, 5.5min-N.

Again he really wasn't interested in his bones. I was really excited too about the prospect of a new big bully but if anything he preferred the smaller and used steer stick. At least he remained on his dog bed and seemed fine on the 5min departures.

Day 41: Started with the big bully stick for 30sec, the steer stick for 45sec, stuffed ear for 60sec-N, big bully for 20-N, steer for 60sec, 135-N. All bones for 4min-N (ate for 30sec), 8.5min tricky treat ball (played for 8min).

And once again didn't care about the bones. AFter the 135-N, and 4min-N trial he was panting when I came in. That worries me. On the 8.5min trial with the tricky treat ball, the ball crashed into the recycling and made a large noise at 8mins. I think this scared him as he went immediately to his bed, stared at it for awhile, and then just waited till I came back.

Day 41, session2: Started with the steer stick for 15sec, 30, 60, 15, 120, 10. I got out a new big bully stick (not quite as big as gigantic bully stick used earlier) and did 60sec, 4.5min, 45, 8.75min, 30.

Good session. Apparently he's like Goldilocks and thinks the big bully stick is too big, but a slightly smaller one is perfect. So I will now refer to the bone used today as bigbully2. Longest time done today was 8.75min.

Day 42: Started with big bully stick for 60sec, switched to big bully2 for 60sec, 20, 3.75min, 90, 10.5min, 60, 10, 8.25min.

Yay! Longest trial was 10.5min and he ate his bone the entire time. The last trial I had planned on doing another 10min departure but I saw my upstairs neighbors coming home and that usually gets Vito to stop eating. So I decided to end it right before they came up their stairs.

Week 6 Summary:
Well clearly this is going to take longer than I had originally thought. Most dogs are completely cured of SA in 6-8wks (at least that's what the books say!) but I think it'll be at least another 3 weeks for Vito. And since we basically started in week 3 of the program, we suck. Maybe I'm just too conservative on departures, I don't know. But either way we finally conquered the 10 min milestone today!!! I'm at least hoping that the first 10 minutes are the hardest to get and now we can hopefully work up to 20-30 minute departures quickly. In other positive news, we are also able to start out with a 60sec departure right away and quickly build.

May Lance's good fortune smile upon us

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