Cassie’s Separation Anxiety Blog

I decided it was hypocritical to have written a book about separation anxiety, yet have a dog with separation anxiety that I had not tried to fix! Cassie has the shoemaker’s children syndrome – so busy he had no time to make shoes for his own kids! Cassie had no shoes! Continue reading

September 1

No video

The girls were alone for about 2 hours today before Dave got home. I over-did standing on the knee and wasn’t in any shape to do Relaxation Protocol this evening. However, when I came home there was no barking or pawing. Dave was home and said there was whining. Still this is better than full fledged barking and carrying on.

August 31

Video 31

The girls were only briefly alone this evening. Dave was home and I came home late from class. Cassie barked like crazy again. It’s interesting that when they were alone all day the day I had surgery, there was no barking. Cassie has been on the treadmill for the last 3 days in a row, more than I would like. But I had to get her some exercise. It’s not good to do the treadmill too much because it artificially shortens their stride and can cause muscle imbalances. And with the AKC National Tracking Invitational coming up, she needs to be at the top of her form!

Today’s video worked on building duration out of sight. I chose this because I’m still on crutches and it was the easiest thing to work on.

August 29

Surgery on knee, so no training today. The girls were alone for a long time today. We were gone from 8:15 am until 6:00 pm. Surprisingly, when we entered the house, there was no barking, which I would have expected after a full day alone.

August 28

No video

We went tracking in the morning, then girls were with me all day. I only did a brief training session today, just a few minutes. A little Relaxation Protocol and some out of sight.

August 27

Video 30

The girls were only alone in the evening today. There was some mild barking when we came home.

Started today’s video with straight Relaxation Protocol. Then moved on to out of sight by the back door, and made some noises. Cassie always has the distraction of Hope wandering about while we are working.

August 26

Video 29

The girls were with me all day today.

You will notice a Scat Mat in the background. The only time I use this is when I bake and have cookies cooling on the table behind her!

I did a little backwards work, then started working on out of sight.

August 25

No video

The girls were alone quite a bit this afternoon and evening. Cassie is still reacting when I come home. I worked on straight Relaxation Protocol, gradually increasing the difficulty, but did quite a bit of backwards work.

Engaging Your Dog

As a professional dog trainer teaching anywhere from 7-10 classes a week, and working with countless behavior issues, by far the most common issue I see is lack of attention to the owner. The dogs learn that they can get more reinforcement from the environment than they can from their people, and that’s where all the trouble starts.

When the dog gets more pleasure from engaging with the environment than the person, I know the relationship is damaged. The damage is almost always NOT a result of harsh punishment, but usually a result of old fashioned thinking, “I must be in charge all the time and dominate my dog.” This simply isn’t the case and in fact, the opposite is true. Continue reading