MemberJuly 12, 2012 at 2:04 am15
Thanks very much for your help and the links. Yes, I think I have all of the steps pretty much covered except for step 5. I have even tried to de-condition her to my leaving by mixing up my morning routine a few times. A trainer was asking me some questions and we realized that she seemed to react most to me brushing my teeth, so I purchased an electric toothbrush (so it would make a different noise) and moved the time I brushed my teeth to right before she got fed. She does seem to be a little more enthusiastic about being crated to get her food in the morning (which is to say she no longer tries to hide under the table when she sees me getting her treat ball or Kong). Since her surgery she hasn’t been left alone for more than 45 minutes and does seem to be improving – she is finishing her breakfast now for the last few days. I do worry about next week when she will be alone for about 3 hours in the mornings.
I also worry because on the days my dog sitter can’t make it, I come home at lunch to let the dogs out for a while and give them a break, and you’re correct – she does seem worse in the afternoon following.
I keep all toys put away except for her stuffed animal (which she carries around and seems to get comfort from, but does not have in her crate) and low-value nylabones. Her high value toys like bully sticks and tennis balls are only taken out for supervised/structured play.
Step 5 I do worry about – Balanced Pack – since I have had several fosters with behaviour issues and now have a second dog with aggression (though not toward his pack members). This has caused me, but most especially my dog-sitter, to be somewhat anxious and apprehensive. My dog-sitter in particular is always “afraid something is going to happen.” He is with my dogs part of the day while I’m at work, and he worries they will get sick, bloat, get injured, or his main concern, that my male will (fence) fight with the neighbour’s dogs who are always getting loose onto my property, or a neighbour walking past the fence. He’s a bit of a nervous nellie 🙂 And if I am walking the dogs, particularly my male (which happens only occasionally anymore) I worry about loose dogs coming up to us. I am sure that my dogs pick up on this. I am not sure what to do about this. My male and I are enrolled in private training to deal with his aggression, and my female and I have done T-Touch work with an instructor, so I suppose this balanced pack issue will have to be resolved before I can expect her to get better. Is this right?
Thanks so much for your help.