Written by Niki Tudge. Copyright 2011
Separation distress behaviors are those that occur as a result of diminished social contact with a person or a place. When a dog is left alone with diminished social contact it can be an aversive for the dog. The dog becomes conditioned to cues in the departure sequence and this can elicit panic related emotional responses which motivate the operant behaviors we observe such as pacing, chewing and scratching. The operant behaviors we observe as a result of this conditioned emotional response act to negatively reinforcethe dog helping to minimize the aversive.
If you have a dog that exhibits separation distress behaviors then contact your local DogSmith, there is hope and there are lots of things you can do to alleviate this distress and change you dogs behavior.
What a fabulous weekend for Lara.
On Saturday evening having spent the day with Bethany Jordan who worked with Lara quietly inside i had some great breakthroughs in new behavior that evening. We had a bark, a grab a tennis ball and a mad puppy dash. Well today we saw a few more signs of confidence. Lara initiated play with me and one of my dogs. She is walking in and out of her crate on her own and today on two occasions she wandered back into her room and into her crate all on her own.
She is still very flighty but i think in a couple of weeks if we continue at this pace we maybe able to start some training.
Here is Lara after she suddenly appeared back in the Training Room all on her own. I was inside working with a dog so she slinked behind a crate
Lara is very comfortable in this room, we spend many hours hanging out together in silence, me reading a book and her pondering. I have all my dog training books in there and a computer so i can while the hours away while we bond.