"I'll Be Home Soon!" question

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Noobs
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"I'll Be Home Soon!" question

Post by Noobs » Mon Aug 17, 2009 3:53 pm

Part of the treatment plan for SA is told step by step thusly:
Ready the tempting treat while your dog watches you and drolls, then put it down and wait for him to become lost in extracting the food. Once he's fully engaged, perform a brief rendition of one of his triggers - let's just use keys since that's such a universal cue for dog. Put down the Kong, wait 'til he's got his tongue stretched out of his head in the peanut butter, and then pick up your keys and put them down again. Then walk over and take away the Kong. "What?!" we hope he says. "Wait a minute, I was still working on that." Good, now put it down again, let him get busy with it and jingle your keys again. Put them down and then take away the toy. Repeat that a few more times, then take away the toy for good and go off and do something else.
- Excerp from "I'll Be Home Soon!", Patricia McConnell

Should there be a concern over resource guarding then? What are your thoughts on this?

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Post by Horace's Mum » Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:47 pm

There is not a chance I would do that with my boy, I would be told off if I came anywhere near his kong, and it is not even worth the thought of taking it away!

I would just do that process but without using the kong, just pick up keys and put them down, pick them up, put them down, put shoes on, take them off, put coat on, take it off, pick up keys, put them down......get the picture?

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Post by emmabeth » Mon Aug 17, 2009 5:01 pm

I would think that shes working on the basis that your dog is not a food guarding dog, but does have a problem with being left.

In that situation then its a method worthy of considering, the idea is you are changing the meaning of the triggers leading up to 'mom is gone!!! panic!!!' scenario (in this case the keys being picked up, but you would use whatever trigger or triggers your dog has).

Its a bit hard with just a small extract from the book (Which i have not read), but I would expect if i did this with one of my dogs he would learn that keys being picked up meant it was time to trundle off to bed with his Kong toy so as not to lose it.

If this is the intention then.. well its a fairly devious method of making the triggers mean something else but to my mind i would rather have my dog think 'hey i dont want to lose this' about his kong than get into a hysterical panicked state about being left alone.

If you get down to the bare bones of it, we are manipulating our dogs all the time to do what we want, behave the way we want, I dont think this is any worse.

I can't imagine she would recommend this for a dog who had issues with resource guarding, or particularly for one who didnt have an existing problem being left (because there is a risk you could encourage resource guarding, though usually thats a problem where its NOT clear to the dog that something may be removed from them, and in this example it is clear).

I would really need to read it myself though to actually say what i think of it, the excerpt is too short.

joji732
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Perhaps the Kong is another trigger

Post by joji732 » Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:12 am

If the dog only gets the Kong when you go out (and many do) it could also be another trigger. In that case, using the Kong and the keys as triggers would seem to work in the way you explained.

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Post by Fundog » Wed Aug 26, 2009 12:50 am

What? I would think doing something like that would only heighten the separation anxiety, not remedy it. Now every time you give the dog a kong he's going to get suspicious and anxious about what "game" you are playing. He might not even be able to get involved in the kong, for watching you. I know that's how my own mind would/does work.

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Post by Noobs » Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:52 am

Well I did try something like this recently. Instead of putting Murphy in the crate when we left for about an hour, we gave him a Kong stuffed with meat and cheese. We set up a camera, too. I handed him the Kong and he started licking it. When we went out the door, he went to the door and stood there for a moment. Then he went back to where his Kong was, glanced at the door for another moment, then lay down and started working on the Kong. When we got home about an hour later, he barked once when he heard the door to our house, and by the time we went upstairs to our apartment door, he was standing there, tail wagging. Nothing was chewed up, he had obviously moved around the house because he'd gone to his water bowl to drink. He had even moved one of the pillows on our bed to put his head on. :)

I wasn't really so concerned about him having SA, but that he would get into trouble if we left him out of the crate. So we're going to work our way up to the point where we can do away with the crate altogether and he can just use it to hang out. So thanks everyone for sharing your opinions.

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