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Friday, January 11, 2013

Home Alone: Part 2

Hello hello!

I know I would write the next post about dog food, but I have encountered more people on the Facebook page of icelandic sheepdogs who are having issues leaving their dogs alone. Regarding barking specially. This is why I decided to continue this theme and show our progress (questions regarding anything are welcome, this is in the end a trail-error-amatuer owner approach).

So on the last post we were building up slowly. But after 30min-1 hour we started stretching it more. He only had 2 pee accidents but finally Tjido just slept after he ate his Kong, and judging from the video footage, he played with his toys a bit as well. We have been able to leave him for even 4-6 hours at night without a problem! (Finally being able to go out together on dinners and stuff!!!)

We take him out of course when we get back, but he tends to be very sleepy and just does his business and wants to go back inside.

Then one day we had to leave in the day time for a lunch date. Oh-oh... we did our usual ritual:
- Take him out for a decent walk
- Prepare a Kong
- Get our stuff ready
- Give Kong and leave without a fuss.

But he followed us to the door... and barked at us and whined. So I went for a stronger goodie: dry intestines/stomach (which he loves and it stinks enormously). But Tjido chewed it quickly still keeping an eye on us. So when we left he started barking! Joost considered going back inside, but I told him we had to let it go, we were filming everything so we would know if we went too far.

That day we left for 3 hours and came back. He just woke up :) on the footage it showed us he had barked for about 3 minutes before settling down and eating all his goodies, but this time on the door mat instead of his bed.

Since then he has been great when we leave, no matter at what time, although the kong keeps being essential. I guess it is a way of making a truce: "for your effort you get this amazing treat" and maybe it works as a good cue as well. He now knows we'll come back.

I hope we get more tips on the new "teenage puppies" classes, on how we can improve our method. Also the barking at other dogs outside has come back full-on and it it ANNOYING to no end.. He doesn't snap at dogs or anything but just barks his lungs out. When the other dog is close enough its all "ohhhh you're my best friend everrrr". I will keep you posted!

Picture taken at our local animal shop :) Tjido 5 months

Finally a tip for the day: Home made treat dispenser- milk carton!
Tjido loved it and was busy for quite a while haha! I have some footage of this, so I will make a video soon ;) but I herby post the original idea:

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