How to work through a Training Plan

How to work through a Training Plan

Before you do your training, make sure that your pup has been watered, walked and played with, as usual. You can practice this exercise at your puppy’s mealtimes and randomly throughout the day. However, be careful not to associate all mealtimes with absences. All basic needs should be fulfilled so that they are not anxious about going potty as you are getting ready to leave. 

  1. Pop your pup into their crate/confinement area
  2. Turn on your music and/or white noise
  3. Give your pup their stuffed food toy
  4. Get comfortable hanging out in the same room as their crate or confinement area – where they can see/hear/smell you. Have a tea, read a book, check Instagram, whatever works to keep you busy

Follow the step by step directions laid out for you at each level. You will be asked to leave the room. I often like to do things where the puppy can hear me (run the water, sweep the floor, tidy up, send an email, move the laundry from the washer to the dryer, etc) so that they get used to hearing me do things around the home while they’re confined. 

For the steps that are a bit longer, you might consider popping on a pair of shoes or a coat and stepping outside your door. Change it up but stick to the times. I will mark those as “room/house” so that you can choose. 

Be sure to follow each step exactly as it is written. It seems ridiculous and mundane, but this will build a most fantastic foundation where your dog does not care about you coming and going because it’s just so easy. 

The steps are staggered so that you are not always increasing the duration of each absence. Dogs can pick up on that pattern and become anxious because every absence is harder than the last. 

Reminders:

  • No need to use rewards
  • No need to talk to them through the process
  • Be normal: no walking backwards or saying “stay”

You may choose to do this once a day with a food toy and once a day without a food toy, so vary the times of day. Afterwards, assess their progress.