Baby Steps

Baby Steps

Our goal with this course is to desensitise your puppy to alone-time so that they can tolerate longer and longer absences without anxiety. It is a gradual experience, as opposed to a more traumatic technique called flooding, which involves us popping our puppy into a crate or confinement area and simply leaving. That’s like ripping off the bandaid and it doesn’t work with kids OR dogs. We have to take it step by step.  

Does desensitisation actually work? 

Yes. It absolutely can and does work when it is done correctly. 

You have likely been given the “Coles’ Notes” version of this process by Dr.Google – leave for short periods of time and gradually increase the length of the absences until your dog tolerates the absence without barking. Sometimes this works with puppies, and sometimes it doesn’t. You’ll need to monitor them and really track the data to see if they’re tolerating it well. 

Won’t s/he just “get used to being alone”? 

Habituation is the technical term for “getting used to it” and unfortunately, dogs don’t do this very well. Instead, they sensitise; they become more sensitive. 

We see this all the time with puppies. We bring them home, give them a great first few days, and then we leave them for four hours to go to work, come home at lunch to relieve them, and then leave again for another four hours. 

The first day or two is okay but then the puppy catches on and starts to panic when we pop them into their crate, and boom! We have isolation issues. 

These isolation issues grow over time and get worse. 

Let’s prevent this from going full-blown.