The goal of the exercises is to accustom the dog to being alone without anxiety.
Being left alone is recreated to the dog through exercises. The dog should not be left alone at all during the therapy. If You must leave it home alone, You should not punish it for the misdeeds it does when anxious.
1. Getting the dog accustomed to the starting situation
Before beginning the exercise the dog should be calm and relaxed. Everything that excites the dog should be avoided during the exercise. The owner needs to be neutral towards the dog before, during and some time after the exercises. The dog is only acknowledged on the owner’s initiative and only when it is calm and relaxed. In addition to the exercises, the dog can be accustomed to stimuli that trigger anxiety throughout the day. If the dog gets anxious when the owned handles keys or takes out a certain bag, the owner should handle these triggers daily without actually leaving.
The dog must not be left alone during habituation. (Compare e.g. to fear of flying: It would be the same, as if you were gradually habituating a person afraid of flying to planes, airports and flying, and at the same time forcing them to fly every day outside the exercises! Habituation is useless if the person or dog is panicking.)
The dog will be taken to day care or taken to work with the owner, or the owner will take time off from work. To mark the new situation, the owner should get a new bed/blanket for the dog for the training. The same bed will then be used during exercises. If the radio has previously been off when the dog is left alone, it is now turned on during exercises. The goal is to create a different environment for the dog.
1.1.The dog is ordered to its bed. The owner is preparing to leave normally (taking keys etc.). The dog must lie on its bed. If it gets up, You must not be angry, but calmly take it back to its bed.
1.2. The owner releases the dog from its place by neutrally saying “free”. Do not speak to, look at or acknowledge the dog for three (3) minutes. The bed that has been used in exercises is taken away until next exercise.
1.3.The exercise is repeated at least 10 times a day for three days.
Note! It is important that the dog is as relaxed as possible (not stressed, restless) at the beginning of the exercise. If the dog gets stressed during the exercise, a new exercise is started only when the dog is calm. The most important thing is that the dog lays on its bed calmly and is not tense.
2. Habituating to being alone
During exercises, the dog is left alone for only a few minutes a t a time deveral time a day. Little by little the dog gets used to being alone without getting anxious.