Understanding that ignoring your dog when you meet them will get them to calm down, respect you and love you. It is of vital importance that you keep this rule in place.
This rule is about doing what is best for your dog not just what we want to do. Remember your dog is a dog, not a human, they behave differently to us and this is one of their crucial rules to being the pack leader. Respect the way they are and put it in place forever.
After separation in practice:
Here is an example of the many games a dog can play to try to gain your attention when you meet them. Some dogs will play harder to get than others…
After separation summary:
- Ignore – no touching, no eye contact, and no speaking
- Until your dog relaxes
- Then wait for 5 minutes
- Then call your dog to you
Make Sure Everyone Follows The Rule
To help your dog receive the consistent message they need, you could download the following sign which you could hang on your front door.
It asks visitors to follow the rules and ignore your dog upon entry (feel free to make your own one).
It is a tremendous way to start a conversation and explain to them what you have learned… You never know, they could learn something from YOU!
This is what I suggest:
Q: We have a sliding glass door where the dogs wait for us to let them in, do we wait until they are calm before letting them in or just open the door?
A: It is important to wait until your dog is calm before opening the sliding door. Without making eye contact with your dog wait for as long as is necessary, eventually, your dog will keep cool. Each day make sure that your dog is more relaxed than the day before. Then after your dog has gone easy, open the door and proceed to follow the steps in the video. Ignore, until your dog relaxes, then wait 5 minutes and then call your dog to you. Remember that your dog has not reunited with you until the door is opened! You cannot do this through the glass!!
Q: Is it okay to tell our dog to sit immediately when we come in the door?
A: No. When you reunite with your dog, it is crucial that you say nothing. You must not speak. Telling your dog to sit is not the same as ignoring your dog, one gives him attention, and the other does not. Follow the rule exactly as it is in the video and notice the difference when you successfully get your dog to relax without any attention
Q: So do I have to follow this routine every time I go into another room and then return?
A: No. You only need to follow this method if a door closes and prevents your dog from being able to access you. For example, if your dog takes himself outside through the open the door to go to the toilet and then returns you will not need to go through this routine as you were never separated. However, Golden Rule no.4 still applies
Q: Do we need to do this forever?
A: Yes, your dog will always be a dog, and it will always check to see if you are the pack leader after you have been separated. The day that you do not ignore your dog, you are giving him the wrong message – that he is the new pack leader! So get into the habit of putting this rule into place and soon it will become second nature
Q: What could I do if my dog mouth/ nips me for attention and nibbles me when I come in the room?
A: You should immediately but very calmly isolate them without a word.
Q: What is a mini leave and what is it for?
A: A mini vacation is just where you create a separation within the house or leave the house for a short period, a few seconds for several minutes just so that you can practice rule no.3. It is especially powerful if you have a dog with separation anxiety