Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day

Wednesday, July 4

Milo is very attached to me around the house.   When he's been with other people he is fine with that too.  He wants to be with SOMEONE all the time.  And being with someone from his perspective is being physically connected with them.   He would love to be petted and hugged at all times which, while very sweet and understandable since he's making up for lost time, is not practical nor something that I want to encourage for it will create separation anxiety.

The best thing I can do to help Milo is to help him become more confident and independent on a day to day basis, so we've been working on independence training.   

Independence training is pretty simple.  Milo is constantly seeking attention with nudging my hand and my arm with his nose.  I've started with having him sit for treats.  We graduated to sitting for petting when I ask him to.   I try to only give him pats and hugs when I want to, rather than when he initiates it.  This is difficult because he is so incredibly sweet and adorable.  But it is in his best interest to keep up with this training. 

At first he escalated his attention-seeking behavior, but he's quickly learning to back off.  It is a slow process and one that will need to be continued.  The good thing is that we have made progress and that he is making small steps in being more confident.  I can walk across the room without him glued to my side.  I can move around the house - a little - without having him get up to follow.  And... he will go across the yard with Leo to investigate and although he immediately looks for me he can hang out at a distance as long as he sees me.  This is a vast improvement over a few weeks ago when he wouldn't leave my side outside.   It is a relief to be able to do things around the house without being constantly nudged and bumped by a big collie nose. 

So...Milo's independence day will continue.  

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