Finally I have ordered a petcam though it’s just a home surveillance cam that came on my doorstep this morning. I have always used the PC to monitor the dogs when I am away but it’s quite clumsy and often the feed freezes etc. Or my computer decides to install something and restart on its own. Either way I wanted a camera that has a better wide-angle and image, and is easier to use. It would be nice to have the Petcube or similar Petcams that give treats but this does the trick.
So I ordered D-Link DCS-5020L
Bella has been very good with being left home alone, but because of Kaktus she hasn’t had the chance to get used to it on a regular basis or for long periods. Usually the longest was an hour and a half or two. The longest maybe 4-5. So since we are in a new house, she has recently become the only dog and doesn’t have company and is not that used to being alone, I take it in small steps. And it’s really hard to start up again with home alone training. I have this icky feeling that it will turn to shit as soon as I start to see progress. With Kaktus I trained a minimum of 5days a week every week continuously for 9months and it was twice or three times a day with sessions. I got him to an hour alone after much hard diligent work and he just went to sleep and didn’t even blink when I left. Then after being stable at one hour for a while he suddenly crashed. I was back to the beginning. He had started stressing more outside, he was more reactive and got easily aroused on walks. I knew from before that this always made home alone training regress, but i kept at it. I started over, made a few changes and made progress again. got him up to 20 min in tiny increments and then his stress outside started to show inside and he crashed again. So I dug deep until I found some new motivation to keep training and continued. We were basically just stuck at 1 min for a couple of months. Then his stress became so bad I just stopped the training. Same procedure as last year. So starting up again now feels like trying to drag a stubborn elephant up a hill. But I have started and have been training for 2 weeks and Bella has been good so far. I am so scared to go too fast but still we are up to 10 min and she mostly just stays in the sofa and sleeps. Often I don’t even use treats.
She is also very good at staying downstairs while I am upstairs on the computer. She doesn’t tail me around the house and is used to being alone in the livingroom for long periods. I do the same as I did with Kaktus, so whenever I leave the house I show her that I put on my jacket and I tell her “I’m leaving”. I close the door to the livingroom as I want her to stay there while I am gone. She hears the front door open and close and is well aware that I am leaving the house. In the beginning I used the memory trainer to condition her to the front door closing. I also used it to reward being calm, laying down in the sofa or walking away from the door. Then I quickly tested not using it every time and sometimes leaving without giving her any rewards. I don’t want her to be sitting and waiting for a possible reward from the trainer. I want her to relax naturally and not be distracted. Sometimes she gets a kong when I leave and sometimes nothing and it has worked well and she has progressed. The cool thing about the trainer is that I can stand outside and the remote still works.
So hopefully the D-link works out and gives me some extra motivation to continue the training. Later today I will do a proper home alone test and hopefully the feed isn’t lagging or too slow. But either way it makes it so much easier as the camera is already set up and shows much more of the apartment. Cross your fingers that my icky feeling goes away because it’s not justified 🙂