Proof that it works!

We’ve been plugging away at the Relaxation Protocol for a long time now. We started working on it pretty seriously back in mid-October, and you can see my most recent posts about it here and here. The protocol is listed as 15 “days.” Some of them took Silas one day, some of them took weeks. (And I’m bad about doing it every single day, if we’re going to be totally honest.) 

While Silas is getting pretty darned good at doing the protocol things themselves, he’s hasn’t really been generalizing the behaviors outward. This is expected–dogs aren’t good at generalizing behaviors. This is one of the reasons that you do the protocol over and over in various situations. So, a sudden knock on the wall while Silas is already on his mat is no big deal, but the same sound when he’s on the sofa still gets a bark. 

Yesterday afternoon we were all in the kitchen. I was making toast, my husband was pouring some tea, and Silas was sitting on his rug in the kitchen, hoping he could persuade me to give him some dinner. 

The doorbell rang. 

I almost missed it, because Silas did not bark. He didn’t even move. The doorbell sound is pretty muted in the kitchen, but if I heard it you’d better believe that Radar-Ears heard it. 

I walked into the living room, opened the door, got the package UPS had dropped off, and turned around to find Silas calmly watching from the middle of the living room. No barking like a lunatic! No running at the door to see what was going on! 

So, take heart, my fellow Relaxation-Protocol peeps. You may see real-world results sooner than you think. 

11 thoughts on “Proof that it works!

  1. Good for Silas. So nice when they give us pleasant surprises. The UPS man always gets a greeting at our house because his timing is so unpredictable and then he’s gone.


  2. Wow! In truth, learning is rarely linear. When I was doing relaxation protocols with our foster dog, Cherie, it felt like we were getting nowhere. And then, all of a sudden, something clicked.

    I guess there’s no such thing as an atheist dog trainer. You’ve gotta have faith. 🙂


  3. I’m in awe. That is incredible. Thanks to your inspiration (more on that in our exchange post!) we’re five days into the protocol with Cooper. I’m trying to do one day’s worth in the afternoon, then John repeats it in the evening. It feels interminable, but… reading this makes me feel so much more energized!! Thank you for sharing your experience!


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