Social Isolation

To keep you further entertained – or appalled as some have expressed – I offer you additional direction from our experts.  To further support  Zoey as our Alpha, we had to create a Dog Jail for Abby when she does not interact subordinately with Zoey.  Sounds harsh, but the below explanation defines the reasoning behind it.  Remember, dogs are “pack” animals.  The worst punishment in the natural dog pack world is to be cast out, removed, or left alone and away from the Alpha and pack family.  

Don’t worry – Zoey gets her own “jail” to if needed…

Social Isolation as Punishment

social isolation Despite your best efforts, aggressive incidents may sometimes occur. If Zoey growls at Abby, assume that it is Abby’s fault for ignoring the more subtle signs and warnings Zoey has most likely already given her. If this happens, you and Zoey can immediately abandon Abby by going into another room as a punishment. This is the best option if there is only one person with the dogs.

solitary confinementIf both of you are present, the other person can take Abby “dog jail” for a short time period. Since dogs are social animals, being removed from the rest of the family and placed in an undesirable location can be a very effective punishment.  “Dog jail” should be a small, dark, boring place, such as a bathroom or closet that your dog normally does not spend time in.  There should be no toys, treats, food, or comfortable resting places in this room, and it should not be used for any other purpose for your dog.  Do not use a crate for the jail spot. Do not scold, physically punish, or even look at Abby on the way to jail. 

quentinLeave her in jail for 3-5 minutes, or as long as necessary for the dog and people involved to calm down. When releasing Abby, unemotionally open the door, allow her out, and ignore her for a while. If she is whining, barking, or scratching at the door, do not let her out until she has stopped and been calm for a minute or two. 

minimum securityBoth Abby and Zoey should go to jail if a full fight breaks out.  Abby should be taken first to the less desirable jail (i.e. smaller, darker room).  Zoey should be taken to the more desirable jail in a separate room (e.g. a bedroom).  Zoey should be let out first before Abby. 



So we have our representative “Less Desirable” Abby Jail:


Contrasting with the “More Desirable” Zoey Jail:

zoey jail

So here is your parting visual for today.  Try not to look at those sad eyes…

I'm really sorry...

I'm really sorry...

 (Note:  the snarky pictures are mine, not anything shared by the behavioral experts.  I have to keep some humor in this or I will burst)

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2 Responses to “Social Isolation”

  1. Flo Lesiak Says:

    good articles about dog health, it truly is useful for me. keep writing and happy blogging.

  2. Diane Says:

    Thanks Dr. Flo. I appreciate the kind words. Took a look at your site (love the theme – may look into that style) and I am now following you…

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