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I work in a vet clinic and, lucky for me, I get to take George to work with me. I'm a receptionist/assistant, so I spend the majority of my time up front at the desk, but I do move around the clinic and sometimes need to be in the treatment area in the back.

George is Mr Separation Anxiety, and wants to follow me 90% of the time and I'm just not comfortable with that. He is fine with other animals, but obviously there's no guarantee that every cat & dog that comes through our door is fine with HIM, and we don't need to be putting any more stress on our patients.

So.. the reception desk/area is sort of like a hallway, with one end closed off by a wall, and the other end open into the waiting room. I would really like to teach George to not come out of that "hallway", or from behind the desk, unless I give him permission.

Help!?
 

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Does he really have SA? That's a medical condition, and if he does have it, what I'm about to say is useless. (Lots of dogs like to follow their owners around. That's quite normal. Muggsy followed me everywhere. He'd get upset if I closed the door to the bathroom to pee. He didn't have SA.)

You absolutely can train a dog to stay in a certain area, though it will take a long time to get it perfectly reliable. I've known people who trained their dogs to only be on the carpeted part of their house, or only on the tiled portions. It's a matter of treating and praising the dog for being in one area and as soon as he leaves that area, bring him back to the allowed area, treat and praise. (clicker training would make this easier.) eventually, he will get the idea that one area is good and leads to treats, the others are not and should be avoided.
 

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When I was training my dogs to "stay" I would walk them to the doorway on a leash and give the command and walk through the door, turn to face them and then immediately pivot back and praise! praise! praise! (You can use a treat reward here instead of the praise reward, that is just how I chose to do it.) If they try to follow you put them back where you want them and start over. Once they learn the command start increasing the time little by little I would say up to at least 30 seconds. Then take a few steps down the wall where they can't see you, then reward if the command was obeyed or get them back in position and try again if they try to follow you.

I like using the doorway because you can get out of sight from them but not far away.
 
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