Separation Anxiety is real - and it is not easy living with a dog that has it.
The panic and anxiety can start even before you leave and continues until you finally come home.
Crating does not work, leaving food toys does not work, it seems there is nothing you can do to help.
You may feel overwhelmed by all of this, but remember
Every Journey Begins with a Single Step
This is where I come in to help you in this journey
We start with small steps in practicing absences while the dog is comfortable and relaxed.
Then we gradually increase our time, always keeping the dog feeling safe and secure.
We first start with an essential consult where I gather lots of information about your dog and where I think the best starting point would be. We will discuss the importance of video monitoring and how to effectively do this.
I encourage all clients to discuss Separation Anxiety with their veterinarian. I like to work in conjunction with your vet, as there are medications, both prescription and OTC, that may help.
When treating Separation Anxiety, we teach our dogs that being home alone is safe. We do this by gradually exposing them to short absences and always returning before they start to feel stressed or panicked.
This means that absences that are long enough to send your dog into a state of panic must be suspended. The more your dog experiences these emotions, the harder it is to progress and the more regressions you will have.
The Key to success is always training below the threshold -
Levels 1 or 2
The 4 Levels of Threshold
1. Dog is perfectly comfortable and relaxed.
2. Dog is alert, maybe moving around the home,
but not stressed.
3. Dog is showing signs of stress, lip licking, panting, pacing the floor, hyper-alert. May start to whine.
4. Dog is in a panic, heavy barking, howling, destructive behavior, elimination inside in an otherwise
house trained dog.
There is a common misconception that letting your dog cry it out will help them get over it. Not only will this not work, but it can make the problem worse. Some people will also advise you not to reward the behavior of fear. And in comforting your dog, you are making them worse. While it is true, that we do not reward behaviors we don't want - fear is NOT a behavior - it is an EMOTION. These are 2 very different things!
Let's say you are afraid of snakes and you were locked in a room full of them - you screamed to be let out. When your friend heard your scream, they let you out of the room and comforted you, did that make you more afraid of the snakes? NO, it gave you relief.
Now imagine you are locked in the same room with the same snakes. You panic and scream, but your friend tells you he isn't letting you out until you stop panicking ... You may stop screaming, but the real sense of panic does not go away, in fact ,you may be even more fearful of snakes after this event. And, you probably will not trust that friend in the future.
Comforting a person or animal when they are frightened does not make them worse, your comfort provides them with a sense of security.
Let's get started by helping you and your best friend live a life free of anxiety and fear—email or call to set up a consult.
I am available for the consult seven days a week. Let's get started today!