What is Separation Anxiety?
Separation anxiety is a panic attack that affects dogs who are scared to be alone. It’s a phobia – much like a fear of heights or snakes or spiders in humans. Like any version of fear or anxiety, a dog has no control over it. Dogs who experience separation anxiety become extremely distressed when they’re alone, and even when they anticipate being left alone.
Common Symptoms include:
- Destruction, especially at exit points such as window and doors, sometimes to the point of self-injury
- Excessive vocalization: whining, barking, howling
- Elimination (accidents in the house), drooling, vomiting, diarrhea
- Anxiety when you’re getting ready to leave
- Pacing, trembling, or panting
- Lack of interest in food while alone
Unfortunately, we can’t explain to our dogs that we’ll be home soon and that it’s safe to be alone. Separation anxiety isn’t something they can just “get over.” The constant fear and behavior problems don’t go away on their own
It doesn’t have to be like this – there is hope.
We can help your dog learn to feel safe when they’re alone!
Let Us Help
Training for SA involves the same approach as for any phobia – gentle, methodical desensitization. We give your dog carefully organized experiences of alone time in such a way that the panic never happens. Bit by bit, over time your dog experiences being alone as no big deal.
Helping a frightened dog learn new emotions takes time, patience and skill. But what starts out as “baby steps” gradually increases into real progress – and an ability to be alone that transforms the lives of dogs and their families.
Thanks to video technology we can work with dogs all over the country and around the world. In fact, remote training is ideally suited for separation anxiety. All you need is a device with a webcam, and we’ll talk you through the rest.
All of our clients begin with a 90-minute Initial Consultation/Assessment. The cost is $225, which will be credited toward your first four-week training package if you decide to proceed with the training protocol. During the appointment, we’ll gather information about your dog, conduct a live assessment to observe your dog’s symptoms when left alone, discuss management strategies for suspending absences during the training process, and provide an overview of our training so you know what to expect moving forward.
Ready to get started?
Click the button to fill out a brief questionnaire – once we receive your completed form, we’ll contact you to schedule your 90-minute initial assessment and consultation.
Bob Ryder is a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer (CSAT) and experienced professional dog trainer who has studied extensively with and been certified by Malena DeMartini, the world’s leading separation anxiety training expert.
Bob works with dogs who experience separation anxiety or isolation distress issues, using humane, science-based protocols that are formulated specifically for your dog’s needs.
The Before-and-After video below shows what is possible when we work on your dog’s separation anxiety together.