You are not alone: Researchers estimate that up to 20% of dogs become distressed to the point of panic when left alone. This distress is usually referred to as separation anxiety. A puppy or dog who panics when left alone may:
You — as well as your dog — need peace of mind when you go out
Separation anxiety is equally hard on a dog’s guardians. In addition to feeling upset about your dog’s distress, you wonder “What will happen this time?” Will your dog chew up the furnishings or bark nonstop to the point where the neighbors leave notes on your door and your landlord threatens eviction?
We regularly went out with knots in our stomach and came home to scenes like the one pictured. We finally learned that our beloved Petey was panicking when alone and that this destruction was a manifestation of his panic. Through the Missions (see below) we did with a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer, Petey can now happily be left alone for more than four hours at a time.
My own dog, Petey, has recovered from separation anxiety. Here’s a typical “before” picture.
Separation anxiety is similar to a panic attack in a human. The veterinarian-recommended treatment for separation-related disorders is called systematic desensitization. As a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer, I have an in-depth education and professional expertise in using this treatment protocol.
How it works:
Separation anxiety treatment is perfectly suited to remote technologies such as Zoom and Google Meet. During our Initial Online Assessment, we will briefly observe your dog when alone. Once we start our four-week training package, we’ll use online technology to see how your dog behaves during the short alone-time Missions you do. Missions — so named because we’re on a mission together to build your dog’s confidence when alone — are easy exercises for you and your dog.
Once a week we’ll do a live reassessment and check in to see how both you and your sweet pup are progressing.
I’ll help your dog and you.
I will be here for you every step of the way for coaching, problem-solving, and all the support you need. There is hope. For the facts on separation anxiety, read this blog by the leader in separation-related disorders and my teacher, Malena DeMartini.
During our Initial Online Assessment, we will briefly observe your dog during a real absence then discuss observations, set up future sessions, and get started teaching your dog that it's safe to be home alone. If your dog does not have separation anxiety, we will discuss other options such as crate training, management, and enrichment activities.
60-minute Initial Online Assessment: $150
Four-week Separation Anxiety Package: $675.
Includes four custom Missions/week, four weekly live video check-in/assessments, and email support between check-ins.