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Separation Anxiety Management – Training Overview
There is no more powerful tool than basic obedience to help you manage your pet’s anxiety. Positive experience training builds confidence, and focuses mental energy. This prevents dangerous and destructive behavior when you’re away. As with any dog training, there’s no such thing as a quick fix. Our program is designed to support you and your dog – starting today – to help you manage separation anxiety, build your dog’s confidence through separation, and improve your bond. The foundation for this program is positive experience basic obedience, and offers owner training and support to help you use those basic obedience skills to manage problem behaviors. Further, we start your learning today, with advice from our behaviorists to immediately improve your dog’s environment to set you both up for success.
At the end of the program, your dog will have useful off-leash basic obedience skills and you’ll have the tools and confidence you need to manage your dog’s separation anxiety symptoms.
We recommend this program for any dog that suffers from separation anxiety. These dogs may demonstrate destructive or harmful behavior during periods of separation. Dogs entering this program may or may not have prior basic obedience experience.
At the end of this training program, your dog will be able to:
- Sit when asked
- Hold in sit when handler walks away
- Lay down when asked
- Hold in down when handler walks away
- Come when called
- Go to place and stay when handler walks away
- Stay on place when everyone leaves the room
- Maintain a heel on a loose leash
- Maintain a heel when passing a distraction
- Sit by door and hold sit until given signal to go through door
Further, you the owner will learn:
- Use of crate and other environmental controls to keep dog safe
- Role of basic obedience in symptom management
- Role of praise and release in confidence building
- Habit/routine management to reduce dog’s anxiety triggers
How the Separation Anxiety Management Program Works
During this in-home lesson, your trainer will focus on improvements you can make today in your environment and daily habits. Before your dog even learns a new command, you can reduce destructiveness and anxiety with a few changes to your daily routine. Your trainer will help you understand how to set your environment up to alleviate anxiety, and give you daily exercises to boost your dog’s confidence.
During a short stay on our campus, your dog will be introduced to our positive experience training method. They’ll learn to understand and respond to each of our basic obedience commands, and be exposed to increasing distraction to build confidence through success. Our care team will provide walks, supervised play groups, and enrichment during your dog’s down time, which supports socialization and further builds confidence and independence. At the end of their stay, you’ll be reunited – furthering your pet’s confidence in separation.
When you pick your dog up from campus, you’ll have your first of 3 weekly lessons with your trainer. The focus of this lesson is to teach you our training method and how to use each of your dog’s new commands. When you arrive home, you’ll start to reap immediate benefits of bonding, confidence building, and exercise for your dog. Your weekly lessons will build on this homework, offering specialized exercises to manage your dog’s problem behaviors.
Over the next 90 days, your trainer will continue to support your new habit development via scheduled telephone calls. New habits cannot be created overnight; our team is here to support your long-term success. During this time, your trainer is only a phone call or visit to the farm away.
Practice for life. Canine Academy offers weekly group classes open at no-charge to any of our program graduates. These classes are ideal for continuing to build your dog’s skills and confidence, and for keeping your own handling skills fresh.
Commitment and Support
Every dog that leaves our program must achieve a good or excellent result against our training standards. Further, you’ll receive 90 days of support to ensure that you and your dog have lasting success. Finally, you’ll have lifetime access to our group classes to support your dog’s basic obedience and foster your relationship.
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Separation Anxiety – Frequently Asked Questions
Separation anxiety is a condition in which a dog becomes anxious or distressed when separated from its owner or primary caregiver. It is a common problem among dogs, especially those that have been adopted from shelters or rescue groups, or those that have experienced significant changes in their environment or routine.
Symptoms of separation anxiety can include excessive barking, whining, or howling; destructive behavior (such as chewing or digging); elimination (urinating or defecating) indoors; and attempting to escape from the home or yard. Dogs with separation anxiety may also display anxious or destructive behavior when their owner is present but preparing to leave, or when their owner returns after being gone for an extended period of time.
Excess mental energy in a dog can manifest much like anxiety with symptoms such as hyperactivity, difficulty settling down or relaxing, and excessively seeking attention or stimulation. Dogs with excess mental energy may also engage in undesirable behaviors, such as excessive barking or destructive chewing, as a way to release that energy. Providing physical exercise and mental stimulation through activities such as training exercises can reduce this destructiveness.
Training can be an effective way to help manage separation anxiety in dogs. There are several different approaches that can be used to address separation anxiety through training, including:
- Desensitization and counterconditioning: This type of training involves gradually exposing the dog to the triggers that cause its anxiety (such as being left alone or the owner preparing to leave) and rewarding the dog for remaining calm and relaxed. Over time, the dog learns to associate the trigger with positive experiences and the anxiety diminishes.
- Obedience training: Teaching the dog basic obedience commands (such as “sit,” “stay,” and “come”) can help to build its confidence and reduce anxiety. Obedience training also helps to establish a clear hierarchy within the household and can give the dog a sense of structure and purpose.
- Positive experience training: This type of training uses rewards, such as treats or praise, to encourage desirable behaviors and discourage undesirable behaviors. This can help to build the dog’s confidence and trust in its owner, which can reduce anxiety and improve the overall relationship between the dog and owner.
Obedience training can also help to reduce destructiveness in dogs with separation anxiety. By teaching the dog appropriate behaviors and providing it with mental and physical stimulation, it is less likely to engage in destructive behaviors as a way to release excess energy. Additionally, obedience training can help to establish boundaries and rules for the dog, which can reduce the likelihood of destructive behavior.
Positive reinforcement training involves rewarding desired behaviors, which can increase the likelihood that the behavior will be repeated in the future. This type of training can be effective in building confidence in animals because it reinforces behaviors that are successful and increases the animal’s belief in its own abilities. For example, if an animal is trained to perform a command and is consistently rewarded for doing so, it may begin to feel more confident in its ability to perform the command and becomes more likely to try new behaviors as well.
Obedience training can help reduce destructive behavior in dogs in several ways. First, it can provide a way for the dog to channel its energy and curiosity into appropriate activities, rather than engaging in destructive behavior. Second, obedience training can teach the dog to follow commands and to resist the urge to engage in inappropriate behaviors, such as chewing on household objects or digging holes in the yard. Finally, obedience training can help strengthen the bond between the dog and its owner, which can help reduce the dog’s anxiety and stress, which can be a cause of destructive behavior.
There are several ways in which a dog owner can contribute to their dog’s anxiety. Some common causes of anxiety in dogs include:
- Lack of socialization: Dogs that are not exposed to a variety of people, places, and situations during their first few months of life may be more prone to anxiety as adults.
- Lack of structure: Dogs need routine and boundaries in order to feel secure. If their owner is not providing consistent rules and leadership, the dog may become anxious.
- Lack of exercise: Dogs need physical and mental stimulation in order to stay healthy and happy. If they are not getting enough exercise, they may become anxious or destructive.
- Separation anxiety: Some dogs become anxious when they are left alone, either because they are not used to it or because they have a strong attachment to their owner.
- Medical issues: In some cases, anxiety in dogs may be caused by an underlying medical issue, such as a hormonal imbalance or a neurological disorder.
It is important for dog owners to be aware of the potential causes of anxiety in their dog and to take steps to address any issues that may be contributing to their dog’s anxiety. This may include providing socialization, structure, exercise, and training, as well as seeking the advice of a veterinarian if there are any underlying medical issues. There are several ways in which a dog owner’s habits can exacerbate separation anxiety in their dog. Some common habits that may contribute to separation anxiety in dogs include:
- Being overly attached: If a dog owner is always with their dog and never leaves them alone, the dog may become anxious when they are left alone because they are not used to it.
- Being inconsistent: If a dog owner is sometimes with their dog and sometimes not, the dog may become anxious because they are not sure when their owner will be with them.
- Not providing enough structure: Dogs need routine and boundaries in order to feel secure. If a dog owner is not providing consistent rules and leadership, the dog may become anxious.
- Not providing enough exercise: Dogs need physical and mental stimulation in order to stay healthy and happy. If they are not getting enough exercise, they may become anxious or destructive.
- Not providing enough training: Obedience training can help a dog feel more secure and confident, and it can also help to strengthen the bond between the dog and its owner.
It is important for dog owners to be aware of their own habits and how they may be contributing to their dog’s separation anxiety. By addressing any issues and making changes to their own behavior, they can help their dog overcome separation anxiety and feel more secure and confident when they are left alone.
Board and train programs can build confidence in your canine companion through a period of separation and reunion. During their time on our farm, your dog will have the opportunity to socialize with friendly humans and dogs. Our care team will give them walks, treats, and love, which supports their understanding that resources can come from many places.
Separation can help build confidence in a dog in several ways. First, it can help a dog become more independent and self-sufficient, which can increase their confidence. For example, if a dog is used to being with their owner all the time and is suddenly left alone, they may initially feel anxious or scared. However, as they become more comfortable being alone, they may become more confident in their ability to cope with being alone. Second, separation can help a dog learn to trust their own instincts and judgment. When a dog is constantly with their owner, they may rely on their owner to make decisions for them and to tell them what to do. However, when they are left alone, they may need to rely on their own instincts and judgment to navigate new situations or problems. This can help them become more confident in their ability to make decisions and solve problems on their own. Finally, separation can help a dog learn to cope with change and uncertainty. When a dog is left alone, they may encounter new challenges or unexpected situations.
Learning to cope with these changes and uncertainties can help a dog become more confident and adaptable in the face of new experiences. Overall, separation can be a helpful tool in building a dog’s confidence,