Separation anxiety

Valuable training articles posted by Victoria and other Positively members.

Moderators: emmabeth, BoardHost

bc417
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:21 pm
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Re: Separation anxiety

Post by bc417 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:37 am

One more tactic that's been helpful that I don't think I've mentioned on here. We've been training Leo to do the "find it" command by hiding kibbles all over the place. Now that he knows that well, I will often send him outside before I need to leave for somewhere. While he's out, I hide kibbles everywhere, some easy and some hard. I also put the frozen Kong somewhere other than by the exit door - usually the kibbles sort of create a path to the Kong in a different room. He comes in from outside and I casually say "I'll be back in a bit" as I head out the door. He sees the kibbles around and immediately goes into "Find it" mode, sniffing furiously around cabinet bases, behind doors, etc. He hardly notices me leave when I do it this way. He gets engrossed in finding all the food and then discovers the Kong. Usually he'll have to re-check the whole area once or twice more to make sure he didn't miss any kibbles :D The whole process takes him long enough that he seems to care less when he comes back in by the exit door and I'm not there.

Obviously this wouldn't work if your dog's SA is so high that he won't touch food when you walk out the door (Leo was like that in the past). But if you need a way to break the stress around your dog standing there watching you walk out the door, this could be a helpful strategy.

bc417
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:21 pm
Location: Wisconsin, USA

Re: Separation anxiety

Post by bc417 » Thu Oct 22, 2015 4:36 pm

I wanted to come back to this forum and post to say that our dog's separation anxiety, which began last year around this time when he was about 6 months old, is basically non-existent now. I remember when I was so overwhelmed with the process and feeling so hopeless our dog would ever get over it ... I would scan these forums and just pray I'd come across someone who could say, "Yes, I followed a training plan and it worked and I can leave now and my dog doesn't care." I am here to say that we followed a training plan, and it was VERY difficult for probably 6-8 months, and it took more energy than I ever felt like it should take to have a dog ... but our dog is SO much happier and healthier now and no longer even cares when we walk out the door. It is the biggest relief and we are so grateful to have a success story. Obviously dealing with SA is very circumstantial and depends on each individual dog's personality, etc., but I hope my story will give some people hope who are going through this terrible process that it can definitely lessen and go away entirely over time. Stick with it!

User avatar
Nettle
Posts: 10714
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 1:40 pm

Re: Separation anxiety

Post by Nettle » Fri Oct 23, 2015 2:56 am

Thank you! :D It's lovely to have feedback.

We made the suggestions but you are the one who had to do all the hard work, so a big WELL DONE to you.
A dog is never bad or naughty - it is simply being a dog

SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS

Post Reply