Many dogs struggle to be left home alone, or even leave your side. You may come back to reports from neighbours of constant barking, or find destruction or toileting in your home. Separation anxiety (SA) is an ever increasing problem as we take in young pups that are not well equipped to deal with being on their own. They are social beings, and sometimes fall into this debilitating panic disorder through no fault of theirs or yours.
I know how this feels, I have been through this myself. My new pup despaired at being apart from me – drooling, panting, barking and crying incessantly. At the time, being unsure what to do, I followed well-meaning but incorrect advice – let her cry it out, don’t return when she is making a noise as that will teach her to repeat it more for attention, persevere. But none of these worked – she never stopped more than 3 seconds between noise, her water and bedding in the crate were upturned, and she stood in a puddle of drool, without fail. I followed crate training protocol, but it was not the crate – it was the separation. I was shattered from lack of sleep (again, told to let her sleep downstairs whilst I was upstairs) but I knew this was all wrong. Everything was just making it all worse. I just didn’t know what to do instead. So I’ve immersed myself in finding the best experts in SA, learning from recent research, and learning what DOES work.
Because of the bad start, we had a longer slog for the training, but it does work in almost all cases. SA is not cured, but you can get your dog to feel better about being alone. I can now do a few hours in the day and she will not be as distressed. Not every day is perfect, but that is down to needing to practice and do maintenance on leaving.
SA is a phobic reaction, a panic disorder, so will take time to change the response to the idea of being left alone. Desensitisation is the best way, but it needs to be done carefully, and at the dog’s pace. It is a big commitment as there is no quick fix. But it can stop you feeling like a prisoner in your own home. You can get to a place where you do not return to destruction.
I am soon to be releasing a package of support to help and guide you along the way. I will work with you to determine where to start from, help with management ideas and work with you with training plans. The support will be for as long as you need it, and will be generally remote emails/phone calls/skype. I will work with you to help you understand the condition better, and help you towards a solution so that you can all enjoy life again.
I will be releasing more details on both SA and the support package details soon, but you can register your interest now by using the Contact Me form.