Adding a second person to your Separation Anxiety training, here’s where that can get tricky

dog looking out window for ownersYou’ve been doing great training your dog on your own while you were working from home. You’ve gotten up to 40 minutes without any signs of anxiety. Now your partner is home from work on vacation or your kid is home from college. You decide to train together and both leave at the same time. Your dog started howling and barking after only 30 seconds. What just happened?

With separation anxiety training keeping things simple and familiar to your dog is key. Abruptly adding a second person into the training plan almost always makes things too difficult for your dog at first.

So what can you do if there’s now two people home and you want to train your dog? Here’s some suggestions that may work in your situation – 

  • Have the second person leave before you – You’ll need to test the amount of time that won’t trigger your dog. I would start with 30 mins and adjust up or down from there based on how your dog does.
  • Have the second run some errands while you train – A trip to the supermarket, coffee shop, etc can work while you train your dog.
  • Pause the training – If the second person is only going to be home for a week and then things are going to go back to normal, it may be in everyone’s best interests to just take a short break from training.
  • Train with both of you leaving – This will be really challenging for your separation anxiety dog, so his threshold is going to be very low to start off. You will probably need to do a new baseline assessment with both of you leaving and start training your dog based on this assessment.

Whichever scenario you decide to go with, just remember it’s going to be harder for your dog. It’s best to take things slow so your dog is successful with his separation anxiety training.

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