Here's some of the most commonly asked questions about dog separation anxiety training.
Can you really help my dog with separation anxiety without meeting in person?
In order to effectively train your dog on separation anxiety, your dog needs to be left alone. Having a trainer at your home during this process would not only complicate the process, but also add additional anxiety and confusion to your dog.
Using video technology during sessions, recording your dog while gone and investing in an indoor security camera have been shown to be the most successful tools to help you and your dog with training.
What training methods will we be using to train my dog?
By keeping your dog under threshold and slowly de-sensitizing her to being alone, without panic or fear, is the most effective method to help your dog overcome separation anxiety.
During the training program, this may also mean coming up with creative ways to not leave your dog alone. Your trainer will work with you to brainstorm ideas to manage the situation when you need to leave your home without your dog.
Will I be able to go out all night and leave my dog home at the end of the training program?
Each dog is unique and since separation anxiety is treating your dog's emotional response to being alone, it is impossible and unethical as a trainer to predict a timeline for your dog to be "cured" of his separation anxiety. Separation Anxiety is a treatable disorder, but at times the rate of progress can be slow and it typically is not linear.
Won't just getting another dog for company when I'm not home help my dog get over separation anxiety?
In the majority of situations, getting another dog will not help your existing dog with their separation anxiety.
We suggest you do not just run out and get another dog. In addition to likely not helping your dog with their separation anxiety, you also need to consider that you'll be adding the additional costs of food, toys, veterinary services, grooming, day care and any other costs for a second dog.
Will I need to bribe my dog with food while I'm gone when training him to get over separation anxiety?
During separation anxiety exercises, we will not be using food or any other reward based methods to train your dog. Rewards based training works when teaching your dog behaviors. Since separation anxiety is a fear based emotional response to being left alone, we are not teaching your dog a new behavior. Besides, if you're teaching your dog to be left alone, you wouldn't be there to give your dog a food reward.