How Dog Training Fixed Separation Anxiety. Sophie is a very sweet Boston Terrier in Merrifield, VA. She is friendly and well adjusted but suffered from separation anxiety. Once her owner leaves she howls, barks and scratches at the front door for hours.
Typically, her owner leaves a treat for her when he leaves. The treat helps distract her for a short time. Once she has finished with the treat she starts to have anxiety. Sophie thought she was supposed to be in charge of her owner – it was her job to keep him safe which caused her anxiety when he left her sight.
We did a few easy exercises and were able to leave the apartment. Instead of leaving a kong out we left her with nothing to “occupy” her. This time she went up on the couch and slept while we watched on camera from the hallway. Her owner said that is the first time she did that.
We didn’t use exercise to wear her out. Just a few quick mental drills (no treats or collars) and changing how her owner left the apartment. When I say dog training, I don’t mean “sit” “lay down” “shake” “speak” etc. That has nothing to do with dog behavior. You will never see dogs tell each other to do these things. Dog training/ Dog Behavior is about changing the relationship you have with your dog. If you don’t change how your dog views you, you will struggle to get your dog’s behavior to change. To do this, you don’t need treats or do anything painful to your dog.
Another advantage of In-Home Dog Training is that you can’t work with separation anxiety in a class setting or at a training facility. It must be done where the dog lives.
Good job Sophie! The neighbors in Merrifield will be happy to have some peace and quiet now. Enjoy your retirement.