Dog Training for a Pitbull with Separation Anxiety In Fairfax, VA
Leo is in a new home – his third since January. He’s a very sweet pitbull that was a little out of control in the backyard with dogs at the fence, had some lunging issues on leash, and suffered from horrible separation anxiety.
Leo’s owner reached out because she was worried about his severe separation anxiety. Whenever left alone, he panicked and freaked out. I have been working dogs with separation anxiety in Fairfax and Northern Virginia since 2013, so I have a very good understanding of it.
First I address the relationship with the dog. Typically, separation anxiety stems from the relationship the owner and the dog have. Once we can get the owner to understand their role in the separation anxiety we move onto changing the relationship. It’s usually very simple, even with dogs that have extreme separation anxiety. The key is to appeal to the dog’s natural language and “culture.” Think like a dog and you will start to be on the right track tackling this issue, as well as helping your dog see you as their leader and protector.
A “side effect” of working on Leo’s separation anxiety is that he now thinks more clearly and listens better. Conversely, he is now walking on a loose leash without lunging at dogs. Leo is much calmer in the backyard and is able to relax with dogs on the other side of the fence. He is not charging the fence and barking non-stop any longer.
Since I last saw them, his owner reports that he doesn’t care when she leaves. In fact, he usually goes to his crate on his own and sleeps while she is out of the house. He is no longer panicking or staring out the windows.
Leo’s issues stem from him being very easily excitable and not knowing who is in charge. With a few non-physical exercises that do not involve prong or shock collars, Leo is calmer and his owner is more in control and less stressed about leaving him.
If you have any questions or need help with separation anxiety in Fairfax, VA, please contact me.