What is Dog Separation Anxiety?
If your dog is showing signs of separation anxiety, it means they are uncomfortable being left home alone. This is an extremely common behavior in dogs and puppies. If this is not addressed when the dog first shows symptoms it can get progressively worse. There are a number of symptoms that you may not associate with dog separation anxiety at first, but the behavior can be easily identified if you are aware of what to look for. Having a dog who feels safe, calm and comfortable in the house can give great peace of mind to both the dog and the owner.
What are the Signs That a Dog is Suffering From Separation Anxiety?
There is no one specific way that all dogs experience separation anxiety. However, there are some common signs that may indicate your dog is suffering from this condition. Keep an eye out for the following behaviors:
- Urinating and Defecating – If your dog makes a habit of urinating or defecating specifically when you are not around, it could be due to separation anxiety. If they do the same in your presence, it is probably not related.
- Barking and Howling – Constant barking and howling, specifically triggered by being left alone, may indicate separation anxiety.
- Pacing – If a dog walks in a fixed pattern when left alone, it may indicate separation issues.
- Chewing and Destructive Behavior – Chewing and other destructive behavior may be indicative of a number of problems, but if it only occurs when a dog’s guardian is not present, separation anxiety should be considered.
If you notice any of these behaviors consistently, it is likely you are dealing with dog separation anxiety, and waiting to address the issue may only make it worse. Dealing with the problem as soon as possible will make the training much quicker and easier and improve the relationship between you and your pet.
Do Dogs Grow Out of Separation Anxiety?
Unfortunately, dogs don’t just grow out of separation anxiety. If it is left untreated, it will likely just get worse, and it certainly won’t get any better. Working with an experienced dog trainer who specializes in separation anxiety cases is the best and most reliable way to get results.
For more information, check out our blog post: Do Dogs Grow Out of Separation Anxiety?
What is a CSAT (Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer)?
Given the difficulty of dealing with separation anxiety cases in many dogs, it takes a certain level of expertise to get results. CSATs must meet high standards before entering the rigorous three-month program with a focus solely on separation anxiety. A Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer is the best option available for helping your dog deal with separation anxiety. CSATs offer virtual training, so no matter where you live they can work with your dog remotely and come up with solutions for your dog’s separation anxiety.
Is Separation Anxiety Training Virtual?
Unlike some behavioral issues in dogs, dealing with separation anxiety does not require the trainer to be physically present. In fact, virtual training works better than in-person training when tackling separation anxiety. Being physically present can inhibit progress with anxious dogs. The “trainer effect” is also a very real phenomenon where a dog will show progress in the presence of the trainer but lapse back into their habits when the trainer is not around. Remote sessions help avoid this scenario.
What Does the CSAT Training Program Look Like?
The CSAT program requires a 4-week minimum commitment as separation anxiety is a complex behavior and the process to change the behavior is gradual. During these 4 weeks, we work closely with our clients 5 days a week. The program can be broken down into the following concepts:
- Daily mission creation (5 days a week) – We will create individualized training plans based on your dog’s personality and behavior. This is broken down day by day specifically for you and your dog to get the best possible results.
- Daily support and feedback (5 days a week) – It is best to take daily stock of what is working and what needs to be improved. This daily feedback will help mold the program to your dog’s needs.
- Weekly live virtual assessment with you and your dog – While we will be in touch daily, the weekly assessment will dive deeper into any questions or concerns you may have.
- Tracking of progress – Dogs are living things, and just like humans, they sometimes do not progress in a perfectly linear fashion. There may be setbacks but we take great care in tracking their progress and seeing how they are doing daily and over a longer period of time.