Teaching a Dog to Stay to Help it Get Over Separation Anxiety

By: David Codr

Published Date: January 20, 2019

Auggie - Teaching a Dog to Stay to Help it Get Over Separation Anxiety

For this Los Angeles dog training session, we teach 1 year-old Lab Shepherd mix Auggie to stay to help him get over his separation anxiety.

Separation anxiety in dogs is basically a panic attack the dog goes through when left alone. This is a fairly common dog behavior problem that comes when a puppy doesn’t learn or practice how to be alone. This is one of the reasons we suggest setting up a Long Term Confinement area in our Puppy Socialization classes.

Dogs with separation anxiety often chew things up, loose control of their bowels, bark or try to escape when left alone. It’s important to remember that when a dog acts out in this way that they are not doing so intentionally. Some people (Auggie’s guardians are not in this camp) punish dogs when they do these things and its about the worst thing you can do.

There are many ways to stop superstation anxiety in dogs, but my preferred approach as one of LA’s dog behavior experts is to desensitize the dog of the triggers that happen before the dog is actually left alone and teach it to stay so it can practice being alone in the easiest way possible.

Many people try to do too many things when training a dog to stay, combining duration, distance and distractions. But this often results in a dog who struggles to master the stay. You don’t have to be one of the many Los Angeles dog trainers to teach a dog to stay. I break down teaching a dog to stay into the three “D’s” in the free dog training video below.

Once Auggie knows how to stay for distance, his guardian can help him practice being alone while they get a drink of water, use the bathroom, change clothes, etc. The idea is to progressively increase the duration so that Auggie practices being alone for longer and longer periods of time. With enough practice, Auggie will develop enough confidence so that he no longer is in distress when left home alone.

To help the guardians remember all the tips to stopping separation anxiety we went over in this in home dog training session we shot a roadmap to success video.

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This post was written by: David Codr