Helping a Pair of Santa Monica Dogs Get Over Their Separation Anxiety

By: David Codr

Published Date: November 19, 2021

George and Cosmo scaled - Helping a Pair of Santa Monica Dogs Get Over Their Separation Anxiety

For this Santa Monica dog training session, we worked with George and Cosmo; sharing tips to help these dogs get over their Separation Anxiety.

We started off the session by covering a number of dog behavior basics. Many people inadvertently do things that accidentally contribute to their dog’s behavior problems. Going over dog behavior and training fundamentals is something I always try to incorporate in our sessions because it’s truly the gift that keeps on giving.

Rewarding desired behaviors (Celebrating), petting with a purpose, ensuring the dog’s mental and physical needs are being met are often overlooked. George and Coso’s guardians were doing a better job than the majority of my clients, but there were some dog behavior tips I shared that will help in indirect ways provided they are done consistently and often.

Help For Dogs With Separation Anxiety

Next I turned my attention to the dog’s separation anxiety problem. Many people think that their dog barks, has accidents or chews things up when they are left alone to get back at them. This is not at all the case, but often creates anxiety and frustration in the humans. Fortunately in this case, the dog’s guardians understood that was not the situation and did not engage in any of those activities.

Although there are some contributing factors like genetics and impacting negative experiences, most dogs that suffer from separation anxiety are in that condition due to a lack of practice of the dog being home alone. Most of us don’t think about it, but our dogs are with us 24 seven; leaning against us, following us around and keeping us within eyesight.

After doing this all the time, when we leave some dog’s feels unsettled and insecure. This is why dogs who have a problem with separation anxiety often drool, bark, have accidents or chew things up. These are all coping mechanisms the dog is trying to use to calm themselves down. Its never done to get even with the human for leaving. This is why any punishment for these behaviros will only make matters worse.

As Santa Monica’s resident Dog Behaviorist, I learned a long time ago that when it comes to fixing a dog‘s separation anxiety problem, you have to do it in multiple stages. I pulled out my camera and handed it to one of the guardians so that I could outline an easy strategy to stop separation anxiety in dogs.

If you have a dog who needs help with his separation anxiety, check out the free positive dog training video below.

By first desensitizing the dogs to the triggers that are associated with us leaving, then helping them practice being alone, we can put them in a position to overcome their separation anxiety.

Helping a dog get over it separation anxiety doesn’t happen overnight. It takes frequent small training sessions that are successful and gradually build up. I would like to see the guardians practicing these exercises with their dogs a couple of times a day.

Even though Cosmo is the one who suffers from separation anxiety the most, when the dogs are together, her behavior has a negative impact on George. The more these dogs build up confidence and self-control, the less they will feel the symptoms of separation anxiety.

I shared my personal cell phone number with the guardians and invited them to call or text me as they practice the separation anxiety tips that I shared in the video. It is very normal to need to make adjustments as plateaus and limits are reached.

To help the guardians remember all of the dog behavior tips that I shared with them in the in-home Santa Monica dog training session, we recorded a roadmap to success video that you can check out below.

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This post was written by: David Codr