Crate Training to Help a Los Angeles Dog with Separation Anxiety

By: David Codr

Published Date: January 5, 2018

For this Los Angeles dog training session we helped Kona a 3 year-old Shiba Inu mix who has a case of separation anxiety and fear of her kennel. 877.408.3798 0123

Obviously Kona was quite worked up and her behavior indicated some insecurities; barking and backing away, dilated pupils, stiff body language and movements.

I used soft lady language, slow movements, lots of pauses and plenty of high value treats to help Kona relax and learn that I was not a threat. The guardians may want to recreate a visitors arrival using the same technique when he is here and also when her rejoins his guardian at school. This is a link to a video that details how to help a dog feel good about a person visiting.

I spent over an hour discussing small changes to help Kona feel more confident and secure. Some of this was through discipline (consistently enforcing rules, adding structure to the walk), some through rewarding desired actions and behaviors so Kona repeats them and some were ways to boost Kona’s confidence (teaching him new tricks and commands, petting him with a purpose).

Its going to be important to fix Kona on the inside in order to address his separation anxiety problem. The more rules and structure are put into place, the smaller the world will become for him and the less he will feel its his job to protect or correct humans.

When you have a dog with separation anxiety, its important to manage their behavior while you modify it. Dogs suffering from separation anxiety often go in to panic; sometimes scratching, chewing or digging their way through walls and kennels to get to their guardian.

Ensuring the dog is in a safe place when left alone is key to keeping your dog from injuring itself or your home from being destroyed. But because Kona was scared of the kennel, I knew I needed to address that problem first. Kennel training is all about helping the dog practice being calm inside a kennel. I spent about 10 minutes sharing dog behavior secrets used to help a dog get over a fear of the kennel.

This kind of crate training for dogs is pretty easy, but requires a lot of repetition. Id like to see the family practicing this with Kona at least 5 times a day for the next week, working up the length of time the dog is asked to stay in the crate. Positive crate training like this works by building up a lot of positive experience in the crate. That is accomplished through repeated practice sessions.

I also recommended the guardian teaches Kona to stay using this technique. Once the dog has mastered the three D’s of the stay, then the family can use this powerful command to help the dog practice being alone in the house, out of the kennel, for progressively longer and longer periods of time.

Helping a dog with separation anxiety is rewarding as a dog behaviorist as its such a miserable way for a dog to feel. That said, its a very treatable condition.

To help the guardian and her family remember all the dog behavior tips I shared with them in this in home dog training session, I shot a roadmap to success video. You can get these dog training tips for free by watching the video below.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Categorized in:

This post was written by: David Codr

Follow Us via Email