Tips to Help a Culver City Doodle Get Over His Separation Anxiety

By: David Codr

Published Date: September 5, 2018

For this Culver City dog training session, we were called in to help 1 year-old Labradoodle or Wheaton Terrier Miles get over his separation anxiety and stop pulling on the leash.

Miles’ guardians were eagerly awaiting my arrival as he had escaped a few times, nudging open some windows then jumping through them. Since the guardians live near a busy street, this could be very dangerous for Miles. You don’t have to be a Labradoodle trainer to understand that.

Miles was only adopted a short time ago, but once his guardians recognized he had a separation anxiety problem, they had been rearranging their life to be home with him or dropping him off at dog daycare.

Thirsty for ways to help their new pooch get over his separation anxiety problem, the guardians found a few session write ups from clients I had worked with who’s dog who suffered from separation anxiety. This allowed us to move faster than my typical in home dog training session as they had already spent a few weeks teaching Miles to stay.

I was able to offer some additional dog training tips on teaching a dog to stay. I have found developing this obedience skill is a wonderful way for a dog to practice being alone, in a limited capacity. Since he is what we refer to as a velcro dog (following his humans everywhere to avoid being alone), Miles will need to work up to practicing being alone.

The guardians had already achieved the first stage of training a dog to stay, duration. Now they will need to make things more challenging by adding in distance. First in the room, then outside of sight. Its important to go slow at this stage; only moving out of sight for a second before returning to view. If they go gradually and build up the time they are out of sight, they will be able to help Miles practice being alone. This is key for dogs with separation anxiety.

We discussed whether or not to kennel Miles during the transition. The guardians had refrained from introducing a kennel fearing he would develop a negative association with the crate (a very common dog behavior problem), showing they are wise as well as compassionate.

If the guardians do decide to get a kennel, this video covers how to help a dog develop a positive association with the kennel as well as some basic kennel training tips that should help him have a positive association with the kennel.

There are many reasons why a dog develops a separation anxiety problem and many things that can cause a dog to start to stress out thinking the humans are about to leave. I share a number of tips to stop separation anxiety in dogs in the free dog training video below.

While avoiding actions that are associated with the human’s leaving is an important factor to deal with for many dogs with separation anxiety, in Mile’s case, practicing the stay / being alone with the humans in another room will likely be the most important skill to develop.

I also recommended the guardians teach Miles some new tricks and commands like training him to focus on them on command. Dog training is a great way to redirect a dog’s attention, build up its self esteem and deepen the relationship between human and dog.

We were also able to squeeze in some loose leash training secrets when we headed outside for a short walk. Teaching Miles to move into the heel position, to return when he gets to the end of the leash and to sit often on walks are all great approaches that helps dogs learn to pay more attention to their handlers instead of all the other distractions on walks.

I also showed the how to use a Martingale collar to give them more control and stop his pulling on the leash. While this collar and twist of the leash will stop Mile’s pulling, I hope the guardians spend more time on the return to sitting position, return when getting to the end of the leash and frequent sits. Those simple activities will have long lasting effect’s on Mile’s walking behavior.

To help the guardians remember all the dog behavior secrets I shared with them in this at home dog training session, we shot a roadmap to success video to finish up the visit.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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