Teaching a Venice Dog to Stay to Help with Her Separation Anxiety

By: David Codr

Published Date: April 27, 2018

For this Venice, Ca dog training session we helped Nyla, a 2 year-old Barbet who has separation anxiety and is showing occasional dog aggression.

Nyla has spent time on both coasts, living in NY as well as the west side of LA. As she has gotten older, her dog reactivity and separation anxiety has increased. Some of this can be attributed to a change in environments, but I wanted to get more information on her daily life to see if there were any other factors.

As a dog behaviorist, I find that many dog behavior problems are caused or greatly contributed to by their guardians (unintentionally). After chatting with Nyla’s guardian for the first part of the session, I identified a number of small things that can have an impact on the Nyla’s dog psychology.

I suggested a number of small changes to help flip the leader follower dynamic as Im pretty sure Nyla thinks she needs to protect or guard her humans. When they failed to listen to her, she got stressed out which contributed and amplified the problems.

Dogs who suffer from separation anxiety often feel overwhelmed, so building in some limits and structure can help shrink their world a bit. It also helps the humans appear to be acting like leaders, at least in the dog’s eyes.

Another approach to fixing dogs with a separation anxiety problem is to build up their confidence. I shared my dog behavior secret of petting with a purpose which should help considerably with this issue. I also want to see the guardian recognizing and rewarding Nyla when she offered desired actions and behaviors like sitting, laying down, coming, etc. This may seem overly simple and it is. But more importantly, its also impressibly effective.

For dogs with separation anxiety, often they simply don’t know how to be alone as its not something they have any practice or experience doing. I have found a way to use training a dog to stay to help a dog practice being alone. You can learn about this positive dog training solution by watching the video below.

Teaching a dog to stay will allow the guardians to help Nyla practice being along for progressively longer periods of time and in gradually increasing levels of difficulty.

After showing her guardians how to get a dog to stay, we headed out for a short walk where I could cover some leash handling skills. These are pretty easy, but are an often overlooked and under utilized skills when it comes to helping your dog successfully negotiate the busy streets of Venice Ca.

It was great to see how quickly Nyla responded to her guardian’s new communication techniques. Seeing her walk down the street focused on the guardian and sitting next to her when she unexpectedly stopped was pretty awesome. One of the many benefits of being a dog behaviorist.

To help the guardian remember all the dog behavior tricks I shared in this at home dog training session, we shot a roadmap to success video.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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