Teaching a Fearful Dog to Stay and Other Tips to Help with Separation Anxiety

By: David Codr

Published Date: May 31, 2018

For this Redondo Beach dog training session we helped an anxious 9 year-old Toy Poodle named Princess who is insecure in new situations and suffers from Separation Anxiety.

I was called in to help stop Precious separation anxiety, but when I sat down with the guardians I learned that Princess had led such a sheltered life that she lacked basic skills and had very little confidence.

There were many reasons for this, primarily lack of adequate socialization and almost no skills or command. Princess was not even really potty trained so I started there, offering tips and suggestions to stop her from urinating on the carpet and floors.

Next I was going to share my petting with a purpose method with the humans, but Princess didn’t even know how to sit so instead I showed the humans how to train her to come on command.

Next I went over the importance of rules and structure to start creating a healthy leader follower dynamic. This change in perception will be key in stopping Princess’s separation anxiety.

I didnt go over the 4 ways I disagree with unwanted dog behavior as Princess’s confidence was so low the guardians will be best served to focus on rewarding desired behaviors through passive training. That said, once the dog’s confidence is higher, the guardians can use my escalating consequences to enforce rules like how to keep Princess out of the kitchen when they are cooking.

One of the ways I have found to help a dog get over separation anxiety is to teach them to stay. This allows you to help the dog practicing being alone, with the humans still in the house. Many dogs who suffer from separation anxiety are petted and with their guardians non stop. This is great when you are with the dog, but when you leave, the dog simply doesn’t know how to act or behave.

You can see how I train a dog to stay as well as get some other tips on helping a dog get over a case of separation anxiety by watching the free positive dog training video below.

Rewarding Princess each time she sits for the next month while assigning a command word will help immensely with her stay training. Some basic dog training will also help, like in this video where I train a dog to sit, lay down, sit up, stand and sit pretty.

Next I showed the guardians how to help Princess get over her fear of having the harness put on using a Conditioned Emotional Response or CER. This should help Princess top fearing the walks so much.

I also suggested they carry her away from the apartment for now as she was not a fan of walking away from the apartment building. When I took her out, I simply picked her up and carried her half way away. This way we can eliminate the part of the walk she dislikes the most. Her goal being to get back home motivating her to move forward. With some practice at this kind of walk, Im guessing Princess will start to feel better about it and eventually enjoy walks.

Normally I suggest a dog learn to walk next to a human, but in Princess’s case, at least for now, allowing her to go where she pleases will help her develop a positive association.

To help the guardians remember all the positive dog training tips we covered 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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