Our trainer has a special interest in separation anxiety as a result of her own personal experience. One of her dogs, Nacho, a siberian husky, had this behavioral problem. Nacho's distress when left alone was "full blown" and he would bark non-stop, injure himself, break out of crates, vomit and defecate when confined in either a crate or room alone. When she first acquired Nacho in the early 90's, Veronica successfully modified Nacho's behavior problem. Nacho was, after several weeks of behavior modification, able to be confined calmly at her home.
Nacho later passed the AKC Canine Good Citizen test and worked as a therapy dog at local nursing homes. Veronica's success with Nacho led to colleagues referring similar cases to her. She has since successfully helped many owners address their own dog's separation anxiety and is referred to by area veterinarians for this common behavioral problem.
A few facts about separation anxiety:
Common Questions about Separation Anxiety
Will my dog's behavior problem be able to be "fixed?"
In the vast majority of cases, owners are able to live happily with dogs with separation anxiety and the behavior problem can be substantially improved. That said, true separation anxiety cannot be "cured" and the problem may resurface. Stressors, life changes and medical problems may prompt the behavior problem to resurface. In our experience with Nacho, the behavior problem resurfaced twice in his 13 year lifetime. Once when we moved and again when he received radiation treatment for cancer. In both cases we implemented a few behavior modification exercises immediately and addressed the problem successfully right away. Our clients have shared similar experiences with us.
How long will it take?
The vast majority of our clients see improvement in a few weeks after following through with recommendations. Some of our clients note significant improvements within just a few days of implementing our recommendations. True separation anxiety is a serious behavior problem, so time, commitment and patience are essential.
I've already tried some things that I've read online or seen on TV, and they have not helped, what will you do that is different?
In our experience, most owners who contact us with dogs exhibiting separation anxiety have already tried a few strategies to modify their dog's behavior. Often times, owners have misinterpreted recommendations, incorrectly applied techniques or have received confusing, conflicting, inappropriate recommendations. In many cases, owner's attempts to implement some commonly recommended strategies have inadvertently actually made the behavior problem worse!
Without directly working with you and your dog we cannot specifically tell you what we would recommend because separation anxiety is not "one size fits all," every dog is different! Some dogs that have separation anxiety are fearful and clingy, others may be very pushy, while still other dogs may be easily frustrated. Our trainer's recommendations will be tailored to your dog, based on our trainer's observation of your dog's behavior and her assessment of your dog's behavioral history. In a behavior consultation session, our trainer can both show and explain specifically her recommendations.
Will you come to my home or do I go to your office?
We see the majority of cases involving separation anxiety at our convenient Vienna home office. Past experience has demonstrated that it is not necessary for us to go to the owner's home in order to help owners successfully address this issue in most cases.
There are some benefits to coming to our Vienna home office, our trainer gets to observe and assess your dog's behavior in a consistent environment (thus able to compare your dog to the many other dogs seen at our home office). You benefit from having the session and being able to practice at a location where there will not be interruptions.
I have additional questions?
Please contact us!