Online Dog Training for Separation Anxiety
Did you know? Online dog training is considered the gold standard when it comes to treating separation anxiety.
While it can seem odd to train dogs using an online platform, it is a key component to working through a separation anxiety training protocol. In fact, if you have a trainer that wants to do a home visit for separation anxiety training, I would go so far as to say that’s a red flag and they may not be qualified to help you.
Separation anxiety is a panic disorder in dogs. It is brought on by the dog being left alone, or by being separated from a particular person the dog is attached to. When alone these dogs often show signs of discomfort by vocalizing which can include barking and howling, destructive behaviour and having housetraining accidents. There are other potential signs of separation anxiety, and if you’re unsure if your dog is struggling to be home alone, it’s always best to reach out to a professional for advice.
But why online training?
Dogs are smart. We really can’t fool them into thinking they are home alone by hiding upstairs or in another room. If we did this, we simply would not get an accurate read on how your dog is doing and how to progress.
Treating separation anxiety involves using a very systematic approach of desensitization, where we gradually expose your dog to longer amounts of time alone while keeping them feeling safe. In order to do this training, your dog needs to be home alone feeling all the feelings of being alone, while we ensure they are remaining comfortable and not panicking.
Technology to the rescue!
While one of my mentors, Malena DiMartini told us in class about how they had to rely on trying to peek in the windows on the dogs over 20 years ago while working on separation anxiety, we no longer need to go to such lengths. This is all thanks to the technology we have at our fingertips today.
Online dog training allows us to watch your dog at home to see what truly happens when they are alone. This helps us to get an accurate read when assessing your dog as well as to see how your dog is responding to training. If I was to come to your home, meet you and your dog, and then walk out with you to see what your dog does, that’s not going to be very helpful. I’ll have been a distraction with your dog being excited at the new visitor, and it’s just not going to mimic your day-to-day absences. Getting an accurate assessment is important for criteria setting and creating training plans, and virtual training allows for this.
The other wonderful thing about technology today is that we can easily watch our dogs via cameras and an app on our phones. This has truly revolutionized how easy it can be to help dogs that struggle to be home alone. This ensures we never leave our dogs longer than they can manage, and it allows us to know if we need to abort our training mission and return early if our dog is stressed.
How do training sessions work?
Quite simply, I watch your dog via Zoom on camera, or through a camera app that you have set up while you leave your house. This allows me to make very specific and detailed training plans for your individual dog. You’ll give me a house tour of your entrance and any other spaces that come into play and I can gather all of the information needed for our training protocol without disrupting your dog or changing their environment by being there in person.
Having an accurate read on how your dog is doing or responding to our training helps in determining next steps in your customized training plan. We are also able to chat and go over any details or questions you have just as we would during an in-person session.
Another bonus with online training is that we can review videos of your dog together. This allows me to coach you on your own dog’s body language, replay video in slow-mo and to go over what patterns to watch for with your dog. It’s personalized and effective.
We work together closely 5 days a week!
Imagine the scheduling nightmare it would be if we had to coordinate schedules for training 5 days every week. It’s just not realistic. With online training, we get all the benefits of daily training together without the hassle. You train when you have time, and I check your progress online after. This allows for daily, customized feedback to ensure your training is on track. Each day you receive a customized training plan from me that takes all the guesswork out of the equation. Simply take 20-30 minutes when you have time to complete your mission and you’ll receive personal feedback and a new custom mission for the following day. This allows for us to train in the most efficient manner possible, helping you to reach your training goals for your dog sooner!
Training together no matter your location!
Training online also means that you don’t have to try and find a trainer in your local community. Separation anxiety training is a very specialized type of dog training that takes extra education and qualifications that most dog trainers don’t have. By being able to work with a separation anxiety dog trainer online, you can get the proper help you need no matter where you live.
I’m not tech-savvy. Can I still do this?
I’m far from tech-savvy myself, so if I can do this, so can you! All you need is a computer or laptop with a camera, a cell phone and an internet connection. I’ll be able to coach you through everything you need to know in order to train online with your dog.
Get your freedom back.
Having a dog that suffers from separation anxiety is hard. It can feel isolating, frustrating and overwhelming.
The good news is though that there is hope, and separation anxiety is treatable. Reach out if you’d like to learn more about how to get your freedom back and help your dog learn to be able to comfortably be at home alone.
Saundra is always happy to chat. Reach out anytime!