OUR services-Separation Anxiety

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What is Separation Anxiety?

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Separation Anxiety in dogs is a broad category.  Other stress disorders such as abandonment, or owner distress also fall under this category.  These disorders are fear-based, the dog is having a hard time not merely being a difficult dog.

 

Guardians may not realize how traumatic this is for their dog. Separation Anxiety in dogs is very real. These are dogs that do not know how to settle when left alone, being alone is terrifying. 

 

Our goal is to help the dog learn that being alone is safe.  By using gradual desensitization and conditioning we help change the dog's emotional response to being alone. 

 

Our process of patiently moving at the dogs speed builds their trust with the behavior modification and their guardian.  Dogs are introduced to being alone initially in short durations at thresholds they can handle.  Every dog is an individual and will progress at their own pace. Patience and time reap greater rewards.

A 30  minute assessment  appointment is required to  determine whether the Separation Anxiety Relief Package is appropriate for your dog. If you would like to set up an appointment please call us at 719-646-1422!

Potential Anxiety Indicators

  • Avoiding eye contact

  • Barking/Howling/Whining

  • Trembling or shaking

  • Clinging to the owner

  • Nose licking

  • Defecation    

  • Urination/Dribbling

  • Escaping

  • Furrowed Brows

  • Freezing or walking slowly

  • Ears Lowered/Flattened

  • Growling/aggression

  • ”Whale Eye” or Staring

  • Anal sac expression

  • Increased heart rate

  • Blinking or squinting

  • Increased grooming

  • Cowering

  • Yawning

  • Increased activity pacing

  • Dilated pupils

  • Lifting paw

  • Lip licking

  • Repetitive behaviors

  • Increased reactivity

  • Mouth closed tightly/pulled back

  • Mouth pursed forward

  • Overly “Excited” whiskers

  • Nipping out of context

  • Starting easily at changes/noises

  • Self mutilation

  • Hiding

  • Decreased/Increased eating

  •  Hyper-salivation

  • Hyper-vigilance

  • Panting

  • Piloerection (raised hair)

  • Rigid or forward stance

  • Destruction/door scratching

Demartini-Price, M.(2020). Separation Anxiety in Dogs. Next Generation Treatment Protocols and Practices. Dogwise Publishing, Wenatchee, Washington USA. (p.68).

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Separation Anxiety Relief Package

Our Separation Anxiety Relief package  was developed by Stephanie Dowdell, PCT-A, modelled after Malena deMartini's Mission Possible Program.  It is a comprehensive program involving multiple Zoom Sessions, Daily communication through google drive journal notes and an assessment. It contains a four week training support system and is priced at $550*

  • Our first week begins with a one hour Zoom meeting.

    • The Zoom meeting will

      • assess the dog's stress levels while the guardian prepares to depart

      • observe the dog during the guardian's brief absence from the home

      • discuss your dog’s setup in the home.

    • While viewing the dog during the absence of their guardian the goal is to observe the dog’s stress levels as briefly as possible without over stressing.  Guardian is alerted when to return in order to keep the dog from experiencing too much stress.   This viewing provides vital data as to the duration just prior to the dog reaching their threshold. 

  • This is followed by five days of rehearsal protocol exercises to include a half hour zoom meeting at the end of each week with two days off.

  • Each day's training exercises are created from the data collection from the day before and recorded, in order to track the dog/handler team's progress.

  • Training protocol exercises are sent daily based on the guardian's notes provided the day before.

  • Days off can be taken in any order, either consecutively or spread out.  Unrehearsed days do not accumulate.  There are no extra days at the end of the Relief package.  If notified in advance there can be an adjustment for that, but not merely for unplanned missed days.

* financing available.