Stop Separation Anxiety in 2 Steps?

When growing up Caitlin was influenced by the 1967 musical “Doctor Dolittle” and was so infatuated with the idea of talking with the animals that she named her first pet Polly, after Dolittle’s macaw, Polynesia.
In pursuit of becoming a “Dr. Dolittle” herself, Caitlin began volunteering for the local parks and rec department when she was 15 and continued to gain experience at local rescues, zoos, and aquariums eventually turning into a Zookeeping career. At the age of 16 she started traveling across the US to attend and learn from conferences every year. She hasn’t missed a trip yet. Caitlin graduated college with an Integrative Animal Biology degree and minor in Psychology.
Caitlin’s Animal Training was formed with the core value of “first, do no harm” when training. By providing in-home puppy raising packages and Service Dog coaching using this philosophy, Caitlin closes the knowledge gap in the community by using up to date and effective modern training techniques. Her goal is for everyone to become their own “Dr. Dolittle”.
Caitlin currently shares her home with a Parrotlet, a Giant Day Gecko, and Reiver her Australian Koolie dog.

A new article by Jessica Downey from addresses the issue of separation anxiety in new puppies and pet dogs. The article suggests that there are two steps that can help reduce this anxiety. However, experts take issue with the characterization of separation anxiety as a habit and the notion that it can be fixed with just one training session.

Separation anxiety is actually a panic disorder and a very complex issue. It is important to understand that it is an emotional response lead by stress hormones, not just a habit.

The first step is to understand what separation anxiety means for your new puppy or pet dog. A puppy with separation anxiety may become upset even if it has toys and chews, as it is not a distraction issue.

A dog trainer has shared a video on TikTok showing how he helped an anxious puppy called Dino. The video claims that the puppy was transformed from a barking mess to a calm and quiet dog after one training session. However, certified Separation Anxiety experts say that this is a red flag, as true separation anxiety can’t or shouldn’t be fixed in one session. This is merely a band-aid, not a permanent fix.

The trainer in the TikTok video says that he puts the puppy in the crate and walks away, allowing him to whine, but only when he stops whining does he get what he wants. According to him, he is teaching the puppy that good behavior is what gets him what he wants.

Separation anxiety experts agree, there is no such thing as good or bad behavior, only desired or undesired behavior. Assigning ethics to behavior is not the right way to approach the issue. Be cautious of learned helplessness, as it can have long-term side effects, such as a lack of emotional responsiveness.

In conclusion, while the article offers some tips on reducing separation anxiety in new puppies and dogs, it is important to understand that it is a complex issue that cannot be solved with one simple solution. It is important to approach it with care and a thorough understanding of the issue.

You can learn more about our Service Dog coaching program here. Have questions about what I did before coaching? Visit the about me section.

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