Does your dog bark and lunge at other dogs, people, or objects? Is it impossible to get his attention once he's locked onto his target? A reactive dog can be frustrating and embarrassing. They can sometimes even make you feel lonely.
If you have a reactive dog, it can be difficult to find the help you need. There is so much confusion about why a dog is reactive and some advice you may receive could make your dog worse.
What is reactivity?
Separation anxiety is not your dog “being bad.” They are not destroying your couch, urinating and defecating all over the house, barking non-stop, or trying to escape because they are “mad at you.” The easiest way to understand separation anxiety is to understand a fear that you yourself have. Are you afraid of spiders, snakes, or small spaces? Imagine if every day of your life you were forced into a small dark room filled with spiders. You may try to escape in any way possible. This innate fear that you have is what a dog with separation anxiety suffers every time you leave the house. They are irrationally afraid of being left alone.
How does the reactivity package work?
1. The assessment
During the assessment we will meet online to discuss your dogs issues. This assessment usually lasts 60 - 90 minutes. During this session we will assess your dogs max amount of time they are comfortable being alone. This is known as your dogs threshold. Once we understand your dog’s threshold we can then set up a training plan that is specific to your dogs needs.
2. Veterinary support
Because separation anxiety is a true phobia to being left alone, the support of a veterinarian is incredibly important for the success of your training. Many times your veterinarian will recommend some medications to assist with your training and help your dog cope. After your initial assessment you will receive a letter you can take to your veterinarian that will outline the training and request their assistance and input. Having this team on your side is incredibly important for this type of training. If you do not have a regular veterinarian I would be happy to assist you in finding one.
3. The training
Separation anxiety training focuses on desensitization so your dog learns that being alone is not scary. Your dog will learn to trust that you are coming back and to be comfortable in your absence. We do this by setting up a specific training plan for you. This training usually takes about 30 - 45 minutes a day for 5-6 days a week. Just like a good workout plan, you won’t see results unless you stick with it.
This initial assessment will be done online via Zoom. This assessment may take 60-90 minutes depending on the severity of your case. This is when we will discuss the issues you are having, discover your dogs threshold, and come up with a training plan that fits you and your family. At the end of your assessment you will receive a personalized training plan as well as a letter to take to your veterinarian.
4 week pkg
This package includes each of the following for each week you are enrolled:
1-hour weekly training session via Zoom per week. Additional 1 hour sessions can be added to this package for $60 each.
1 - 30-minute Zoom session per week to check in with training progress and video review.
A detailed homework sheet each week with specific training and task instructions.
After the initial 4 week training package we will reassess your dog and determine what additional training you will need. Please understand that most clients will require more than one 4 week package to reach their training goals.