fbpx

Does Your Dog “Go Crazy”

When You’re Not Around?

Learn the Gentle, Permanent Way to

Heal Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety

Living with a dog who gets panicked or destructive every time you go out without them can be emotionally draining. Scary, even.

After a few episodes of them barking, howling, shredding soft furnishings, pulling things out of your closets, peeing or pooping in all the wrong places, or hurling themselves against the door you left through, for example… I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you started feeling forced to plan your life around them.

  • If my dog’s going to howl all day and annoy my neighbours while I’m out, I’ll have to hire a dog-sitter just so I can go to work.
  • If I run to the store for groceries and I don’t take my dog along, he’ll trash the house while I’m gone… but if I take my dog with me, I’ll have to leave him outside the store and then he’ll whine and bark the whole time I’m in there.
  • I want to go to the gym, but I don’t think my dog will let me. I could ask someone to sit with her, but I know she’ll scratch at the door non-stop until I come back. I’ll just stay home.

Neither you nor your dog deserve to live like this!

You’re spending your time worrying about how your dog’s reactions affect them, and how it affects your freedom.

And your dog is living in fear that something very bad will happen if you leave them.

Fear is the root cause of this issue. Your dog has a phobia of being alone in general, or of being without you specifically.

Often, owners are not even aware of the true extent of their dog’s fear. (If your dog’s phobia only shows itself when you’re not present, then you will not have witnessed most of it!)

Your dog’s reaction to being left alone is not naughtiness or hyperactivity. They aren’t doing it to irritate you or punish you. They aren’t trying to make you feel guilty. And they definitely don’t want you to rehome them or give them over to animal services.

What’s really happening is that your dog enters a state of absolute panic when you, their safe human companion, are not present. And in that wild panic, they will do whatever they can to follow you, find you, or bring you back.

This may translate into digging through your belongings, trying to get outside, pacing incessantly, or making a lot of noise, for example. And if those tactics don’t work to bring you home, then your dog’s stress levels just keep rising — to the point that they may even start vomiting in fear.

If fear is the cause, what’s the solution?

The more fear your dog experiences, the worse their fear-driven behaviors will become.

So to treat separation anxiety and isolation distress successfully, we need to make sure your dog doesn’t experience fear during the process.

That can only happen if we understand your dog’s needs and take a force-free, compassionate approach to meet those needs — so that both you and your dog can finally relax.

Maybe you’ve heard of exposure therapy. It’s the process of curing a phobia by exposing the phobic patient to the thing they fear.

What many people don’t realise about exposure therapy is that it has to be a very gradual, incremental process.

For example, you wouldn’t throw someone who’s afraid of water into the pool for their very first session! All that would achieve is to give your patient a panic attack and make them fear the treatment itself. (This approach is called “flooding,” and it’s based on the assumption that once the patient is exhausted by stress, their anxiety will fade. I do NOT recommend it, because debilitating stress should never be the goal! It can even cause severe trauma.)

The same principle applies in exposure therapy for dogs with separation anxiety, too. To help your dog overcome their fear, we need a slow, gentle process of desensitization that encourages progress, ideally without triggering any setbacks.

And you don’t need to be a master of canine psychology to help your dog. You can do this yourself, at home, with just a small amount of training and guidance.

I’ve done it, and I’ve taught many other dog owners around the world to do it too.

After my partner moved out, my dog couldn’t stay at home alone. He once ran away when I was at work, and he destroyed my kitchen door. I was completely lost and heartbroken for my dog. Rosee helped me through the hard time a lot. Not only did she teach me how to train my dog with separation anxiety, but she also taught me to read my dog’s body language. After weeks of training my dog settled down and is now able to stay at home alone, even when I’m at work. I’ve never been closer to him.

–Lara Catherine Black

Every dog can overcome the anxiety of staying alone — with patience, love and professional guidance. Rosee can lead you and your dog through this process, with all her expertise and heart.

–Isabella, Stefan, and Loui

Here’s how it works…

As a responsible dog owner, you expect to train your dog to do certain things. We all know about toilet training and leash training, but most dog owners have never learned how to help a dog with anxiety!

So before we start the process of desensitization training for your dog, we begin with owner training for you — so that you’re able to interpret and understand your dog’s emotions and behaviors, and provide them with the care and support they need to feel safe.

Once you’re ready to train your dog to stay calm in your absence, I take a “baby steps” approach that is backed by scientific evidence.

My motto: The smaller the baby steps, the faster the progress.

And this is one area of dog training that actually works BETTER when done online. When it comes to separation anxiety and isolation distress, studies show that virtual training is more effective than in-person training. (It makes perfect sense, because the online option doesn’t involve any new people entering your dog’s environment — so there’s no extra disruption and no new anxiety triggers for them to deal with.)

I learned all of this for the first time when I took in a dog who struggled with the demands of everyday life. Speedy was an ex-racing greyhound whose previous owner had taken him to the vet to be put to sleep. But the vet gave him to a rescue instead, thank goodness!

Most racing greyhounds come from a deprivation background. They’re kept in kennels or even cages piled up on one another, and they are often taken out only to train. So I knew Speedy had a hard life as a racing dog before we met, and I knew he might have been mistreated. But nothing could’ve prepared me for the level of fear and anxiety he demonstrated whenever I wasn’t around.

The first morning after Speedy and I met, I went to the bathroom and by the time I got back five minutes later, he was frantically trying to climb out of a window. He was wide-eyed with fear, panting with exertion, and the curtains were lying in tatters on the floor.

And it wasn’t a one-off occurrence. It didn’t get better as he settled into his new home with me and my other two dogs. If anything, it got a little worse every time Speedy had one of his panic attacks. He became fearful and destructive whenever I left the room.

I felt like a failure because I didn’t know how to help him. And when I searched for answers, I was overwhelmed and confused by all the conflicting information I found.

But I was determined to learn how to teach Speedy the skills he needed to be more relaxed in our human world. So I started researching canine behavior and separation anxiety… and quickly realised how much false information is out there. I was disappointed and bewildered by the morass of incorrect guidance available, and the scarcity of effective help for owners of fearful, anxious, or traumatized dogs.

That experience sparked my desire to help dogs and dog owners navigate isolation distress and separation anxiety successfully.

So I got serious about studying this topic in depth. I trained as a canine behavior counsellor with Sheila Harper and Winny Boerman, gaining IPACS 1 and IPACS 2 accreditation from the International Programme for Applied Canine Studies. I got my Diploma in Canine Behavior from The International School for Canine Psychology and Behavior. And I trained with Julie Naismith to become an SA Pro Trainer, a specialist in helping dogs with separation anxiety. I’m also certified by the Pet Professional Guild, ICAN, INTO Dogs, and The UK Dog Behaviour and Training Charter.

I founded my business, Good Dog Practice, to help dog owners just like you or me — and I’ve been doing exactly that for more than a decade. My mission is to help you fulfill your dog’s needs so that you can enjoy a harmonious life together with your canine companion.

Most recently, I’ve created this Separation Anxiety Dog Training website specifically to support compassionate dog owners like you who want to help their dogs recover from separation anxiety. And I’ve developed an online program to guide you through the entire process of desensitization, so that you can teach your beloved dog to feel safe and relaxed at home without you.

Introducing: The Content at Home Alone Dog Training Program

The Content at Home Alone program starts with a detailed assessment of where your dog is at right now. And when I say detailed, I mean it! So we’ll look at exactly where the border lies between what your dog can handle, and what they can’t:

u

Are they ok with you going outside the door briefly, or do they start worrying before you even leave the room?

u

Do they start to react the moment you touch the door, or only when you open it?

u

Are they already showing signs of anxiety when you put on your shoes and jacket? When you pick up your keys? When you say goodbye?

To make progress, we need to rehearse what your dog can do, not what they can’t. The process of desensitization means that what they can do will gradually extend, but for treatment to be successful we must always stay below the threshold of their fear.

This program gives you an individual training plan specifically for you and your dog. Separation anxiety is an extreme phobia, and every dog-human team experiences it uniquely. So your training plan will lay out the baby steps you and your dog need to take together to achieve a sense of safety and peace while gently expanding what they can cope with.

It typically begins with helping your dog to realize that the front door is not a threat; it’s actually very boring and there’s no need to worry about it!

You do this by rehearsing one baby step at a time, with my guidance. When you and your dog have mastered those early stages, you move on to rehearsing brief absences outside the door, always in small enough doses to avoid triggering a fear response. Eventually, you’re able to spend longer and longer out of the house without your dog becoming distressed.

To make the training easier, you’ll also have access to a training app that walks you through the action steps of your personalized training plan. You can input what you’ve done into the app along with notes on how it’s going, analyse your dog’s behavior for insights, and get my regular, personal feedback.

Along the way, you and I (and your dog) will have a weekly Zoom call for one-on-one coaching and support to get you through even the toughest moments of the training process. I have extensive experience in dealing with canine separation anxiety as a psychological issue, as well as a background in adult education — I’m ready and willing to share everything I know!

I’ll also give you detailed guidance to become an expert in your dog’s body language to help you spot and interpret the signs of tension and anxiety. When you react appropriately to your dog’s body language, you build trust. They will trust that they can show you whether they feel comfortable in a situation or perhaps totally overwhelmed, and that you will understand and support them. This is the beginning of a wonderful relationship based on two-way communication!

If you ever need additional advice or support, I’m also available to you via WhatsApp and Signal. You can even send me a video of your dog’s behavior for analysis.

It all comes down to this:

The line between desensitizing fear and resensitizing it is extremely fine — so you have to know exactly where you are to avoid causing further harm.

There are no quick fixes in dog training, but the gradual desensitization approach is successful and lasting when done correctly.

And I’m here to help you every step of the way.

If you put off helping your dog, their separation anxiety will continue to govern your life. So don’t delay getting yourself and your dog the support you need to enjoy a calm and happy companionship!

Your investment to join the Content at Home Alone program is $997, which gives you access to everything I’ve described above — and it gives you something else, too.

It gives you HOPE. It gives you a WAY OUT of the stressful cycles you and your dog have gotten stuck in. It gives you PEACE OF MIND knowing that your dog is safe and not distressed while you go out.

Jagger was a very troubled rescue dog… Rosee was more than helpful and with some very simple, yet hugely effective advice, we have been able to help our little dog relax and let go of his stress. Rosee has shown me how to tune in to a dog’s basic fundamental requirements. No tricks or time-consuming techniques, just going back to basics and adapting a few everyday situations to meet a dog’s needs. Very simple changes that I had completely overlooked, that have given my dogs a much more relaxing, peaceful state of mind, and in turn, strengthened the positive relationship I have with my pets.

–Lorraine, Jagger, Presley, Indie and Angus

Rosee was my last hope after months of struggle. I had trained with my dog Kipferl in one of ‘the usual ways’ which resulted in his separation anxiety getting worse and worse. At first I was bummed out because I had to start at the beginning again, but in the first weeks we only took small steps and he already made good progress. Apart from that Kipferl was much happier because he didn’t get scared anymore.

–Carina

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the program start and how long does it take?

Your program will begin from the date of your assessment appointment, and lasts for 8 weeks.

What if I need support after the 8 weeks are up?

Then you can retain ongoing access to the training app on a monthly subscription basis, giving you added support to continue the training process for as long as it takes to heal your dog’s anxiety.

How fast can I resolve my dog’s issues?

Supposedly quick fixes advocated by some trainers in the past (such as letting the dog ‘cry it out’ or ‘flooding’) have been thoroughly debunked. We now know how cruel these supposedly quick fixes are — and how much psychological, even neurological, damage they can do.

I use the humane method of gradual exposure, so you can work at your dog’s pace. Over time the progress is much more reliable, without the cruel fallout of quick-fix approaches. By establishing your training sessions in your daily routine, your dog will come to experience them as normal and nothing to be fearful of.

Can puppies have separation anxiety from birth?

They certainly can. Separation anxiety can be caused by genetics, so some puppies do come hard-wired for this phobia. This is not surprising, as we humans have bred dogs for thousands of years to want to be with us and share our lives. I passionately believe that we should treat stay-at-home-alone training for puppies as a priority alongside toilet training, and am happy to help you get your puppy off to the best possible start.

Will you come to my house to train my dog?

All of the training and coaching is carried out online. There are many advantages to remote consultations when it comes to separation-related behaviors. Assessing your dog without me being in the room provides a more accurate assessment because your dog is not distracted by my presence; plus you don’t have to travel for training sessions, and it’s easier for your family or dog-sitter to get involved in the training.

If we usually work from home, is it still worth starting a training program?

Sadly, it is in the nature of fear issues that, without training, your dog’s sensitization to the fear of being alone will worsen over time. Every dog deserves help to develop the life skills they need to live in our human world without fear. Learning to feel safe at home alone should be a training priority for every dog — and if you work from home, you can easily incorporate training steps into your everyday routine.

How do I know your method will work for my dog?

The method works — it’s the same scientific, evidence-based method used to overcome humans’ phobias. All you need to do is apply it correctly, and allow your dog’s needs to guide you at every step.

What if it doesn’t work?

No behavior modification programme can guarantee specific outcomes, as every dog is an individual living being — and so much depends on your willingness to work in line with your dog’s needs. However, my success rate is high because my method gives dogs the best possible chance to learn to feel secure when their caretaker is absent.

Look forward to coming home and finding your dog safe and relaxed

With the right advice, you and your dog can live the harmonious life together you both deserve. When your dog finally feels calm at home without you, instead of terrified and distressed, you can look forward to a happier life together (and apart)!

So you can look forward to being spontaneous again, whether that means running a few errands or going out to a restaurant for dinner while your dog stays home. You can go to the gym or to a family gathering without worrying about what your dog is doing while you’re out.

You’re saving money because you no longer need to pay for daycare or sitters. You can buy nice furniture and clothes, knowing you won’t need to replace them any time soon because your dog isn’t going to scratch or chew them.

Most important, you no longer feel trapped by your dog’s anxiety — and you don’t have to plan absolutely everything in advance.

Remember, in the Content at Home Alone program you get all of this to help you and your dog succeed:

N

Detailed assessment of your dog’s current comfort level and phobia triggers, so you know where to begin

N

Guidance to become an expert in your dog’s body language, so you can understand the behaviors they’re using to communicate with you

N

An individual step-by-step training plan tailored to your dog’s unique needs

N

A training app that walks you through the action steps and helps you analyze your dog’s behavior

N

Personal feedback from me 5 times per week via the app, helping you gain more insight into your dog’s emotional state

N

Video analysis of your dog’s behaviors if you’re uncertain how to proceed

N

One-on-one coaching every week for personalized advice and support

N

Added support via WhatsApp or Signal to get you through any difficult moments

 

The change you want to see in your dog’s emotion-driven behavior *is* achievable — without any need for force or punishment.

Your dog is relying on you for help. And without that help, you will both continue to feel trapped and distressed.

So don’t put it off. Join the Content at Home Alone program today to begin the journey of healing your dog’s anxiety, so that you can enjoy a pleasant and stress-free life together.

Rosee Riggs

Sign Up Now

Content at Home Alone (The 8-week programme for building a solid foundation for your dog to feel safe alone at home.): 997 $