Today I’m participating in a trainer roundup series with the theme of “We (professional trainers) give you permission” to do all sorts of things that are demonized by people and often, other trainers. See all the posts here!
So I’m here, as a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer, to give you permission to NOT ignore your dog when you come home or leave. Go ahead – greet them. Say hi. Pet them. And while you’re at it, go ahead and say “I love you. I’ll be back.” or “See you later” when you leave. Please DO NOT ignore your dog. Yes, even if your dog has separation anxiety.
Greeting or saying goodbye to your dog will not cause, cure or make separation anxiety worse.
Let’s repeat that. Greeting or saying goodbye to your dog will not cause, cure or make separation anxiety worse.
It’s completely normal for your dog to be excited when you return home. In fact, that’s part of the joy of having a dog – they’re always happy to see us! And they’re social creatures so if your dog is being prosocial and you ignore them, that’s just weird and might even cause some anxiety. That’s not to say you should be super amped up where your dog might get mixed signals that something fun is about to happen but a normal, regular greeting or departure is totally fine.
I cover this very topic in my Separation Anxiety Training Foundations (SATF) course, so if you think your dog might have separation anxiety or are looking for some guidance on separation anxiety training, check out my self-paced, affordable course! I also have these free downloads available about separation anxiety if you’re struggling.
- The 7 Milestones Of Your Separation Anxiety Journey. This free 11-page guide to learn all about the steps you’ll be working toward as you climb the separation anxiety mountain. I created this guide to get quality, FREE information about this challenging behavior problem into the hands of owners like you – owners who feel like they have tried everything and haven’t made any progress. Separation Anxiety isn’t a quick fix. But when we break absences down into bite-size pieces, it becomes doable for both the dog and human. Let me show you how I do it! And by downloading it, you’ll receive exclusive updates on the course via email with a special offer as my thanks for grabbing the download!
- 5 Suggestions That Won’t Help Separation Anxiety (And Might Make It Worse)! I have compiled five of the most common suggestions found online that will not help your dog’s separation anxiety, and discuss how they could even make it worse and also discuss how we can actually help give you and your dog some relief.
- 26 Alternatives To Leaving Your Dog At Home: downloadable, printable checklist of 26 ideas to help you find ways to suspend absences, based on the sociability level of your dog. The list is broken into 3 sections: dogs that are friendly with dogs and people, dogs that are friendly with dogs but not strangers and dogs that are friendly with strangers but not other dogs.
Of course if you want one on one training, contact me and schedule a session!