Kind Corner: Top 5 reasons to choose online separation anxiety training
Sharon Labossiere, owner and trainer at Hanging With Hounds, specializes in separation anxiety and brings us today the top 5 reasons for choosing online separation anxiety training.
If your dog has a hard time staying home without you, this post will open training possibilities for you and your dog.
Let’s get reading!
Benefits of online separation anxiety training
Separation anxiety is a fear of being left alone and is the equivalent of a full-blown panic attack in a human being. It is important to understand that the dog does not have control of this behaviour.
Many guardians turn to specialist trainers for help with solving this tough behaviour challenge.
Long before COVID pushed everyone online, separation anxiety dog trainers successfully resolved separation anxiety cases virtually through virtual sessions.
Here are the top 5 reasons why virtual separation anxiety training is the best approach for you and your dog!
1. Online training eliminates the ‘trainer effect’
The trainer effect is the magical transformation of your dog when the trainer walks through your door.
Some guardians would lament that their dogs are never as well-behaved as when the trainer is present. The in-person trainer impacts the dog and the dynamic within the home. In contrast, when the trainer attends virtually, the dog is in tune with their environment and what their human is doing.
Observing the interaction remotely provides an unvarnished view of how the dog is progressing and what adjustments we need to make to the training plan.
2. Online training allows for real-time responsiveness
Today, it is rare for me to have a client reach out who has not already watched their dog on camera.
Technology allows trainer and client to meet virtually, quickly and easily exchange and review videos of the dog, and share training plans electronically. It gives the trainer the ability to use the video as an educational tool to help clients understand things like their dog’s body language. Most importantly, technology allows us to watch dogs remotely, getting immediate feedback about how they respond to a training plan.
Technology is a game-changer for the resolution of separation anxiety because it gives trainers a high level of access and allows us to be incredibly responsive.
3. Online training means we can work with any dog
In-person sessions must take factors such as fear or aggression into account for both the safety and comfort of the dog and the humans involved.
A trainer’s ability to address separation anxiety by online training does not rely on resolving other behaviour concerns first. We can begin working with the dog right away because we don’t need to be concerned that the dog will see our presence as a threat. This means even the scaredy-cat dog or the dog not fond of new people can get the same help and support as the happy-go-lucky social dog. Your dog remains relaxed and comfortable in their everyday environment. Guardians are also happier and more relaxed, not needing to worry about how their dog will react, making online training a big win for everyone.
4. Online training can happen anywhere, doesn’t matter where you live
I have touched on this already, but it bears repeating. Technology has bridged the distances allowing me to work with clients from all over. It doesn’t matter where you live; whether you have dozens of trainers nearby or none for a hundred miles, you can work with a trainer who has chosen to specialize in this complex dog behaviour. This means you can easily access a trainer whose specialty is separation anxiety.
In addition, as a trainer, I can easily access my colleagues from all over if I need to troubleshoot a case, I’m not limited to colleagues in my immediate location.
5. Online training gives you the benefit of flexible scheduling
When you work with a trainer virtually, training plans are customized for your situation and provided to you electronically. It doesn’t matter if you work from home or work the night shift, have a crazy busy family, or live by yourself, your trainer can accommodate your schedule.
Online training lets trainers check in more regularly, be more responsive and finetune your training plans more quickly, enabling your dog to progress faster. Quick check-ins via a messaging tool keep the training engine humming along. And the best thing, no need to tidy your home or change out of your comfy clothes.
Is there a downside to training separation anxiety online?
Well, to me as a trainer, maybe one. I love nothing more than getting my hands on your dog and having a good ‘ole ruffle. But I am happy to give that up for the reward of watching your dog successfully snooze away while you go out and about, getting on with your life