NIH Employee Wellness Webinar – Preventing Canine Separation Anxiety - Shared screen with speaker view
Who can see your viewing activity?
Mari aMargarita Camara
I want to ask the presenter How we can explain to people that sometimes they encourage the bad behavior. How to present that to the dog owner
If you are not speaking, please MUTE your phones!
Can one of the hosts or co-hosts go through and mute those who are not on mute?
Yes, please! Co-hosts can mute all those unmuted mics, there is a lot of background noise. Thanks!
Thanks so much for this session
I REALLY need this for my Jax
Would any of this advice be applicable to cats as well?
After my dogs learned my packing for vacation meant an upcoming separation, I stopped putting suitcases and piling things by the front door in preparation for a trip, and instead stash them one by one in the garage, or take them right out to the car as they are ready.
@ Kimberly Forston Yes, these skills can be helpful for cats, birds, and other species to help prevent separation anxiety.
I do not pack with my cat in the same room because once he sees anything that could be considered packing activities he starts acting extra anxious.
Is this applicable to humans?
@ Mari aMargarita Camara You can ask folks to help reduce the unwanted behavior by ignoring the dog when they are displaying the unwanted behavior. And/or ask the dog to do another behavior that is incompatible with the unwanted behavior. For example, with barking- you can ask the dog to fetch a toy. If the dog is allowed to keep practicing the unwanted behavior they will become better at it, so we want to break that cycle and give them an opportunity to display wanted behaviors.
@ Nathan Gill - yes, these skills can be applicable across many species :)
@Anna Bartlett great suggestion- provide your cat/dog a puzzle toy or favorite long lasting chew in another room while you pack your bags and load up the car. Or, ask another family member to take them for a walk so they are not around while you are loading the car so they do not experience the visual cues.
Our older pup is going deaf. Would be interested to hear strategies for "special needs" or older pets. He is very aware of visual cues (putting on jeans while getting dressed, etc.). He will bark at the window until we return.
That will be addressed Sarika. Thank you for your comment.
Are some breeds more prone to SA than others? I have a retired greyhound rescue and the rescue that I got him from said that he has SA due to dogs being pack animals. However when I went to greyhound meet and greet and talk to other owners a large amount of them didn't have SA...
Do you have any suggestions for blind dogs? I have experience w/blind dogs although not one with separation anxiety.
Interesting Claudine. Dr. Connolly, can you address Cluadine’s question?
Yes Ms. May, that is a question that we will address in the Q&A as time permits.
@ Sarika Parasuraman There are some great deaf dog resources out there. A Deaf Dog Joins the Family: Training, Education, etc. by Terrie Hayward is a great book to start with.
Great name!!! My dogs name is Jax too :)
what a handsome boy
@ Claudine Bobb
Yes, we do notice that dogs kept in large groups such as greyhounds, hounds, etc. can be more prone to separation anxiety.
Some of the dogs adapt well to life alone. The best advice if you are looking to adopt a dog, is to find a dog who has been in a foster home situation for several weeks at least, so that they have time to settle in and the foster family has a good idea of what personality the dog has, including if left alone.
Where can I find this recorded seminar after this? Will I be able to watch this again?
we will get an email with the link to this meeting.
Thank you Natalie. Yes Laura, an email will be distributed to all that registered including the link to the recording as well as additional resources.
What other behaviors does the clicker do?
The clicker is a marker for the behavior you want
Hi I have a little terrier dog and she barks at everything. Any suggestions? She's well-exercised too.
Teresa, we will discuss excessive barking in the Q&A, time permitting.
I have the same issue as Teresa
@Rose May Blind dogs can do quite well with clicker training. There are resources out there including blinddogrescue.org that has some tips and additional resources.
Oh awesome. Thank you.
I have a yorkie poo and she barks a lot too.
Living with blind dogs by Caroline Levin
TT, CJ, try praising them for the quiet ...
rather than punishing barking
How does clicker training work with separation anxiety? I have to leave my pup home soon and she's crate trained and is fine being in there when I'm home but will go nuts when I leave
How do you deal with destructive behaviors that only happen when you're not home? In my case, it's digging dirt out of plants, chewing on paper/boxes
Thank you Dr. Connolly for providing great resources and responses.
Thanks Dr. Connolly! I think that was part of my dogs issue. The rescue that I got him from adopt them straight from the track whereas some greyhounds went to a foster home first then got adopted. My vet suggested meds or getting another dog. However my dog is extra clingy "velcro" to me so getting another dog wouldn't help him. He is currently taking OTC meds which helps a little but we still have some ways to go.
@Ashlee Simmon Clicker Training is very helpful in 'marking' wanted behaviors. It's a much faster way to communicate to your dog and helps them understand what you want them to do. Stay tuned-- Sgt. Maker has excellent step by step tips on training techniques to help settle your dog
Hi folks, yes, I've tried distraction, praising quiet and good behavior, and she gets walked a lot. We don't put her in the backyard to potty, so several walks a day.
I think some breeds are barkers....sigh...
Is it ok for me to share our dog trainer’s name? She’s great and does classes that focus on this kind of thing.
We advise against it Michelle.
@Teresa Trent. it depends on why your dog barking. Are they barking at other dogs, people, birds, cars? Is she barking for attention/food/water/play time? If there are triggers that stimulate your dog to bark, try avoiding them. For example, taking on walks during low traffic times or to an empty industrial park etc.
If someone privately messages you, you can provide it to that person privately.
Thank you for asking!
Does Sergeant Maker have a You tube channel with his training videos?
@Claudine Bobb It's always a debate getting a second dog or not. You may end up with a second 'problem child'.
I encourage you to speak with your veterinarian to develop a plan together that best suits your pup.
My dog is already trained and does not misbehave when I leave him. I do not have issues if I leave him up to 6hrs but I am worried he may regress if I leave him longer because he cries when I leave and is incredibly excited when I return. How can I alleviate potential sadness or anxiety when he is alone?
From Ms. Camara: When the technique does not work, or me and the dog its struggling to get the command. Should we take a break from the training and come back to it later? Or should I keep pressing the dog.
@Heidi Matos Great question! Providing a long lasting treat that is only given to your pup when you leave will help associate your departures with a positive experience. My dogs run to their crates waiting for their frozen kongs in the morning before I leave. I think they are disappointed sometimes when I stay home and they do not get their kongs :D
Sgt. Maker will provide some great examples later on.
Thank you @Meghan Connolly for your suggestions. I feel some dogs are prone to barking. My son has been a registered dog trainer for >10 yrs. but in OR. I'm hoping to hear/learn new things in re to barking behavior.
@ Ms. Camara Great question! If you or your pup is becoming frustrated, loosing interest, etc. you can ask them to do a favorite cue such as nose target or paw. Take a break, play with your pup, give them water, scatter a few treats on the ground for them to go 'find it', etc.
@ Teresa Trent Here is an excellent article on various barking training tips. https://yourdogsfriend.org/help/barking/
Can monitor all the squirrels/rabbits/passersby with that window.
do you fill the kong with peanut butter
My gal likes to chase a laser pointer for exercise, like a cat, with treats when she 'catches' the red dot to prevent frustration.
Kelly, Sgt. Maker will cover that soon.
Yes, peanut butter works for a long time too
Yes, you can use peanut butter (make sure no xylitol in it as it is poisonous to dogs). Yogurt, cream cheese, cheese, can spray cheese, apple sauce, canned dog/cat food are all alternatives. I do a mix of veggies/fruit/kibble and a little bit of peanut butter for mine. There are many ideas for stuffing kongs on the internet. Experiment!
Freezing the kongs can help make them last longer for those voracious chewers!
oh, ,awesome thank you!
yes you can use peanut butter in kongs fill the kong before you leave and the dog will love it
kongs keep dogs minds busy
I give my German Shepherds fresh marrow bones from the grocery store. Keeps them busy for hours.
Make sure peanut butter doesn’t include xylitol.
Fill goat horn with peanut butter and freeze. Lasts a while...
My dog has a delicate stomach and can't eat PB or cream cheese. What else could I use to fill the kong?
(just checked all the peanut butters)
My comment re: peanut butter is go slow as some dogs with delicate stomachs might get diahrea initially.
How about cooked sweet potato?
@Teresa Trent We recommend not using laser toys with dogs/cats as it can cause serious behavior issues later on- the pet may start to chase shadows and lights. Playing with a flirt pole or other puzzle toys are great alternative ways to provide mental exercise.
@Francesca we use Kong Ziggies
Both are those foods are great for dogs
My understanding is any new food should be introduced incrementally/slowly.
For dogs with sensitive stomachs or prescription diets you can soak their food in water, then stuff in the kong. Freeze.
Regarding filling the puzzle toys, Sgt. Maker will cover this topic shortly.
@Meghan Connolly - I didn't know that, thank you!
My three dogs love sweet potatos
Natalie Haynes, is one of your dogs a chihuahua? I'm looking at your profile pic.
I find that if I leave my pup a toy/treat before I leave, it actually increases her anxiety because she knows I am going to leave. And she won't touch the toy/treat while I'm gone. So I don't leave her with anything (other than food and water of course) when I leave, but make sure to give her a high value treat when I return.
My dog is about 15 years old and isn't very food motivated anymore
The Kong was the best invention for a puppy/dog ever!
Wow, great idea re getting keys and sitting down/changing up cues you might be going out to ease.
Yes Miniature Pinscher Chuihuahua but I have 2 Apple Head Chiuihuahua
@Goli Samimi not willing to consume food (especially high value food items) is a sign of distress/anxiety. Please talk with your vet about your dog on coming up with a specific plan for your pup.
@Sara Woodson If you have not tried a puzzle toy, try slowly introducing something like a snuffle mat or easier toy for your pup. Some dogs really enjoy working for their food and become more interested when they have to work for their meal.
My dogs loooove them some pizzle sticks. Good for heavy-chewers too. They're expensive, though.
Cara Anjos Breeden
Thanks so much for this great session!
Thank you!! Great Session!!
EXCELLENT presentation. Thank you so much and for presenting a second time!!
Great talk and really cute dog!
Jax is adorable. Thanks!
Thank you so much. very informative. really appreciate it
Thanks very much for the presentation, very helpful!
thank you for your time and presentation.
Loved the videos, thanks so much for this presentation!
This was so great - thank you! Returning to the workplace is as big a transition for our pets as for us!
@Meghan Connolly We've tried puzzle toys before but he wasn't very into them. I tried again last year and he was even less enthused.
Mari aMargarita Camara
Thanks so much for all the advise
Jax is super luck and adorable!
This was AMAZING!!!! Thank you so much for this presentation.
Fantastic!! Thank you very much 👍
So informative! My dog doesn't have separation anxiety but I learned so much!
Thank you, this was awesome!
P.S. Jax is a good boy!
Thank you for a great session!
And Jax is adorable -- and smart, too!
Excellent presentation, thank you!
My dog is on a schedule so she knows when she goes out. When I leave for the day I say "Buy Izzie, love you, see you soon!"
Mari aMargarita Camara
Thanks you to Meghan with the advise with the food /treats advise. Since some of the food can be damaging to them
Thank you so much! I've picked up many helpful tips from the session as well as comments.
Thank you all so much for the great information--this truly helps! Have a good day 😊
I put this in the chat earlier but just curious how do you train the dog out of destructive behaviors when they happen when you’re not home? Such as digging dirt out of plants, chewing on paper/cardboard. Doesn’t happen when I’m there.
I leave the tv on to drown out neighborhood noise and keep them from being alerted to the house being empty
Highly recommend DogTV
Any suggestion on type of treat/rewards for dogs that are not food driven?
Thank you all very much, this presentation was fantastic!
Thank you all!
What if you don’t have a yard for digging space?
Love the scratching board!
I have a golden doodle who I cannot let run free in my fenced backyard as he hunts frogs, lizards, and snakes (I live in Florida) some of which are poisonous. Do you have any suggestions on how to redirect this drive?
A new puppy owner here, I am considering leaving the puppy with my sister and her family who have a lot of experience with dogs while I am away at work for one day a week. Would it be better that I leave her home? If I left her home, I would still have a family member visit to take her out every couple of hours.
@Karen Greenan supervised back yard play time (fetch, agility etc.), leash walks and other mental games such as puzzle toys and learning new tricks.
Teach a 'leave it' command as soon as your dog sees/smells the poisonous wildlife and offer a VERY HIGH value reward (deli meat, cheese, and praise)
I don't want her to experience separation anxiety, but I do want to eventually train her to be comfortable alone.
Regardless, I will definitely have someone check in with her. Just don't want her to become dependent on having someone present at all times.
Could you please comment a little bit more on what to do when they bark so much when we come back from work?
@marjorie Quinn start with baby steps- use mat or crate training to create a safe settle space for your pup to be when you are in the same room, move to outside the room but still in view, then graduate to other room but not in view, and eventually leave the home. Giving puzzle toys such as frozen kongs can help facilitate self play/ settling.
@ Maria Clavijo-Salomon it sounds as if your dog is super excited when you arrive home! Several things you can do- ignore them (no physical contact, no eye contact, talking to, etc.) until they settle down. AS SOON as they are quiet, praise them and toss a high value treat. You may experience an extinction burst when that first occurs, so it may get a little worse before it gets better because they have learned that barking will get them attention (even yelling/scolding is attention). In addition, tossing them a toy/ball as soon as you enter can help interrupt the barking behavior and is incompatible with barking.
Thanks so much!
Thank you all for attending!
Great article for help with
pulling on leash https://yourdogsfriend.org/help/pulling-on-leash/
Head halters such as gentle leader or halti
Front attach harnesses are great for pulling: Freedom harness, Perfect Fit, Balance Harness are all good examples
For those extra pullers (huskies) using a dual clip leash attached to both the front clip of the harness and head collar can be very helpful.
YES!! Thank you!!
Thank you so much!!
THANKS MUCH to both speakers!
Good luck to everyone and their pups as we return to work!