What is Separation Anxiety?

Separation anxiety is a panic disorder that is very similar to phobias in humans. It is estimated that about 17% of dogs suffer from the disorder. It is a common reason dogs are surrendered to shelters or euthanized.

Much like phobias in people such as a fear of spiders or flying, fear of being alone is not rational — after all, you always come home to your dog!  Yet the danger feels all too real to your dog. Many alone-time problem behaviors like destruction and barking are possible expressions of your dog’s discomfort or panic with being left alone. Your dog is not in control of their feelings of fear or the resulting problem behaviors. Unfortunately, separation anxiety is not something that will resolve itself and in fact, can worsen over time. At it’s worst, dogs become so engulfed in anxiety that they can cause serious harm to themselves and your home as they frantically attempt to escape the perceived danger. 

The good news is we can help! No more worries about destruction, neighbor complaints or your dog being stressed out while you’re away.

How is it treated?

It is essential that training happens at the dog’s pace. If progress is pushed too quickly with this panic disorder, the dog will typically regress. Because of this we do require at least a 4-week commitment to start. Our 4-week Separation Anxiety Training Package is $900 and includes:

  • Initial assessment to determine your dog’s starting place
  • Individualized daily training plans
  • Weekly live reassessments via video conference
  • Email and phone support, problem solving help and supportive coaching

Click this button to request a free 30 minute phone or in-facility meeting to discuss your dog and the protocol for resolving this issue.

Separation anxiety is treated by systematically breaking down absences into steps that your dog can handle, and building up to a normal routine while keeping your dog relaxed the whole time. Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer, Rhea Northcut, CPDT-KA, CSAT will provide easy to follow, custom daily training plans as well as the tools and support you need to help your dog succeed.

Because separation anxiety is triggered by you leaving your house, it is most efficient and effective to treat it remotely in your home, in a typical day scenario with your dog. This means you do not have to be within our normal service area! As long as you are in North America and have an internet connection, we can work with you! For those living in the Dallas area, you have the option of having your initial consultation in person if your prefer.

What clients are saying about this program

“When we realized there was a problem with our Weimaraner being left alone while crated, we tried everything we knew to do without success. We felt trapped, and worried she could hurt herself trying to get out of her crate, not to mention the destructive results of her efforts. After an initial phone evaluation, we began the extensive program for separation anxiety. Rhea communicated with us daily and always had Darby’s best interest at heart. We followed the instructions to the letter and now we have a dog who views her crate as a safe, happy place. We can’t thank Rhea enough for giving us our freedom back!”

– Carl Ludwig with Darby

“Could not be happier with Rhea and her training program when it came to working with my puppy’s separation anxiety. Her methodical approach, and advanced knowledge were instrumental in resolving the issues my dog had with being left home alone. Beyond that, she was a pleasure to work with and I highly recommend.”

– Chase Conly with Boban

Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer

  • Separation Anxiety, Nose Work & Senior Pet Manners Trainer

    Rhea Northcut CPDT-KA ABCDT CSAT
    Rhea Northcut, CPDT-KA ABCDT CSAT is a Senior Trainer with What a Great Dog! She joined the WAGD family in 2016. Rhea teaches Pet Manners and Nose Work in both group classes and private lessons. She also provides a training program aimed at resolving issue with Separation Anxiety. Rhea is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and an Animal Behavior College […]