Separation anxiety case study – Bertie (Whippet cross)

I started working with lovely Bertie the whippet cross in May 2021, and we did one month on the separation anxiety protocol, after which Bertie’s lovely mum continued it on herself.

In Bertie’s initial assessment, he went and stood on the back of the sofa (which was close to the hallway behind a stair gate) as soon as his mum left. He then stood there displaying mild stress signs before jumping off the sofa at 1 minute 10 seconds, and going back and forth, on and off the sofa.  He then started to whine at 1 minute 33 seconds and this gradually escalated.

Below is a video Bertie’s mum sent me just prior to starting work with them (please be aware there is howling in this video) – unfortunately I have lost all my videos from early 2022 and earlier!

The first month

In the first reassessment after starting work with Bertie, he remained on the sofa, alternating between sitting up and lying down, and started to display mild signs that he was uncomfortable at 6 minutes 16 seconds, when I called his mum back in.

In the next 2 weeks that followed he became considerably more relaxed, and in our 3rd weekly reassessment Bertie lay down on the sofa, relaxed, for 20 minutes and 4 seconds, at which point I texted his mum to come back in.

The final assessment

During our final reassessment on 17th June 2021, Bertie lay on one of the sofas as his mum was leaving, and remained on that sofa for 18 minutes 49 seconds, when he got off and went onto the other sofa (the sofa closest to the hallway) and lay down and curled up. At 27 minutes 42 seconds he started to become a tiny bit more restless and stood up, then lay down again a couple of times. At 35 minutes he got back off the sofa, stretched and went and stood by the gate looking at the front door, at which stage I texted his mum to return.

But an amazing achievement for Team Bertie in just 4 weeks! Below are some screen shots from that final reassessment:



What Bertie’s mum had to say

After our time working together Bertie’s mum said the following:-

“I just completed a month’s separation anxiety training with Angela at Polite Paws Dog Training for my 16 month old whippet cross. Angela made the whole process so much easier to confront than attempting it on my own, with a daily schedule which was updated and structured around my dog’s progress, frequent feedback and weekly zoom meetings to build on absences with the opportunity to ask questions as situations arose in real time. I highly recommend signing up with Angela if you are committed to doing the training! The long term benefits for my dog’s happiness (and mine!) can’t be overstated!” 

Are you unable to leave your dog home alone? Are you feeling like a prisoner in your own home? Click on the link below and complete the form to book a FREE call with me to find out more!

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By Angela Doyle

I am a highly qualified dog trainer and behaviour consultant based in Surrey, UK. I am a Provisional Clinical Animal Behaviourist with the APBC, and as a fully qualified CSAT (Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer) I specialise in helping people help their dogs overcome Separation Anxiety.

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