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How Piper Helps Treat Separation Anxiety In Dogs

In today’s blog, we’re featuring a guest post from a business called Sit Means Sit Dog Training that uses Pipers in its Seattle and Austin, Texas locations.
Dog trainer Danielle from Seattle is back with a second guest blog, showing you how she uses Piper to treat separation anxiety found in dogs.
How did she manage to treat a young puppy’s separation anxiety using Piper? Find out in her story below!
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Recently I had the opportunity to train a very sweet, young lab mix named Kona. At a little under a year old, Kona was adopted from the PAWS animal shelter in Lynnwood, WA by a young couple. Like many adopted puppies, Kona came with some issues, including separation anxiety and kennel anxiety.

Kona’s issues in the kennel stemmed from his separation anxiety. He would follow his parents around the house, and at first, they attempted kenneling him to get a little bit of space – such as at dinner time. He would be fine if he could see them, but the second they left his sight he would howl and cry. They eventually attempted transitioning him to a large (it took up their entire living room!) pen, which he quickly learned how to get out of and would also continue to cry.

I wound up boarding Kona for two weeks to work on general obedience training, as well as kennel training and riding in the car (he had terrible car sickness). He was a stubborn dog to train, and took a while to convince it was in his best interest to play the training games I was playing. Once he was convinced, though, he learned quickly. My primary goals for Kona’s separation anxiety were to:

a. turn the kennel into a job, meaning he didn’t just associate it with going in there and people leaving him; and

b. slowly work up to longer periods of time of leaving him unattended.

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The best feature of the Piper for Kona was being able to communicate to him through the live video feed. I had the notification settings programmed to call me if there was excess noise or movement in his kennel and I was able to immediately tune in to see what the problem was. If he was crying, I would tell him to quiet, lie down, to which he would typically respond by settling and relaxing back into the completely chill dog I knew. Not only that, but I was able also to set up training scenarios and check in on him remotely when I was out of the house to see how he was doing.

The other awesome feature of the Piper that I took advantage of for Kona and his parents was the ability to record video. At the same time was notifying me, the camera itself was also busy recording  what was happening – and it would start recording a few seconds prior to the thing that set it off! This allowed me to show his parents when he did have an issue, what, if anything caused it.

The Piper truly played a pivotal role in working through Kona’s anxiety of being alone. I have used other techniques in the past from my iPhone and iPad, including Skype, FaceTime, and my phone camera. Piper literally takes it to a completely new level and allows me, in many ways, to provide my clients – human and doggy alike – even better training.

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