Dealing with a dog who has separation anxiety is heartbreaking. No one wants to see their dog having a panic attack. Linda and Ryan asked Victoria Stilwell to help them with their dog Western.
Western cannot calm down whenever he’s left alone in the house. He always needs to be near Doyle, the couple’s other dog. When Doyle leaves the house, Western would panic and run around in panic.
The sight was so concerning that Victoria had to bring a doctor friend. Dr. Scott observed Western’s behavior while Doyle is away. He confirms that Western is indeed under emotional turmoil, and he said it could be post-traumatic stress. The doctor recommended medication.
After the consultation, the dog trainer began behavioral training. Victoria believes that medication should be paired with training to maximize efficiency. The idea is to have Western go out first, and while he is out, Doyle goes out as well.
Victoria wants to see how Western reacts when they arrive home, and they don’t see Doyle. During the walk with Western, the trainer sees how stressed he gets hearing the barks from neighboring dogs. Victoria taught Ryan how to get Western’s attention to distract him from a stressful environment.
When Ryan got back to his house, he was expecting Western to run around and look for Doyle. To everyone’s surprise, he was calm and acted aloof. Victoria then left the couple to see how well they do on their own.
The couple continued to give Western his anti-anxiety medication. However, Linda confessed that she skipped a day to see the effect on Western. When Victoria came back, she warned Linda and asked her to avoid skipping medications.
Victoria also introduced another method of keeping Western’s brain active. She brought a toy that works as a puzzle for dogs. Treats are placed inside it, and Wester has to move the object to make the treats accessible.
Video courtesy of It’s Me or The Dog via YouTube.