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Golden Dog

Hard time alone

  • Are your neighbours complaining about a constantly barking dog while you're at work?
  • Are you afraid to come home because you don't know in what condition you will find your apartment?
  • Are you worried that your dog doesn't cope well with time alone and that it affects his/her mood and health?
  • Do you feel tired, overwhelmed, stressed or trapped at home?
  • You don't know where to start working?

Separation disorders, often popularly referred to as separation anxiety, are probably one of the most difficult (if not the most difficult)  dog behavioural problems, which, perhaps like no other, has a massive impact on caregivers and their well-being.

I'm here to help you get back to normal life and teach your dog, step by step, that he can feel safe being home alone....

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I am Poland's first certified CSAT (Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer). In May 2023, I completed a certification course for professional behaviourists with Malena DeMartini-Price - a well-known, world-class specialist in the field of separation anxiety in dogs and the creator of the therapeutic work protocol in this field, who for over 20 years has focused her career primarily on working with separation disorders in dogs and is the author of the revolutionary book - "Separation Anxiety in Dogs – Next-Generation Treatment Protocols and Practices." The course I had the pleasure of completing was an intensive over 14-week program designed and conducted personally by Malena DeMartini and co-led by two fantastic trainers with many years of experience in CSAT work - Maia Huff-Owen and Tiffany Lovell.

As a CSAT, I combine the role of a personal trainer and therapist for your dog (and to some extent also for you as his/her guardian), as well as a motivator and obviously a behaviourist.

You will receive my professional support, guidance, and hope for changes here!

 

Together, we can achieve your goals related to your dog's peaceful alone time!

Does your dog, when left alone:

check it out because you may be struggling with separation disorder!

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Separation anxiety

What is that?

Separation anxiety is probably the most serious of the entire group of separation disorders related to the fact that the dog is left alone in the apartment/house/office/hotel room. We are usually talking about the entire spectrum of separation-related disorders because the underlying cause is not always fear. Sometimes, similar behaviours may have a different emotional basis and may result from, for example, boredom or frustration; therefore, these disorders always require a professional diagnosis to adjust therapeutic tools appropriately. However, if the basis of the behaviour is composed of fear, we are dealing with an intense panic reaction to being alone.

 

This condition is not dependent on the dog, and, like our human phobias and fears, it is not susceptible to any rational explanations. Importantly, it is certainly not the result of dog malice, anger or revenge for the fact that the dog was left alone. It is a classic panic attack, so strong that it can often even lead to self-mutilation or uncontrolled elimination (of faeces or urine) in dogs. Let's think about how stressed we would have to be to wet our pants... Some of the most common symptoms (though not the only ones because each dog is different) include destruction in the house, elimination and various types of vocalization (from barking to howling and crying). According to some research by scientists, separation anxiety can be felt similarly to physical pain and can also be reflected in medical parameters, such as increased heart rate or intense breathing.

This is a very common problem of varying severity, and while research is a bit divergent, it is estimated that up to 20% of all dogs in the world may exhibit symptoms of separation disorders (Sargisson, 2014).

 

Like other phobias and fears, this one requires a lot of understanding, support, professional and long-term help and therapy, and sometimes also pharmacological support.

Therapy options

Separation anxiety is a unique behavioural disorder that does not require the physical presence of a behaviourist to conduct therapy. On the contrary, if I were there to train with you live, my presence would change the daily dynamics of your exit, disturbing objective assessment. That's why I only conduct separation anxiety therapy online, so you don't have to worry if you're not from Warsaw - we can work together without any problems from anywhere in the world!

 

Working online is currently the best method that all specialists in this field offer, as there is no doubt that the progress will be much faster and more effective this way. Of course, I regret a bit that I won't be able to meet you and your pup in person (after all, what behaviourist doesn't like to spend some time with dogs;-P), but what I care most about is solving your separation problems as effective and as quickly as possible, increasing the comfort of your life - and here the online method is currently the best available solution.

Technical requirements are not that challenging - you will need a camera, e.g. on a phone or laptop, connected to the Internet and access to the Internet. Our meetings will be held on the Zoom platform, and we will work on files shared on the Google Sheets platform. Don't be afraid - both platforms are very intuitive, and I can provide technical advice if necessary. We will discuss all these technological aspects step by step during the first meeting ;-)

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Intensive separation anxiety therapy - starter package

The therapy is conducted in 4-week packages.

The package includes:

  • initial assessment (max. 60 min)

- allowing to determine the dog's current reaction threshold and to create individual therapeutic goals and plans

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  • preparing individual daily therapy sessions (4-5 times a week)

the exact frequency is determined depending on your and the dog's needs, based on the effects of the session from the previous day.

​​

  • three weekly (max. 60 min) online meetings in real-time

with you and your dog, which assess the progress during the therapy (so-called re-evaluation).

  • an online meeting summarizing the first month of work on the protocol,

along with analyzing statistical data and determining further steps in the therapy.

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  • daily support (4-5 times a week)

with feedback and cheerleading plus answering your questions regarding separation disorders and the work protocol itself.

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  • progress tracking and thorough analysis of session data

by observing in detail the trajectory of your dog's progress, we can even better tailor the training to your individual needs and learn about the factors that influence your dog's reaction thresholds.

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  • writing a referral letter to a veterinarian

for additional diagnostics and/or selecting pharmacotherapy, as well as recommending trusted specialists in this field and cooperating with the selected veterinarian throughout the therapy (if necessary).

Since I am regularly in contact with other CSATs worldwide and the protocol's creator, Malena De Martini herself, you also gain additional insight and support from the entire global CSAT community when needed.

Expect to perform therapy sessions 4-5 times a week, each lasting approximately 20-30 minutes (over time, of course, longer, once we build your dog's self-confidence in your more extended absence). Additionally, it is worth considering that you will also need an additional 10-15 minutes daily to complete the tables and notes after each session.

Price: PLN 1999
Fluffy Pet

Intensive separation anxiety therapy- follow up

This package includes a proposal to continue intensive treatment of separation anxiety in the second and subsequent months.

Therapeutic work is analogous to the starter package, with the difference that now I know your dog and you better, as well as your therapeutic needs, and we meet for 4 subsequent weekly reassessments without the need for an initial assessment.

The package includes:​​

  • preparing individual daily therapy sessions (4-5 times a week)

the exact frequency is determined depending on your and the dog's needs, based on the effects of the session from the previous day.

​​

  • four weekly (max. 60 min) online meetings in real-time

with you and your dog, which assess the progress during the therapy (so-called re-evaluation).

​​

  • daily support (4-5 times a week)

with feedback and cheerleading plus answering your questions regarding separation disorders and the work protocol itself.

​​

  • progress tracking and thorough analysis of session data

by observing in detail the trajectory of your dog's progress, we can even better tailor the training to your individual needs and learn about the factors that influence your dog's reaction thresholds.

​​​

Since I am regularly in contact with other CSATs worldwide and the protocol's creator, Malena De Martini herself, you also gain additional insight and support from the entire global CSAT community when needed.

Expect to perform therapy sessions 4-5 times a week, each lasting approximately 20-30 minutes (over time, of course, longer, once we build your dog's self-confidence in your more extended absence). Additionally, it is worth considering that you will also need an additional 10-15 minutes daily to complete the tables and notes after each session.

Price: PLN 1899
Cute Puppy

Continuation of separation anxiety therapy- the next step

This is an option created for clients who have completed at least 1 month of intensive treatment for separation anxiety, with a view to more independent therapeutic work in the following weeks and months. We always determine the moment of switching to this mode individually, analyzing your needs and progress.

 

In this scheme, you still work 4-5 days a week, but this time, you create therapy sessions yourself based on my precise instructions and therapeutic goals set for a given week, and we still meet once a week online in real-time with you and your dog, to assess progress in therapy (so-called reassessment).

The package includes:​

​​

  • four weekly (max. 60 min) online meetings in real-time

with you and your dog, which assess progress during therapy (so-called re-evaluation).

​​

  • weekly writing down goals and assumptions for therapeutic sessions

tailored to the dog's needs and based on current therapy progress

​​

  • progress tracking and thorough analysis of session data

by observing in detail the trajectory of your dog's progress, we can even better tailor the training to your individual needs and learn about the factors that influence your dog's reaction thresholds.

Expect to continue doing therapy sessions 4-5 times a week, each lasting about 20-30 minutes and longer, as your dog progresses.

 

Additionally, it is worth taking into account that in this package, you will be writing individual sessions just by yourself and still completing tables and notes from each session, which, on average, extends the time of such work to an additional 30-40 minutes per day.

Price: PLN 950
Business Meeting

Supervision for behavioral specialists about separation anxiety treatment

This is a mentoring offer addressed to professional behaviourists who work with their human clients and pups on separation anxiety using positive methods and know the assumptions of Malena DeMartini's protocol.

 

During the online meeting (60 minutes), you will have the opportunity to discuss the current case with me, analyze the progress of the dog working under your care and consult further therapeutic plans.

 

Sometimes, we need such an objective look from the side at our patients because we usually get very close to our patients and their caregivers, especially when conducting such long-term and intensive therapies that work with SA. Such a new approach and case discussion will hopefully allow you to gain the necessary distance, move forward from a difficult place you were stuck into, modify the therapy plan accordingly, or just be reassured and gain confidence that you are going on the right path ;-)

 

Please keep in mind that currently, this option is offered only for Polish-speaking behaviourists. For mentoring in English, I will always recommend getting in touch directly with the CSAT trainers and joining the CSAT course and community.

Price:

PLN 1999

Price:

PLN 1899

Price:

PLN 950

Price:

PLN 350

How it works?

If you and your dog need my support in treating separation disorders, see what the therapy process looks like step-by-step and how to sign up for a consultation.

formularz kontaktowy
konsultacja online Zwierzak na kozetce

Fill in the

application form

Start by filling out the application form, thanks to which I will collect preliminary information about your dog and the problem you are struggling with. Don't forget to send me the recordings mentioned in the form - we will discuss them during our first meeting, and they will be a vital element of the diagnosis.

In response to the form, I will contact you by e-mail, and we will set a date for the first online meeting.

Initial consultation

During this online consultation, which usually lasts about 2 hours, I will conduct a more detailed interview with you, discuss the recordings sent, present my diagnosis and therapeutic recommendations, and carefully go through the basis of the CSAT therapeutic work protocol.

Please keep in mind that this meeting does not oblige you to start an intensive therapy package for separation anxiety.

Also, sometimes, based on this meeting, it is possible to exclude the anxiety basis of the presented behaviour, and I can direct you to a different therapeutic path.

The cost of the initial consultation

is PLN 300.

kontrakt i umowa

Sign the contract

and start your package

If, during the initial consultation, we decide that the best therapeutic option for you and your dog will be an intensive separation anxiety treatment, you will receive a post-consultation report collecting all the necessary information, a contract to sign and an invoice for the 4-week starter package. We will also arrange a starting date for the program. 

konsultacja online Zwierzak na kozetce

Initial assessment

We meet online at a scheduled date. I will ask you to leave the apartment during this meeting based on my precise instructions. I will closely observe then your dog's behaviour and collect the necessary information. Thanks to this meeting, I will learn your dog's exact current reaction thresholds, and at the same time, everything will happen under my online supervision, so we will not allow the dog's panic to become more severe.

pies zostaje sam w domu

Do the session according to the received plan

Based on the observations from the initial assessment, I will prepare for you an individual work plan for the first day, which will be a set of several subsequent, carefully described steps to be performed. We will discuss the structure of this work in more detail during our initial consultation.

lista zadań

Take notes and fill in the tables after the session

After completing the training session, you fill out notes and observations in a dedicated file according to the established pattern, which will be the basis for creating a plan for you and your dog for the next day's session.

Planowanie

Receive a new plan for the next working day

After carefully analyzing your notes and your dog's reactions, I will create and send you a plan for the next day of your therapeutic work.

cykl pracy

The cycle continues

This is how we operate on subsequent days (3 times a week if you work 4 days a week, or 4 times a week if you work a 5-session week). It is a bit like a therapeutic ping-pong, where we exchange work plans, notes and observations with each other almost daily.

konsultacja online Zwierzak na kozetce

Online meeting

- reassessment

We meet once a week to assess your progress, which is called the reassessment meeting. Here, you will also conduct a session according to my precise instructions, but this time, I will observe everything online in real-time and analyze your dog's emotions. This time, I will be taking notes, and based on them, I will prepare a plan for the next day of work for you ;-)

 

During the last reassessment in the package, we will discuss in detail the entire past month of work, make conclusions and observations and decide together whether and in what form it will be worth continuing the therapy in your case. 

Dog Waving Paw

FAQ - Frequently asked questions

Can separation anxiety be overcome?

Yes! You must remember, though, that there is no magic quick solution here. But it is entirely possible that your dog will learn to feel completely safe when (s)he is alone and will take a sweet nap while you are away. Just like humans can overcome their fear of public speaking or flying, dogs can overcome their fear of being alone! However, systematic work and a lot of patience are needed here!

How long will the therapy last?

Although this is one of the most frequently asked questions, and I completely understand that you want to know what to expect and how to plan everything, unfortunately, despite my sincere intentions, I cannot give you a specific answer here. It would be unethical, pure guesswork, to provide a specific date for ending therapy. Each dog is different and unique, and its fear varies in intensity and expression. Dogs also have various past experiences, some failed therapies, and their own pace of learning, which is why each dog dictates its own pace of work. A lot also depends on you and how systematically you will work on the protocol. I can say, though, that in general, you should think in terms of working in months rather than weeks. However, we, as CSATs, are still waiting for a dog that will break the record and complete the entire therapeutic cycle quickly, and I cross my fingers that it will be your dog. However, realistically, you should be prepared for several months of intensive work.

What should you be prepared for in this therapeutic work?

 

The key is your regularity and commitment to stick to the rules of the program and perform each scheduled therapeutic session thoroughly. Without this, progress will unfortunately be much slower or may even not occur at all! Of course, I will be your cheerleader here and support you on every step of this journey! Take into account that in offered intensive separation anxiety treatment, you have to devote about 40-50 minutes a day (on average, for each 4-5 days a week) to conduct the session itself and complete your notes. In a continuing therapy program, this time maybe even a bit longer due to the need to schedule the sessions by yourself.

 

Also a key and absolutely required commitment in the program is that your dog is never left home alone, apart from carefully planned sessions.

It is extremely important for the therapy to have a chance to work and that the problem does not get worse. Even one emergency and subjectively short absence beyond your dog's threshold can disrupt the entire therapy process and prevent you from achieving success. I know this sounds like a tremendous sacrifice. But believe me - it is essential. During the initial consultation and the entire program, I will help you find creative ways to ensure that your dog always has some company and can safely and gradually learn that loneliness is okay.

Does the dog's age matter in this therapy?

Every dog, regardless of age, deserves help and therapy. Since I write my therapeutic recommendations individually designed to your dog's needs, we can easily tailor a therapeutic plan to the needs of a puppy or a senior dog. And even if your dog has "been like this all their life", it is really worth taking care of it now to increase their comfort even when they are already in their prime. In the context of puppies, it is also not worth counting on the fact that the problem will magically disappear on its own, and the pup will somehow get used to it. And it's better to ensure from the beginning of your journey that your dog will associate time alone with comfort and safety. 

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