10-Year-Old Spayed Female, Mixed Breed

Happy dog after receiving help from a dog trainer for anxiety

Maddie is a lovely little dog with an extremely caring family. They could see her anxiety and neediness growing and wanted to help her as best they could. Maddie had major issues on stormy afternoons. When thunderstorms began to rumble, she would shake, pace the house, and attempt to hide or escape. Her family had taken to changing their work schedules to be home with her each day so they could sit with her on the couch and embrace her in a weighted blanket. She desired to climb on top of her person and receive constant petting. She had become addicted to their touch. They had tried medication from their vet, but nothing seemed to help and Maddie was getting worse by the day and her anxiety was controlling their lives. At ten years old, Maddie’s behavior was very ingrained, and they needed help from a dog trainer for anxiety.

When Maddie came for our Total Behavior Reboot, we began with gaining some control over her movement. In order to stop her spiral into anxiety, we needed to be able to redirect her to better choices. Instead of allowing her to climb all over people, we helped Maddie learn how to self-soothe. We taught her how to spend some time alone and broke the addiction to constant contact. In addition, we worked on desensitizing her to her prior triggers of thunder and other loud noises. By gradually introducing these sounds in a calm and neutral setting, she was able to become accustomed to them without triggering her past panic attacks. Once Maddie had made a big behavioral change, we were able to bring her family back into the picture and teach them how to maintain her new state of mind.

Owner’s Feedback

Our ten-year-old dog had developed a lot of anxieties. Over the years we tried everything, but it got to the point that we couldn’t live a normal life. At the end of our rope, we thought there must be a place that could help her and us. There are many board and train places, I discovered! We picked BlackPaw Dog Training because their approach seemed to be the most thorough. After three weeks, we were amazed to see how much our sweet dog had improved. Now was our turn to be trained. Bernadette’s program included teaching us how to keep up with our dogs’ new training. We are able to create a calm environment with clear rules and boundaries. Our dog, Maddie, is much calmer now. Thank you, Bernadette!”

—Ruth H., Boulder, Colorado