Pets with Problems

Bringing relief from
separation anxiety

Separation Anxiety - Success Stories

Wally, Andy and Bri’s Journey with Ingrid at Pets With Problems

We had planned for years to adopt a dog, and when our Northern Inuit puppy, Wally, came home we were overjoyed. He was a sweet dog; mild-mannered and well behaved, but we learned the first night that he was going to be anxious when we weren’t around. He hated his crate, always needed to be near us, and sure enough as soon as we tried leaving the house we learned he would panic: howling and whining started immediately, and we could tell that chewing of our furniture wouldn’t be far behind.

We had a behavioural trainer at the time, and we tried working with him on some densensitisation exercises, but he eventually said the challenge was out of his depth. We tried densensitisation on our own, based on what we’d read online, but we couldn’t figure out how to begin: Wally would just panic at the first sign of leaving.

Finally, we found Ingrid online and after reading her page and credentials she sounded like exactly what we needed. Our first consultation with her confirmed what we suspected: Wally had fairly severe separation anxiety, but she reassured us that we could manage it with him and she started putting together daily exercises, consulting with us directly on a weekly basis, and tracking his progress meticulously in a shared spreadsheet.
We were amazed at how quickly he progressed. It was a lot of work at first, but week-on-week we could see him become more comfortable with the leaving rituals and, after not too long, he was letting us out of the house for a few minutes at a time.
Along the way, we suspect we were challenging clients. We both work full time jobs, and we traveled a lot. (At least, we did before COVID-19!) Our schedules were often “fluid” and had to adapt to our sometimes challenging availability, and the travel meant long pauses in Wally’s training that we’d have to plan for and catch up from when we returned. To add to the fun: in the middle of the training, we decided to adopt a new kitten. Ingrid rolled with all of these challenges, asked great questions and gave us great tips and tricks for managing through them all.
Of course, his improvement wasn’t linear. Wally’s journey was full of encouraging times of fast improvement punctuated by disheartening regressions and events like the great remote control chewing event of January 2020. Throughout all of these, Ingrid helped us keep perspective on his behaviours and the likely reasons behind them. She was both an effective coach and cheerleader and really helped us get to know our dog throughout the journey. Toward the end, Ingrid’s presence was just as important for training us as for training Wally.
It took a full year of training, but the investment was well worth it. Wally now lets us out of the house for several hours without issue, mostly sleeping and occasionally playing with our cat until our return. We can tell he’s so much more confident and comfortable with our patterns of life, and this gives us confidence that we’re not putting our dog through undue stress, and confidence that we wont’ come home to a wrecked house

We feel like we know Ingrid well, but the irony is we never met her in person! We were skeptical at first that remote dog training could work, but in the end we are believers. Now that Wally has made so much progress, we will miss working with Ingrid; but we’re happy to share our story in to the hope that it will help other caretakers of anxious dogs find peace for themselves and their furry companions!

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Ingrid Haskal

I am passionate about helping dogs and their owners get over this terrible condition. So much so that I have made treating separation cases my speciality and am a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer. Using modern, scientific and up to date methods I get true insight into how you and your dog are progressing and can keep you motivated and on track throughout the training process until the problem has been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.

I got my life back

Above all thank you for being there for us when we were experiencing very difficult times with Reggie and thank you for cheering us on and giving us hope to persevere and not to give up

Andrea

home alone and happy

I really thought this would never happen and its true that it took time and hard work but Ingrid’s enthusiasm, support and expertise kept us going. It was like having my own personal trainer! She was with us every step of the way until finally our little Alfie can be left at home and our new sofa is safe from being ripped to shreds.

Trina
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