#MyGunnerStory: Separation Anxiety in Dogs

This week we’re with Leah Shamos Twitchell, a Maine resident and dog trainer with a soft spot for rescue dogs. Unfortunately, two of Leah’s rescues are escape artists – due to separation anxiety and what she says could be PTSD – and she went through as many as 6 different crates before the Gunner. Read on to see why she describes Gunner Kennels as “bomb proof.”

Gunner Kennels Customer: Leah, Eva & Freya

OWNER’S NAME: Leah Shamos Twitchell

DOGS’ NAMES: Eva, Freya

DOGS’ BREEDS: Pit mixes (rescue dogs)

DOGS’ AGES: 10 and 7 years old 

DOGS’ WEIGHTS: 50 and 70 lb.

CITY, STATE: Scarborough, Maine



*editor’s note: though Leah did not need them, we recommend the chew kit accessory for most escape artists.

DESCRIBE EVA & FREYA IN A FEW WORDS: Eva is spunky, feisty, friendly, and sporty. Freya is observant, strong-willed, loyal, sensitive and loving.  

Q&A With Leah

Q&A With Leah
Leah Twitchell is a dog trainer who focuses on helping dogs with high drive “find their flow.” Follow 
Canine Movement Lab to learn more about d
rive training – and how Leah can show your dog how to use his natural tendencies, because high prey drive equals more energy, and energy is always good.

Leah, you turned to Gunner Kennels as a last resort. Can you tell us why?

Well, Eva had broken out of or destroyed about 5 or 6 plastic crates (so many I lost count!). Then I got Freya, and she was just pushing right through the door of those plastic crates like it was nothing (in order to chase the cat). In order to keep everyone safe, I finally invested in two Gunner Kennels, which I wish I did a LONG time ago. I would have saved so much money over the years (and so much frustration).  

Exactly! So would you say Frey & Eva have phobias? Or what was the cause of your dogs trying to break out?

They both have separation anxiety.

How did you end up choosing Gunner Kennels? 

I saw an article or Facebook post about how they were crash-tested and I was sold.

In your experience, what is it that sets the G1™ apart? How has it protected your dogs?

Gunner Kennels make my dogs feel safe and calm, because they sense that there is no way out, so they don’t even try. They haven’t even chewed the inside of the kennels at all. 

The solid construction gives them a sense of safety and peace, the way a dog should feel in his “den.” This has protected them from breaking out and getting into the trash, eating the couch, and tearing up the house in general. 

It gives me peace of mind that my cat is safe as well! So overall, everyone is happy and healthy in this household because of the Gunner Kennels.

Life made easy (well, easier!). So where’s your favorite place to travel with these two? 

I love taking my dogs for long walks in the woods, especially where there are streams or waterways for them to get wet or go swimming during the summer. Their favorite game is tug-of-war, and I just started doing some protection work with them as well, so we travel to seminars and workshops for further training.

If you could give a parting piece of advice to anyone with a Houdini dog or a dog who escapes their crate, what would it be?

I wish I had known about you sooner! I would have invested a long time ago. I recommend these kennels for safe traveling with working dogs, and for peace of mind with dogs who can easily destroy less expensive crates. Definitely worth the investment.

*Note: The GUNNER kennel may not be suitable for all dogs with phobias, as extreme cases and drive can vary widely. Ultimately, you know your dog best, and as cases can vary widely, we defer to the owner whether you believe this kennel with a Chew Kit accessory is your best solution to contain your high-drive K9 in a bout of anxiety.

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