The Medication Dilemma: One Woman’s Story

medication for dogs

I knew that Monkey (and I) had a problem when I came home from a short dinner one night, and there were nine notes on my door – from my landlord, from my neighbor (five of them were from her), from the police (they were doing a welfare check and could I call them ASAP?), […]

A Hard Truth: Separation Anxiety Can Exact a Heavy Toll on Guardians

Hand adoring dog

One of my top goals is to spread hope about positive outcomes for dogs with separation anxiety. After working with many cases personally for many years and recently having witnessed the trainers I’ve trained be successful with their cases as well, I know that separation anxiety can be successfully resolved. Spreading this message of hope […]

Turning Off The Camera

Dog on camera selfie

Many sessions into our separation anxiety training to help Emma the Beagle cope with being alone, I felt like a prisoner. Driving away — really driving away, not driving somewhere to park and watch the video on my iPhone — was only possible if my husband or a pet sitter stayed with Ems. One morning […]

Separation Anxiety In Pet Owners

pet owners

Patricia McConnell had me at “separation anxiety.” But not in the way you might normally think. “I do indeed suffer from separation anxiety when I leave my dogs,” the renowned animal behaviorist and author said in her 2014 APDT conference keynote presentation. “I don’t know about you, but I’m already starting to stress lick,” she […]

The Exasperating Truth – Why Separation Anxiety Gets a Bad Rap

separation anxiety truth

For 14 years, I have specialized exclusively in separation anxiety and isolation distress, and in that time I have heard stories of great success and of heartbreaking failure. Something I often hear in the buzz around the metaphorical water cooler (the dog park, the beach, the trainers’ luncheons) is that separation anxiety is a disorder […]

Logic Doesn’t Apply to Separation Anxiety


There’s something symbolic about the remarkable rainstorm that is the backdrop of Ron and Dina as we talk on Skype; the two of them in Florida, me in California. I watch the exasperated faces of Hannah the Beagle’s guardians as they tell me how cruelly their beloved dog suffers when she’s left alone. It’s a […]

A Little Tech Yields Big Benefits

dog and technology

  Fellow trainers are often surprised to hear that I work completely remotely with most of my separation anxiety clients. All it takes is a little technology. To date, I have been able to resolve several hundred separation anxiety cases working this way and have taught many other trainers to do the same. This particular […]

Finding the Facts and Getting Support


One of my jobs is to serve as the initial point of contact for Malena DeMartini and the other trainers. In this job, I walk prospective clients through what a separation anxiety protocol will look like, take some history and empathize, empathize, empathize. By and large, the people who inquire are people whose dogs have […]

How Serious Is It and Does It Matter?

dog clues of severity

In working with various dog behavior disorders, including separation anxiety, we often categorize the level of severity. We talk about bite severity scales, how much the dog jumps, what the lack of impulse control is, how often he is pulling. We even address the pace of the dog’s learning curve. As a culture, we are […]

From Auspicious Beginnings To A Hard-Won Solution

dog beginning training

My second client ever (circa 2001) was a separation anxiety case. The dog’s name was Guinness, like the beer, and his guardians had found him sickly and tattered, scavenging for food somewhere on a California back road. They rescued him, bought him lifesaving medical treatments and nursed him back to health. Guinness was, under all […]