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Separation Anxiety and Current Research: Time to Toss Grandma’s Training Plan?

May 7

7:00 am PT

This talk is eligible for CEUs from: CCPDT, IAABC, KPA


Separation anxiety is a profoundly prevalent issue that affects millions of dogs around the world. It is also the most researched behavior problem in dogs over the last four decades. Most of the research has concentrated on the risk factors, medication options, and symptoms of separation anxiety; however, we see more recent studies pointing more closely at innovative training solutions. For many years training protocols for separation anxiety relied heavily on counter-conditioning, replacement behaviors, operant training, and confinement. As the research moves forward, we see these aspects of separation anxiety training protocols take a step aside in favor of systematic desensitization. In this presentation, we will explore the systematic desensitization process to achieve successful resolution with separation-related problems, and we will look at the various components of the research to understand some of the nuanced aspects of this challenging behavior.

Presented By:

Malena DeMartini, CTC

Malena DeMartini, CTC, (she/her) is renowned in the dog training world for her work on canine separation anxiety (SA) disorder. Her book, Treating Separation Anxiety in Dogs, in addition to her newly published book, Separation Anxiety in Dogs: Next Generation Treatment Protocols and Practices, has helped countless numbers of dogs. Her online course for guardians, Mission: POSSIBLE, has proven to be an invaluable resource in the industry and the success rate realized through the course is tremendous. In addition to writing and lecturing worldwide, Malena oversees a team of top SA trainers and runs an internationally accessible certification program for accomplished dog professionals looking to hone their skills. Malena is passionate about furthering education in this field through science-based methods. Resources about separation anxiety and support with training can be found at