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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am on the brink of hiring a trainer, CSAT, to deal with Minnie’s separation anxiety. She is a perfect pup who we can take anywhere but she gets very anxious if left alone at home. We are closing on on two years old (in February) and I can see she is not going to “outgrow this”. Has anyone worked with a certified SAT specifically on this issue? Worked with Marlena Demartini or her team? I would love to hear about your experience and if it helped because this is a very costly training.
 

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Sorry to hear you’re struggling with separation with Minnie! We worked with Malena with Charlie’s anxiety, starting when he was a little under a year old. She was great and super helpful— she only came to our house once, and the rest of the coaching was done via video call (and this was almost 10 yrs ago so I’m sure there’s much better tech options now!) We were able to get his SA under control, but it definitely took a lot of work, and we were not able to leave him alone AT ALL during the training. We spent a lot of time ‘hiding’ in our stairwell as we worked on varying lengths of time (we’d work up, but also intersperse w shorter times so it wasn’t getting predictably longer).

My only question would be whether you’re sure it’s actual anxiety, or if she just isn’t thrilled when left alone. I’d be open to both at this point… Jo definitely is not the happiest when we leave, as she would rather be with us 24/7, but she doesn’t show signs of anxiety (pacing, howling, on alert the entire time we’re gone even when dead tired) like Charlie did. When we told people we were seeing a behaviorist for SA, I think they thought we were making it up… but now the term gets thrown around a lot. Partially I think that’s bc people didn’t get their dogs used to being left bc of COVID so they may have some distress, but it’s not always anxiety. Honestly, the procedure for getting Jo used to being left was pretty similar to the SA protocol— get them used to it in small intervals so they don’t go over threshold, and learn over time to be comfortable with absences.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Lisa, thanks for responding so quickly! I do remember you talking about hiding in the stairwell. 😃. I am reading Malena's second book and now have a clearer understanding of her process. I am not sure Jim and I can be diligent enough to do it without coaching. And yes, Minnie does show anxiety whenever I am away from her. She follows me constantly, does not eat or play with her toys until we return, watches at the door, whines or cries and sometimes scratches. I think we will have to bite the bullet and shell out even more cash for this dog that we love so very much.....
 

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We worked with a behavioralist with Charlotte for her anxiety. we don’t have a good handle if she has separation anxiety because ewe crate trqined her and when we go out for short periods of time ( up to 2 hours) we put her in her crate. She likes it there and feels safe there.

as well she is on Prozac. Prior to Prozac I could not go to the bathroom alone. Now that she is on Prozac she does not always have to be with me. She will stay in a room if I leave it now. I’m not advocating for meds, but it has helped Charlotte
 

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We worked with a behavioralist with Charlotte for her anxiety. we don’t have a good handle if she has separation anxiety because ewe crate trqined her and when we go out for short periods of time ( up to 2 hours) we put her in her crate. She likes it there and feels safe there.

as well she is on Prozac. Prior to Prozac I could not go to the bathroom alone. Now that she is on Prozac she does not always have to be with me. She will stay in a room if I leave it now. I’m not advocating for meds, but it has helped Charlotte
I suspect Charlotte's anxiety is more generalized. Dogs who specifically have separation anxiety are usually OK in other situations, and crating them usually doesn't help when left alone. They will often bloody themselves trying to escape from the crate if left alone in it. But meds are sometimes an appropriate adjunct to helping dogs with separation anxiety too, depending on the situation.
 
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Hi Sheila! Only chiming in to say that I’ve heard Malena on multiple podcasts when preparing to get Remy last year and I was able to find several more where she speaks on separation anxiety. It may be worth listening to a few to see if you can start utilizing some of her methodology while you are debating hiring a behaviorist? Good luck; Minnie is a sweetheart and clearly loves you to bits. Hoping she gets to a place where she feels more secure when you’re gone!
 
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