Having worked for Malena DeMartini for 2 years, having read her book multiple times and having attended 2 of her seminars (Fixing the Unfixable and Mission: Possible), I really thought I understood separation anxiety. Not enough to take on clients dealing with it- I’ll leave that to her and her brilliant Certified Separation Anxiety Trainers ( CSATs), but enough that I understood the complexities, the nuances and the intricacies that are involved in effective treatment.
I was wrong.
Thanks to her education and years of experience, Malena understands separation anxiety in ways that consistently blew my mind as we were working on the course Separation Anxiety- Mission: POSSIBLE. I thought I understood the importance of suspending absences, I thought I understood how to juggle criteria, and as a great example of a GIANT light bulb moment for me- I thought I understood why she doesn’t recommend introducing food toys at the beginning of a protocol. And I kind of did, but it really does come down to fine distinctions that can be easily overlooked. This little mic drop of wisdom from the course was truly eye-opening for me. I simply had not considered the time variances, and when it comes to separation anxiety- time is either your best friend or your worst enemy.
“Even for those dogs who seem to be enjoying their food, most often what we see is that once the food toy is consumed they resume their alone-time anxiety symptoms. What can be tricky about this is that we use the food toy as a distraction and we say, “Fluffy can be left alone for 20 minutes with her frozen Kong.” While that may be true, if Fluffy starts showing signs of distress within a few moments after finishing her food, then in actuality the only “true” alone-time is those few moments. This can be problematic too, since sometimes it will take the dog 20 minutes to finish consuming the toy and other days 15 minutes; as such we are going to be trying to create a complex balance of knowing when the food runs out so we can always re-enter then.” – Malena DeMartini
Separation Anxiety- Mission: POSSIBLE is a self-paced online course designed to help guardians of dogs suffering separation anxiety get the information they need to start their journey to alone-time success. Though it is aimed at guardians, it is chock full of these little light bulb moments that can so easily be missed in the training process. Successful treatment of separation anxiety is very much about the details. This snippet below of Malena’s interview with CSAT, Lisa Waggoner, is a perfect example of this and pertains to one of the most important aspects of the process: the management and suspension of absences.
One of our goals in creating this course together is to help more people understand separation anxiety and to help them find hope for overcoming this debilitating disorder. Another is to give them the tools to get started. Yet another is to get the right information into the hands of anyone interested in learning more about it. The internet is rife with misinformation, not only about separation anxiety, but about dogs in general, and the more knowledge we have, the better prepared we all are to create a better future for dogs: one in which their needs are understood and we all speak the same language.
You can read more about Separation Anxiety- Mission: POSSIBLE here. Our early bird sale has been extended until April 13th and you can get the course for 20% off using the code EARLYBIRD at checkout.