New Horizons Veterinary Behavior Solutions

300 Somonauk St.
Park Forest, IL 60466


Separation Anxiety Videos from Debbie Martin, RVT, VTS (Behavior), CPDT-KA, KPA CTP                  

These wonderful videos are being provided with permission from Debbie Martin (click the link to learn more about Debbie), a registered veterinary technician and certified pet dog trainer from Veterinary Behavior Consultations, LLC.  Debbie made these videos for a presentation through the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and also presented them at the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC), they are from the Veterinary Behavior Consultants Video Resource webpage.

These videos demonstrate training independence and desensitization to owner departure cues as part of a treatment for Separation Anxiety.


Debbie uses the Treat and Train System  (formerly called the Manners Minder) in her training and in many of these videos, this is a remote treat dispenser developed by Veterinarian and Animal Behaviorist, Dr. Sophia Yin.  

An exciting new version of a remote treat dispenser is now also available called the PET TUTOR

Demo dog: Iliana- 3 yo, Malinois

Trainer: Debbie Martin



Video #1: Clicker Training down stay on a mat: In this video the distance of the owner from the dog and the duration of the stay is varied. The click is given when the owner is at a distance from the dog.  The treat is tossed to reset the dog for the next repetition.  Prior to adding duration and distance the dog was taught to go to the bed on cue ("Place").


Video #2: Remote treat dispenser to reward staying on the mat: A Treat and Train or Manners Minder (remote treat dispenser) is used to reward the dog for remaining on the mat, while the owner walks away.  The owner has a remote that controls when the machine dispenses the treat. This also disassociates the reward from the owner.


Video #3: Tethered food storage toy to help teach independence: A food stuffed toy is tethered to a fixed point by the dog's bed.  The owner is then able to gradually move away to help build independence.  The toy is tethered to prevent the dog from picking it up and following the owner.


Video #4: Remote treat dispenser to counter condition the sound of keys: Many dogs with separation anxiety start to become anxious when they perceive the owner is preparing to leave. This is an example of using a remote treat dispenser to change the meaning of and emotional response associated with the jingle of keys.


Video #5: Desensitization to Planned Departure: This is a training session to teach the dog to become comfortable with the steps leading up to an actual departure. It is a combination of the relaxed down stay on a mat with departure cues.  Safety cues (music and bed) signify to the dog that this is training.  Until the owner has progressed in training to being able to leave the dog for gradually longer periods of time, the safety cues would not be used with an actual departure.  The owner should progress in a gradual manner and the dog should remain relaxed at all times.