Head of the Class Dog Training LLC 

Winchester, VA

Winchester's Premium Professional Pet Training

Easing Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety With the Help of a CSAT

What Is a CSAT?

At Head of the Class Dog Training, we are dedicated to helping our clients through a variety of issues, with separation anxiety being one of the most important. For this reason I am a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer. CSATs are specially trained to help dogs and their owners overcome separation anxiety and the behavior challenges associated with this condition. This unique training offers positive reinforcement methods to help dogs overcome their anxiety.

Our Separation Anxiety Training Program

We understand the unique circumstances and challenges facing families with a dog with separation anxiety. We created our Separation Anxiety Behavioral Modification Programs with you in mind. Our training uses state-of-the-art techniques created by separation anxiety expert Malena DeMartini. Other trainings focus on the behavioral problems, but not on the underlying issues — the anxiety. Our program is different. With excellent advances in technology, we are able to support you and your dog via video chat from the comfort of your own home as we work through triggers and the actual anxiety. On average, seventy-three percent of dogs who go through separation anxiety training have had significant improvement and some have complete resolution. We think these are excellent success rates!

Our program consists of a free thirty-minute phone consultation to determine if this program is right for you. During the call, we’ll ask you to describe the behaviors you’re experiencing, as well as some of the techniques you’ve tried to address the situation. If we determine that your dog could benefit from this training, you’ll move on to the online video assessment to start forming your training program. You’ll receive:

  • Customized, step-by-step actions to take for each assignment
  • Weekly sessions up to 30 minutes with a trainer via Skype to measure progress
  • Frequent advice, problem-solving assistance and motivation
  • Feedback on your training notes

While there is no quick fix for separation anxiety, there are a number of techniques your dog needs from  you to ease anxiety and strengthen your relationship.

Does your dog panic when you leave him? I don’t mean simply pleading with you not to leave with his big brown eyes. We’re talking about a severe change in behavior when left alone or left by a certain person — barking, panicked actions, destructive behaviors. If these issues sounds familiar, your dog may suffer from separation anxiety. About fifteen percent of dogs in the United States suffer from this disorder.

To dog owners, it can feel like a paralyzing situation. There are frustrations over destroyed property. You may experience your own panic over not knowing what to do to help your dog. And your heart may be breaking watching how upset your dog gets each time you leave. The most important things to know are that you are not alone and there is help, right here in the area — and even if you are across the country!

For more information on our specialized training, please visit our separation anxiety page and fill out our online separation anxiety inquiry form. We are here to help you live a happy, fulfilled — and yes, relaxed — life with your dog.

~ Lisa

Lisa Marino, CPDT-KA, KPA-CTP, PMCT, has taken her varied teaching experiences and applied them to helping owners understand and train their beloved four-legged family members. She has more than four years’ experience leading group dog training classes at Best Paw Forward in Hartland, WI, and opened Head of the Class Dog Training LLC in Winchester, VA in 2012, where she conducts group classes and private lessons, as well as helps owners to modify their dogs' problem behaviors.Lisa earned her CPDT-KA in 2012, is a 2015 graduate of the prestigious Karen Pryor Academy and is a Pat Miller Certified Trainer.

What We Need From You

It’s very clear what we offer through our program, but let’s also lay out what your dog needs from you. As your dog’s favorite person, you’re going to be the most important piece of this puzzle! We need you to commit to:

  • Suspending absences during the training period. (We know it’s hard to adjust your schedule and solicit help, but the benefits are worth it!)

  • Commit to completing your five-day-a-week lessons, for approximately thirty minutes each day.
  • Attend the weekly online Skype-type lessons.
  • Provide detailed training notes to your trainer.
  • Commit to the full four-week program.
  • Ask any questions you have along the way. We’re here to help!