Show cover of Be Right Back! The Separation Anxiety Podcast

Be Right Back! The Separation Anxiety Podcast

How do I get my dog over separation anxiety? How can I leave my dog without him constantly barking or me coming back to destruction? These are just some of the big questions that dog separation anxiety specialist, Julie Naismith, tackles in her podcast. The podcast episodes are packed with how-to guides, step-by-step training blueprints, and tips and tricks to survive separation anxiety. Each episode is packed with tips, tricks and actionable steps. And Julie also shares her story of how she and her dog survived separation anxiety.


102 Navigating Your Dog's Separation Anxiety Through the Holiday Season
Are you uncertain about how the holiday season will impact your dog's separation anxiety? In this latest podcast episode, we address the common concerns and questions surrounding separation anxiety during this time of year. We're diving into the potential effects of holiday routines and we'll look at practical advice on whether to continue training during this period. Learn how to manage your dog's separation anxiety during holiday travels and get tips on what to expect if you take a break from training. Embrace the upcoming holiday season with confidence and look forward to a motivated start in January. Tune in for all my insights and tips. Meanwhile, if you're ready to make 2024 the year you smash separation anxiety, join the waitlist for my private membership, Separation Anxiety Heroes. 
13:47 12/21/23
101 Separation Anxiety and the House Training Conundrum with Kathleen McClure
Struggling with a dog who soils the house? Not sure whether it’s anxiety or a house training issue? . Well, if this is your dog, you don’t need me to tell you how frustrating it is. That’s why, in this episode I’m  joined by Kathleen McClure, a Certified SA Pro who also has a partcular focus on house training. Kathleen and I had a fascinating conversation about dogs who go in the house.  Here are 5 key takeaways:  1. What the difference is between house training issues related to anxiety and those that aren’t.   2. The importance of reinforcement and creating positive associations for desired behaviors, and why house training is no exception. 3. How to prevent future accidents and manage your dog's behavior to set them up for success.  4. How to change your dog's emotions and reduce fear if they only have accidents when you're away.  5. Why some dogs may avoid eliminating in front of their owners if they feel scared or unsafe. So, whether you're battling separation anxiety or struggling with house training, join me and Kathleen as we dive into expert strategies that will transform your dog's behavior.  To find out more about Kathleen and how she can help you, check out Kathleen's self-paced online course and one-on-one coaching to get the personalized support you need on your dog's journey to house training success. You can get more info at: For information on how to work with me, click here. To get a copy of my bestselling book, click here.     
35:26 11/5/23
100 Ten Things I’d Tell My Younger Self About My Dog’s Separation Anxiety
Imagine being able to send a letter to your past self, filled with wisdom and advice about the challenging road ahead with a dog who has separation anxiety. Today, I’m doing just that. I’ll share the 10 key lessons that I wish I knew 13 years ago, from the emotional ups and downs to the importance of ignoring opinions and seeking expert advice. For information on how I can help you, visit my website:
28:59 10/21/23
099 Is There Actually a Cure for Separation Anxiety in Dogs?
In this episode, we're diving into a topic that many of you may have considered: can we ever really cure separation anxiety?  Is it possible to fully and finally get dogs over this condition such that they have a normal response to being left alone—a permanent change that we might describe as a cure? Well, join me as I look at what we really mean by separation anxiety recovery. I’ll explain why I think talk of curing or fixing is unhelpful. And I’ll explore the reality of recovery and ongoing management. I'll also discuss why the return of old fears doesn't mean recovery is unattainable. Whether you're dealing with a panicky dog or a FOMO-dog who fears missing out, this episode is packed with insights and strategies to help both you and your pup. So grab a seat, tune in, and let’s delve in what it really means to get a dog over separation anxiety.  For more information on how I can help you get a dog you can leave, visit  
31:33 10/13/23
098 The Two Minute Rule: Your Secret Weapon Against Training Procrastination
If you’ve ever put off separation anxiety training, you are definitely not alone. Procrastination in training is such a common issue. Human brains are naturally inclined to seek immediate rewards, and a session of separation training definitely doesn't deliver that. It's all about long-term pay back. No wonder then, that it can be easy to put training off.  But there's a nifty hack I want to share with you, that will help you bust procrastination. It’s called the Two Minute Rule.  And no, it’s in no way related to how long food is safe on the floor after being dropped.  This rule is all about setting a 2-minute limit for a task. It might seem weird, but doing this surprisingly motivates us to continue beyond that short time limit.  And in this episode, we delve into the science behind procrastination, how the Two Minute Rule generates a sense of accomplishment, and how it can help you get started when you’d rather do anything else but separation anxiety training.  Remember, separation anxiety training isn't about instant gratification. It's a long-term investment for your dog’s wellbeing (and your wellbeing too!). Which is why I love the Two Minute Rule: it helps us manage our motivation for training sessions and conquer feelings of procrastination.  So, if you've been putting off training, tune in and discover the power of the Two Minute Rule to overcome your training hurdles. For more information on how separation anxiety training works, grab my free cheat sheet by clicking here. 
15:53 7/29/23
097 Separation Anxiety: Revealing the Truth Behind Social Media Misinformation
In today's episode, we're diving deep into the world of social media and its impact on our understanding of separation anxiety in dogs. We'll explore the myths, misconceptions, and misinformation that often circulate online, and how they can confuse and derail us when trying to help our pups.  From miracle cures to blaming owners for their dogs' anxiety, we'll debunk at the big social media myths, and I'll share what the real truth actually is. We'll also discuss the importance of being critical consumers of information, especially when it comes to our dogs' health and wellbeing. So, whether you're scrolling through TikTok, Instagram, or Threads, join me as I share my tips for navigating the digital landscape to find information on separation anxiety you can truly trust. For more information on how I can help, visit To download my free cheat sheet on separation anxiety, click here. 
19:44 7/21/23
096 Is Separation Anxiety Training Actually Futile? No. Here's Why
Ever wondered if all the separation anxiety training you do is actually worth it? Well, that very topic came up during a recent group coaching Zoom with my Separation Anxiety Heroes members. And it made me think: is separation anxiety training actually ever a waste of time? Well, I’m passionate that it is a worthwhile endeavor. Admittedly, while the gradual exposure method works for most dogs, there are some dogs that do not respond to this type of training and never recover from separation anxiety.  However, even for these dogs, training is not futile. That’s why in this episode I set out the three big reasons why you aren’t wasting your time. And why it does pay to give separation anxiety training your best shot. For more information on how separation anxiety training works, check out my free cheat sheet. Click here to get your download.  
18:32 7/16/23
095 A Hard Truth: Why Not Leaving Your Dog Is Ridiculously Tough, But Absolutely Necessary
One of the hardest things I ever have to tell anyone is that to get their dog over separation anxiety, they need to find ways not to leave their dog in the meantime. It never goes down well. And I get that. I mean, when you get a dog the last thing you sign up for is not even being able to go out to get a pint of milk without your dog howling down the house. But the thing is, in order for the gold standard separation anxiety treatment (gradual exposure) to work, we have to stop dogs having exposure to scary alone time. I do get how impossibly hard this can be, though. I wouldn't suggest it if there were any other way.  That's why, in this latest episode, I explain why we need to do this. And I dive into what you might do if you're struggling to get your head round this crazy concept.  Tune in to find out more. Meanwhile, if you need my help in getting your dog over separation anxiety, you can download this free cheat sheet or visit my website. 
31:59 6/23/23
094 Understanding the Problems with Punishment: An Interview with Dr. Karolina Westlund.
On this episode of Be Right Back! Separation Anxiety Podcast, I get to chat to the brilliant Dr. Karolina Westlund, a huge name in the world of animal behaviour. Our focus? The use of punitive approaches in dog training, and in particular the problems associated with punishment. Karolina has identified 20 major pitfalls linked to punishment (she says there are likely even more!), and, in our discussion, she highlights some of the key issues. If you like the science of animal behaviour, and love a geek out, you'll be hooked by this one! To dive into Karolina's blog, click here. To get my free guide on how to get your dog over separation anxiety using gentle, kind methods, click here.     
50:17 6/3/23
093 Beyond Obedience: Teaching Your Dog How to Feel Safe in a Daunting World
Join me in the latest episode of "Be Right Back! Separation Anxiety Podcast", where I explain the single most important lesson we can teach our dogs: that they are safe. In the episode, we also look at how to keep dogs safe, and why must prioritize our dog's emotional well-being above all else. We'll explore why the use of unethical, aversive training tools exploits a dog's need to be safe, and dissect why these tools can be so damaging.  We'll also dive into how understanding dog body language is crucial in identifying dogs' discomfort or fear.  If you're keen on creating a secure and fear-free world for your dog (and I know you are), this episode is a must-listen! Got a dog who's scared of being alone? I can help! Check out my free guide.
32:46 5/19/23
092 Vacation and Travel Plans? What to Do When Routine Changes Affect Your Training
Planning a getaway and worried about how a routine change will impact your dog's separation anxiety, especially if you've been investing time in separation anxiety training? In this latest episode of Be Right Back! Separation Anxiety podcast, we dive into the world of routine changes, exploring the effects of going away and taking a break from training on our pups. Tune in to get my expert tips and strategies to help you and your dog navigate these changes with ease. Discover what to expect when you return, and how to smoothly transition back into your training routine. If you're at all worried about the challenges of balancing travel and separation anxiety training, you won't want to miss this episode.  To learn more about how to work with me, visit For a free cheat sheet on separation anxiety training mistakes to avoid, click here.    
18:24 5/5/23
091 From Abandoned to Adored: How one Non-Profit is Helping Rescue Dogs with Separation Anxiety
Join me for an inspiring and informative episode where I interview Jenni Pfafman and Amanda Dwyer. Jenni and Amanda are on the board of the Humane Alliance of Rescue Trainers (HART) a non-profit organization that connects shelter and rescue organizations with credentialed, professional trainers. HART's trainers donate their time to support variety of behaviour cases remotely. Their training advice provides crucial support for new adopters, increasing the chances of successful placements.  And in this interview we talk about how those trainers help adopters who've taken on a dog who can't be left alone. Don't miss out on this discussion about how HART is changing the lives of shelter and rescye dogs and the people who love them! Links in this episode: Humane Alliance of Rescue Trainers About Jenni Pfafman and Amanda Dwyer To find out how I can help you with separation anxiety, whether you have a rescue dog or not, start with this free cheatsheet.
36:55 4/25/23
090 How to Take the Pressure off and Prevent Training Burnout
On this episode of Be Right Back! Separation Anxiety Podcast, we're talking about training burnout. Following on from our discussion in the last episode when we considered what to do when you want to give up, in this episode we look at how to take the pressure off if you do want to keep pushing through. I'm going to share my 5 tips for making training feel less like a burden, less like your full-time job. And instead I show you how you can reset, so that you no longer dread training and stop hating everything about it. If this sounds like you, make sure you tune in! To find out more about how I can help with your dog's separation anxiety, visit my website: And for more free training tips, download this cheat sheet.
26:19 4/17/23
089 Does It Ever Make Sense To Give Up on Desensitization?
Desensitization is the tried and trusted method for separation anxiety. But it’s true that it can take time. It's not the most fun training process. And it doesn't work for every dog.  So is it ever right to say you’ve given it your best shot and are giving up? Well, in this episode, I want to take you through 5 questions to help you make that decision. I don't want you to give up because I see over and over how powerful this method can be.  But if you're feeling like you're done, I do at least want you to be certain that you're doing the right thing. Meanwhile, if you feel like you don't want to give up, and would like more help, here are some resources for you. Join my free Facebook support group. Check out my membership, Separation Anxiety Heroes, where people like you are getting their dogs over separation anxiety every day.  Download my free separation anxiety training guide.   
29:22 4/8/23
088 Know Better, Do Better: Trainer Tips for Forgiving the Innocent Mistakes We All Made in the Past
Discovering that your dog has separation anxiety hits hard. One of the biggest emotions to deal with the remorse we feel for not knowing.  We beat ourselves up because we left a dog who couldn't be left. We berate ourselves for missing the signs that now seem so obvious. But, as natural as it is to feel bad about what we did when we didn't know better, we do need to let go. Hanging on to that guilt isn't good for us. And it's not good for our dog. That's why in this episode I'm sharing what trainers what you to know about letting go of those feelings. Inspired by the my amazing Certified Separation Anxiety Pros, I explain why it's so important to look forward, not back. And give you some tips on how to do that. If you want to work privately with a Certified Separation Anxiety Pros, check out the listing on my website. And if you want to work with me, you can start by downloading this free cheat sheet.    
13:39 3/31/23
087 Want to Make Daycare Work for Your Dog? Here's How
When you have a dog with separation anxiety, you do your best to find ways not to leave them. Daycare is an obvious solution. But the problem is, not every dog loves daycare, and not every daycare centre is right for dogs with separation anxiety. However, at a well run daycare, dogs of all ages and personalities can benefit, including dogs with separation anxiety. In this episode, I'm going to share my advice for what to look for in a great daycare. And I give you my tips for how to sniff out the best doggie daycares in your area. *** Download the free guide to separation anxiety training here.  For more podcast episodes visit  
25:11 3/25/23
086 Smug People and their "Perfect" Dogs: How to Not Let Them Make You Feel Like a Failure
Let’s face it, people who’ve never had a dog with separation anxiety can be smug! They tell us about their "perfect" dog who "never had any issues being left." And they quiz us about why we "still" can't leave our dog (accompanied by yet more eye rolling). Does this sound familiar? I'm guessing it might! If so, tune into this episode where I'll be sharing my top strategies to stop their smugness making you feeling like a failure. Links For a free guide on the 6 Mistakes to Avoid when you're getting your dog over separation anxiety, click here. To join my free Dog Separation Anxiety Support group, click here. 
19:49 3/18/23
085 What to Do When Your Dog Can’t Be Alone, But Is Dog and People Reactive Too – with Jennifer Pratt
Having a dog who can't be left is hard enough. But for some dogs, being around strange people or dogs is also a challenge. When this happens, it can feel like your options for managing alone-time are almost non-existent. In this podcast episode, I'm thrilled to be speaking with Jennifer Pratt. Jennifer is expert in both separation anxiety AND dogs who are fearful and agressive when out in the world. Jennifer shares her tips for working through this dilemma, using her insight not only from the many clients she's helped, but also from the learning she gained with her own dog, Mary-Lou. If you're feeling like there's no hope for you and your dog, make sure you give this episode a listen!
44:48 3/11/23
084 Sophie the Romanian Rescue—Helping a Dog Who’s Scared of the World with Simon Wooler
In this episode, we're not talking about separation anxiety. Instead we're looking at how to help a dog with different fears. Tune in to hear my interview with Simon Wooler. Simon has been working with Sophie the Romanian Rescue and her family, Rory Cellan-Jones and Diane Coyle. It's a wonderful, heartwarming story. Not only will you love Sophie and her humans, you'll love Simon's adivce for anyone working with a fearful dog.  *** About Simon Wooler Simon is a qualified trainer, certified by the Academy for Dog Trainers, one of the most rigorous dog behaviour and training programmes in the world. He has been training dogs for the past twelve years, specialising in fear and aggression. He has worked as a volunteer trainer for Black Retriever Cross Rescue in Wiltshire. His goal is always to help owners feel confident, in control and enjoy training their dogs because when it comes to success, having fun through the process is part of delivering a great result. Simon came to dog training after 20 years as a sound engineer so loud barking hardly registers on his personal decibel scale. His own troubled dog, Thomson, was the motivator for seeking out effective, evidence-based training methods. If you would like Si's help with your fearful dog, his website is You can also find Simon on Twitter, where he's shared updates on Sophie. And of course you can follow Sophie's adventures on Rory Cellan-Jones' Twitter account.  Meanwhile, back to separation anxiety. :) If you have a dog with separation anxiety you can download my free guide here.     
54:46 3/4/23
083 4 Reasons Force-Free is the Only Choice for Separation Anxiety Training
Force-free training is kind, ethical, and highly effective. I'm passionate that it's the only way to train dogs. But I'm especially passionate that there is absolutely no other way to train dogs with separation anxiety. In the episode I explain Why you can't treat fear with fear How attempting to punish out anxiety is cruel, ineffective and risky, and Why coercive, harsh training methods can actually make a dog more anxious about being left. Tune in to find out more. For more information on how I can help you: Visit my website: Grab a copy of my book, Be Right Back!, the global bestselling book on separation anxiety. Download my free guide to separation anxiety training.
22:23 2/25/23
082 The One Critical Question You Need To Ask Each Time You Train
Gradually expose your dog to increasing amounts of alone time: That’s what I call the 'tight' rule of separation anxiety training. It applies universally to all dogs undergoing separation anxiety training.  But underneath that universal, tight rule, lie many different ways of applying training to each dog. Yes, it's that "it depends" factor you'll keep hearing about.  I’ve worked with so many dogs, that I’ve seen countless “it depends!” Overall, though, it comes back one simple question: does a particular factor make things better or worse for any one dog? It's a crucial question to ask.  Essentially, we're working out whether something makes training more or less achievable for your dog. And that's why, in this podcast, I explain this concept (in dog trainer-speak we might talk about "setting events" or "antecedents"). But more importantly, I tell you how to apply this thinking to your dog, and your training, so that you increase your chances of success. Links Learn more about separation anxiety training Podcast episode on cues      
25:05 2/18/23
081 Motivation: 7 Easy Tips to Help You Regain Your Training Mojo
By the time we get to February it can be easy to feel flat about all the good intentions we had in January, can't it? Maybe you set yourself goals to start separation anxiety training with your dog, but somehow never did. Or perhaps you got off to the races only to find life got in the way. If this sounds like you, then make sure to tune into this episode all about motivation. I'll be sharing my 7 top tips to help you get back into the training groove (or to get started if you stalled!) The tips are easy, simple, and quick to do. After all, the last thing you need, when you have a dog with separation anxiety, is more overwhelmed!    
32:35 2/11/23
080 What Do We Really Mean by "Evidence" and Why Does That Matter?
We here a lot about "evidence" in dog training. But do we always know what we mean when we describe an approach as being "evidence-based"? And what about research and studies? We know these matter but we also know that there isn't a study for every single thing we do in dog training.  Sometimes that’s a problem. Sometimes it’s not. And in this episode I dive into what we mean by evidence-based, how prior probability plays a part, and where the burden of proof lies when making a claim about a dog training method. Learn more at Links mentioned Sketpvet blog Summary of research on separation anxiety (1) Summary of research on separation anxiety (2)      
22:00 2/4/23
079 Percy and the Mystery of the Great Regression
I always say regressions can happen – but didn’t expect it to happen to Percy. Not after all these years! But in summer 2022, we discovered that Percy was struggling when we left. Percy, the dog who, we thought, had left home-alone anxiety behind him, was now barking when we were out.  In this episode, I dive into what exactly was going on. How it was such a relief when I worked it out. And what I did to get Percy back on track. 
26:03 1/27/23
078 Why it’s Not Your Fault – Or Your Dog’s Fault Either
You may have heard me say that your dog’s separation anxiety is not your fault. You didn’t cause your dog’s home alone issues. I’ve been where you are and I know how much judgment you have to deal with, and how much guilt you can end up having when you have a dog with SA. But it's not your dog‘s fault either. That’s why, in this episode, I explain what‘s really going on with your dog, and why he or she is not trying to turn your world upside down. He can’t help how he feels and just wants you to help him feel better when you leave. Tune in to find out more. To find out more about how I can help you help your dog, visit my website.
22:05 1/20/23
077 Can “Calming“ Music Really Soothe Your Anxious Dog?
You've most likely seen ads or posts about “calming“ music for dogs, and how it can transform a nervous pup into a dog who confidently aces alone time.  But is this really the case, or is this yet another separation anxiety myth? If you do use music when you leave, you might also have heard that you'll make things worse by tipping off your dog. But is this so? There's lots of misinformation about using music (and TV and other noise for that matter).  That's why in this episode of the Be Right Back! Live Podcast, I dive into the topic of music: when to use it, how it can help, and what it can really do for your home alone dog.
22:41 1/13/23
076 Why Board and Train is Such Bad News for Dogs with Separation Anxiety
It can seem like an obvious solution to your dog’s separation anxiety: send your dog off to a trainer for two weeks and get his separation anxiety magically cured. As tempting as it sounds, board and train is never the answer to separation anxiety. In this podcast episode, I explain exactly why.
28:11 1/6/23
075 The Truth about Whether Your Anxiety Caused Your Dog's Anxiety
Anxious people create anxiety in their dogs, don't they? Perhaps you've been told that. Perhaps you've thought that. It seems so plausible that it must be true, right? Well, not so fast. There isn't a ton of evidence, especially as it relates to separation anxiety.  That's why in this podcast I debunk this theory, and explain why it's unhelpful, limited thinking.  Tune in to find out more.
15:39 12/23/22
074 How To Deal With Judgy Comments and Unhelpful Advice This Festive Season
It’s that time of year: gathering with friends and family for cosy times, festive food, and…conversations about your dog.  If it feels like everyone you know is an expert in separation anxiety then you’re probably bracing yourself for heaps of unsolicited, unhelpful advice, from people who mean well, but who just don’t get it.  Or maybe, you’re not going anywhere because you can’t leave your dog, and you’ve already had the advice. “Just leave him - it’s only a few hours”, and so on. You know how it goes. If this resonates with you, then tune into my latest podcast episode, where I dive into the most common bits of advice, and least helpful questions that I hear pet parents dealing with over and over again.  And for each one, I’ve shared my tips on how to handle them. I do hope that you enjoy this festive season. Try not to stress too much about your dog. Instead take a break (if you can) and I’ll see you in January, re-energized for some serious separation anxiety training. Are you in?
14:50 12/18/22
073 All About Dogs and Pain With Canine Rehab Expert Sue Van Evra
Increasingly research shows the link between pain and behavior in dogs. While it’s not the only reason dog’s present with behavioral challenges, it can be a significant contributing factor. And that’s why in the episode I chat with canine rehabilitation specialist, Sue Van Evra. Sue is the person we go to when our dogs, India and Percy, are feeling stiff and sore. She’s helped them deal with lots of different challenges including back pain and hip soreness.  But more than that, with her guidance on preventative physiotherapy, India and Percy have remained sprightly and active in a way that belies their age.  I joke that they do more physio than me. Actually, it’s not a joke – they do! In this interview with Sue we discuss: How we, as dog parents, can learn to spot pain in our dogs. What we should do when we do suspect our dogs are in pain. How physical therapy and rehabilitation can help dogs of all ages. What you can do if you have a dog who’s been prescribed crate-rest but who freaks when crated (hint: the crucial word here is “rest).  Tune in to hear our chat about these topics, and many more. About Sue Van Evra Sue obtained her Physiotherapy Degree from McMaster University in 1993 (after completing both honors and Master’s degrees in Physiology from the University of Western Ontario).   Sue has spent the last 29 years working as a physiotherapist in outpatient orthopedics with humans, and first started studying Canine Rehabilitation in 2006.  Sue obtained a Diploma in Canine Rehabilitation through the Animal Rehabilitation Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association and has worked at the Canine Fitness Centre in Calgary since 2016.  She continues to treat humans (mostly dog lovers!) at Two Hands Physiotherapy – located within the Canine Fitness Centre.  Since December 2021 Sue has also been working at the Canmore Vet Hospital rehabilitating dogs.  Sue is passionate about learning and problem solving and has completed many advanced courses (both human and canine rehab) to better be able to assess and treat patients effectively.  Sue is a huge dog-lover and her passion for the canine world makes her excited to be able to work with dogs and to use her experience and in-depth knowledge of physiotherapy principles to rehabilitate the canine population! Sue is on the Advocacy Committee for the Animal Rehabilitation Division of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. How to work with Sue If you live in Southern Alberta then your lucky dogs can get to work with Sue. You can find Sue at the Canine Fitness Centre in Calgary and at the Canmore Veterinary Hospital. 
40:19 11/24/22

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