All About Anxiety

All About Anxiety

Anxiety is a normal behavior that occurs in most animals, however it becomes problematic, especially among companion dogs, when it escalates to harmful degrees of severity, intensity, or frequency. Understanding anxiety can be very confusing and overwhelming. It looks like fear or stress, but there are differences. It occurs in this situation but not that. Your vet says this, your trainer says that. A Google search results in conflicting information like: comforting anxiety makes it better, comforting anxiety makes it worse, anxious dogs are not being vindictive, problem dogs need discipline. Your neighbor wants you to try this oil, your coworker gives you that blog, and on and on. It can be enough to drive anyone crazy – which is why this event was created.

Join three different behavior professionals who regularly and successfully work with dog anxiety for two informative days. They will teach you to better understand anxiety as a whole, learn how it develops, and discover ways to help dogs finally get some relief. From dog lover to dog professional, this event is appropriate for all audiences.

All About Anxiety is a two-day, nine-hour conference that was recorded live on April 24 and 25, 2021. This course is the on-demand version and includes recording of live Q&A with presenters.


Moira Hechenleitner, DVM, CSAT

Moira HechenleitnerDr. Moira Hechenleitner graduated from Mayor University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2007, in Santiago, Chile. She is a Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer (CSAT), with a postgraduate in Animal-Assisted Therapy. Dr. Hechenleitner is a founding board member of the Chilean Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT Chile) and has worked as a canine behavior consultant for 11 years offering consultation services to pet owners, teaching courses to dog trainers, and giving seminars internationally. She currently resides in Mystic, Connecticut and helps dogs and their families from all over the world overcome separation anxiety.

Katenna Jones, ScM, ACAAB, CCBC, CDBC, CPDT-KA

Katenna Jones HeadshotThrough Jones Animal Behavior, Katenna Jones provides in-person and virtual behavior consultations as well as educational seminars to pet owners, rescues, and pet professionals. She speaks at international events, contributes to a wide variety of publications, and is author of Fetching the Perfect Dog Trainer: Getting the Best for You and Your Dog. Katenna began her career as a volunteer dog walker in 1999 and went on to earn her Master’s Degree from Brown University where she studied animal behavior, learning and cognition. Eventually, she became a cruelty investigator, worked for American Humane Association and also for the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. Katenna is an Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist, Certified Cat and Dog Behavior Consultant, Certified Pet Dog Trainer, and a Certified Fear Free Trainer. She shares her RI home with one husband, two cats, seven chickens, four ducks, and several thousand bees.

Erika Lessa, dip.CBST, CDBT, CDBC, CPDT-KA

Erika LessaErika’s career working with dogs unknowingly began almost 20 years ago when she adopted a dog with developing aggression issues. In the course of his rehabilitation she was introduced to the world of dog behavior. Her education was self-directed incorporating hands on experience, multiple apprenticeships, and several structured learning programs. She most recently received her Diploma in Canine Behavior Science & Technology from the Companion Animal Science Institute requiring approximately 500 course hours. Her professional certifications include Certified Dog Behavior Technologist, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, Certified Professional Dog Trainer Knowledge Assessed, and is a Fear-Free Certified Trainer. Professional memberships include Pet Professional Guild (PPG) and the Association of Pet Dog Trainers (APDT). She has been published in the IAABC Journal, local media outlets, as well as developed and co-presented webinars, workshops, and programs on canine social interactions. Erika has helped many shelters and rescues with adoption transition support for difficult-to-adopt and marginal dogs, and does staff and volunteer training in the area of behavior, enrichment, and building social groups. Currently, she is living with 3 rescue dogs of her own.


CEUs: 9hrs through CCPDT, IAABC, KPA, and PPG. Conference meets the requirements for 9 continuing education credits (CEUs) for Certified Professional Pet Sitters-CPPS®


The cost of the conference is $175.00. This includes access to the course from six months from the date of purchase. A non-profit/shelter discount is available – please email us at [email protected] for more information.

Session Descriptions

What Nobody Told You About Separation Anxiety - Moira Hechenleitner

Do you feel secretly uncomfortable when someone asks you to help them with their separation anxiety dog? Do you find yourself creating a behavior plan following a script that deep down doesn’t make sense to you? Knowing what separation anxiety is, how to find out when a dog is suffering from it, and what the most important aspects are will be crucial when deciding how to move forward in helping separation anxiety dogs, and it will be the highlight of this presentation. 

Separation Anxiety: Behavior Change in Action - Moira Hechenleitner

Are you tired of trying to help dogs overcome separation anxiety without seeing major changes? This presentation will take you through actual case studies with video from start to finish that include not only the importance of body language, but how following simple, and pragmatic training techniques can promote real progress, and take your behavior modification approach to the next level, helping you succeed when working with separation anxiety dogs.

Understanding Anxiety - Katenna Jones

Anxiety is normal for most species but becomes problematic when it is persistent, out of control, or excessive. It is a medical condition that is just as serious as any other, such as epilepsy or kidney disease. When we as human caregivers see excessive anxiety in our pets, we are obligated to alleviate that emotional pain exactly as we would if they were in physical pain. The best way to do that is to first understand anxiety. This session will dive into the details of anxiety, what it means, and what is happening inside the body as well the mind. Discover how it impacts daily life, the long-term effects, subtle signs to help  you spot it early, and more. 

The Reality of Adopting an Anxious Dog - Katenna Jones

With increasing frequency, behavior consultants are seeing adopted dogs with serious behavior problems and it is likely this trend will continue to rise. Occasionally, an adopter is specifically looking to rescue a problem dog, while others accidentally fall in love and commit to the work. However, in many cases the new adopters are stunned to find the happy dog they brought home is now a ball of anxiety. On the flip side, the rescue may have truly had no idea there was any anxiety when placing the dog, or inadvertently minimized the severity of the staff favorite’s issues. In all cases, everyone was of course well intentioned and truly thought they understand anxiety and what it takes to address it. Unfortunately, unless they’ve lived through the resolution of real anxiety, the vast majority of people do not truly realize the magnitude of the impact that will occur emotionally, physically and financially. In this session, real anxiety cases will be discussed from the perspective of the rescue as well as the adopter, along with a review of what it took to address the case.

Identifying Anxiety in a Multi-Dog Home - Erika Lessa

In multiple dog homes, dogs are communicating with one another constantly. These conversations are full of complexity. Learning about body language, watching the movements of dogs with each other during daily events, and understanding their choices can help you support their needs. Whether you have a long established social group or have recently added a dog, this talk will help you identify signs of anxiety, how to provide relief, and what it means for your entire family.

Anxiety and Aggression in a Multi-Dog Home - Erika Lessa

For our pet dogs, anxiety is a common factor in aggressive events. Dogs may appear to be “fine” and all of the sudden, someone gets bitten. Tolerance has a shelf life and can eventually run out. An anxious dog may be experiencing bullying by a housemate, or struggling to keep possession of things like food, toys, or resting areas and discovers the effectiveness of aggression. The discussion will include the cumulative impact of multiple anxiety-provoking events, also known as trigger stacking, how best to handle events in real time, management strategies, and anxiety reduction options. 


This was a great conference on a much needed topic. The content was appropriate for dog owners struggling with an anxious pet all the way to experienced professionals. It was great to have three experts all in one place. I would be interested in attending any future conferences from this panel. – Jocelyn Cobb

A weekend well spent with three luminaries of the animal behavior world. While I’ve enjoyed in person conferences a great deal in the past, I have a new appreciation for the dramatically scaled back commitment of time, cost and sartorial investment (Learning in your jammies!) Highlights include soap box moments, excellent use of graphics to provide added context and the willingness to discuss difficult subject matters in specific detail. Smart and courageous. – Jim O’Neill

Presenters:u003cbru003eMoira Hechenleitner, DVM, CSATu003cbru003eKatenna Jones, ScM, ACAAB, CCBC, CDBC, CPDT-KAu003cbru003eErika Lessa, dip.CBST, CDBT, CDBC, CPDT-KA

All About Anxiety On Demand

6 months of access

Welcome and Understanding Anxiety by Katenna Jones

Identifying Anxiety in a Multi-Dog Home by Erika Lessa

What Nobody Told You About Separation Anxiety by Moira Hechenleitner and Daily Wrap Up

Welcome and Separation Anxiety: Behavior Change in Action by Moira Hechenleitner 

Anxiety and Aggression in a Multi-Dog Home by Erika Lessa

The Reality of Adopting an Anxious Dog by Katenna Jones and Conference Wrap Up