I have a Maltese Yorkie who has been diagnosed with anxiety, multiple vets want to medicate him, however this isn’t the way id like to deal with the problem. He doesn’t seem to have any real triggers he is just constantly anxious, in fact we have to keep the blinds shut because seeing outside causes him to bark nonstop and be unable to relax. Bentley licks compulsively and will not eat unless he chases a ball first, he will cry at the bowl until a ball is thrown. Recently he has also become unwilling to go outside unless a person goes with him (our other dog always goes and waits for him but he won’t leave the step without a human) on walks (which we go on twice a day) he is completely fine and happy. I’m not sure how to fix his anxious tendancies. I’m worried he is not as happy as he could be. Any advice out there would be great.
Thank you both for the reply. We had noticed the beginnings of arthritis about a year ago, and our vet recommended we put her on a glucosamine regimen. Although I’m sure she experiences some level of discomfort from the arthritis, it hasn’t seemed to stop her from running outside or playing frisbee. She does seem to be experiencing some cognitive confusion, which may well be a result of her diminishing senses. She is better today, in terms of the panting and trembling…but she has still chosen to isolate herself in a corner bathroom, and is sleeping most of the day. But, she is calmer than is previous days. She does have a Vet appointment soon, so we will raise your suggestions then. Like with Lady, I just have been unprepared to seriously consider my life without her…but I would never want to subject her to misery, if it seems she has no quality of life. Again, thank you both for the reply.
Do not allow your dog to bite you, even playfully. This sets a bad precedent and it will be difficult for you to break them of this habit. Dangerous, aggressive dogs will need special training from an experienced dog trainer. In some cases, a veterinary behaviorist will need to become involved. At no time should you take on an aggressive dog without the proper training. It is too dangerous.
Laying a solid training foundation will make life with your dog easier and more fun. If you’re not sure where to start, sign up for an in-person obedience class; there’s no better way to train your dog than to practice with an expert IRL. You can also follow any of the helpful links above, and check out our blog archives for additional tips and tricks.
The time it takes to train a dog varies according to the dog and what you’re attempting to train. Housetraining a puppy usually only takes a few weeks, if adhering to a proven training system with a typically intelligent puppy. Beginner behavioral or “manners” training courses typically run 6 weeks. Obedience training typically takes 2-3 sessions per new skill—if you are practicing with your dog multiple times a day in between sessions, and if your dog is young.
Slip collars (commonly called choke chain or check chains) are made of metal links or rolled material such as nylon or leather. A metal ring is at each end. Historically, slip collars have been used as a matter of course, mostly in North America and the UK. In the last few decades use of these collars has declined. Correctly used, the collar should make a quick clicking not zipping sound when quickly snapped and released to startle or get the attention of the dog and indicate to the handler that the technique was a swift jerk not a choke. The idea is not to strangle the dog, though this can happen if the collar is improperly used.
5. Learn your dog’s body language. Your dog constantly communicates how she’s feeling, and the better you understand what she’s saying, the easier it can be to avoid stressful situations. Something that was fine for her last week might be too much for her to cope with today due to a phenomenon called trigger stacking (an increase in anxiety-related behaviors caused by the dog experiencing repeated stressful events without enough time in between for the associated stress hormones to leave her system). Avoid this by keeping an eye out for signs that tell you how your dog is feeling.
A dog also used to become anxious when we leave the house. This is also called separation anxiety. I helped my dog with that by doing desensitization and counter-conditioning exercises. The important thing with desensitization however, is that I had to make sure to prevent panic attacks from recurring. Each panic attack will undermine my dog’s confidence, make him even more anxious, and his behavior will worsen.
You may find that an older dog latches on to housebreaking at a faster pace than a younger puppy. Housebreaking is most efficiently taught by taking your new puppy outside at any point at which you believe he or she needs to use the bathroom. Most frequently puppies will need to go after waking up, after playing, after eating, after drinking, as well as first thing in the morning and first thing at night. Larger dogs will need to go to the bathroom considerably less than puppies throughout the day, but when housetraining they should be taken outside after sleeping and after eating as well as first thing in the morning and first thing at night.
You should also consider bringing in a professional if your dog exhibits behavior that makes you nervous (like growling or biting), particularly if you have young children in your home. It’s safest to begin behavioral modification with a professional when a dog first starts exhibiting troublesome behaviors rather than waiting for them to take root. As the expression goes, dog rarely grow out of problem behaviors, they grow into them.
Another update on our senior German Shepherd: Our precious girl, Buca, has been on generic Prozac for anxiety and canine cognitive dysfunction for a little over 9 months now. It has really helped! She is now 11-1/2, and at some point the vet cut her prozac down to 20 mg. a day. We also give her a glucosamine for arthritis daily. She still suffers anxiety with bells and buzzers on the television – definitely prefers us to have the TV off! – and during storms her anxiety is heightened, but other than that she is more or less the same sweet girl she has always been, and we are so grateful that we pursued the medication, and did not look into putting her down. I know she is toward the end of her life span, but she still seems to be enjoying the quality of her life for the most part, and we continue to look at every day with her as a gift. Ironically, she had been terrified of the vacuum cleaner ever since she was a pup. That was, in fact, the only anxiety she ever displayed throughout most of her life. Now, I can vacuum all I want, and she just lays there calmly! I usually have to ask her to move!!!
Small pieces of food or a favored toy can be used to motivate your puppy to perform most tasks. Provided the reward is sufficiently appealing, the puppy can be prompted to give the desired response by showing the puppy the reward, giving a command, and moving the reward to get the desired response. For example, food held up over the puppy's nose and moved slowly backwards should get a 'sit' response; food drawn down to the floor should get a 'down' response; food brought back up should get a 'stand' response; food held out at a distance should get a 'come' response; and food held at your thigh as you walk should get the puppy to 'heel or 'follow'. By pairing a command phrase or word with each action, and giving the reward for each appropriate response, the puppy should soon learn the meaning of each command.
Everyone loves a good massage, and the same can be said for our pets. Massage can help to calm an anxious dog by using long, slow strokes so soothe the nerves. A popular dog massage method is called TTouch, created by Linda Tellington-Jones. It is "a method based on circular movements of the fingers and hands all over the body. The intent of the TTouch is to activate the function of the cells and awaken cellular intelligence." The result is a relaxed dog. Plus, studies have shown that petting a dog or cat can help calm your own nerves, so it is a win-win solution. It's easy to find guides for how to massage your dog to help calm her.

Dogs competing in dog sports, such as flyball, agility or Schutzhund, must be trusted in an open field, off leash and surrounded by other people, dogs, hot dogs, and flying discs. This requires more focused attention on the owner and a better recall than that found in most household companion dogs, and more advanced training than that required for formal obedience.
Keep your training sessions short, consistent and always have fun. The key to shaping your puppy's behavior is to start out with very easy commands, continue to build on these successes and apply heaps of repetition. Base your puppy training sessions around trust and mutual respect rather than old school methods based on punishment, avoidance and harsh corrections. In this environment you will find that your puppy loves his training sessions and his confidence will grow with each and every session.
Dogs are sensitive creatures and your anxiety can increase their anxiety. Try relaxation techniques to decompress and find your own inner calm. Anxiety is a complicated issue, of course, and often requires longer-term interventions to address the root causes. Life is stressful, after all! Even so, taking a few deep breaths before you greet your dog is one simple way to help them feel calmer, too.
Raise an obedient, well-mannered puppy, and form a healthy and powerful bond with your new puppy during each of the critical early developmental periods. Puppy GoodStart quickly and easily trains all of the basic obedience commands (sit, down, come, stay, drop-it and walk on leash), prepares you for each stage of your puppy's development and helps you jump all of the inevitable hurdles of puppy parenting.
Step 1: Most dogs will yawn when they are anxious. You can use that to help you catch the yawn. Look for your dog to yawn when he wants to go outside or wants a ball or toy that you are holding. When he yawns, click and treat. Because this trick has to be 'caught' with the clicker, it can be fairly difficult, and you have to.................................
We have a 7 year old female husky (that we got from the ASPCA at 6. Months) that had TPLO surgery on her right knee las august and her left knee this august. She did great with the incision and the surgery, but both times once her hair has grown back, she has licked all of the hair off of the outside (incision was on the inside) of her right knee and the front part of her right front leg ( a rectangular patch that was shaved for the Iv in her first surgery). We can’t get her to stop licking/ biting it (she does it when we are not looking and she thinks we can’t hear). We have tried everything we can think of, telling her no, anxiety pills, coneing her, those sprays that are supposed to taste bad, putting a cut sock/ baby legging over her front leg, and nothing works. She has always done her nails but I was told that was a breed thing not an anxiety issue, other than that she has never had an issue similar to this. We and her vet are out of ideas. She has never liked it raw , but it is hairless and we are afraid that if we can’t stop her it will get raw, right now we are having to cone her whenever we can’t watch her and I hate doing that. Does anyone have any suggestions?
Help him relax when he comes home. When your puppy gets home, give him a warm hot water bottle and put a ticking clock near his sleeping area. This imitates the heat and heartbeat of his litter mates and will soothe him in his new environment. This may be even more important for a new dog from a busy, loud shelter who's had a rough time early on. Whatever you can do to help him get comfortable in his new home will be good for both of you.
6. Try medication. When I tell people, “My dog’s on Prozac,” most of them laugh; they think it’s a funny way of talking about her anxiety. It’s not: she really is on Prozac. Many of the same antidepressant medications that millions of humans use have been proven to help dogs with anxiety have the confidence to try new behaviors. A conversation with your vet is the first step on this route. Your vet can refer you to a veterinary behaviorist, a DVM who is knowledgeable about both training and medication; a vet behaviorist can give you a complete prescription tailored to your dog’s needs and, ideally, liaise with your trainer or applied animal behaviorist (a professional who specializes in dogs with behavioral problems but is not a vet).
Frequently provide food puzzle toys. You can feed your dog his meals in these toys or stuff them with a little peanut butter, cheese or yogurt. Also give your dog a variety of attractive edible and inedible chew things. Puzzle toys and chew items encourage chewing and licking, which have been shown to have a calming effect on dogs. Be sure to provide them whenever you leave your dog alone.
My only success has been through isolation. Immediately upon biting, I put her in her crate, which has a doggy door to escape to the outside, for 5 to ten minutes and sometimes longer. It took over a week for her to be lonely enough to not immediately bite me upon release. We had two great days where she was so good, I took her to a friends for dinner without incident. I got rid of the crate because I do not want that thing looming in the background so she’d only be obeying to avoid jail. I woke up one morning and she was sleeping by me with her head on my shoulder. It was wonderful. Then, today, she relapsed and is sitting in her cell or outside again. I hate it. I’m missing her puppy months and I feel like she thinks I don’t want her around. So much wasted time. This breed is supposed to consist of people pleasers. My last dog was a golden and was an angel. Please help before my feelings for her mirror hers for me.
Everyone loves a good massage, and the same can be said for our pets. Massage can help to calm an anxious dog by using long, slow strokes so soothe the nerves. A popular dog massage method is called TTouch, created by Linda Tellington-Jones. It is "a method based on circular movements of the fingers and hands all over the body. The intent of the TTouch is to activate the function of the cells and awaken cellular intelligence." The result is a relaxed dog. Plus, studies have shown that petting a dog or cat can help calm your own nerves, so it is a win-win solution. It's easy to find guides for how to massage your dog to help calm her.
By far the most dangerous symptom of dog anxiety is aggression. This aggression can be targeted directly or indirectly, depending on the situation. Direct aggression occurs when a dog acts aggressively toward people or other animals. Indirect aggression can be equally dangerous, and often happens when a person comes between the dog and the source of the dog’s aggression, such as another dog. Even if a dog is prevented from harming others, aggressive behaviors such as growling or barking can lead to dangerous situations for humans and dogs, alike.
Don't reward the dog for whining. When a puppy whines, it may be adorable and heartbreaking, but when a grown dog whines, it can drive you nuts. If your puppy whines inconsolably, you may have left him inside the crate for too long. However, you cannot release him from the crate until the whining stops. Remember — every reward you give reinforces the dog's last behavior, which was whining in this case.
When your dog is feeling anxious, it’ll be noticeable. You’ll come to be familiar with his behavior problems over time and know when to expect bigger moments of anxiousness. And symptoms are typically obvious. Dogs who are suffering from anxiety tend to bark more aggressively for longer periods of time. Your dog may also tear around the house, full of energy, and unable to settle down.
Choose a dog that fits your lifestyle. After centuries of breeding, the modern dog is one of the most varied species of animal on earth. While there’s probably a dog to suit every lifestyle, not all dogs will fit your specific needs. For example, if you like to relax, you should not get a Jack Russell Terrier, known for its constant barking and high energy.[2] Instead, you might want a bulldog that would much prefer to cuddle on the couch all day.[3] Research the personalities and care requirements of various breeds. Ask dog owners about their breed’s personality. Mixed breeds are also great options as they can contain personalities of various breeds you may be interested in

 I started Take the Lead with the goal of creating harmonious relationships between humans and dogs.  Dogs have a language all of their own and my goal is to help owners bridge the gap in communication.  The first step to strengthening our relationship with our dogs is understanding what they are telling us, but most importantly what we REALLY have been saying to them.   Dogs can be such a joy in our lives, but they can also be an equal nightmare!  I know it's not a lack of trying when it comes to families trying to improve their dog's behavior, in the end it's just missed communication of expectations between human and dog! The good news is, with the right training it doesn't have to be like that forever!
Many behavior problems can be prevented by providing “legal,” acceptable ways for your dog to express her natural impulses. There are some things that dogs just need to do. So rather than trying to get your dog to stop doing things like chewing, mouthing and roughhousing altogether, channel these urges in the right direction. Increased physical activity and mental enrichment are excellent complements to training. Please see our articles, Enriching Your Dog’s Life, Exercise for Dogs and How to Stuff a KONG® Toy, to learn more.
Certain breeds, such as Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, Border Collies, Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers, have reputations as being easier to train than others, such as some hounds and sled dogs. Dogs that have been bred to perform one task to the exclusion of all others (such as the Bloodhound or Husky), or that have been bred to work independently from their handler (such as terriers), may be particularly challenging with obedience training.
When teaching new skills, keep training sessions short and sweet Like kids, dogs don’t have long attention spans. There’s no hard-and-fast rule, but an ideal average training session should last 15 minutes or less. Within that session, you can work on one skill or switch between a few different skills. To keep things interesting, try doing 5 to 15 repetitions of one behavior and then doing 5 to 15 repetitions of another behavior. You can also practice new skills and keep old ones polished by doing single repetitions at convenient times throughout the day. For example, before giving your dog a tasty new chew bone, ask her to sit or lie down to earn it.
One of the qualities I like most about Ashley is that she is very professional but very sweet. She always confirms your appointment via text the day before and if she can come a little earlier she'll ask and if she is running a little behind she'll let you know a few hours in advance. I also like that I can ask here questions or concerns I am having with my guys through texts or a phone call. I don't have to wait until our appointment. Which is a big help when something happens and I want to know why as soon as possible.
×