Positive-reinforcement is the methodology suggested by humane organizations, veterinary associations and dog trainers alike. This type of training focuses on rewarding desired behaviors using something that the dog values (typically treats), removing the reward for undesired behaviors and not using physical punishment or fear to bring about behavioral change.
Dogs can be especially helpful to those that suffer from any number of mental or emotional issues such as PTSD or social anxiety. However, unlike a service dog that has been trained by professionals to work with their owner, you can train your own dog to help you cope with your emotional trauma. Here are some basic steps on how to train a service dog for anxiety.
Over time, the words “good dog” and the affectionate pat become secondary reinforcers. Because they have been paired with food in the past, they take on more meaning and become reinforcement in themselves. It is important to use secondary reinforcement because you will not always have food with you when you need your pet to obey. In addition, if you rely on food to get your puppy to comply, you will have a puppy that will only do the task when you have a treat.
Based on what you’ve said I do believe it’s separation anxiety because if I do the same thing and close her in a room without me she reacts the same way…but if a door is open in the room she will gladly be in the room without anyone around her for a while so I don’t really understand…also this dog has been through a few homes and we got her at 9 months untrained so I think it’s making it harder to do anything with her…she has yet to catch on to the potty training after a month and we take her out very frequently
I have a 14 year old shep mix and have been putting up with these behaviors for two years now. I know his senses of sight and hearing are diminishing, but not gone. He has a form of dementia, which is kinda a senile thing. He is not always in this state of mind, I have to constantly be with him, or his anxiety level will go off the wall with constant barking.
Begin doorway “wait”-training early. Teaching a dog to respect the threshold is important. You do not want a dog that runs out the door every time it opens — that could be dangerous for him. Doorway training doesn't need to happen every single time you go through a doorway. But you should make the most of your training opportunities early in your puppy's life.
While it’s absolutely important to protect unvaccinated puppies from the dangers of rabies, parvo, and distemper, you shouldn’t keep your puppy locked in a castle tower until he’s five months old. Work with a puppy trainer (like Canis Major) will help you create a plan for safe socialization. You certainly should avoid dog parks - but most puppies will benefit from carefully planned outings to other public spaces during socialization.
If this is not possible with your schedule, then you may want to consider keeping your puppy in a crate while you are out. This will most likely prevent most of the peeing or pooping in the house instances since a new puppy (or dog) will be very reluctant to relive themselves where they sleep. On the other hand, the bladder of a young puppy is really only large enough to “hold it” for a few hours at a time.
Are you ready to start training your dog? A proper dog training program is the cornerstone of good behavior in dogs. It has often been said that there are no bad dogs, only uneducated owners. Most dogs thrive with boundaries and predictable routines. Without obedience training, they simply do not know how to behave. Well-trained dogs are happier and healthier than untrained dogs, and so are their owners.
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Stage three: Hold one treat in your palm in front of the dog and one behind you in the other hand. Instruct your dog to “leave it.” If the dog gets too close to the treat, make a fist to hide the treat and say “no” or “uh-oh” to show the dog that he won’t be rewarded or noncompliance. When he obeys the “leave it” command, give him the treat that’s behind your back.
In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about the signs and symptoms of anxiety in dogs. With a little guidance, you will be able to tell if your dog is feeling stressed and learn ways to help them overcome it. By avoiding triggers and training them to react differently, you will be able to reduce their anxiety and exterminate those bad behaviors.
Over time, the words “good dog” and the affectionate pat become secondary reinforcers. Because they have been paired with food in the past, they take on more meaning and become reinforcement in themselves. It is important to use secondary reinforcement because you will not always have food with you when you need your pet to obey. In addition, if you rely on food to get your puppy to comply, you will have a puppy that will only do the task when you have a treat.
Anxious dogs may also feel extra anxious when around other dogs or other people. It can take time for your pet to become acclimated to all the changes of being in your home. This can be especially true if you already have other pets living at home. Together they must “figure each other out” and find familiarity in their space. Until that happens, there can be extra moments of stress or anxiety for your pet.

Step 1: Using either a laser pointer or touch stick, get your dog in the habit of jumping up to touch the light switch. It is best to have him jump up with his pads on the wall (instead of his claws) touching the switch with his nose. I used a laser pointer here, because I would play with it as a game, knowing that he would really go after it—even if it's on a wall.
Don't raise your voice to get his attention. Save the big booming voice for “life saving” situations, like if he escapes his fence or leash. If you rarely raise your voice, you'll get your dog’s undivided attention when you do need to yell. But if you are always “loud” to your dog, they will ignore that sound and tune it out. Shouting will no longer be regarded as something that commands special attention.
When your puppy comes to you, don’t reach out and grab him. This can be confusing or frightening for some dogs. If your puppy is timid, kneel and face them sideways and offer him treats as you reach for the collar. Never call your dog to punish! This will only teach him that you are unpredictable, and it is a good idea to avoid you. Always reward your dog heavily for responding to his or her name, even if they have been up to mischief!

My dog exhibited all the symptoms you are describing. Through trial and error and an ongoing 6 month consult with UPENN Veterinary Behavior Clinic what works best for my dog is: daily prozac does to take the edge off my dog, consistent routine, regular exercise, acrating when I am not home, and sustained release valium on days of predicted thunderstorms, fireworks, etc. The valium I use is Clorazepate …..you can get it cheaper at the pharmacy if you print a coupon at goodrx.com
Set up his private den. He needs "a room of his own." From the earliest possible moment give your pup or dog his own, private sleeping place that's not used by anyone else in the family, or another pet. He'll benefit from short periods left alone in the comfort and safety of his den. Reward him if he remains relaxed and quiet. His den, which is often a crate, will also be a valuable tool for housetraining.
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Just as exercise is a great stress reliever for humans, so it is for dogs. Exercise accomplishes a couple of things when helping a dog deal with anxiety. First, it stimulates the production of serotonin, that feel-good chemical that we humans also get when we work out or go for a hike. Second, it gets rid of pent-up energy and tension that can exacerbate anxiety. Burning off all that extra doggy energy every day through a long game of fetch, a hike, running alongside you while you bike or other favorite activities can go a long way toward reducing problems with issues like separation anxiety or nervous tension. As the saying goes, a good dog is a tired dog.


After a big shedding season, my dogs lose a lot of fur especially in the lower leg regions, and during activity or play, they may irritate those “thin-furred” regions. As a result, they start licking, which causes more irritation, which results in more licking, and so on. In extreme cases, the behavior can be habit forming and lead to acral lick dermatitis. There are also other reasons for dog licking and itchiness.


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She is a four-year old yellow Labrador and has very decent behavior when at home. She follows a strict diet and routine, as she gets fed twice a day at the same time and goes for daily walks around our neighborhood. When walking through the neighborhood she is fine, mellow and occasionally pulls but can definitely be controlled. She also can be left alone in the house with out any type of problem.
This will give your new pup a good foundation for basic obedience! Also, during the training, Offleash K9 can teach you how to house train your dog in order for it to quit having accidents in the house! Additionally, Offleash K9 will train it to let you know when it has to go outside! During these sessions, Offleash K9 also answer any questions you have regarding your new pup or its’ training.
We got our dog a year ago (shes 2 now). When we first got her the only thing that made her anxious were thunderstorms. In the last couple months we’ve noticed she seems anxious/fearful more often, and we can’t put our finger on what may trigger this behaviour. She will no longer come into the den where we watch tv and her bed is. If we are in that room she goes upstairs. She won’t sleep in our bed, which she did every night before. She won’t go for a walk in the evening (sun still out). we can’t even get her to leave the front step in the evening.
This is a tough one because she obviously has a learned, deep-seated fear of crates. Forcing her into one will only make the problem worse. You can try desensitizing her by feeding her in the open crate, playing with toys in it, and seeding it with treats, but this all takes time. If she is truly distressed, then a gentle sedative from the vet is going to be the most humane option.
The training process with your dog is a process that takes both time and patience and a willingness to learn for both of you. Your dog is just as reliant on your ability to teach its commands as you are reliant upon your dog to learn its commands. The most important factor for you as an obedience trainer is to make sure that you show your dog exactly what you expect from it. Showing your dog what you expect is sometimes a matter of positioning your dog into the position you are asking him to assume and sometimes it is a matter of rewarding the correct position when it happens.
Dog anxiety can stem from a number of things. If you’ve adopted your pet from a shelter, previous owners or situations could have been traumatizing for him. Understanding your dog’s prior history can help when you welcome him to your home and way of life. It may take awhile before he becomes accommodated to a new environment with people who are strangers to him.
You can also lure a down from a sit or stand by holding a treat in your hand to the dog’s nose and slowly bringing it to the floor. Give the treat when the dog’s elbows touch the floor to start. After a few practices, begin bringing your empty hand to the floor and giving the treat AFTER he lies down. When he can reliably follow your hand signal, begin saying “down” as you move your hand.
Most dog training programs use OUTDATED force and dominance techniques. This is proven NOT to work by the latest research. My methods are force-free and gentle. They rely on the latest science in dog behavior research to create a strong bond between you and your dog and create positive emotions in your dog as opposed to fearful ones. They only reinforce the behaviors you want.
As a pet parent, you need to act when your dog is suffering from anxiety. Avoid punishing or scolding your dog when it is having an attack. You should also avoid praising or patting because that may lead your dog to believe that you are encouraging its anxious behavior. The first step is to identify the stimulus that’s causing the reaction. Controlled exposure to the stimulus and giving rewards for positive behavior is a popular way of desensitizing the dog. It’s also advisable to seek help from a canine behavioral expert. If the problem persists, consult a vet. There are more than a few anti-anxiety medication and nutritional supplements that can help control the problem.

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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.
Some training methods use punishment, like leash corrections and scolding, to discourage dogs from doing everything except what you want them to do. Other methods cut right to the chase and focus on teaching dogs what you do want them to do. While both tactics can work, the latter is usually the more effective approach, and it’s also much more enjoyable for you and your dog. For example, you can easily use treats, games and praise to teach your dog to sit when people approach during walks in the neighborhood. If your dog is sitting, she won’t be dragging you toward the people, jumping up when they get close enough, mouthing on their arms and legs, and so on. That’s pretty efficient training-no pain or intimidation needed. Alternatively, you could grab your dog’s leash and jerk her to the ground every time she jumps up to greet people, and you’d most likely get the same effect in the end-no more jumping up. But consider the possible fallout:
Thanks for pointing out that the classes are similar to children’s classrooms in that they have a single teacher with a group of owners and dogs. Recently, I got a puppy named Alfie, and he is so energetic and lively. I want him to learn some good habits, though, for when he’s older, so I think that it’d be a good idea for me to find an obedience training class like you describe.
Just like in humans, your dog can develop anxiety for a number of reasons such as illness, a traumatic experience, lack of socialization as a puppy, spending time in a shelter, or being re-homed multiple times, PetMD explained. Once you identify that your dog has anxiety, it's important to talk with your vet or an animal behavioralist to develop a treatment plan that's best for you and Fido.
Lindsay says of this study, "Schilder and Van der Borg (2004) have published a report of disturbing findings regarding the short-term and long- term effects of shock used in the context of working dogs that is destined to become a source of significant controversy ... The absence of reduced drive or behavioral suppression with respect to critical activities associated with shock (e.g., bite work) makes one skeptical about the lasting adverse effects the authors claim to document. Although they offer no substantive evidence of trauma or harm to dogs, they provide loads of speculation, anecdotes, insinuations of gender and educational inadequacies, and derogatory comments regarding the motivation and competence of IPO trainers in its place." [64]
Also, please note that because of volume, we are unable to respond to individual comments, although we do watch them in order to learn what issues and questions are most common so that we can produce content that fulfills your needs. You are welcome to share your own dog tips and behavior solutions among yourselves, however. Thank you for reading our articles and sharing your thoughts with the pack!
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