It can be scary dealing with anxious behaviors in your dog and not knowing what is going on or how you can fix it. Anxiety in dogs is a common problem, is very serious and should be handled appropriately. We hope this tips helped you better understand your dog's anxiety and that you seek the right actions to help him/her. If you have any additional tips please feel free to comment below or shout us out on social media! Have a pawesome day! 
Most dogs will instinctively act in a protective manner towards their master and the rest of the family. In some instances, they will even act in a protective manner towards close family friends or others who are frequent visitors to your home. But, at the same time, you can also train your dog to protect your children from harm. Bear in mind that training your dog to protect your child is not quite the same as training him to behave like the traditional guard dog all the time, they can also take on other roles.

Dogs that experience anxiety may display their stress in very different ways. Some symptoms, like panting or shaking, are subtle and can be easily missed or dismissed because they are normal in other circumstances. Other more noticeable symptoms include aggression and excessive barking. Pet owners may mistake such symptoms as their pet simply acting out due to boredom or other behavioral causes. But if these symptoms occur in common situations, like during a thunderstorm or when pet owners leave the house, it can indicate that the dog is responding to anxiousness and stressful feelings.
I am a graduate of Florida Southern College, class of 2005. Back then my passion was for the arts and I studied graphic design. I found I had a natural knack for reading dogs, so I went out of my way to expand on it. I started with an ABC-DT certification. Once I gained enough experience I joined APDT and got my CGC Evaluator certification. In November, I will be taking the exam for my CPDT-KA. My next goal after that is to try to get my CNWI (canine nose work instructor) certification.
The American Kennel Club CGC is rapidly becoming recognized as the standard of behavior for dogs in our communities. Canine Good Citizen resolutions have been passed by 18 state legislatures and the United States Senate. Insurance companies are starting to use CGC to insure breeds they would not otherwise insure, and some condominium associations around the country now require that all dogs in the complex have earned the Canine Good Citizen award. 

Alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), clomipramine (Clomicalm), and amitriptyline (Elavil) are common prescription medications used to treat anxiety in dogs. Trazodone is a common prescription, too, though it’s primarily indicated for use in humans and veterinary use is considered extra-label. Medications like these are usually only for occasional needs rather than daily use (such as the night of a fireworks’ display).

Motivational training has its roots in captive animal training, where compulsion and corrections are both difficult and dangerous, and ignoring bad behavior is not problematic as the animal lives under controlled conditions. As a dog training strategy, purely positive training is feasible, but difficult, as it requires time and patience to control the rewards the dog receives for behavior. Some activities such as jumping up or chasing squirrels are intrinsically rewarding, the activity is its own reward, and with some activities the environment may provide reinforcement such as when the response from dog next door encourages barking.[58]
Regular exercise for your dog will prevent him from being destructive in your home. Dogs get bored. When they get bored, they find ways to "entertain" themselves. That may include chewing your favorite shoes, destroying furniture, or barking nonstop. Avoid this problem by taking them for regular walks (twice a day is best). And it's good for you too! “A tired dog is a good dog.” Exercise to the point of being tired is different for each individual.
Increasing numbers of pet parents swear by pet-safe cannabis-derived treats that have a calming effect without the compound THC. You can read more about marijuana for dogs here, and about one owner’s experience with CBD treats here. In addition to treats formulated with CBD, Canna-Pet is one popular brand. It’s also possible to buy CBD oil for your pets.
When people come to visit, I make sure to properly manage Lara. I put a leash on her so that I can properly control her and stop her from getting too excited. Distance will weaken the “person” stimulus. I also make sure that the person is totally ignoring her – absolutely no eye-contact. This is very important, because eye-contact can be seen as an invitation to interact, and this will get Lara even more excited.
Does your dog have issues with dog aggression, dog reactivity, or simply go over the top when it comes to other dogs being around? If so, this is a specially designed program may be the best option for you and your dog. This 8 private lesson program is $950.00 (or 3 monthly payments of $338.83), which consists of our basic obedience package (4 lessons/5 commands) which will give you a solid foundation of control over your dog, just like the dogs you see in our 1600+ videos on our YouTube Channel. Then, we spend the next 4 lessons working you and your dog around other dogs in different scenarios, commands, and situations. Giving your dog (and you) the skills, tools, obedience, and desensitization that is necessary in order to put you back in control of these situations.
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:

In order to be certified as a therapy dog or emotional support dog, animals need to receive an evaluation/written designation from a licensed health professional: social worker, physician, psychiatrist typically. As for service dogs, which are allowed to accompany their owners into most businesses and pet-restricted areas, they can receive training, certifications, and registrations from several organizations such as TDI and United States Service Dog Registry. These certifications are not required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, but may streamline the process of getting a dog access to typically off-limits areas. Service dogs and therapy dogs are not the same thing. The same dog might fall into both categories, but therapy and emotional support animals are not recognized under the ADA.
this was very helpful.. we have had our shiba inu pup for nearly three months and he IS house trained although we do keep pee pads in the house in the event that i miss an outing and even then he will only use it for pees.. i am a stay at home mom with 2 kids and a cat and i find it difficult to keep a schedule, mostly because i am scatterbrained, but also because of our young ones.. but now our pup has been expressing stress anxiety, in the form of chewing up plastic toys that belong to the kids, toilet paper, or wooden anything, peeing in the house and barking, whining or crying if we leave the house.. we have tried to make him feel secure by getting him a kennel and keeping it in our room, so he can be near our smells.. i know he likes it because i have found him in there on his own just hanging out.. but the chewing and especially the peeing in the house isn’t getting better.. the most i try and establish, routine-wise, is playing with him one on one at night before we all retire to bed and walking him in the morning and at noon.. my husband chips in too.. but i was wondering if you could give me a little insight.. we are a military family, so we visit a lot and will have to move often, about every 3 years, so he will find himself in strange locations with strange people and strange smells isolated from his pack, we are also active in our community and our oldest will be starting school soon.. is it too much for us to expect our pup to adapt to all this? am i just going to have to look forward to more anxiety displays?
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.
Jean was wonderful to work with in training our 3-year old rescue dog Sundance. She provided a wealth of knowledge and resources, combined with hands-on training to learn the Bark Busters method. Thanks to Jean, we have been able to establish proper pack order so that our dog understands we are in charge. Sundance has settled in well and is much le...

These are some of the easy ways to train your dog. Make sure you do these training steps regularly. Walking with your dog each morning is the best time to train and bond with your pet. Keep all training sessions short and fun. Stick to one command and be consistent. This will prevent your dog from getting confused. Finally, give your dog a long lasting chewy treat at the end of each training session. This will help him/her relax and not confuse them as to why the treats have stopped coming suddenly. If these easy ways to train your dog do not work for you, you might want to attend some organized training classes for added support.
When a dog perceives a threat, the hypothalamus, a section of brain tissues, signals the production of certain chemicals to prepare the dog for fight or flight. This is good when there is an actual threat, but in dogs with chronic anxiety, it causes problems such as depression. The chemicals begin to weaken the immune system and can lead to heart disease.
Electronic training involves the use of an electric shock as an aversive. Common forms are collars which can be triggered remotely, or that are triggered by barking, fencing that delivers a shock when a dog wearing a special collar crosses a buried wire, and mats that can be placed on furniture to deliver a shock. Some aids deliver an aversive such as a spray of citronella when triggered.[61] The use of electric shock aversives for training dogs is the subject of considerable controversy. Supporters claim that the use of electronic devices allows training at a distance and the potential to eliminate self-rewarding behaviour, and point out that properly used, they have less risk of stress and injury than mechanical devices, such as choke chains. Opponents cite the risks of physical and psychological trauma associated with incorrect or abusive use.[62]
On the other hand, a submissive dog will try to make himself appear small and act like a puppy. This is because an adult dog will "tell off" a puppy but not attack him. Submission will take the form of a sideways crouch near to the ground, his tail held low but wagging away. He may also try to lick the face of the dominant dog or human. He may even roll on his back.
Thank you for this very informative article. I've been trying to find more information about what may be causing the symptoms my dog has and many of these fit her. So many other articles categorise these symptoms as reactions to specific situations (noises, separation from owner), but she seems to exhibit these symptoms pretty much every day, independent of any discernible environmental stimulus. This will help me talk to the veterinarian about it during our appointment.
When his anxiety begins occurring we keep him to a very regular schedule and walk him around a cemetery nearby where he is almost always comfortable. When he does become nervous we employ the abrupt stop and change direction since it distracts him from his anxiety and forces him to pay more attention to us. We’ve tried having him give cued behaviors & rewarding that to distract him but he will refuse treats when anxious. We also try to do the majority of his exercise (dog park trips & 3-5 mile runs with me) in the morning so that his evening walk can be shorter. HIs anxiety only occurs in “neighborhoods” where there area people & houses. We frequently take him camping & hiking & he has NEVER had an episode at these places. That is the one thing that has me stumped-he does not like being in the direct line of campfire smoke but exhibits no anxiety and will even sleep 10 feet away from it. The only thing I can come up with is that he sees the source of the smoke smell. The few times I have walked him past the neighbors barbecuing he seems to calm down. Do you have any thoughts? Have you come across a dog with a smell anxiety before? I should mention we got (rescued) him from a family that kept him confined to the kitchen 24/7 and he had never walked on a leash until 7 months old. Thank you for any input on this.
If your dog is nervous because of certain situations, such as fireworks or thunderstorms, or even is nervous about being in a crowd, then distraction can work wonders. Engaging your dog's brain in work will help him focus on you and things he knows, rather than on the unknown around him that's frightening him. While it isn't the time to begin new training, it is a great time to practice tricks your dog knows and can earn rewards for. Try rewarding your dog with treats for simple commands like sit, stand, lie down, shake, sit up, roll over and other tricks he enjoys. Another possibility, especially for dogs who are highly food motivated, is distracting your dog with puzzle toys like a treat ball or tug jug, or even a frozen Kong toy stuffed with peanut butter. This can also help him associate frightening things like loud noises or strangers coming over with highly valued rewards, so that the event goes from being scary to being at least tolerable.
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.
In some cases, dogs experiencing anxiety may become more aggressive overall. If your pet doesn’t typically growl, he may point and growl at whatever is causing him to be anxious. The longer you have your pet, the more it’ll be obvious as to what causes him distress. With any luck, you can avoid these situations as much as possible. But when you can’t, the good news is there are remedies available.
During your sessions, be sure to wait a few minutes between absences. After each short separation, it’s important to make sure that your dog is completely relaxed before you leave again. If you leave again right away, while your dog is still excited about your return from the previous separation, he’ll already feel aroused when he experiences the next absence. This arousal might make him less able to tolerate the next separation, which could make the problem worse rather than better.
I can see why this type of training can seem stressful, it’s a lot of work. We tried many other training methods with Sally and none stuck but this one. We don’t do any jerking, we give light tugs on the leash, to me that is not jerking. Sally may look confused to you because she’s not used to be on leash in the basement. Typically when we put the leash on, it means we are going outside but it was rainy that day and Sal hates the rain. I don’t think she looks stressed, I think she is excited for some interaction time with me since it was during my work hours. There are many different types of training and we respect your decision to not utilize this form. Sally is such a well-behaved dog and much of that is thanks to these training methods. We have such a strong bond and our love for one another is unconditional.

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.


Socialization should begin as soon as you get your puppy and often this means at 7 weeks of age. Puppies naturally accept new people, other species and introduction to new situations during the socialization period which occurs between 7 and 14 to 16 weeks of age. This period provides an opportunity for a myriad of introductions that will provide positive memories that last a life time. Puppies are eager, exploratory and uninhibited during this period and it is important to take advantage of this enthusiasm. Be sure to protect your puppy during this period and ensure that all experiences are positive, fun and not fear evoking.
A common mistake that many pet owners make when aiding their dog in panic or anxiety is to comfort them. While this may seem like the best solution, it is actually doing more harm than you might think. Most dogs will take this action as a reward, and it will continue to encourage their unfavorable behavior. Instead of comforting them, encourage them to act calmly.

Things you can do at home to relieve your dog's anxiety include making a special space just for Fido where he can feel safe when you leave, and playing music. I always leave music on for my dog when I'm away, and the Washington Post reported that shelter dogs who listened to Canine Lullabies, by music legend Terry Woodford, adjusted better than other dogs.

When your dog knows the release cue and how to sit on cue, put him in a sit, turn and face him, and give him a treat. Pause, and give him another treat for staying in a sit, then release him. Gradually increase the time you wait between treats (it can help to sing the ABC’s in your head and work your way up the alphabet).  If your dog gets up before the release cue, that’s ok! It just means he isn’t ready to sit for that long so you can make it easier by going back to a shorter time.
Thank you for pointing out that my pet has limits and that there are things that a younger dog will not be able to pick up on as compared to an older dog. I do not know the age of which I can tell it is perfect for my pet to learn new things. I do not want to force him if he isn’t ready either. Because of this, it might be a better idea to let the professional train him. At least, that way, he is sure to receive the training appropriate for his age.
In the car, these solutions may also help with mild motion sickness your dog might suffer from. On road trips, take plenty of breaks so your pet can have room to roam and urinate. This should all be factored into your travel time so there’s plenty of time for stopping along the way. Being cooped up for too long is one way to surely make your dog feel restless and anxious.

Head halters are an alternative to collars that works similarly to a horse halter. The halter fits over the dog's snout and behind its head (leading it to sometimes be mistaken for a muzzle). Halters reduce the dog's ability to successfully pull on the leash, but do not eliminate it. If the halter is used with a sharp jerk on the leash, neck injury to the dog may result, but used correctly head halters have not been shown to cause harm.

This was probably the most tedious thing because it means you have to go outside with your dog for them to go potty, you have to take them to their water dish, etc. Your dog does nothing without you by their side. This sends the message to your dog that you are allowing them to go potty, drink water, eat food, rest on their dog bed, etc., which in turn helps you establish pack leader status.
Alprazolam, Amitriptyline, Clomicalm, and Buspirone are all potential medications that may be prescribed for your pet. The choice will be made by the veterinarian based on your dog’s current health, allergies, medical history, and several other factors. Never use another pet’s medication for your dog even if they’re in the same household. The way pets digest medication and their reaction to it will vary. What has been successful in one pet may not be the case for another.
Otherwise, there could be a food allergy or something else, and the anxiety merely exacerbates the condition. When my dog gets diarrhea, I usually switch to a bland diet. I use boiled/microwave chicken and white rice only, no treats, no extras. That helps to settle their tummy. For dogs that are allergic to poultry, we will need to use a different meat source. Once my dog is on a steady state, I very slowly reintroduce back her normal food, one at a time, to try and locate the source of the food allergy (if any).
Separation anxiety occurs when a sensitive dog becomes deeply attached to its pack — and in this case that’s you and your family. Some people inadvertently create situations favorable to the development of canine separation anxiety by making a fuss over their dog when they leave for the day or return at night. The dog begins to sense that something important is going to happen and displays anxiety symptoms in anticipation of its pack leaving for the day.

For dogs, English is a second language Dogs aren’t born understanding English. They can learn the significance of specific words, like “sit” and “walk” and “treat,” but when humans bury those familiar words in complex sentences, dogs sometimes have difficulty understanding. They can also get confused when people use different words for the same thing. For example, some people will confuse their dogs by saying, “Fluffy, down!” one day and “Sit down, Fluffy!” another day. Then they wonder why Fluffy doesn’t respond the same way every time. When teaching your dog a cue or command, decide on just one word or phrase, and make sure you and your family use it clearly and consistently.
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.

You know your dog better than anyone else. You know when they are relaxed, you know when they are happy, and you even know when they are agitated after seeing another dog across the street. The point is, you should be able to spot any behaviors that are not common for your pup. Once these changes in behaviors arise, pay close attention to what may be triggering this to see if this is what’s causing them stress.
Clicker training, a common form of positive reinforcement, is a simple and effective dog training method. Although it is still fine to train your dog without clicker training, many people find it helpful. With clicker training, you can easily and effectively teach your dog all kinds of basic and advanced commands and tricks. It's fast and easy to learn how to clicker train your dog
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