Once you’ve taken some classes and your dog has mastered the necessary skills, you might decide to compete. There are three main levels of progression in competition: Novice, Open and Utility; with other steps in between to help build on the required skills. Find an event near you and then submit an official AKC entry form to the trial secretary or superintendent in charge of accepting the entries for the trial.
Dogs are highly motivated by praise and rewards. Create positive associations for your puppy when he follows your commands by verbally encouraging him or sharing a bite of kibble or healthy dog treats. Rewards not only make training more fun for your pet, but also give him something to work for. Just make sure that treats don't make up more than ten percent of his caloric intake each day to ensure he doesn't put on any unnecessary weight.
The foundation of training should be based on positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is the process of giving a dog (or person!) a reward to encourage the behavior you want, like getting a pay check for going to work. The idea is not to bribe the behavior but to train it using something your dog values.  Avoid using punishment such as leash corrections or yelling. Punishment can cause a dog to become confused and unsure about what is being asked of him.  It is important to remember that we can’t expect dogs to know what they don’t know – just like you wouldn’t expect a 2-year-old child to know how to tie his shoes. Patience will go a long way in helping your new puppy learn how to behave.
There are a lot of different ways to train your dog. You may choose to sign up for a dog training class, hire a professional dog trainer for private lessons, or even send your dog to board with a trainer. Plenty of people successfully train their dogs on their own. It's a great way to save money on training costs. It's also a wonderful way to bond with your dog.
When I start to leash train my Husky puppy, I first do it in a safe environment, e.g. inside the house. In this way, she can slowly get used to the collar, the feel and weight of the leash, and me holding the leash. I make sure to desensitize her to the collar and leash, and I make sure that our leash training sessions are positive and very rewarding – with fun games, movement, and her favorite treats.

Hmm…I read that book and do not remember that comment,Shibashake. I don’t know if the study has been published yet, but Susan Sharpe would know: http://www.anxietywrap.com. I will ask her next time I talk to her. See my hub about whether eye contact is good or bad. I wrote that in response to someone’s question and the responses he received about eye contact with regard to dominance. This idea has been so misunderstood and damaging to dog training. No, I do not believe that pressure on the body simulates pressure caused by a “dominant” animal. I have never seen wolves or dogs embrace each other and cause this kind of pressure. The Anxiety Wrap works by applying maintained pressure and pressure to acupressure points. I am going to be writing a hub about this. It has nothing to do with dominance.
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.

The specifics as to when a puppy should attend formal training have shifted to take the critical periods of dog socialization into account. Traditional advice suggested waiting until a puppy receives a full series of vaccinations, but it’s now understood that the risk of under-socialization during this important developmental period far outweighs the risk of potential illness. According to the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, puppies can start socialization classes as early as seven to eight weeks of age. Puppies should receive a minimum of one set of vaccines at least seven days prior to the first class and a first deworming and should be kept up-to-date on vaccines.

As I understand it, dogs repeat behaviors that get them good results. Therefore, if we reward certain behaviors such as staring, licking, or following around, with affection or other rewards, then that may encourage a dog to keep repeating those behaviors. I usually ask my dog for a positive pre-trained behavior (e.g. Sit, Down, Look) before giving him a reward. In this way, I redirect the undesirable behavior and reinforce the desirable one.
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).

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.
Noise anxiety can be reduced through desensitization, too. You can play tapes of thunderstorms while dogs experience some sort of pleasurable activity, like getting a belly rub or eating a treat, to help them associate the noise with something good. You can also try blocking the sound with a radio turned on during noisy days when fireworks or other scary noises are occurring.

Anxiety, it's not just for humans. If you've ever wondered: Does my dog have anxiety? It's important to know that pets can get anxious too, and there are some signs to watch for so you can help Fido feel better. Just like their human parents, dogs can develop anxiety, with separation anxiety being the most form of anxiety in dogs. What's more, certain breeds of dogs are more prone to anxiety than others, according to PetMD.


One suggestion for people who are learning how to calm an anxious dog down is to see if crate training helps their condition. This will vary from each dog, so make sure you know in which state your dog feels the most comfortable. Most cases, when a dog is crated while their owner leaves for an extended period, they feel that this is their “safe zone” and are in a calmer stage than before.  
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.
One suggestion for people who are learning how to calm an anxious dog down is to see if crate training helps their condition. This will vary from each dog, so make sure you know in which state your dog feels the most comfortable. Most cases, when a dog is crated while their owner leaves for an extended period, they feel that this is their “safe zone” and are in a calmer stage than before.  
Start by finding an AKC Club near you that offers training classes. Ask if you can observe a class before committing to make sure it’s the right one for you. Learn more about different types of classes here. To get the most benefit, you must plan on practicing at home as well. But don’t worry: Your at-home sessions don’t have to be very time-consuming and practice sessions should be kept short.

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.


Non-associative learning is a change in a response to a stimulus that does not involve associating the presented stimulus with another stimulus or event such as reward or punishment.[46] Habituation is non-associative learning. An example is where a dog that reacts excitedly to a door bell is subjected to repeated ringing without accompanying visitors, and stops reacting to the meaningless stimuli. It becomes habituated to the noise.[47] On the other side of habituation is sensitization. Some dogs' reactions to the stimuli become stronger instead of them habituating to the repeated stimuli or event.[48] Desensitization is the process of pairing positive experiences with an object, person, or situation that causes fear or anxiety.[49] Consistent exposure to the feared object in conjunction with rewards allows the animal to become less stressed, thereby becoming desensitized in the process. This type of training can be effective for dogs who are fearful of fireworks.[50]
Once you have determined to bring a new dog home, the real work begins! Especially if they have not been house broken the dog must be taught obedience. This can be a very frustrating and even thankless task. Initially, it seems like a lot of work for very little effort. The dog does not appreciate the training; it seems like you are constantly in a battle of wills and oftentimes your family will blame you for every failure or backwards step that the new animal takes!
It typically takes 4-6 months for a puppy to be fully house trained, but some puppies may take up to a year. Size can be a predictor. For instance, smaller breeds have smaller bladders and higher metabolisms and require more frequent trips outside. Your puppy's previous living conditions are another predictor. You may find that you need to help your puppy break old habits in order to establish more desirable ones.
What you have described are exactly same symptoms as my dog. Lady came to my mom’s house one day from the desert. It was clear that someone had abandoned her because she still had on a dusty pink collar with the tags removed. My mom adopted her immediately and kept her for about two years before her she lost her house and partner to a fire. While in transition, my husband and I took Lady in and became so attached to her that she ultimately became a wonderful part of our family. We took her to the vet and found out that she is a German Shepherd/Lab mix and that the closest they can guess her age is “over ten”. She has been “over ten” for four years now. Due to her situation, she has always had some degree of separation anxiety. She also would get nervous during thunderstorms. However, during the last two weeks, her anxiety increased significantly. She started pacing around frequently. My husband and I are both teachers and were on break so we were rarely, if ever, away from the house at the same time. There are rarely thunderstorms in the middle of the winter here. Her anxiety seemed to come from somewhere we couldn’t identify, and it was constant. She has had a very hard time sleeping for the last couple of weeks. She gets into small spaces (corners) and shakes. She positions herself almost on top of me and just trembles. I took her to the vet earlier this week and she tried to find a source of pain that could be triggering the behavior. She couldn’t find any kind of issue that could be the cause of the increased anxiety. Lady does have arthritis, but she has been on pain medication for over a year now. The vet prescribed some valium and instructed me to change her diet slightly. She also administered a drug test and found that one of the kidney levels had jumped from the low normal range to the abnormal range (16 points) in the last year.

Many dogs suffering from separation anxiety are okay when left in a car. You can try leaving your dog in a car—but only if the weather is moderate. Be warned: dogs can suffer from heatstroke and die if left in cars in warm weather (70 degrees Fahrenheit and up)—even for just a few minutes. DO NOT leave your dog in a car unless you’re sure that the interior of your car won’t heat up.
Some dogs with separation anxiety chew on objects, door frames or window sills, dig at doors and doorways, or destroy household objects when left alone or separated from their guardians. These behaviors can result in self-injury, such as broken teeth, cut and scraped paws and damaged nails. If a dog’s chewing, digging and destruction are caused by separation anxiety, they don’t usually occur in his guardian’s presence.
Separation anxiety happens when a dog that’s hyper-attached to his owner gets super-stressed when left alone. It's more than a little whining when you leave or a bit of mischief while you’re out. It's a serious condition and one of the main reasons owners get frustrated with their dogs and give them up. But there are plenty of things you can do to help.
In the beginning, I only let him meet with calm people that I know will result in a successful greeting. I also coach people on how to meet him. Often, fearful dogs show aggression because they feel threatened and cornered, and think there are no other alternatives available to them. I make sure I do not put any of my dogs in this type of situation.
• Destruction: Some pet owners blame their dog’s destructive tendencies on boredom, unaware that anxious and fearful dogs also become destructive dogs. Dogs chew, dig or scratch at doors and other objects in attempts to escape what they fear. The anxiety and fear centers of the brain trigger the fight or flight response — and destruction resulting from fear is usually an attempt toimg class flee whatever triggered their fear reaction.

Scents can also help calm a dog's anxiety, and DAP is a popular option. It is a synthetic chemical that is based on a hormone produced by lactating female dogs that help keep her puppies calm and increase their bond with her. While scientific studies have shown that DAP does work with puppies, it isn't as clear if it works with anxious adult dogs. Even so, there is the possibility that it can help, and it can be one of several tools used to help an anxious dog. It comes as a plug-in diffuser with vials that last about 30 days, and humans aren't able to smell it.
At Fur and Feathers, our training methods are dog-friendly and include positive reinforcement.  Dog training is individualized based on breed, age and temperament. We believe that praise is the best reward for your pet and that your dog will achieve the most positive results in a fun and challenging environment. Our award-winning dog training system is designed to do three things:

Our methods focus on creating a positive relationship between you and your dog to improve your dog's behavior and obedience. Our expertise is in understanding how a dog naturally thinks, learns and communicates and then using this to show you how to be your dog’s leader. Once this relationship is established, behavior change is a natural next step. Our techniques work with any age, any breed, any issue. You and your dog get one-on-one attention, an individualized plan to suit your family AND guaranteed support for the life of your dog.
In most cases, dogs will naturally bark when someone they don't know is approaching. You can put this to good use by teaching him when to bark and when to stop. Each time your dog barks at a stranger, let him bark 2 or 3 times and then tug on his leash and give the command "Quiet". When he does, be sure to give him a treat and praise him. This lets him know no when he should bark and when he shouldn't.

When training is started at 7 to 8 weeks of age, use methods that rely on positive reinforcement and gentle teaching. Puppies have short attention spans, so training sessions should be brief, but should occur daily. Puppies can be taught to “sit,” “down,” and “stand” using a method called food-lure training. We use food treats to entice the dog to follow its nose into the proper positions for “sit,” “down,” “stand,” and “stay”.

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.

Dog training classes or private sessions can also be an addition to your own training program. The dog trainer can help you improve the program and customize it to your dog's learning style. Try to be as involved as possible when it comes to your dog's training. You and your dog will be a stronger team when you are directly involved in the training process.

Also, I have not been able to find any truly convincing studies on the Thundershirt. The only ones I could find were sponsored by the Thundershirt company. This one looks somewhat interesting and talks about a hide-box and measuring cortisol levels and heart rate, but I was not able to find the actual Journal publication that they alluded to in the article.
Researchers have described several reasons why the dominance model is a poor choice for dog training.[71] First, a relationship based on dominance is established to gain priority access to scarce resources, not to impose particular behaviors on the less dominant animal,[72] so the dominance model is irrelevant for most of the behaviors that people want from their dogs, such as coming when called or walking calmly on a leash.[71] Second dominance-submission relationships, once established, are constantly tested and must be regularly reinforced.[73] Thus people, particularly children and the elderly, may not be able to retain their rank and are at risk of being injured if they attempt to do so.[71] Third, dominant individuals gain priority access to resources, but only while they are present, establishing dominance over a dog does not guarantee its behavior when the dominant individual is distant or absent.[71]
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.
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.
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.
 Together, we will take a hands on approach to find a solution to resolve the problems you are having with your dog!  Take the Lead K9 Training offers board and train services for obedience training and dog behavior modification.  I will help you resolve a variety of dog behavioral issues like aggression, anxiety, fear, not listening, jumping up, barking, biting, chewing, running away, chasing the cat, pulling on leash, and not coming when called.  I teach basic dog obedience, such as proper leash walking, sit, down, extended stay, and recall to puppies and adult dogs alike!  I also train off leash advanced obedience with low level remote collar training, where your dog will respond to you off leash with high levels of distraction.  Big or small, your dog can learn and listen to you - in public, around distractions, off-leash, and without having to always have a treat to get your dog's good behavior!
I have a problem with my 6 month german shepard.She is afraid to go out for a walk that I will have to drag her out and then she will be fine.Then all a sudden it looks like she realise that she is outdoors and the story begins!!!She will start pulling on the leash her tail tucked between her legs and she will not respond to any command or treat not even her favourites.The only thing she will want is getting back home and then she will be fine!!What do you think is the problem and hpw should I tackle it?THANK YOU.

If you can teach your dog polite manners without hurting or frightening her, why not do it? Rather than punishing her for all the things you don’t want her to do, concentrate on teaching your dog what you do want her to do. When your dog does something you like, convince her to do it again by rewarding her with something she loves. You’ll get the job done without damaging the relationship between you and your best friend.

Jeff Lustman is from Carbondale, Illinois and has been a Dog trainer for the past 5 years. He trained and interned under Behesha Doan, one of the most well-known trainers/dog behavior specialists in the country. He has been a part of and led multiple training academy’s and dog behavioral training lectures back in Illinois. He has also trained service dogs for veterans with PTSD and led 4 different Veteran classes. Jeff Specializes in aggression and anxious dog behaviors and can train any dog that enters our building. With his vast knowledge of dog behavior and training, you can be confident that your dog will get the training you want and need.


However, a training class serves many functions. Trainers can demonstrate techniques and help guide you through the steps in training. They can help advise you on puppy training problems, and can help you advance your training to exercises that are more difficult. The puppy will be learning in a group situation, with some real life distractions. And, considering human nature, the pet owner who takes his or her dog to a puppy class will be forced to practice (do their homework) throughout the week if they do not want to fall behind by the next class. Finally, a training class is a good place to meet and talk to other new puppy owners and see how all puppies behave.
Your hub is so informative. We had a dog for 17 years, 13 of which were filled with major separation & noise anxiety. It’s a tough situation to deal with because she would do anything she could to get out of the house/yard if we left her including digging, jumping fences, etc… Everything we tried, including bringing her with us, didn’t work because she would be so stressed. The only thing we found to help her was an herbal remedy called Aconitum Napellus. We bought it at Whole Foods and it made a significant difference. She’s in heaven now after a long life but the thunder jacket you wrote about looks like something we would have tried.

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.
For the last two days, I have been giving her valium and her regular pain medicine with her new food. It helps during the day to some degree, but as soon as the lights are out, she starts shaking and pacing again. Today, she jumped up onto the couch and placed her head in my lap. She has never tried to get on this couch before. Earlier in the day, she trapped herself in the bathroom when she was following my husband around everywhere and he left the house. She clearly tried to get out, but ended up shutting the door on herself instead. I speculate that she was in a panic once she woke up and couldn’t figure out where she was.
Your dog must finish our Basic Obedience Package before we will teach them advanced lessons! We offer numerous advanced lessons! Some are: extended distance obedience (your dog will be sitting/downing on command from 50+ yards away from you), heel command (they come running, go around you and sit down right beside your left leg), watch command (stare at you until you release them), through command (go in between your legs and sit down), stand command (they will assume a standing position on command), front command (they will come running and sit directly in front of you no matter where they are), focused heeling (will stare at you the entire time they heel), touch command (they will run up and stand up against anything you point to), and many more!
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 a dog doesn’t meet expectations at the end of a training course, it is as likely to be related to the training course or the pet owner as the dog. A recommended next step would be to carefully research more training methods and local trainers to find a program that is better suited to your dog. Another one is to consider whether lack of commitment, inconsistent at-home practice,  or an inconsistent discipline/reward system may have undermined the training program.
Based on the principles of social learning, model-rival training uses a model, or a rival for attention, to demonstrate the desired behaviour.[65] The method was used by Irene Pepperberg to train Alex the African Grey Parrot to label a large number of objects. McKinley and Young undertook a pilot study on the applicability of a modified version of the model-rival method to the training of domestic dogs, noting that the dog's origins as a member of large and complex social groups promote observational learning. The model-rival training involved an interaction between the trainer, the dog, and a person acting as a model-rival, that is, a model for desired behaviour and a rival for the trainer's attention. In view of the dog, a dialogue concerning a particular toy commenced between the trainer and the model-rival. The trainer praised or scolded the model-rival depending on whether the model-rival had named the toy correctly. It was found that the performance times for completion of the task were similar for dogs trained with either operant conditioning or the model rival method. In addition, the total training time required for task completion was comparable for both methods.[66]
Reinforcement can be anything your dog likes. Most people use small pieces of a “high value” food for training treats — something special — such as dried liver or even just their kibble. Lavish praise or the chance to play with a favorite toy can also be used as a reward. Dogs must be taught to like praise. If you give the dog a treat while saying “Good dog!” in a happy voice, he will learn that praise is a good thing and can be a reward. Some dogs also enjoy petting. Food is often the most convenient way to reinforce behavior.
 Together, we will take a hands on approach to find a solution to resolve the problems you are having with your dog!  Take the Lead K9 Training offers board and train services for obedience training and dog behavior modification.  I will help you resolve a variety of dog behavioral issues like aggression, anxiety, fear, not listening, jumping up, barking, biting, chewing, running away, chasing the cat, pulling on leash, and not coming when called.  I teach basic dog obedience, such as proper leash walking, sit, down, extended stay, and recall to puppies and adult dogs alike!  I also train off leash advanced obedience with low level remote collar training, where your dog will respond to you off leash with high levels of distraction.  Big or small, your dog can learn and listen to you - in public, around distractions, off-leash, and without having to always have a treat to get your dog's good behavior!
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
The Purina PetCare Advice Centre brings together a team with in-depth knowledge, experience and special interests with the skills to advise about health and nutrition, behaviour, training, socialisation, as well as basic first aid for your cat or dog. Our team of dedicated pet lovers can also provide information about Purina products and services to help you give your pet the best possible care. If you've got a question about any aspect of pet care, then ask the Purina PetCare Advice team.

Obedience training usually refers to the training of a dog and the term is most commonly used in that context. Obedience training ranges from very basic training, such as teaching the dog to reliably respond to basic commands such as "sit," "down," "come," and "stay," to high level competition within clubs such as the American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club and the Canadian Kennel Club, where additional commands, accuracy and performance are scored and judged.


Obedience training really is not for the dog... it's for YOU. This training teaches you how to communicate what you want your dog to do in a way that he understands. If you send your dog to someone else to train them, they learn to work with that person, not you. Take the time to learn how to train your dog, don't pass the responsibility off to someone else. In some cases, you may need to have your dog learn the basics from someone else. But then, you should have the trainer work with you AND the dog together. This will make sure that you have the ability to continue the training at home. Check back in with the trainer for “tune up” sessions for you and your dog to keep everyone on track.[13]
In one study laboratory-bred Beagles were divided into three groups. Group A received an electric shock when the dogs touched the prey (a rabbit dummy fixed to a motion device). Group H received a shock when they did not obey a previously trained recall command during hunting. Dogs in group R received the electric shock arbitrarily, i.e. the shock was administered unpredictably and out of context. Group A did not show a significant rise in salivary cortisol levels, while group R and group H did show a significant rise. This led to the conclusion that animals which were able to clearly associate the electric stimulus with their action, i.e. touching the prey, and consequently were able to predict and control the stressor, did not show considerable or persistent stress indicators, while animals that were not able to control the situation to avoid the shock did show significant stress.[62]
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.
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