After about a month in our house, our new gentle, laid back dog Archie began having some issues where he would go crazy anytime somebody walked by the house or if we would see another dog out on a walk. He even attacked a dog at the dog park! Then he started play-biting us! Ouch! We had used Bark Busters when training a previous dog, so we already...
Owning a dog can be really rewarding, but also really scary! There is potential that you will have to deal with stresses and anxieties that your dog has. Anxiety in dogs is a tricky thing to navigate through. It is important for you to recognize if your dog has anxiety and what type. Dealing with it then becomes much easier. There are steps you can take to help and we’ve put together a guide for you to find out how.
Before you try to teach your dog to protect a child, you need to take the time to make sure he is fully obedience trained and well-socialized. This means taking the time to take your dog out in a wide range of environments where he will encounter lots of people, objects, other animals, sounds, and sights. You need to know that no matter what distractions you are around, your dog will obey your commands. He needs to know you are in charge.
After we have conquered the backyard, I take her on short but more frequent walks that are close to home. I live in a quiet neighborhood, so it works out well. I make sure to always stay calm and to always make our outings positive. I play Find-It and other games with my puppy so that she gets engaged with me, and learns to associate walks with rewards and fun.

Fixed routine – I set a fixed schedule for feeding, walking, play-time, leaving the house, coming home, and more. I also establish a fixed set of rules, and a consistent way of enforcing them. A very fixed routine and rule-set, helps our dog understand what to expect from us, and also what we expect from him in return. Greater certainty reduces anxiety and stress.

One treatment approach to this “predeparture anxiety” is to teach your dog that when you pick up your keys or put on your coat, it doesn’t always mean that you’re leaving. You can do this by exposing your dog to these cues in various orders several times a day—without leaving. For example, put on your boots and coat, and then just watch TV instead of leaving. Or pick up your keys, and then sit down at the kitchen table for awhile. This will reduce your dog’s anxiety because these cues won’t always lead to your departure, and so your dog won’t get so anxious when he sees them. Please be aware, though, that your dog has many years of learning the significance of your departure cues, so in order to learn that the cues no longer predict your long absences, your dog must experience the fake cues many, many times a day for many weeks. After your dog doesn’t become anxious when he sees you getting ready to leave, you can move on to the next step below.
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.
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.
Profound fear and withdrawal of unknown cause (so called idiopathic fear and withdrawal) has also been noted in certain dog breeds, including the Siberian Husky, German Shorthaired Pointer, Greyhound, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Bernese Mountain Dog, Great Pyrenees, Border Collie, and Standard Poodle, among others. There appears to be a strong familial component, with the likelihood of a genetic influence.
Let your puppy spend a short amount of time in his crate. This is a big day for him, and he needs some time to himself, so he can process his new situation. It’s okay to have the crate in the living room or some other area in the home where people are coming and going, but don’t bug him while he’s in there. Unless he needs to go potty, walk away calmly if he starts to whine or bark. Don’t let him out until he’s being quiet.
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.
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]

Practice walking on-leash around the house. Make sure the pup walks at your side. Do lots of stops and have the pup Sit each time. Open the front door, walk out then back in again. This is a great time to teach the pup not to dash out the door. Leaders ALWAYS go through doorways or gates first! This is important body language to a dog. Over emphasize this move by having your dog “wait” as you walk out the door first. Use your body to block the doorway if he starts to push his way through. Body blocks are understandable to dogs, as they use this on each other.
Amy grew up in England and in the early 1990's moved to North Carolina where she completed a bachelors degree in Psychology in 2001. Amy's personal interest in writing was sparked by her love of reading fiction and her creative writing hobby. Amy is currently self employed as a freelance writer and web designer. When she is not working Amy can be found curled up with a good book and her black Labrador, Jet.
The classes are designed to teach you positive-reinforcement training methods that reward good behavior, e.g. manners, come, sit, stay and most of all walking on a leash without pulling, and correct unwanted behavior, e.g. nipping, chewing, digging and jumping. The various levels of instruction include written and illustrated step-by-step lesson plans.

Sally eventually got the hang of it all and she is attached to me 24/7. I have a 4 month old son and if I go to his room to feed him she instantly follows. If I get up from the couch to use the bathroom, she follows. If I go to the bathroom to brush my teeth, she follows. She is almost always within 5 feet of me, so I know she is behaving and looking to me for direction.

Hi, I just got a 9 month old Puggle who I believe may have been mistreated before because she’s very easily alarmed by any sudden sounds even if she’s laying with me and the sound comes from me. It also takes a while before she willingly comes to anyone in the house. It also took a while for her to eat treats and she doesn’t play with toys very often. We got her a crate that she slept in for a week in my room without a problem. The crate has her bed on one side and a piece of fake grass on the other side and she never had any problems with the crate. However 2 days ago I overslept so she ended up being in the crate for 12 hours and peed on the side with the grass. I took her out when I woke up and she still pooped outside and acted normal that day. Since then when we put her in the crate to go to bed she barks and howls and moves around anxiously until someone’s in the room. I’ve tried comforting her and letting her out when she’s quiet and scolding her when she’s yelling but nothing seems to have changed. Help!
Counter-conditioning can also be used to train your dog to perform a desirable behavior once they have been exposed to their trigger. This works to replace the bad behavior issue with a learned command, such as sitting. If your dog is following your command and behaving in a positive light, you can reward their good behavior with treats or praise to reinforce their behavior.
One of the most common complaints of pet parents is that their dogs are disruptive or destructive when left alone. Their dogs might urinate, defecate, bark, howl, chew, dig or try to escape. Although these problems often indicate that a dog needs to be taught polite house manners, they can also be symptoms of distress. When a dog’s problems are accompanied by other distress behaviors, such as drooling and showing anxiety when his pet parents prepare to leave the house, they aren’t evidence that the dog isn’t house trained or doesn’t know which toys are his to chew. Instead, they are indications that the dog has separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is triggered when dogs become upset because of separation from their guardians, the people they’re attached to. Escape attempts by dogs with separation anxiety are often extreme and can result in self-injury and household destruction, especially around exit points like windows and doors.

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.


When it comes to your pet’s behavior, you know best. You know what they do and don’t like and what they will or won’t respond to. However, once you begin introducing new methods of care, foods, or medications into their routine, it’s best to review your change of plans with his veterinarian first. This way you can avoid any surprise reactions and ensure that you are choosing the healthiest route for your pet.
In the 1950s Blanche Saunders was a staunch advocate of pet-dog training, travelling throughout the U.S. to promote obedience classes.[15] In The Complete Book of Dog Obedience, she said, "Dogs learn by associating their act with a pleasing or displeasing result. They must be disciplined when they do wrong, but they must also be rewarded when they do right."[22] Negative reinforcement procedures played a key part in Saunders' method, primarily the jerking of the choke chain. The mantra taught to students was "Command! Jerk! Praise!" She felt that food should not be an ongoing reward, but that it was acceptable to use "a tidbit now and then to overcome a problem." Saunders perhaps began the shift away from military and police training methods, stressing repeatedly the importance of reinforcement for good behaviour in training—a move toward the positive training methods used today.[23]
If possible, try to avoid letting your dog be exposed to dark rooms. Anxious dogs will try and escape and generally look for dark rooms such as a closet. This isn’t an ideal place for them, so try and keep these rooms closed so they are in a well-lit room. Attempt to spot the signs of an oncoming anxiety attack so you may prevent it from happening. If your dog knows how to sit and stay, nuances like these can help reinforce positive reactions to their perceived “negative” environments.
Practice everywhere, with everyone If you learn that two plus two equals four in a classroom, you’ll take that information with you wherever you go. Dogs, however, learn very specifically and don’t automatically apply their knowledge in different situations and places as well as people do. If you teach your dog to sit on cue in your kitchen, you’ll have a beautifully kitchen-trained dog. But she might not understand what you mean when you ask her to sit in other locations. If you want your dog to perform new skills everywhere, you’ll need to practice them in multiple places-your home, your yard, out on walks, at friends’ houses, at the park and anywhere else you take your dog.
For example, what did she do during thunderstorms? What is her usual routine like? What type of training is she used to? Previously, did she enjoy being outside? Did she enjoy being with people and other dogs? Did something unusual happen in the last few months? Were there changes in schedule? Unexpected visitors? Unusual noises? Did anything different occur during her walks?
The concepts of "pack" and "dominance" in relation to dog training originated in the 1940s and were popularized by the Monks of New Skete in the 1970s. The model is based on a theory that "dogs are wolves" and since wolves live in hierarchical packs where an alpha male rules over everyone else, then humans must dominate dogs in order to modify their behavior.[68] However, recent studies have shown that wolves in the wild actually live in nuclear families where the father and mother are considered the pack leaders, and their offspring's status depends on their birth order which does not involve fighting to attain a higher rank, because the young wolves naturally follow their parents' lead.[69]

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.


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.
Observational learning is the learning that occurs through observing the behavior of others. This form of learning does not need reinforcement to occur; instead, a model animal is required. While the model may not be intentionally trying to instill any particular behavior, many behaviors that are observed are remembered and imitated.[52] The domestic dog is a social species and its social dependency makes it aware of the behavior of others, which contributes to its own behavior and learning abilities. There is, however, ongoing discussion about how much, and how, dogs can learn by interacting with each other and with people.[53]
You will need to spend a significant amount of time building up to 40-minute absences because most of your dog’s anxious responses will occur within the first 40 minutes that he’s alone. This means that over weeks of conditioning, you’ll increase the duration of your departures by only a few seconds each session, or every couple of sessions, depending on your dog’s tolerance at each level. Once your dog can tolerate 40 minutes of separation from you, you can increase absences by larger chunks of time (5-minute increments at first, then later 15-minute increments). Once your dog can be alone for 90 minutes without getting upset or anxious, he can probably handle four to eight hours. (Just to be safe, try leaving him alone for four hours at first, and then work up to eight full hours over a few days.)
These behaviors can be diminished only when a plan of action is in course. You can’t expect the anxiety just to disappear when nothing has been done to cure it. Just like any other health condition, a dog suffering from this kind of problem will need to seek professional help from their veterinarian to identify the underlying cause. From there, your vet will be able to recommend tips on how to avoid these triggers or provide anti-anxiety medication for dogs if their condition is in a severe stage.  
I appreciate your concern, but I do not agree with your analysis. Whenever Sally has her leash on her she is EXTREMELY excited and ready to go on our next adventure outside. She works hard for me when I give her commands and she wants so badly to please me. For this video, we were in the basement because the weather wasn’t nice outside. This drove her bonkers because she knows that if the leash goes on, we’re going outside! She was working extra hard for me when I filmed this video and I know how difficult that was for her. She’s such a good girl.

So Ashley had been coming to my house probably 6-8 times since last year. My babies love her. She is calm and so sweet to them. They love her so much! I am sure they love her treats too! My Frenchies (2 & 3 yrs old) can now sit, stay, wait (this is when we hold a treat right in front of their face and they don't try to snatch it) and lay down. She has also helped with some potty issues that our youngest had. She helps us understand why our dogs are doing certain things and their motives. We rescued our doggies & they are Frenchies so they are stubborn to boot. So she helps us understand certain behaviors and how to correct them.
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