This class will set you on the path to a great working relationship with your dog. We will teach you the mechanics that make you a great trainer and will cover a variety of basic cues and life skills that will make life with your dog more enjoyable. We will show you how to effectively use positive reinforcement to improve your dog's behavior in all situations. The foundational training you and your dog will receive will continue to help you throughout your dog’s life.
However, before giving your dog anti-anxiety pills or any kind of medication, make sure you understand the side effects to look out for. Also, only give your pet the recommended anti-anxiety medication dosage from your veterinarian. Extra dosages can result in harm to your pet. Each dog responds differently to anti-anxiety medication due to the rate of absorption and other potential health conditions that may affect how well it works.
You want your puppy to be able to respond to you in various situations and places, so be careful not to limit training to one room of your house or corner of the yard. Practice commands in your home, backyard, front yard, surrounding neighborhood, woods, park or in any other location you visit with your pet. There are different distracting smells and noises in new areas, and you want to be sure your dog can still perform what he knows in different environments.

Do you or someone in your family have Diabetes? This is our 13 private lesson training program which will give you all of the tools, knowledge, and training necessary in order to make your personal dog a diabetic alert dog.(service dog). This program will take your dog from knowing nothing about scent detection, to targeting on your blood sugar, and alerting you before you reach a dangerous level. If you are interested in this program, click here: http://diabeticdogvirginia.com/
While training and socialization can have a huge effect on your puppy's behavior, you are still working with the tools that genetics gave you. Everything from stress on your puppy's grandparents to hormones in utero can change your puppy's genetics and brain - permanently. Unfortunately, love isn't enough to turn an undersocialized puppy into a confident Lassie-type. Even with the best training out there, dogs have genetic limits (and those limits can change based on hormones and stressful experiences).

Fantastic article, thank you very much. I already follow a great deal of your advice, except I haven’t trained my hound to go potty on command. I never used treats for rewards on walks simply because he never responds to treats when there’s more interesting things to look at. Instead, like you, I use praise and he’s very intune with me on walks. Treats are for inside; I play games with him, alongside our cat, using treats! Anyway, I digress. I just want to thank you for writing a wonderful article and sharing such details that will help people. Well done and best wishes.
Operant conditioning (or instrumental conditioning) is a form of learning in which an individual's behavior is modified by its consequences. Two complementary motivations drive instrumental learning: the maximization of positive outcomes and minimization of aversive ones.[37] There are two ways in which behavior is reinforced or strengthened: positive reinforcement occurs when a behavior is strengthened by producing some desirable consequence; negative reinforcement occurs when a behavior is strengthened by avoiding some undesirable consequence. There are two ways in which behavior is decreased or weakened: negative punishment occurs when a behavior is weakened by not producing a reinforcing consequence; and positive punishment occurs when a behavior is weakened by producing a consequence that is a disincentive. In combination, these basic reinforcing and punishing contingencies provide four ways for modifying behavior.[38] Reinforcement increases the relative probability or frequency of the behavior it follows, while punishment decreases the relative probability or frequency of the behaviour it follows.

Come back and wait until he is quiet, and then ask him to wait in the crate while you open the door. He should not come bursting out. If you feel one action, such as putting on a certain pair of shoes, picking up your car keys, going to a certain door, brings about the beginning of stress, then do that action and do not leave. Get him so familiar with the action that he accepts it.


In addition to Benadryl and homeopathic treatments, your veterinarian may recommend a prescription drug for your dog’s anxiety. Most of these anti-anxiety drugs can be administered orally and are best suited for your pet prior to the anxiety-inducing situation. Because anxiety medication typically takes at least 30 minutes before they start working, it’s best to give it to your dog ahead of time rather than waiting until they present symptoms.
In addition to your graduated absences exercises, all greetings (hellos and goodbyes) should be conducted in a very calm manner. When saying goodbye, just give your dog a pat on the head, say goodbye and leave. Similarly, when arriving home, say hello to your dog and then don’t pay any more attention to him until he’s calm and relaxed. The amount of time it takes for your dog to relax once you’ve returned home will depend on his level of anxiety and individual temperament. To decrease your dog’s excitement level when you come home, it might help to distract him by asking him to perform some simple behaviors that he’s already learned, such as sit, down or shake.
I need advice on how to help my dog with an anxiety which is not listed here. He has a huge toy anxiety. What I mean by that is he will play till he drops. He gets extremely worked up over toys and fixates on them. He pants heavily and shakes and salivates. He wont leave you alone even if you throw the toy for him to fetch because he brings it right back. This can go on for hours. I am concerned about his health and how this much anxiety is ad for him.
First, make sure your puppy is comfortable wearing a leash. This can feel strange at first, and some puppies may bite the leash. Give your puppy treats as you put the leash on each time. Then, stand next to your puppy with the leash in a loose loop and give him several treats in a row for standing or sitting next to your leg. Take one step forward and encourage him to follow by giving another treat as he catches up.
The time it takes to train a dog varies according to the dog and what you’re attempting to train. Housetraining a puppy usually only takes a few weeks, if adhering to a proven training system with a typically intelligent puppy. Beginner behavioral or “manners” training courses typically run 6 weeks. Obedience training typically takes 2-3 sessions per new skill—if you are practicing with your dog multiple times a day in between sessions, and if your dog is young.
Crate training can be helpful for some dogs if they learn that the crate is their safe place to go when left alone. However, for other dogs, the crate can cause added stress and anxiety. In order to determine whether or not you should try using a crate, monitor your dog’s behavior during crate training and when he’s left in the crate while you’re home. If he shows signs of distress (heavy panting, excessive salivation, frantic escape attempts, persistent howling or barking), crate confinement isn’t the best option for him. Instead of using a crate, you can try confining your dog to one room behind a baby gate. 

Any area that the pup has access to must be kept clear and clean. Put out of puppy's reach anything you don't want him to chew or destroy. Do not allow your puppy to have unsupervised access to 'unchewables.' Do not chase the puppy in an attempt to take something away. Instead provide puppy with her own toys and teach her how to play with them exclusively.
Desensitization and counterconditioning are complex and can be tricky to carry out. Fear must be avoided or the procedure will backfire and the dog will get more frightened. Because treatment must progress and change according to the pet’s reactions, and because these reactions can be difficult to read and interpret, desensitization and counterconditioning require the guidance of a trained and experienced professional. For help designing and carrying out a desensitization and counterconditioning plan, consult a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB or ACAAB) or a board-certified veterinary behaviorist (Dip ACVB). If you can’t find a behaviorist, you can seek help from a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT), but be sure that the trainer is qualified to help you. Determine whether she or he has education and experience in treating fear with desensitization and counterconditioning, since this kind of expertise isn’t required for CPDT certification. Please see our article, Finding Professional Behavior Help, to locate one of these experts in your area.
When embarking upon a journey to train your dog, it is important that you know the limits of your dog. A young dog is unable to comprehend the skills that an adult dog may pick up on; likewise, a senior dog may be a little slower in catching on. The individual nature of your dog also comes in to play when you decide to teach your dog obedience. If you have a dog that is easily distracted it may take them much longer to pick up a command than a dog that is a dog that is eager to please. In general, dogs that are praise or food motivated are more easily trained, and dogs that have a history of being mistreated or abused can be much more difficult to train.
Hey gang, here's a quick check in on our big Dane brothers! We've started to introduce e-collar heel on our walks which assists them in learning the position we would like them, as well as can help keep them focused if something of interest crosses their path (for Apollo, that would be SQURIELLS!!) We make sure to take some time to work each dog individually, particularly because Loki is VERY dependent on Apollo and needs some help focusing on his person instead of keeping eyes on big brother, but do bring them together for some nice tandum walking! Eventually we want to be able to walk both boys at the same time (in the same hand!) but it is SO important that they both master a structured walk solo before it becomes a Dane Duet 😁 In this video and the clips following it you will see how we use tap and turns, slow paced walking, and stop and sits to help get the boys really focused on their handler - not each other or the squirrels surrounding us! We don't want our walks to be a struggle - you can't out strength these dogs! - but we can shape and expectation of a calm structured heel! (Even with another dog around - yes, I'm talking to you Mr. "Barks at some dogs" Apollo !) Good boys! 😊 #calmdogscrazyworld #orlandodogs #orlandofl #dogstagram #puppy #balancedtraining #dogtraining #pitbull #gsd #labrador #doodle #goldenretriever #rescuedog #oviedofl #winterparkfl #floridadogtrainer #orlandodogtrainer #centralflorida #centralfloridadogtrainer #floridadogs #windermerefl #taketheleadk9training #boardandtrain #adoptdontshop #ecollartraining #disneydogs #ucfdogs #lakemaryfl #sanfordfl #greatdane
With my dog (Sephy), I try to re-establish as much certainty and consistency as possible. After we moved, I quickly set up a fixed routine and a consistent set of rules. I also increased supervision and spent more time with Sephy, engaging him in various positive and structured activities. We also went on longer walks, in quiet hiking trails. In this way, he gets to explore and relax in a peaceful environment. The structured activities redirect him from his stress, and gives him positive outlets for his energy.
Hey gang, here's a quick check in on our big Dane brothers! We've started to introduce e-collar heel on our walks which assists them in learning the position we would like them, as well as can help keep them focused if something of interest crosses their path (for Apollo, that would be SQURIELLS!!) We make sure to take some time to work each dog individually, particularly because Loki is VERY dependent on Apollo and needs some help focusing on his person instead of keeping eyes on big brother, but do bring them together for some nice tandum walking! Eventually we want to be able to walk both boys at the same time (in the same hand!) but it is SO important that they both master a structured walk solo before it becomes a Dane Duet 😁 In this video and the clips following it you will see how we use tap and turns, slow paced walking, and stop and sits to help get the boys really focused on their handler - not each other or the squirrels surrounding us! We don't want our walks to be a struggle - you can't out strength these dogs! - but we can shape and expectation of a calm structured heel! (Even with another dog around - yes, I'm talking to you Mr. "Barks at some dogs" Apollo !) Good boys! 😊 #calmdogscrazyworld #orlandodogs #orlandofl #dogstagram #puppy #balancedtraining #dogtraining #pitbull #gsd #labrador #doodle #goldenretriever #rescuedog #oviedofl #winterparkfl #floridadogtrainer #orlandodogtrainer #centralflorida #centralfloridadogtrainer #floridadogs #windermerefl #taketheleadk9training #boardandtrain #adoptdontshop #ecollartraining #disneydogs #ucfdogs #lakemaryfl #sanfordfl #greatdane
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Practice getting your pup excited (which is always easy to do). Have a leash on your pup. Jump around, move your arms, talk in a high voice, then say “settle down” and use the leash to lure into a down position. He doesn’t have to stay for more than 2 seconds. This is a good way to learn how to control your pup when he gets rambunctious without you initiating it.
Since dogs can have allergies to certain medications, plants, foods, etc., it is again advisable to work with your veterinarian or a homeopathic specialist for pets to find a healthy solution for your anxious dog. Simply let your vet know you’d rather avoid prescription anti-anxiety drugs or medication or try all organic solutions first and he or she will guide you to options for your pet.  With pets, what works for one dog’s behavior modification may not work for another. Even if you’ve received advice from other pet owners or discussion forums, confirm with your doctor before trying anything new.
I have a 4 year old Yorkie that has been crate trained since she was a puppy. We only crate her when we are at work. If we leave for a few hours to go eat or to the store we let her run the house. We have done this since the beginning. My routine every morning was to take her outside for her potty break before I went to work. We would get back to the front porch and I would let her off the lease and she would run and get in her crate with no problem. However, our house was broke into a year ago and she was of course in her crate in the living room when this happened. After this happened she would shake and not want to go in her crate, she would run to the bedroom and sit on the bed and shake. I had to start picking her put and putting her in there when we got to the porch. I tried a new approach, as soon as I get up I started taking her for walks in the morning. After our walk I come back and get ready for work then take her outside one last time before I leave. This helped as she did stopped shaking however I still have to pick her up and put her in the crate. I thought to myself I could deal with that as long as she was not shaking. We went to my in-laws condo on vacation in July and we do not crate her at all while we are there. When we came back she had stress colitis. Now I am back to her shaking again since we came back from vacation. Sometimes she pees and sometimes she does not. I am not sure what to do or how to handle this issue. I hope that you might have some suggestions for me.

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.
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.
At this point, you can start to incorporate very short absences into your training. Start with absences that last only last one to two seconds, and then slowly increase the time you’re out of your dog’s sight. When you’ve trained up to separations of five to ten seconds long, build in counterconditioning by giving your dog a stuffed food toy just before you step out the door. The food-stuffed toy also works as a safety cue that tells the dog that this is a “safe” separation.

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.


Remember, this isn’t how it will be forever. My dog trainer told me it takes 2 weeks to create a new habit for a dog. If you can do this for 2 weeks, I’m confident you’ll see positive results. And, if you find your dog only responds to treats, that is perfectly okay. It just did not work for me. If you need help training your dog with other things like whining, digging holes or other dog training subjects be sure to check out these articles.


Thank you for your reply. We took your advice and are keeping Bailey’s experiences with my husband very positive. Bailey always loved to share whatever my husband is eating, so he made a little Hansel and Gretel trail of sweet potato chips that led up to the sofa. This is working for now. We will continue to take things slowly and positive, letting Bailey set the pace within reason. Thanks again.

For example, before you ever teach your dog the "sit" command, give the click sound, a treat, and praise when you find him sitting. When he begins sitting just to get the treats, start saying the word "sit" to get him into position. Pair it with the click sound to reward him. Eventually, he will learn that sitting in response to the "sit" command will earn him a click reward.
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.

Frequently provide food puzzle toys. You can feed your dog his meals in these toys or stuff them with a little peanut butter, cheese or yogurt. Also give your dog a variety of attractive edible and inedible chew things. Puzzle toys and chew items encourage chewing and licking, which have been shown to have a calming effect on dogs. Be sure to provide them whenever you leave your dog alone.
Pups between the ages of 9–12 weeks who were permitted to observe their narcotics-detecting mothers at work generally proved more capable at learning the same skills at six months of age than control puppies the same age who were not previously allowed to watch their mothers working.[54] A 2001 study recorded the behaviour of dogs in detour tests, in which a favorite toy or food was placed behind a V-shaped fence. The demonstration of the detour by humans significantly improved the dogs' performance in the trials. The experiments showed that dogs are able to rely on information provided by human action when confronted with a new task. Significantly, they did not copy the exact path of the human demonstrator, but adopted the detour behavior shown by humans to reach their goal.[55] A 1977 experiment by Adler and Adler found that puppies who watched other puppies learn to pull a food cart into their cages by an attached ribbon proved considerably faster at the task when later given the opportunity themselves. At 38 days of age, the demonstrator puppies took an average of 697 seconds to succeed, while the observers succeeded in an average of 9 seconds.[56]
Animal behaviorists assert that using dominance to modify a behavior can suppress the behavior without addressing the underlying cause of the problem. It can exacerbate the problem and increase the dog's fear, anxiety, and aggression. Dogs that are subjected to repeated threats may react with aggression not because they are trying to be dominant, but because they feel threatened and afraid.[70]
First and foremost, the best thing you can do is consult your veterinarian. Your dog may or may not need medical help, but the safest thing to do is take him/her to the vet and see. If there is a need for medicine, it can take a couple weeks for the medicine to take effect. Ultimately, it is up to you to modify behaviors to get them to relax and not react to environmental situations.
If you are not able to stay at home with your puppy, you should make every effort to return home to take your puppy out to the bathroom every few hours or hire a dog walker who can do this for you. When you are not home, you should crate your puppy to prevent accidents throughout the house. As a general rule, any dog will be reluctant to relieve itself in the area where it sleeps, but this should not be used as an excuse to make your puppy hold it. The bladder of an 8-week old puppy is large enough to “hold it” for only three hours at a time.

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...

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.

In addition to Benadryl and homeopathic treatments, your veterinarian may recommend a prescription drug for your dog’s anxiety. Most of these anti-anxiety drugs can be administered orally and are best suited for your pet prior to the anxiety-inducing situation. Because anxiety medication typically takes at least 30 minutes before they start working, it’s best to give it to your dog ahead of time rather than waiting until they present symptoms.
2. Make her visible. This might sound like the last thing you want to do with an anxious dog—I’ve certainly spent my share of time hiding around corners and not opening my door until I’ve checked that the coast is clear—but drawing attention to your dog’s anxiety is a good way to tell other people not to approach. Put a yellow ribbon on your dog’s leash, or buy a bandanna or harness that says “nervous” or “no dogs” and you’re giving people a heads-up without having to yell at them.
In the beginning, I make sure the other person *does not* initiate eye contact or talk. In this way, I keep things low key and non-stressful. The energy of the people around my dog is also very important. If I am anxious or worried, my dog will pick up on that and get anxious as well. I try to stay calm and positive, I let my dog set the pace, I keep sessions short but frequent, and I make the experience very rewarding.
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.
If you are not able to stay at home with your puppy, you should make every effort to return home to take your puppy out to the bathroom every few hours or hire a dog walker who can do this for you. When you are not home, you should crate your puppy to prevent accidents throughout the house. As a general rule, any dog will be reluctant to relieve itself in the area where it sleeps, but this should not be used as an excuse to make your puppy hold it. The bladder of an 8-week old puppy is large enough to “hold it” for only three hours at a time.
The most important part of training your dog is teaching her that it pays to do things you like. But your dog also needs to learn that it doesn’t pay to do things you don’t like. Fortunately, discouraging unwanted behavior doesn’t have to involve pain or intimidation. You just need to make sure that behavior you dislike doesn’t get rewarded. Most of the time, dog motivations aren’t mysterious. They simply do what works! Dogs jump up on people, for example, because people pay attention to them as a result. They can learn not to jump up if we ignore them when they jump up instead. It can be as simple as turning away or staring at the sky when your dog jumps up to greet or play with you. As soon as she sits, you can give her the attention she craves. If you stick to this plan, your dog will learn two things at once. Doing something you like (sitting) reliably works to earn what she wants (attention), and doing things you don’t like (jumping up) always results in the loss of what she wants.
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.
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