Separation anxiety in dogs can begin as early as puppyhood. Many new dog owners, distressed when they hear their puppy crying at night, pick him up, cuddle him and generally fuss over him. The puppy is experiencing his first time alone and away from its mom and littermates, and it learns quickly that whimpering, crying or barking gets it attention. The puppy trains its owners to respond — not the other way around.
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.
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I don’t want her pretending to like me for food. As it is, she only shows affection through snuggling or licking to get close to items she isn’t allowed to have that are placed behind me so she can’t get them. When she is close enough, she disregards me and grabs the item and tries to run with it. Occasionally, “leave it” works when she gets her teeth on something she shouldn’t, but most of the time I have to take it away and she she immediately begins to try to get it back with force or sneaky behavior.
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]

I make sure not to expose my dog to situations which he cannot handle. This is important because I am trying to build up his confidence through desensitization and creating a calm environment. The more successes we have, the more confidence he will build. However, bad experiences will undermine that confidence and significantly set back our progress.
Every dog and every owner is different, and that means that no “one” type of obedience training is best for everyone. Understanding what type of training is right for you and your dog is a personal decision based on what you both need and expect from the training experience. There are some factors that you will want to consider when choosing a method of teaching obedience to your dog.

He is still able to go to the parks for nice long walks and smells, and his behavior at the park is very normal. exercise is good for the dogs in his condition. I am his caregiverysical attributes are still strong, but his mental cognition has problems. I am the one suffering, not necessarily him. He really does not know what he is doing. I guess it is how much I can put up with. My dog has saved my life in the past. He was loyal to me, I am in turn trying to be loyal to him….When I start to see that he is in harms way, or his physical attributes begin to fail, I will put him down, but at this stage of the game it does not feel right to me. I am home all day, I am able to be with him. He is my buddy and he is old….There are days when he drives me crazy, and I want to put him down, but I think this test is on me…there is still quality of life in my Zack.

My dogs are also very sensitive to my energy. If I am stressed out or anxious, they will pick up on that and become stressed out themselves. I try to always be calm when interacting with them, I have a fixed routine, a consistent schedule, and I make them work for the things that they want most through positive behavior (Nothing is Life is Free program).


During desensitization to any type of fear, it is essential to ensure that your dog never experiences the full-blown version of whatever provokes his anxiety or fear. He must experience only a low-intensity version that doesn’t frighten him. Otherwise, he won’t learn to feel calm and comfortable in situations that upset him. This means that during treatment for separation anxiety, your dog cannot be left alone except during your desensitization sessions.


• 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.
One of the cornerstones of good health for your puppy is regular veterinary care. It is crucial that your puppy maintains a nutritional diet and exercise routine to stay healthy and balanced. Plus, your vet can advise on heartworm, and flea and tick preventative care. While a lot goes into keeping your puppy in good health, it all begins with the first visit to the vet.
My Shiba is also very sensitive to the energy of the people around him. When he was young, I had a very difficult time with him, and it seemed that he would single me out for his bad behaviors. A big reason for this, was because of my own energy. I was frustrated with him, embarrassed by him, and also a bit afraid of him. He would pick up on these feelings, become stressed and fearful himself, and act even more crazy. This in turn made me feel even more frustrated and afraid, and it was not a good cycle.
Electronic collars (also known as E-collars) transmit a remote signal from a control device the handler operates to the collar. An electrical impulse is transmitted by the handler remotely, at varying degrees of intensity, from varying distances depending on range frequency. It is also done automatically in the bark electronic collar to stop excessive barking, and invisible fence collar when the dog strays outside its boundary. Electronic collars are widely used in some areas of the world and by some dog obedience professionals. This technique remains a source of controversy with many dog training associations, veterinary associations and kennel clubs.[5]
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You should also consider bringing in a professional if your dog exhibits behavior that makes you nervous (like growling or biting), particularly if you have young children in your home. It’s safest to begin behavioral modification with a professional when a dog first starts exhibiting troublesome behaviors rather than waiting for them to take root. As the expression goes, dog rarely grow out of problem behaviors, they grow into them.
Although fear, anxiety and phobias aren’t all the same thing, they are all related to a dog’s need for safety. Fear is a response to a perceived threat. A dog’s autonomic nervous system responds to the perceived threat by triggering a physical response throughout the body. Anxiety, on the other hand, is the anticipation of a fearful event based on past experiences. A phobia is an irrational fear that leads to anxiety and fearful symptoms.
We can show our puppies how to behave in our homes without ever scaring or hurting them. It’s actually much easier to focus on teaching your puppy what to do rather than what not to do. You don’t have to back up your requests with threats. In fact, your puppy will bond with you and listen better if he’s not scared of getting it wrong (and what you’ll do if he does).

When observing a class, take note of the dogs; do they look happy? Relaxed? Excited to work? Is the instructor encouraging dogs and owners? Does the class seem to be run in a safe and effective manner? If you don’t feel comfortable at a particular training school, your dog won’t either, and you’ll be setting Fido up to fail. Keep looking for a school where you feel comfortable; you and Fido will do your best work this way!
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.
When observing a class, take note of the dogs; do they look happy? Relaxed? Excited to work? Is the instructor encouraging dogs and owners? Does the class seem to be run in a safe and effective manner? If you don’t feel comfortable at a particular training school, your dog won’t either, and you’ll be setting Fido up to fail. Keep looking for a school where you feel comfortable; you and Fido will do your best work this way!
Large changes in behavior like that could sometimes be due to physical discomfort. Dogs usually try to hide their pain or vulnerabilities (some more than others), so sometimes it can be difficult to tell. Is she eating and drinking normally? Is her poop and pee normal? Does her mouth smell ok? Does she seem a lot less energetic? When was her last vet check-up?
We offer classes from Canine Good Citizen through obedience competition as well as rally obedience and puppy training and socialization. The club is involved in many activities throughout the year. We attend festivals and fairs doing demonstrations and promoting responsible dog ownership. In January we hold the club’s Obedience and Rally Trial and throughout the year we offer Canine Good Citizen testing and hold Show N Go’s.
"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," PetMD explained. "There appears to be a strong familial component, with the likelihood of a genetic influence."
If you are training a puppy, you will likely need to teach them not to bite. Puppies tend to bite on everything they can grab with their mouth and this action should obviously be discouraged from the beginning. One way is to firmly say NO every time you see this. Also, replace the fingers, hand or object that is being bitten with a toy that may be bitten. It is not recommended to ever slap the snout of a puppy; this may actually encourage a firmer grip. Puppies bite to ease the discomfort of teething, so you want to try and channel this into areas which are acceptable.
On rare occasions, a dog with mild separation anxiety might benefit from drug therapy alone, without accompanying behavior modification. The dog becomes accustomed to being left alone with the help of the drug and retains this new conditioning after he’s gradually weaned off the medication. However, most dogs need a combination of medication and behavior modification.
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.
Don't reward the dog for whining. When a puppy whines, it may be adorable and heartbreaking, but when a grown dog whines, it can drive you nuts. If your puppy whines inconsolably, you may have left him inside the crate for too long. However, you cannot release him from the crate until the whining stops. Remember — every reward you give reinforces the dog's last behavior, which was whining in this case.

I appreciate it when you said that I can enroll in a dog obedience class so that I will know how to train my dog or I can just hire a professional to do it for me. I think the latter will work better with my schedule. There are always so many things for me to do after all. Aside from this, I do not think it will be easy for me to train my little Rio since I do not have the patience to do it.
When observing a class, take note of the dogs; do they look happy? Relaxed? Excited to work? Is the instructor encouraging dogs and owners? Does the class seem to be run in a safe and effective manner? If you don’t feel comfortable at a particular training school, your dog won’t either, and you’ll be setting Fido up to fail. Keep looking for a school where you feel comfortable; you and Fido will do your best work this way!

Take baby steps Dogs, just like people, learn best when new tasks are broken down into small steps. For example, you can’t go out and line dance unless you learn all of the individual steps first! When teaching your dog a new skill, begin with an easy first step and increase difficulty gradually. If you’re training your dog to stay, start by asking her to stay for just 3 seconds. After some practice, try increasing the duration of her stay to 8 seconds. When your dog has mastered an 8-second stay, make things a little harder by increasing the time to 15 seconds. Over the next week or two, continue to gradually increase the duration of the stay from 15 seconds to 30 seconds to a minute to a few minutes, etc. By training systematically and increasing difficulty slowly, you’ll help your dog learn faster in the long run.


After many failed attempts at desensitizing him to the triggers of his anxiety we tried natural calming agents to help. None worked. His anxiety was to profound and the methods were ineffectual. We just could not calm him enough, when exposed to his triggers, for the agents or program to work. We had to put him on medication. For his own safety. He was causing great harm to himself in his terror to escape what he probably thought was another abandonment.
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.

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An abrupt change in schedule in terms of when or how long a dog is left alone can trigger the development of separation anxiety. For example, if a dog’s guardian works from home and spends all day with his dog but then gets a new job that requires him to leave his dog alone for six or more hours at a time, the dog might develop separation anxiety because of that change.
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.
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.
We really feel bad for her, because she isn’t a bad dog, her anxiety just takes over and we know this is not healthy for her. We don’t want to not take her out places either, because we also have another younger dog ( a pitbull mix) who acts very normal when out, and we would like to do things with them together. We would give endless amounts of desensitizing training as we are very eager to resolve this, but we are confused as to where to begin.

Rover.com has plenty of responsible, qualified, animal-loving dog walkers and pet sitters waiting to take your dog under their wing. And once you (and your pet) have built a relationship with a walker or sitter, you’ll have someone else your dog trusts who can provide drop-in visits, pet sitting, and more. After all, exercise and attention are an anxious dog’s best friend.
I’m hoping you can give me some tips on how to get my dog to pay attention long enough to teach her more commands than “sit” without treats. Emily is a 4 month old golden retriever who I feel is too smart and stubborn for her own good…or mine. She learned to sit in four attempts, but that was with treats and she won’t pay attention without them. Even with them, I can’t get past that stage because she is so anxious to get another treat that she jumps on me if she as to remain seated for too long. If she isn’t treated for the sit, she can’t pay attention long enough to hear the next command. Then she adds biting to the jumping. She would rather fight me than listen or pay attention. If I get loud or try to demand compliance she ignores me and, if unleashed, she walks away pretending not to hear me. It drives me crazy listening to or reading so many trainers telling me to turn around and ignore her if she wont stop biting, as if she isn’t then biting me on the ass and ankles and tearing my shirt.
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.
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.
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.

Choose your dog's name wisely and be respectful of it. Of course you'll want to pick a name for your new puppy or dog that you love, but for the purposes of training it also helps to consider a short name ending with a strong consonant. This allows you to say his name so that he can always hear it clearly. A strong ending (i.e. Jasper, Jack, Ginger) perks up puppy ears—especially when you place a strong emphasize at the end.

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