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There are many factors that go into choosing the right training school for you and your dog. Certainly distance is a consideration; however, convenience shouldn’t be the only factor that influences your decision. Other things like training methods, appropriate classes for your needs, compatibility of the instructor’s personality with yours, and certifications of the instructor should also play a role.
I have a one year old Cairn Terrier that we adopted from our local SPCA 6 months ago. He is in his only at night and for the first few months we had him there were no problems but recently he has started growling and snarling at us when he goes in the crate. So we started leaving the crate door open and just closing the gate to the room his crate is in but he will bark when we close the gate. We just had family stay with us over the weekend and while they were here he would single me out and bark hysterically at me and jump on me. His tail is wagging and I really don’t think he is trying to bite This morning I was unloading the dishwasher and he sneaks up on me and when I turned around he started the incessant barking again. If I walk away it usually stops. Any suggestions on what may be causing this and what I should do?
The use of medications can be very helpful, especially for severe cases of separation anxiety. Some dogs are so distraught by any separation from their pet parents that treatment can’t be implemented without the help of medication. Anti-anxiety medication can help a dog tolerate some level of isolation without experiencing anxiety. It can also make treatment progress more quickly.

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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.
Otherwise, there could be a food allergy or something else, and the anxiety merely exacerbates the condition. When my dog gets diarrhea, I usually switch to a bland diet. I use boiled/microwave chicken and white rice only, no treats, no extras. That helps to settle their tummy. For dogs that are allergic to poultry, we will need to use a different meat source. Once my dog is on a steady state, I very slowly reintroduce back her normal food, one at a time, to try and locate the source of the food allergy (if any).

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.


Some training methods use punishment, like leash corrections and scolding, to discourage dogs from doing everything except what you want them to do. Other methods cut right to the chase and focus on teaching dogs what you do want them to do. While both tactics can work, the latter is usually the more effective approach, and it’s also much more enjoyable for you and your dog. For example, you can easily use treats, games and praise to teach your dog to sit when people approach during walks in the neighborhood. If your dog is sitting, she won’t be dragging you toward the people, jumping up when they get close enough, mouthing on their arms and legs, and so on. That’s pretty efficient training-no pain or intimidation needed. Alternatively, you could grab your dog’s leash and jerk her to the ground every time she jumps up to greet people, and you’d most likely get the same effect in the end-no more jumping up. But consider the possible fallout:
When considering treating your dog for anxiety, it is important to know the source of the anxiety. Is your dog anxious about being left alone? Being confined? Is the anxiety caused by loud noise, or travel, or sudden changes in environment or routine? Some dogs have phobias of certain objects, types of people, or specific situations. The source greatly informs the treatment. For example, calming music might help a dog with separation anxiety, but won't do much to help a dog who has anxiety about walking in crowded places. There are pharmaceuticals available from veterinarians for extreme cases, but to minimize medicating your dog and experiencing any potential side-effects, try these options before going in for a prescription.

Once your dog can stay in a sit for several seconds, you can begin adding distance. Place him in a sit and say “stay,” take one step back, then step back to the pup, give a treat, and your release word. Continue building in steps, keeping it easy enough that your dog can stay successful. Practice both facing him and walking away with your back turned (which is more realistic).


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.
My dog often gets stressed when there is a lot of uncertainty in his life. Therefore, I try to create as much certainty as possible by setting up a fixed routine, consistent rules, and making him work for the things that he wants (Nothing in Life is Free). In this way, he knows exactly what to expect from me, from the other dogs in the household, from other people, and also what I expect from him. I also try to be very calm and decisive when interacting with my dog, so that he will pick up on that energy and know that he can count on me.
I would like to restate that she never has this behavior at home and it feels like it only happens when she is in a new place. I recently took her on a longer walk, to a place she had never been ( we didn’t have to use the car) and my Fiance went into the store while I waited with her outside. The extreme panting began again, and I attempted to soothe her and kept a tight grip on the leash. Then an unknown man came out of the store, and our lab charged him, and wailed me into a pole so hard that it caused tissue damage on my arm. I must admit I am not the strongest person I know, but her pull was simply uncontrollable.
Separation anxiety is pretty common. Very few dogs actually LIKE being left alone -- they are social animals by nature. Anxiety in this case is most often caused by boredom and loneliness, perhaps associated with a previous negative experience while left alone. It can also be what is known as old-age-onset separation anxiety, which can be caused by a decline in cognitive understanding, or memory, in elderly dogs.
Slip collars (commonly called choke chain or check chains) are made of metal links or rolled material such as nylon or leather. A metal ring is at each end. Historically, slip collars have been used as a matter of course, mostly in North America and the UK. In the last few decades use of these collars has declined. Correctly used, the collar should make a quick clicking not zipping sound when quickly snapped and released to startle or get the attention of the dog and indicate to the handler that the technique was a swift jerk not a choke. The idea is not to strangle the dog, though this can happen if the collar is improperly used.
A dog with separation anxiety might try to escape from an area where he’s confined when he’s left alone or separated from his guardian. The dog might attempt to dig and chew through doors or windows, which could result in self-injury, such as broken teeth, cut and scraped front paws and damaged nails. If the dog’s escape behavior is caused by separation anxiety, it doesn’t occur when his guardian is present.
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.
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!
Developed in the 1930s, Obedience is one of the AKC’s oldest sporting events. From walking on- and off-leash to retrieving and jumping, or demonstrating your dog’s ability to stay, Obedience trials feature dogs that are well-behaved at home, in public places, and in the presence of other dogs. It is essential that the obedience dog demonstrates willingness and enjoyment while it is working with the handler.
Step 1: Have your dog lay down. Wait for him to stand up. When he stands up, click and treat. Repeat this action several times until he learns that he has to stand up in order to get his treat. Standing is so natural that it is likely that the dog won't immediately understand why he is being rewarded, so it may take more repetition than usual. (Initially, it's okay to click even if.............................................
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]
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Just like in humans, your dog can develop anxiety for a number of reasons such as illness, a traumatic experience, lack of socialization as a puppy, spending time in a shelter, or being re-homed multiple times, PetMD explained. Once you identify that your dog has anxiety, it's important to talk with your vet or an animal behavioralist to develop a treatment plan that's best for you and Fido.
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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]
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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.
One thing I find will make things easier going for your pup is to make sure that you show your dog exactly what you expect from them. Often this means literally placing your dog into the position that you want. Yes, you may have to do this a few times (or even many times). Remember that the dog brain is not as big as yours! You may also want to consider rewarding the behavior or positioning that you are looking for.
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.
Do not create a negative association with this command. No matter how upset you are, never reinforce the "come" with anger. Even if you're furious that your dog slipped the leash and ran free for five whole minutes, lavish him with praise when he finally responds to the "come." Remember that you're praising the last thing he did did, and the last thing he did was to come to you.
Individualised training is used with dogs that have an urgent or unique training problem such as fear, hyperactivity, aggression (and other related problems), separation anxiety, biting, excessive barking, insecurity, destructive behaviors, walking difficulties, and inappropriate elimination.[80][81] This type of training would normally be undertaken where the problem naturally occurs rather than a class situation. Class training can be effective in encouraging socialization and play with a peer group. Classes are often offered at a more affordable rate and can cover both problem behaviors and teach new skills. Classes can range from puppy and beginner training to more advanced training and skill training such as performing tricks or therapy work.
Anxiety in dogs can also manifest as aggression when a dog feels like it needs to defend itself even if there isn't any danger present. Stilwell explained that behavior modification training can help your dog replace its fears and anxieties with positive associations. "This is where food plays a really powerful role," she said. "You’re actually training the brain to function in a different way. Because the dog’s sense of smell is immeasurably superior to ours, when you activate that sense of smell, you can deactivate the emotion of fear and anxiety."
We work Monday to Friday so durning the week my husband gets up and feeds her before he goes to work, then an hour later I take her for an hour walk and when we get back from our walk I go to work and she stays home for the day. When I get home from work we go for another hour walk or to the park (lately she won’t go for these walks but will go to the park if we drive there and she’s fine at the park). Then she has supper and in the evening another walk (again, lately she hasn’t been going for these walks, we have to drive her to a place and she only wants to go to the bathroom, no playing). We’ve been trying to get her to go to the bathroom in the backyard since she seems comfortable there, but we just got it done a few weeks ago so she’s still getting used to it.
Enroll in a reward-based training class to increase your dog’s mental activity and enhance the bond between you and your dog. Contact a Certified Professional Dog Trainer for group or private classes that can give you and your dog lots of great skills to learn and games to play together. After you and your dog have learned a few new skills, you can mentally tire your dog out by practicing them right before you leave your dog home alone. Please see our article, Finding Professional Behavior Help, to locate a CPDT in your area. 
And just like people, there are plenty of ways to help relax and soothe pets. Love listening to a certain type of music to unwind? Apparently, so does your dog. When it comes to tension-taming tunes, pups seem to prefer the sounds of soft rock or reggae to jazz, pop, or Motown. Playing the music was linked to a decrease in shelter dogs’ heart rates (which is a sign of less stress) in one 2017 study.
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.
It's important to know what type of issues you're looking to avoid so that you can teach your dog good habits right from the start. Some pet parents hope to ward off excessive barking, while others are worried about their dog chewing on non-food items (like dangerous house plants or their shoes). Digging, begging, biting, stealing food and urinating in the home are other issues pet parents look to avoid.
It's important to know what type of issues you're looking to avoid so that you can teach your dog good habits right from the start. Some pet parents hope to ward off excessive barking, while others are worried about their dog chewing on non-food items (like dangerous house plants or their shoes). Digging, begging, biting, stealing food and urinating in the home are other issues pet parents look to avoid.
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.
Classical conditioning (or Pavlovian conditioning) is a form of learning in which one stimulus, the conditioned stimulus, comes to signal the occurrence of a second stimulus, the unconditioned stimulus.[43] Classical conditioning is when a dog learns to associate things in its environment, or discovers some things just go together. A dog may become afraid of rain through an association with thunder and lightning, or it may respond to the owner putting on a particular pair of shoes by fetching its leash.[44] Classical conditioning is used in dog training to help a dog make specific associations with a particular stimulus, particularly in overcoming fear of people and situations.[45]

To update: our German Shepherd’s sudden onset anxiety did not improve, so we took her to the vet who said this is not an uncommon development in senior dogs, and it can develop seemingly from out of nowhere. The vet said it sounds like separation anxiety, which can be triggered even if there is no separation! In our situation, it definitely seems as if bells or buzzers or ringers are a trigger…even the microwave or sports on tv! The vet also said it sounds like our dog is developing signs of canine cognitive dysfunction. She has been placed on a low dosage of Prozac, with plenty of room to increase the dosage if we don’t notice any improvement. So far, behaviors have not improved, but they have not gotten worse either. I will update after she has been on the medication for a longer period of time.


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. Fortunately there are plenty of alternative arrangements:
It's important with all dog training but especially with young puppies to use lots of encouragement, praise and rewards (positive reinforcement) in your training. Start your puppy training sessions as soon as your little puppy arrives at your home - it's never too early. Set your puppy up to succeed, concentrate on developing desirable habits in your puppy and preventing undesirable behavior. It's much a better alternative to put your puppy on the right path from the start, rather than trying to correct established problem behaviors later on.
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. Fortunately there are plenty of alternative arrangements:
The first day with your new puppy will involve traveling, whether it’s a short distance from the shelter or a local breeder or a long ride in a car or the cabin of a plane. This is the perfect opportunity to start teaching your puppy to love his crate. Be sure it’s well stocked with treats and, if possible, a towel or T-shirt that bears the scent of his mother and littermates. That will go a long way toward making him comfortable in his new surroundings.
The clicker is a small hand-held device that makes a distinct, short sound to mark a desired behavior. (See clicker training for a more detailed discussion of this methodology.) It has gained popularity in recent years as being a means of training that does not involve physically correcting the dog, though it may be used in conjunction with these methods.
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.
Changing behavior takes time. You need to have realistic expectations about changing your dog’s behavior as well as how long it will take to change behaviors that you don’t like. Often behaviors which are “normal” doggie behaviors will take the most time such as barking, digging and jumping. You also need to consider how long your dog has rehearsed the behavior. For example, if you didn’t mind that your dog jumped up on people to say hi for the last seven years and now you decide that you don’t want him to do that anymore, that behavior will take a much longer time to undo than if you had addressed it when he was a pup. Remember it’s never too late to change the behavior some will just take longer than others.
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