Also, please note that because of volume, we are unable to respond to individual comments, although we do watch them in order to learn what issues and questions are most common so that we can produce content that fulfills your needs. You are welcome to share your own dog tips and behavior solutions among yourselves, however. Thank you for reading our articles and sharing your thoughts with the pack!
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.

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.
To communicate clearly and consistently with your dog, you need to understand how she learns. Dogs learn through the immediate consequences of their behavior. The nature of those consequences determines how they’ll behave in the future. Dogs, like other animals (people included), work to get good things and avoid bad things in life. If a behavior results in something rewarding-like food, a good belly rub, playtime with dog buddies or a game of fetch with her pet parent-your dog will do that behavior more often. On the other hand, if a behavior results in an unpleasant consequence-like being ignored or losing things she finds rewarding-she’ll do that behavior less often.

Treats should be soft and bite-sized so your pooch will immediately be ready for more. Couple all rewards with verbal praise and your dog will soon form a positive association with the sound of your praise. Once a behavior is well established, you can slowly reduce the frequency of other rewards. In time, your dog will respond to your command simply for your praise (and the possibility of the occasional treat).
Many anxieties and phobias can be helped through training and conditioning. For instance, separation anxiety (the fear of being left alone) is extremely common among dogs and can often be dramatically improved or even eliminated by gradual conditioning to being alone with positive reinforcement. However, some dogs are simply anxious in their general disposition, or they need help calming down enough before training them to get through a stressful situation can even begin. For these dogs, there are a handful of natural solutions you can try. Dogs still need training, too; there is no magic cure to fix fearfulness and anxiety for good. But the natural solutions listed below may go a long way in helping a dog cope as the real solutions — long-term training, desensitization and conditioning — take place.
The Dog Obedience Club of Lee County is located near the Fort Myers area. Founded in 1983, we are an AKC sanctioned, not-for-profit organization dedicated to making dogs better citizens through training. Whether you wish to compete in obedience or just want a well-behaved companion and best friend, we can help you train your dog. Our instructors have all raised and trained dogs from a variety of breeds and have achieved AKC Obedience titles on their dogs. They actively compete in AKC obedience, rally, agility, tracking and more.
While it is best to start training your pup at an early age, you can train also train an adult dog to protect your children. It's just a little harder and may take more time. Bear in mind, you instill a sense of loyalty by the way you treat your pup. The more loyalty he feels towards you and your family, the more naturally protective he will be and the easier it will be for you to train him. 
Disclaimers: The information contained in this web site is provided for general informational purposes only. It is not intended as nor should be relied upon as medical advice. Rather, it is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a pet owner/site visitor and his/her local veterinarian(s). Before you use any of the information provided in the site, you should seek the advice of a qualified professional.
Rather than hoping your puppy will magically grow up understanding the laws of the land, start training now. With good training, very young puppies can learn to obey many basic commands, chew only on chew toys, hold their pee to go outside, and much more. Focus on what you can control - your puppy’s training - rather than waiting around for age fix your puppy.
In this Article:Article SummaryPreparing for Dog TrainingApplying General Training PrinciplesTeaching the “Heel”Teaching the “Come”Teaching the “Listen”Teaching the “Sit”Teaching Your Dog to Lie DownTraining Your Dog to “Wait” at DoorwaysTeaching Your Dog Positive Food BehaviorsTeaching the “Take” and “Drop It” CommandsTeaching the “Stand”Teaching the “Speak”Crate Training Your DogCommunity Q&A13 References
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.  

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.
Sally is very food driven, but if there are outside forces (dogs, squirrels, bunnies, etc.), she’s going to be more interested in them than food. So we had to find a different way to obtain her attention without relying solely on treats. This caused us to seek a professional trainer’s help, and thus we were introduced to training without treats, which was extremely successful for us.
As you go about trying to train your new dog, you do want to keep several things in mind. First, the dog itself will have limits to what they can do and comprehend. You must respect these limits and not push them beyond. For example, a small puppy will certainly not be able to understand everything that an older dog will. Additionally, the puppy may not have certain skills that the older does. This may limit what they can initially do. On the other hand, an older dog may have trouble catching on to certain things, or may not be physically able to do some of the things a puppy can. Just try and get to know your dog and then respect whatever their specific limits are.
The Thundershirt is a popular solution for dog anxiety. It is a tightly fitting garment that wraps around your dog. The idea is that the feeling of continuous pressure can help calm a dog's nerves for things like travel anxiety and, as the name implies, noise anxiety among other issues. However, there isn't much definitive science-based evidence to show that these actually work. Some dog owners swear by it; others have found it hasn't helped. The effectiveness of the Thundershirt may also depend on when and how it is used, and the particular personality and needs of the dog it is used on. So, something like this could be helpful if used alongside other natural solutions with each helping to enhance the benefits of the other.
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.
Providing lots of physical and mental stimulation is a vital part of treating many behavior problems, especially those involving anxiety. Exercising your dog’s mind and body can greatly enrich his life, decrease stress and provide appropriate outlets for normal dog behaviors. Additionally, a physically and mentally tired dog doesn’t have much excess energy to expend when he’s left alone. To keep your dog busy and happy, try the following suggestions:
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.

Alprazolam, Amitriptyline, Clomicalm, and Buspirone are all potential medications that may be prescribed for your pet. The choice will be made by the veterinarian based on your dog’s current health, allergies, medical history, and several other factors. Never use another pet’s medication for your dog even if they’re in the same household. The way pets digest medication and their reaction to it will vary. What has been successful in one pet may not be the case for another.

Konrad Most began training dogs for police work in Germany, and was appointed principal of the State Breeding and Training Establishment for police dogs in Berlin, where he carried out original research into training dogs for a broad range of service tasks. At the outbreak of war in 1914 he was charged with organising and directing the use of dogs to further the war effort. He headed the Experimental Institute for Armed Forces' Dogs during the Second World War, and afterwards ran the German Dog Farm, a centre for the training of working dogs, including assistance dogs for the blind. He played a leading role in the formation of the German Canine Research Society and Society for Animal Psychology.[8] His 1910 publication, Training Dogs: A Manual, emphasised using instinctive behavior such as the prey drive to train desired behaviors, advocated the use of compulsion and inducements, differentiated between primary and secondary reinforcers, and described shaping behaviors, chaining components of an activity, and the importance of timing rewards and punishments. The book demonstrated an understanding of the principles of operant conditioning almost thirty years before they were formally outlined by B.F. Skinner in The Behavior of Organisms.[9] While publishers of the 2001 reprint warn that some of the "compulsive inducements" such as the switch, the spiked collar and the forced compliance are unnecessarily harsh for today's pet dogs,[10] the basic principles of Most's methods are still used in police and military settings.[11]
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!
While keeping with the desensitize program and very close monitory from his vet, Sully (Neuroti-Dog) takes Xanax and Clomicalm. He used to take Clomipramine but the expense went through the roof the last few months so we changed it. When he was first put on medications our hope was to use the meds to calm him enough for him to respond to the desensitizing. It worked. Until he found new triggers to cause him anxiety. No sooner do we desensitize him from one trigger and he finds another. I walk around my house with my car keys in hand, my coat and shoes on more often than not. I use his buzz words without action on my part other than to give him his favorite treat and we won’t even get into what I have to do when the dry cleaner bag comes out! I never stop using this program, if I lax even one day, he goes back to his original triggers of anxiety. Needless to say, Sully requires constant monitory for not only his medications but his anxiety through desensitization. Oh, BTW, he ate his Thundershirt. :-/
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."
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The Merck Veterinary Manual also states that natural therapies and products can help dogs with anxiety. Some products work best in conjunction with other medications, while others can be used alone, depending on your dog’s case. Natural products use pheromones and aromatherapy to reduce anxiety. Talk to your vet about the natural products best suited for your dog.
Typical positive reinforcement events will satisfy some physiological or psychological need, so it can be food, a game, or a demonstration of affection. Different dogs will find different things reinforcing. Negative reinforcement occurs when a dog discovers that a particular response ends the presentation of an aversive stimulus. An aversive is anything that the dog does not like, such as verbal admonishment, or a tightened choke chain.[39]
I have a problem with my 6 month german shepard.She is afraid to go out for a walk that I will have to drag her out and then she will be fine.Then all a sudden it looks like she realise that she is outdoors and the story begins!!!She will start pulling on the leash her tail tucked between her legs and she will not respond to any command or treat not even her favourites.The only thing she will want is getting back home and then she will be fine!!What do you think is the problem and hpw should I tackle it?THANK YOU.
No biting is more of an action taken to discourage puppy biting than it is an actual obedience training command. Puppies have a habit of biting anything and everything and this behavior should be discouraged from the beginning. Discouraging biting can be done with a variety of ways. One of the most used methods of discouraging biting is to firmly say “no” and replace the hand or fingers that are being bitten with a toy that it is acceptable to bite.

Disclaimers: The information contained in this web site is provided for general informational purposes only. It is not intended as nor should be relied upon as medical advice. Rather, it is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a pet owner/site visitor and his/her local veterinarian(s). Before you use any of the information provided in the site, you should seek the advice of a qualified professional.
Another update on our senior German Shepherd: Our precious girl, Buca, has been on generic Prozac for anxiety and canine cognitive dysfunction for a little over 9 months now. It has really helped! She is now 11-1/2, and at some point the vet cut her prozac down to 20 mg. a day. We also give her a glucosamine for arthritis daily. She still suffers anxiety with bells and buzzers on the television – definitely prefers us to have the TV off! – and during storms her anxiety is heightened, but other than that she is more or less the same sweet girl she has always been, and we are so grateful that we pursued the medication, and did not look into putting her down. I know she is toward the end of her life span, but she still seems to be enjoying the quality of her life for the most part, and we continue to look at every day with her as a gift. Ironically, she had been terrified of the vacuum cleaner ever since she was a pup. That was, in fact, the only anxiety she ever displayed throughout most of her life. Now, I can vacuum all I want, and she just lays there calmly! I usually have to ask her to move!!!
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.
Clicker training, a common form of positive reinforcement, is a simple and effective dog training method. Although it is still fine to train your dog without clicker training, many people find it helpful. With clicker training, you can easily and effectively teach your dog all kinds of basic and advanced commands and tricks. It's fast and easy to learn how to clicker train your dog
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