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 allowed Sally the opportunity to go places as she pleased but only if I could trust her (which I always could). I gave her the opportunity to mess up so I could correct her and let her know where she could be. This is still something we do in the kitchen from time to time. If she is in the kitchen when I’m cooking I ask her to get back. This is for her safety because I don’t want to trip over her while I’m using a knife or opening the oven door. Additionally, I prefer to not have her in the kitchen begging.

Lindsay says of this study, "Schilder and Van der Borg (2004) have published a report of disturbing findings regarding the short-term and long- term effects of shock used in the context of working dogs that is destined to become a source of significant controversy ... The absence of reduced drive or behavioral suppression with respect to critical activities associated with shock (e.g., bite work) makes one skeptical about the lasting adverse effects the authors claim to document. Although they offer no substantive evidence of trauma or harm to dogs, they provide loads of speculation, anecdotes, insinuations of gender and educational inadequacies, and derogatory comments regarding the motivation and competence of IPO trainers in its place." [64]

In competition obedience training, “heel” means the dog is walking on your left side with his head even with your knee while you hold the leash loosely. Puppy training can be a little more relaxed with the goal being that they walk politely on a loose leash without pulling. Some trainers prefer to say “let’s go” or “forward” instead of “heel” when they train this easy way of walking together.
Rehabilitation begins by having your dog know what is expected of him. You and other members of your family are the pack leaders, and you need to be recognized as such, not as dictators, but as leaders. For example, if your dog comes up to you and nudges your hand, or slaps you with his paw. You think this is cute and he is petted. This becomes a habit, and now your dog thinks “I am in control and I can tell you what to do.” Then, when he cannot carry it out, he becomes stressed.
Great article, Kimberly. Thanks so much. I’ve been looking for info on no food training. I’ve had 5 dogs over the past 20 years, all rescues, all adults. The only one who has been food motivated is the one we got as a young puppy. I started training her right away w/ treats, which worked great for a couple months but I’ve noticed her responsiveness is decreasing as I decrease the use of treats w/ training (and we do a ton of training- adv obedience, tricks, agility and find it) so I’ve been looking for guidance on how to make the transition go more smoothly. Thanks again. Great info! Sally looks like a happy well loved dog.
The essential thing Sally learned in her training was the commands sit and down stay. The trainer had us work on sit-stays and down-stays for 30 minutes each day for a few days. Start your dog on-leash and have them sit-stay by tugging the leash towards their back to help put them in a sitting position and then telling them to stay. When you tell them to stay, hold your hand out in front of yourself towards 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.
Whenever you’re training your dog, it’s important to get as many family members involved as possible so everyone’s on the same page. If you are telling your dog “off” when he jumps on the couch and someone else is saying “down,” while someone else is letting him hang out up there, how on earth is he ever going to learn what you want? Consistency will be the key to your success.
You may also notice common behavior problems in your dog such as jumping up, barking, or even aggression. The best way to correct any misbehavior is to interrupt it. Shift your dog's attention to something positive. Try running through cues that your dog has mastered followed by rewards. Keep your demeanor cool and confident, and be clear about what you mean.
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!!!
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.

This 2-week program is a program which focuses on practical, everyday obedience that is completed with a high level of precision, outside, off-leash, with distractions! This program provides a little bit of everything, including manners and socialization (dogs and people). All behaviors are taught with high-level distraction proofing. This program offers the following:
Prior to the 1980s, Karen Pryor was a marine-mammal trainer who used Skinner's operant principles to teach dolphins and develop marine-mammal shows. In 1984, she published her book, Don't Shoot the Dog: The New Art of Teaching and Training, an explanation of operant-conditioning procedures written for the general public.[23] In the book Pryor explains why punishment as a way to get people to change often fails, and describes specific positive methods for changing the behaviour of husbands, children and pets.[33] Pryor's dog training materials and seminars showed how operant procedures can be used to provide training based on positive reinforcement of good behavior.[23] Pryor and Gary Wilkes introduced clicker training to dog trainers with a series of seminars in 1992 and 1993. Wilkes used aversives as well as rewards, and the philosophical differences soon ended the partnership.[34]
Puppies don't have very long attention spans, so keep all the puppy training sessions short. Practice one command for five minutes at a time, and again later when you have opportunities outside of training sessions. Your dog can only do one thing at a time, so focus on one skill and move on once he has mastered it. You should also always end the training on a positive note so your pet is excited for his next lesson.
When people come to visit, I make sure to properly manage Lara. I put a leash on her so that I can properly control her and stop her from getting too excited. Distance will weaken the “person” stimulus. I also make sure that the person is totally ignoring her – absolutely no eye-contact. This is very important, because eye-contact can be seen as an invitation to interact, and this will get Lara even more excited.
STARTER PACKAGE: $375 – Want to get a feel for our training before purchasing a full obedience package? If so, the Starter Package is for you! This program includes training equipment and 1 private lesson covering the following commands: “Come”, “Sit”, “Extended Sit”, “Break”, and “Off”. The Starter Package is ideal for dogs who just lack a recall (do not come when called), or dogs who are generally obedient but display some unwanted behavior such as counter-surfing, jumping, excessive barking, etc. ***Be prepared to practice daily for at least 30 minutes.***
Help him relax when he comes home. When your puppy gets home, give him a warm hot water bottle and put a ticking clock near his sleeping area. This imitates the heat and heartbeat of his litter mates and will soothe him in his new environment. This may be even more important for a new dog from a busy, loud shelter who's had a rough time early on. Whatever you can do to help him get comfortable in his new home will be good for both of you.

If my dog is able to focus and stay in-control, I reward him with a very high priority treat. For desensitization purposes, I usually bust out the really good stuff. I try to pick a highly aromatic or smelly treat that my dog loves, but does not usually get to eat. The smell will help to engage his nose, and further distract him from the source of his anxiety.
Marian Breland Bailey played a major role in developing empirically validated and humane animal training methods and in promoting their widespread implementation.[12] Marian was a graduate student under B.F. Skinner. Her first husband Keller Breland also came to study with Skinner and they collaborated with him, training pigeons to guide bombs. The Brelands saw the commercial possibilities of operant training, founding Animal Behavior Enterprises (ABE). In 1955, they opened the "I.Q. Zoo" as both a training facility and a showcase of trained animals. They were among the first to use trained animals in television commercials, and the first to train dolphins and whales as entertainment, as well as for the navy.[12] Keller died in 1965, and in 1976 Marian married Bob Bailey, who had been director of marine mammal training for the navy. They pioneered the use of the clicker as a conditioned reinforcer for training animals at a distance.[11] ABE went on to train thousands of animals of more than 140 species.[12] Their work had significant public exposure through press coverage of ABE-trained animals, bringing the principles of behavior analysis and operant conditioning to a wide audience.[13]
Observational learning is the learning that occurs through observing the behavior of others. This form of learning does not need reinforcement to occur; instead, a model animal is required. While the model may not be intentionally trying to instill any particular behavior, many behaviors that are observed are remembered and imitated.[52] The domestic dog is a social species and its social dependency makes it aware of the behavior of others, which contributes to its own behavior and learning abilities. There is, however, ongoing discussion about how much, and how, dogs can learn by interacting with each other and with people.[53]
Dogs are pack animals and knowing this will provide you with a huge advantage when training your pet. Basically, you need to let your dog know that you are the Alpha Dog. Encourage them to lick the backs of your hands and continuously rub their bellies. Whenever a dog reveals their belly, it means that they are submitting to you. Being the pack leader will ultimately make dog training sessions much more effective and less of a hassle.

Most people don’t have a problem being very clear about when they are unhappy with their dogs, but, they often ignore the good stuff. Big mistake! Make sure you give your dog lots of attention when he’s doing the right thing. Let him know when he’s been a good boy. That’s the time to be extra generous with your attention and praise. It’s even okay to be a little over the top.
Counter-conditioning can also be used to train your dog to perform a desirable behavior once they have been exposed to their trigger. This works to replace the bad behavior issue with a learned command, such as sitting. If your dog is following your command and behaving in a positive light, you can reward their good behavior with treats or praise to reinforce their behavior.
Obedience training really is not for the dog... it's for YOU. This training teaches you how to communicate what you want your dog to do in a way that he understands. If you send your dog to someone else to train them, they learn to work with that person, not you. Take the time to learn how to train your dog, don't pass the responsibility off to someone else. In some cases, you may need to have your dog learn the basics from someone else. But then, you should have the trainer work with you AND the dog together. This will make sure that you have the ability to continue the training at home. Check back in with the trainer for “tune up” sessions for you and your dog to keep everyone on track.[13]
Separation anxiety occurs when a sensitive dog becomes deeply attached to its pack — and in this case that’s you and your family. Some people inadvertently create situations favorable to the development of canine separation anxiety by making a fuss over their dog when they leave for the day or return at night. The dog begins to sense that something important is going to happen and displays anxiety symptoms in anticipation of its pack leaving for the day.
Next, drop a treat on the floor near you. As soon as your puppy finishes the treat on the ground, say his name again. When he looks up, give him another treat. Repeat this a couple of times until you can begin tossing the treat a little further away, and he can turn around to face you when you say his name. Avoid repeating your puppy’s name; saying it too often when he doesn’t respond makes it easier for him to ignore it. Instead, move closer to your puppy and go back to a step where he can be successful at responding to his name the first time.
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. 
Imagine your puppy running out the front door. You call him, waving a treat. But he'd rather chase a squirrel into the road than come back to munch on a treat. In addition to the obvious danger of Puppy getting hit by a car, he learns that he doesn't have to listen to you. He learns that he's in charge of what he decides to do and what he decides not to do.

I have a 14 year old shep mix and have been putting up with these behaviors for two years now. I know his senses of sight and hearing are diminishing, but not gone. He has a form of dementia, which is kinda a senile thing. He is not always in this state of mind, I have to constantly be with him, or his anxiety level will go off the wall with constant barking.


We all want our four-legged friends to lead their happiest and healthiest lives possible. It can be hard for them to do that when their lives are ruled by fear and anxiety. Breaking these cycles and establishing new healthy habits is no easy task. It takes patience, dedication and a willingness to give your dog the very best of your attention and time.
Many behavior problems can be prevented by providing “legal,” acceptable ways for your dog to express her natural impulses. There are some things that dogs just need to do. So rather than trying to get your dog to stop doing things like chewing, mouthing and roughhousing altogether, channel these urges in the right direction. Increased physical activity and mental enrichment are excellent complements to training. Please see our articles, Enriching Your Dog’s Life, Exercise for Dogs and How to Stuff a KONG® Toy, to learn more.

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. 


Also, I have not been able to find any truly convincing studies on the Thundershirt. The only ones I could find were sponsored by the Thundershirt company. This one looks somewhat interesting and talks about a hide-box and measuring cortisol levels and heart rate, but I was not able to find the actual Journal publication that they alluded to in the article.
Thank you both for the reply. We had noticed the beginnings of arthritis about a year ago, and our vet recommended we put her on a glucosamine regimen. Although I’m sure she experiences some level of discomfort from the arthritis, it hasn’t seemed to stop her from running outside or playing frisbee. She does seem to be experiencing some cognitive confusion, which may well be a result of her diminishing senses. She is better today, in terms of the panting and trembling…but she has still chosen to isolate herself in a corner bathroom, and is sleeping most of the day. But, she is calmer than is previous days. She does have a Vet appointment soon, so we will raise your suggestions then. Like with Lady, I just have been unprepared to seriously consider my life without her…but I would never want to subject her to misery, if it seems she has no quality of life. Again, thank you both for the reply.
When his anxiety begins occurring we keep him to a very regular schedule and walk him around a cemetery nearby where he is almost always comfortable. When he does become nervous we employ the abrupt stop and change direction since it distracts him from his anxiety and forces him to pay more attention to us. We’ve tried having him give cued behaviors & rewarding that to distract him but he will refuse treats when anxious. We also try to do the majority of his exercise (dog park trips & 3-5 mile runs with me) in the morning so that his evening walk can be shorter. HIs anxiety only occurs in “neighborhoods” where there area people & houses. We frequently take him camping & hiking & he has NEVER had an episode at these places. That is the one thing that has me stumped-he does not like being in the direct line of campfire smoke but exhibits no anxiety and will even sleep 10 feet away from it. The only thing I can come up with is that he sees the source of the smoke smell. The few times I have walked him past the neighbors barbecuing he seems to calm down. Do you have any thoughts? Have you come across a dog with a smell anxiety before? I should mention we got (rescued) him from a family that kept him confined to the kitchen 24/7 and he had never walked on a leash until 7 months old. Thank you for any input on this.

Loud noises like construction, car alarms, and thunderstorms are also cause for anxiety in dogs. They may run under the table or in circles, howl, whimper, and show signs of fear during the events and even for a few hours after. Although some situations are unpredictable, for those that aren’t, providing extra comfort and care for your dog beforehand can help ease the anxiety.
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.
One thing that caught my attention is that you are using the crate as a punishment. If you plan to crate her when you are away from your home, I wouldn’t recommend using it as a punishment for when she misbehaves. This teaches her to hate her crate and think she is in trouble, when in reality, you are away from the house and need her to be put in a safe place so she doesn’t get into anything she shouldn’t.

Last night was a big day for Oliver the aussie - his family joined us for his go home lesson! I am super proud of his owners as they worked with their boy through some distractions on the walk (seeing dogs and people, adjusting our numbers to keep him focused and not reactive, as well as using engagement moves to keep him present with them) as well as practice some of his indoor obedience to help him be a calmer dog in the house! Before Oliver came to training his routine at the house was pretty restless - pacing and always on patrol, barking at any sound, or needing the tennis ball tossed for him constatlntly throughout any family downtime! For three years this guy used constant movement and reactive barking to mitigate some of his high energy and anxiousness at home and on walks. During our training we focused alot of creating some structure to his day - a more organized walk in heel, which tries him mentally while also keeping him focused and non reactive AND household management with boundaries and direction featuring duration place command, crate time, and overall moments of impulse control and Oliver needing to wait for permission before doing things. Sometimes during the go home lesson we see some fireworks when owners arrive- general excitement of seeing their family again is expected, but for dogs who are a bit older AND have been running the roost at home, we also often see some protest-the-rules antics! I often warn owners in advance that with dogs, especially those who have such an entitled association with their owners, that they may pull some moves to get out of doing their work...instead wanting to just "throw in the doggie towel" and be their old impulsive, demanding, bratty, pushy selves when they have their family back because history tells them that with their owners they DO get to do all the things the want to do, without boundaries or consequences.
i love your dog hubs,,, and i love the “eye makeup” for the young siberian,, we had a female sibe (who lost her makeup after a year) and she was so loving to everyone except neighbors pet rabbits and our pupplies. she ran away so often (even over 7 foot fences) that we had to build a kennel..also, she ripped up our young female newfie until the newfie got big enough and took her down,, she was a great dog tho
With the approval of your veterinarian, you can give your dog anxiety medication to help ease his anxiety. Benadryl is commonly prescribed to help alleviate symptoms of anxiety in dogs.  The antihistamine is known to serve as a mild sedative. When administered correctly prior to the environment or activity that may cause heightened anxiety in your pet, it can help him remain calm and relaxed.
Ultimately finding the right obedience training solution for you and your dog involves weighing out what you need, what you can afford and how your dog will react to a specific training solution. If you are unsure how to address your dogs training needs because they are a newer addition to your family, ask your vet for their advice. Often your vet will be able to assess just what your dog needs based on their experience with other dogs with similar behavior patterns.
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The final command that has been extremely beneficial, in my experience, is “leave it.” Dropped a piece of raw chicken on the floor? “Leave it.” Changing baby’s diaper and the scent is intriguing to your dog? “Leave it.” Your dog may not catch on right away, so it’s okay to give a slight tug on your dog’s collar to pull them away from the object you want them to leave. After enough repetition, they will learn the command.
Consider clicker training. Clicker training is a method of delivering immediate praise with the help of a clicker. You can click faster than you can give a treat or pet your dog's head. As such, clicker training reinforces good behavior fast enough for a dog's learning speed. It works by creating a positive association between the click sound and rewards. Eventually, your dog will consider the sound of the clicker itself reward enough for good behavior. You can apply the principle of clicker training to any dog command.
Finally, a visit to the veterinary office may make your dog feel leery and cause anxiety. Think about the conditions of the situation and why your pet may feel extra jumpy. Take him for a walk beforehand to get his energy out. Soothe him as you put on his leash or put him in a carrier. The more you remain by your dog’s side and let him know you’re there for the duration of the visit, the more comfortable he’ll feel.
• 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.
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.
AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) evaluators are another class of dog-training professionals. AKC CGC Evaluators may or may not be trainers or behaviorists, but are certified by the AKC to evaluate dogs in the Canine Good Citizen test. Training other behaviors and getting a dog used to being alone, for example, can help reduce separation anxiety. The root cause, however, would likely need to be determined by a behaviorist, who could then refer you to a trainer if he or she was not able to help with the training issues.
Punishment is operationally defined as an event that lowers the probability of the behavior that it follows. It is not "punishment" in the common sense of the word,[40] and does not mean physical or psychological harm and most certainly does not mean abuse. Punishment simply involves the presentation of an undesired consequence (positive punishment) when the wrong behavior is performed, such as a snap of the leash, or the removal of a desired consequence (negative punishment) when the wrong behavior is performed, such as the trainer eating the cheese that would have been the reward.[41] A behavior that has previously been developed may cease if reinforcement stops; this is called extinction. A dog that paws its owner for attention will eventually stop if it no longer receives attention.[42]

Anxiety, it's not just for humans. If you've ever wondered: Does my dog have anxiety? It's important to know that pets can get anxious too, and there are some signs to watch for so you can help Fido feel better. Just like their human parents, dogs can develop anxiety, with separation anxiety being the most form of anxiety in dogs. What's more, certain breeds of dogs are more prone to anxiety than others, according to PetMD.
Dinner time is often one of the hardest times to teach obedience to your puppy. He sees you as the pack leader eating a delicious meal and looks up at you with those big puppy eyes and you can't help but give in. This is where you have to be strong and avoid feeding him table scraps. This will help keep off unwanted weight and teach him that begging doesn't get him anywhere. Make sure the whole family follows this rule. Bad training behavior by one family member can derail everything you're trying to teach your pup.
Submissive urination is a normal way for your puppy to demonstrate submissive behavior. Even a dog that is otherwise housetrained may leave dribbles and puddles of urine at your feet when greeting you. Excitement urination with a puppy is usually caused by lack of bladder control. The puppy is not aware that he is urinating; he's just excited and any punishment will only confuse him.
I allowed Sally the opportunity to go places as she pleased but only if I could trust her (which I always could). I gave her the opportunity to mess up so I could correct her and let her know where she could be. This is still something we do in the kitchen from time to time. If she is in the kitchen when I’m cooking I ask her to get back. This is for her safety because I don’t want to trip over her while I’m using a knife or opening the oven door. Additionally, I prefer to not have her in the kitchen begging.
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.
Finally, whether you train your pet at home on your own or if you bring him to a class or an instructor, understand that patience is the most important skill you need during this process. Your puppy will inevitably make some mistakes or have an occasional accident. He needs your support during those times. Clearly and kindly correct the behavior or action and reinforce the training command you taught your pet. Your dog is counting on you and excited to learn.
Hi there, I have a Lasso Apso x Toy Poodle (Jethro) who, I think, is suffering from anxiety as he is very timid throughout the day, barking at every noise and anything outside the house especially people arriving at our neighbour’s house, or people coming to visit our house or even coming into our cul-de-sac. He can hear cars arriving from down the street, he is already growling as they begin to turn in the cup-de-sac. He constantly growls and chases our cat who he has grown up with. She is now 15 years old and he is making her life miserable. We also have an adorable 15 year old Cocker Spaniel who is not as energetic anymore, but they are best friends. The problem with Jethro is that he is becoming so unbearable timid at almost everything and very protective. He is now barking at any animal that appears on the television. To begin with it was just dogs, now it is any animal even cartoon animals. He almost rips the lounge chair by grabbing and shaking the cushion then rushing towards the television growing and barking constantly until there is a scene where the animal/s isn’t there. He has also begun barking and growling at some male characters. It is obvious that he dislikes males as these are his target if one comes anywhere near our house. He is ok when we take him for walks at the dog beach. He is well-behaved with other dogs and people although he does walk in a criss-cross pattern and is quite protective of our cocker spaniel if she wanders off. We have mentioned his anxiety to our vet and they thought is may be due to a urinary infection and took samples for testing but came back negative. We are concerned with the increased nature of his behaviour and worried that he may become so anxious that he may bite someone in the future. He is untrustworthy at present and we daren’t let him out the front of the house without being on a lead during the day. He is also nervous of particular items such as black bowl we have for his dry food. If he gets to the bottom of the bowl it sits and barks until we tip the biscuits out. He is also nervous of our garbage bin when it is in the dark or other strange or unusual objects that may come up. We noticed his behaviour change when he was less than 2 years, after we had renovations done. Builders were in and out of the house lot and not always with our supervision. His first fear was of the broom and he still hates it when I pick up the broom or start the vacuum cleaner. He runs from the room with his tail down. My feeling is that he may have been hit with the broom by the builders and thus his anxiety of the broom and also males… He does not respond to females with the same vengeance. He does not respond in the same way with family members either. He does however, growl and bar his teeth if he is curled up and doesn’t want to be picked up or touched. He has had a recent health check and the vet is not a good place for him, he runs and pulls to get out. He is stiff and hard to relax. I have used massage and music to keep him calm and taken him for longer walks. He is very energetic. Does he need more exercise? I am running out of ideas. He is a lovely little dog and it is distressing for all of us to think he may be suffering from anxiety.
Obedience training helps your pet learn his role in your family and in the world. It will teach him the skills he needs to interact with other dogs and with the people inside and outside your home. Puppy training is the first step to teaching healthy behaviors and avoiding negative ones. Often, dogs start their training by learning simple commands, such as "sit" and "stay," though later on they may be trained in more specific ways, such as how to stay in a crate without whining or how to sit patiently without begging while the family eats dinner.
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.
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.
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.
I adopted a 2 year old female Boxer. She has been with me for almost a month. When I have my male friends come over for a visit, Cheyenne starts jumping on the friends, running around the back yard as if she is uncomfortable with my friends being there. I don’t have more than one friend over at a time. After my friends leave, Cheyenne will then relax. I am trying to introduce her to my friends slowly as she has been in a shelter and then at a rescue most of her 2 years of life. Do you have any suggestions>
Separation anxiety often begins in puppyhood, so begin training your puppy to enjoy time in a crate from the moment you bring him home. Crate training is by far the best way to prevent and manage anxiety in dogs. The crate becomes associated with a safe and comfortable place and dogs treat it like their “den” the way a wolf might. Soft blankets, toys and treats make the crate a wonderful place to be and dogs will enter the crate willingly.
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.

Step 1: Set up obstacles, such as orange cones (bought at Wal-mart), buckets, or even red plastic cups in a straight line. Start with three or four, and space them 24-30 inches apart. With your touch stick, guide your dog in and out of the obstacles, starting from the left side. When he goes in and out of one or two, click and treat. Continue to do this until he goes in and out of all of them.
Puppy training mainly focuses on socialization and basic manners, and thus fits well into a small-group training model. Puppies will learn to be friendly around other puppies and humans, and they will learn familiarity with the leash. Beginner and intermediate obedience classes are usually taught in a group training setting, wherein 5-10 owners and dogs learn basic to medium commands (sit and stay/down/heel). The group setting is recommended because it teaches dogs to ignore other distractions--whether they be dogs, humans or peripheral noises.
Some dogs with social anxiety act out at every unknown being — both person and animal. They may be fine around family members, but if someone unexpected comes to the door, the dog expresses his anxiety by growling or snapping at the stranger. Other dogs may be loving and calm around strange people and even other animals, such as cats, but be deeply anxious and afraid of other dogs.
Thank you both for the reply. We had noticed the beginnings of arthritis about a year ago, and our vet recommended we put her on a glucosamine regimen. Although I’m sure she experiences some level of discomfort from the arthritis, it hasn’t seemed to stop her from running outside or playing frisbee. She does seem to be experiencing some cognitive confusion, which may well be a result of her diminishing senses. She is better today, in terms of the panting and trembling…but she has still chosen to isolate herself in a corner bathroom, and is sleeping most of the day. But, she is calmer than is previous days. She does have a Vet appointment soon, so we will raise your suggestions then. Like with Lady, I just have been unprepared to seriously consider my life without her…but I would never want to subject her to misery, if it seems she has no quality of life. Again, thank you both for the reply.
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:
There is no conclusive evidence showing exactly why dogs develop separation anxiety. However, because far more dogs who have been adopted from shelters have this behavior problem than those kept by a single family since puppyhood, it is believed that loss of an important person or group of people in a dog’s life can lead to separation anxiety. Other less dramatic changes can also trigger the disorder. The following is a list of situations that have been associated with development of separation anxiety.
Similarly, while it helps to have one adult assert themselves as the pack leader, your dog should also be trained by every member of your family. Part of puppy obedience training is simply learning where your pet falls in the order of the pack, so everyone needs to be involved. This also teaches your pet to follow commands by all humans and not just one leader.
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.
4. Consider changing your vet if he/she isn’t tuned in to your dog’s needs. While some vets are great with nervous and aggressive dogs, others are still very old school; they don’t listen to owners and use invasive and rough handling. There are, however, new techniques out there for vets dealing with anxious dogs. Dr. Sophia Yin has developed a program for vets that focuses on low-stress handling, which can make a huge difference in your dog’s anxiety levels. And Dogs in Need of Space has a list of vets who go the extra mile for anxious dogs; if you do want to change your vet, it’s a good place to start.
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If you ask around, you’ll get all kinds of advice about training your dog. Some people will tell you that the key is to use a “firm hand”-to make sure your dog doesn’t think she can get away with naughty behavior. Some people argue that you should only use rewards in dog training and avoid punishing your dog in any way. Some people insist that all you have to do is “be the alpha dog,” assert your status as the dominant leader of your “pack.” It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the glut of differing opinions out there.
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.
Many behavior problems can be prevented by providing “legal,” acceptable ways for your dog to express her natural impulses. There are some things that dogs just need to do. So rather than trying to get your dog to stop doing things like chewing, mouthing and roughhousing altogether, channel these urges in the right direction. Increased physical activity and mental enrichment are excellent complements to training. Please see our articles, Enriching Your Dog’s Life, Exercise for Dogs and How to Stuff a KONG® Toy, to learn more.

There is no conclusive evidence showing exactly why dogs develop separation anxiety. However, because far more dogs who have been adopted from shelters have this behavior problem than those kept by a single family since puppyhood, it is believed that loss of an important person or group of people in a dog’s life can lead to separation anxiety. Other less dramatic changes can also trigger the disorder. The following is a list of situations that have been associated with development of separation anxiety.
I have two toy poodles who are brother and sister(both neutered), and the boy poodle(Keanu) is very very super attached to me. I just thought he was really affectionate, but it’s gotten to a point where all he does is follow me around, stare at me all day with sad yearning eyes, whine in a tiny tiny voice endlessly untill I hug him, and when I do hold him he is really nervous and agitated and doesn’t really enjoy the hug but just frets around, or licks me so intensely, which goes on forever untill I have to stop him. My husband loves both dogs but since Keanu is absolutely just obssessed with me my hubby thinks Keanu wants me all for himself and is even jealous of my hubby. Another thing that kind of creeps me out now that I think about it is when I open my eyes in the morning, his face is right in front of me, like he has been watching me all morning…This weird behaviour was not evident when they were puppies, and I think it was so gradual that at first I didn’t realize it was odd.
For a new puppy, a crate helps with housebreaking and provides a safe den for sleeping. When your puppy is used to his crate, it will be easy to take him visiting, or for trips in the car, or to the vet. When we watch TV, we sit in our favorite chairs and our dogs typically choose to lie down in their crates (doors open), watching the same shows we watch (well, sort of!).
Puppy biting is normal and necessary. Puppies need to learn how to control the pressure of their bite. Allow the pup to bite your hands. When you feel pressure more than a light touch, squeal “Ouch!”, get up and walk into another room. This is how littermates play with each other. If one playmate bites too hard, the other yelps and walks away to lick its wounds. The biter learns to soften its mouth or risk losing its playmate. Loss of a playmate is more understandable to the pup than punishment.
We’ve had our German shepherd mix rescue since she was a puppy; she will be 11 years old in March, and has been the joy of our lives. Suddenly, and for no apparent reason, she has started displaying signs we think are anxiety, and we aren’t sure how to proceed. Although she was never afraid of storms, in the last year she began trembling and panting during storms so much so that we purchased a thundershirt at the recommendation of our vet, with minimal improvement. We then noticed she would go up and down into the basement almost compulsively, recently staying in the dark in the basement for long periods of time. Now, she is climbing on furniture in a back room, which she has never ever done before, or she is hiding in a spare bathroom in a part of the house she was never allowed in formerly. She is panting and trembling almost constantly for no apparent reason, and we just don’t seem to know how to console her, or figure out what is wrong. She does seem to sleep at night, and seems relaxed when we awake in the morning, but before very long, she is panting and tembling again, and seems tormented. Do you think medication is needed or would help, or do you have other ideas? This all seems so sudden, and I am now starting to wonder if this is an inevitable part of her aging. Would sincerely appreciate any feedback you might be able to provide.
Question— We have a 10 year old yellow lab. He has spent most of his life as an outside kennel dog with a nice warm house. In the winter he will be kept in the heated garage and on occasion come in the house. Then in the spring he will move back out. This past year he started crying by the front door and one night got very upset and started chewing on the front door wanting to come in. Now in the nice weather he no longer wants to be out in the kennel very long, ESP near evening. He will chew through the wire to get out. What is going on with him?
In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about the signs and symptoms of anxiety in dogs. With a little guidance, you will be able to tell if your dog is feeling stressed and learn ways to help them overcome it. By avoiding triggers and training them to react differently, you will be able to reduce their anxiety and exterminate those bad behaviors.
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 know Sally’s normal behaviors and I’ve spent time with a professional trainer to learn how I can be the best pet parent to her. She’s seen wagging her tail a bunch in the video and she even gets her “show trot” going, which to me means she’s happy not stressed. Again, I appreciate your concern, but I can’t help but be a little on the defense since it feels like your comment is insinuating I am treating my dog poorly. Sally lives a pretty cush life. She roams the house freely, has the option to be outside whenever she asks, eats well, exercises regularly, gets plenty of snuggles and is rarely kenneled since I work from home. Thank you for taking the time to read this article and write up your comment.
In the twentieth century, formalized dog training originated in military and police applications, and the methods used largely reflected the military approach to training humans. In the middle and late part of the century, however, more research into operant conditioning and positive reinforcement occurred as wild animal shows became more popular. Aquatic mammal trainers used clickers (a small box that makes a loud click when pushed on) to "mark" desired behavior, giving food as a reward. The change in training methods spread gradually into the world of dog training. Today many dog trainers rely heavily on positive reinforcement to teach new behaviors.
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.
Step 1: Most dogs will yawn when they are anxious. You can use that to help you catch the yawn. Look for your dog to yawn when he wants to go outside or wants a ball or toy that you are holding. When he yawns, click and treat. Because this trick has to be 'caught' with the clicker, it can be fairly difficult, and you have to.................................
Making the decision to try medical intervention can seem like a big step, but there is a lot of specialist information designed to make it easier. A good place to start is Debbie Jacob’s website, fearfuldogs.com. There are also numerous over-the-counter pills and products marketed to help anxious dogs, but be careful if you choose to experiment with them. Most “calming supplements” haven’t been tested, and evidence for the ones that have been is sketchy at best. Ultimately, it’s a personal choice, but do remember that treatment has its own kind of placebo effect.

Almost every single animal on this planet works under the same principle: in order to continue receiving good things, you need to continue acting a certain way. The same concept holds true for dogs. Whenever they do something that is good, you should reward them. This will reinforce that positive behavior and cause them to continue acting that way. Eventually, they will start acting that way without requiring an award.
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Dog anxiety can stem from a number of things. If you’ve adopted your pet from a shelter, previous owners or situations could have been traumatizing for him. Understanding your dog’s prior history can help when you welcome him to your home and way of life. It may take awhile before he becomes accommodated to a new environment with people who are strangers to him.
Emily Vey is a content aficionado on the Dogs Naturally team. She’s constantly looking for the most up-to-date news and information to share with DNM readers and to help her own dogs live the healthiest lives possible. She lives in Ontario with her partner-in-crime Ryan, their husky Inuk and German shepherd Indi. Together they enjoy hiking, swimming and all things outdoors!
During the entire retraining period though, I made sure not to expose Lara to any loud noises that would cause her to spook. The more she goes into panic mode, the more fearful she becomes and the more likely it may become a phobia. The more positive experiences she has, the more confidence she builds and the less fearful she becomes. With desensitization, I start small and slowly help Lara re-associate the previously scary stimulus (garbage truck sound) with positive events.
Once your dog has been diagnosed with anxiety, you can work on figuring out how to solve this issue and get them back to living a normal, relaxed life. Depending on the severity of the issue, the vet may prescribe medication or come up with a specific treatment plan to make your dog feel more comfortable. Anti-anxiety medication may be prescribed, however, this is usually in the last case scenario.

Positive-reinforcement is the methodology suggested by humane organizations, veterinary associations and dog trainers alike. This type of training focuses on rewarding desired behaviors using something that the dog values (typically treats), removing the reward for undesired behaviors and not using physical punishment or fear to bring about behavioral change.
Just as exercise is a great stress reliever for humans, it is wonderful for dogs. Exercise helps with a couple of issues when managing a dog dealing with anxiety. First, it stimulates the production of serotonin, a chemical that we humans also experience that makes you feel good when your body is being exercised. Second, it gets rid of pent-up aggression and energy that can build up anxiety.
Next, drop a treat on the floor near you. As soon as your puppy finishes the treat on the ground, say his name again. When he looks up, give him another treat. Repeat this a couple of times until you can begin tossing the treat a little further away, and he can turn around to face you when you say his name. Avoid repeating your puppy’s name; saying it too often when he doesn’t respond makes it easier for him to ignore it. Instead, move closer to your puppy and go back to a step where he can be successful at responding to his name the first time.
Most training schools are happy to allow you to attend and observe (leave Fido at home for this) a class or two to be sure the style of instruction fits with your beliefs. Dogs learn best through progressive reinforcement training; rewarding the dog for making the right choice and withholding rewards, or ignoring the dog for making an incorrect choice.
Note though that the dog training profession is not well regulated, so when I was looking for a trainer for Sephy, it was not always easy to find a good one who could give us accurate information about dog behavior, and is good with dogs. I found that it was very useful to read up on dog behavior on my own, so that I could better understand Sephy, as well as quickly filter out all the nonsense “trainers” we encountered.
I adopted a 2 year old female Boxer. She has been with me for almost a month. When I have my male friends come over for a visit, Cheyenne starts jumping on the friends, running around the back yard as if she is uncomfortable with my friends being there. I don’t have more than one friend over at a time. After my friends leave, Cheyenne will then relax. I am trying to introduce her to my friends slowly as she has been in a shelter and then at a rescue most of her 2 years of life. Do you have any suggestions>

How is it possible to tell if your dog is suffering from anxiety without them being able to communicate that to you verbally? Well actually, it’s quite simple. Dogs are intelligent creatures and are able to express what they are thinking and how they feel through body language and behavior. From there, it is your duty as their owner to be able to depict these cues and figure out what your pup is trying to say.


Reinforcement can be anything your dog likes. Most people use small pieces of a “high value” food for training treats — something special — such as dried liver or even just their kibble. Lavish praise or the chance to play with a favorite toy can also be used as a reward. Dogs must be taught to like praise. If you give the dog a treat while saying “Good dog!” in a happy voice, he will learn that praise is a good thing and can be a reward. Some dogs also enjoy petting. Food is often the most convenient way to reinforce behavior.
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