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Work on only one part of a skill at a time Many of the skills we want our dogs to learn are complex. For instance, if you want to train a solid sit-stay, you’ll need to work on teaching your dog that she should stay in a sitting position until you release her (duration), she should stay while you move away from her (distance), and she should stay while distracting things are going on around her (distraction). You’ll probably both get frustrated if you try to teach her all of these things at the same time. Instead, start with just one part of the skill and, when your dog has mastered that, add another part. For example, you can work on duration first. When your dog can sit-stay for a few minutes in a quiet place with no distractions while you stand right next to her, start training her to stay while you move away from her. While you focus on that new part of the skill, go back to asking your dog to stay for just a few seconds again. When your dog can stay while you move around the room, slowly build up the duration of the stay again. Then you can add the next part-training in a more distracting environment. Again, when you make the skill harder by adding distraction, make the other parts-duration and distance-easier for a little while. If you work on all the parts of a complex skill separately before putting them together, you’ll set your dog up to succeed.
One of the most common complaints of pet parents is that their dogs are disruptive or destructive when left alone. Their dogs might urinate, defecate, bark, howl, chew, dig or try to escape. Although these problems often indicate that a dog needs to be taught polite house manners, they can also be symptoms of distress. When a dog’s problems are accompanied by other distress behaviors, such as drooling and showing anxiety when his pet parents prepare to leave the house, they aren’t evidence that the dog isn’t house trained or doesn’t know which toys are his to chew. Instead, they are indications that the dog has separation anxiety. Separation anxiety is triggered when dogs become upset because of separation from their guardians, the people they’re attached to. Escape attempts by dogs with separation anxiety are often extreme and can result in self-injury and household destruction, especially around exit points like windows and doors.
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]
Puppies can begin very simple training starting as soon as they come home, usually around 8 weeks old. Always keep training sessions brief — just 5 to 10 minutes —and always end on a positive note. If your puppy is having trouble learning a new behavior, end the session by reviewing something he already knows and give him plenty of praise and a big reward for his success. If your puppy gets bored or frustrated, it will ultimately be counterproductive to learning.
I need advice on how to help my dog with an anxiety which is not listed here. He has a huge toy anxiety. What I mean by that is he will play till he drops. He gets extremely worked up over toys and fixates on them. He pants heavily and shakes and salivates. He wont leave you alone even if you throw the toy for him to fetch because he brings it right back. This can go on for hours. I am concerned about his health and how this much anxiety is ad for him.

Very thorough and well written hub. I would like to direct you to the Anxiety Wrap. It is the original patented pressure wrap designed for dogs – and cats – by Susan Sharpe, a T-touch practitioner and certified professional dog trainer. I believe the Anxiety Wrap is a superior product and recommend it in my own practice with clients who consult me about their anxious and fearful dogs. In a recent study completed at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, the Anxiety Wrap was found to be 89% effective in study participants – dogs with Thunderstorm phobia. I have used it on dogs with separation anxiety and generalized anxiety, including my own dog and have found it to provide consistently effective results. Check it out – I think you’ll be quite impressed too, and thanks for writing such a detailed, well thought out hub!
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Are you ready to start training your dog? A proper dog training program is the cornerstone of good behavior in dogs. It has often been said that there are no bad dogs, only uneducated owners. Most dogs thrive with boundaries and predictable routines. Without obedience training, they simply do not know how to behave. Well-trained dogs are happier and healthier than untrained dogs, and so are their owners.

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.

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!
2. Make her visible. This might sound like the last thing you want to do with an anxious dog—I’ve certainly spent my share of time hiding around corners and not opening my door until I’ve checked that the coast is clear—but drawing attention to your dog’s anxiety is a good way to tell other people not to approach. Put a yellow ribbon on your dog’s leash, or buy a bandanna or harness that says “nervous” or “no dogs” and you’re giving people a heads-up without having to yell at them.
Teach your dog to “leave it.” Teaching your dog to move his nose away from food and other items can be beneficial in a number of situations, including when food is accidentally dropped on the floor during family dinner or when your dog seems interested in picking up something potentially harmful during a walk. To teach this command, do the following:

I am a graduate of Florida Southern College, class of 2005. Back then my passion was for the arts and I studied graphic design. I found I had a natural knack for reading dogs, so I went out of my way to expand on it. I started with an ABC-DT certification. Once I gained enough experience I joined APDT and got my CGC Evaluator certification. In November, I will be taking the exam for my CPDT-KA. My next goal after that is to try to get my CNWI (canine nose work instructor) certification.
Do not let your dog "lean" on you either when you are standing up or sitting down. This is not a sign that they like you. This is a sign of dominance. The dog is encroaching into your space. You are the leader. Stand up and let your knee or foot nudge them out of your space. Praise the dog for getting up. Give the dog a command to lay down on their bed or go to their crate if you need to manage your personal space more effectively.

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]
Desensitization and counterconditioning are complex and can be tricky to carry out. Fear must be avoided or the procedure will backfire and the dog will get more frightened. Because treatment must progress and change according to the pet’s reactions, and because these reactions can be difficult to read and interpret, desensitization and counterconditioning require the guidance of a trained and experienced professional. For help designing and carrying out a desensitization and counterconditioning plan, consult a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB or ACAAB) or a board-certified veterinary behaviorist (Dip ACVB). If you can’t find a behaviorist, you can seek help from a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT), but be sure that the trainer is qualified to help you. Determine whether she or he has education and experience in treating fear with desensitization and counterconditioning, since this kind of expertise isn’t required for CPDT certification. Please see our article, Finding Professional Behavior Help, to locate one of these experts in your area.

In some cases, dogs experiencing anxiety may become more aggressive overall. If your pet doesn’t typically growl, he may point and growl at whatever is causing him to be anxious. The longer you have your pet, the more it’ll be obvious as to what causes him distress. With any luck, you can avoid these situations as much as possible. But when you can’t, the good news is there are remedies available.
Training can be started at any age, though, younger the dog, the better it is for him. When done properly, training can be great fun for both you and your pet and can also exercise his brain. For best results, use positive rewards and treats when training. Food treats work really well and can include anything from small pieces of liver, beef jerky, chicken, cheese, hotdog sausages etc. You can even give him his favorite toy or play his favorite game. When using food treats, you must reduce the portion of his meals or he will end up gaining weight. When teaching a command, say the command, and then show what you want the dog to do. You must reward him every time he does what you say correctly. Also praise him verbally each time. Over time, you can reduce the treats and only praise him verbally.
Training should be a pleasure for both you and your dog. Granted, there are often challenges as you work towards better manners but if you find yourself becoming frequently frustrated with your dog, it’s time to get help. Frustration is only a few degrees away from anger and you probably won’t be able to make progress trying to train your dog when you’re feeling upset.
Flat collars are commonly used in clicker training and other non-correction-based training, such as puppy kindergarten. They are also effective in training small dogs, however they tend to lift the dog off the ground when giving corrections while the dog is distracted or in high adrenal mode. They are typically made of nylon or leather, and fasten with a buckle or quick-release connection.

Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information contained or made available through the Canna-Pet® website is not intended to constitute or substitute for legal advice or veterinary advice. Read our policy on blogs and reviews.
Hi, we’ve got a Jack Russell who was the best natured, most loving little dog then our now 7 month old daughter came home and our dog hasn’t truly adjusted and shows signs of being stressed and anxious and in last few months has started to loose hair on her nose and top of head which vet cannot explain or help with but I’m convinced it’s due to our daughter. If you have any advice on how to help our dog it would be greatly appreciated

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.

Dogs competing in dog sports, such as flyball, agility or Schutzhund, must be trusted in an open field, off leash and surrounded by other people, dogs, hot dogs, and flying discs. This requires more focused attention on the owner and a better recall than that found in most household companion dogs, and more advanced training than that required for formal obedience.


We are certified CGC evaluators! This is a certification program that is designed to reward dogs who have good manners at home and in the community. The Canine Good Citizen Program is a two-part program that stresses responsible pet ownership for owners and basic good manners for dogs. All dogs who pass the 10-step CGC test may receive a very nice certificate from the American Kennel Club. You and your dog will practice the CGC exercises: Accepting a friendly stranger, Sitting politely for petting, Appearance & grooming, Out for a walk (loose leash walking), Walking through a crowd, Sit and down on command and Staying in place, Coming when called, Reaction to another dog, Reaction to distraction and Supervised separation. This class is perfect for continuing your dog’s education. You and your dog will work toward creating a better relationship while your dog learns to listen to you consistantly. As you work with your dog to teach the CGC skills, you’ll discover the many benefits and joys of training your dog. Training will enhance the bond between you and your dog. Whether your dog is ready to for the certification, or you want us to help get your dog ready for the certification, contact us!

I completely agree with the above post. Also, I would never recommend a pinch collar to the general public. These are negative reinforcements and can be painful especially in the hands of someone who just reads articles like this off the internet. There is nothing wrong with using treats or anything else that floats your dog’s boat to help them learn and enjoy it.

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]
Electronic training involves the use of an electric shock as an aversive. Common forms are collars which can be triggered remotely, or that are triggered by barking, fencing that delivers a shock when a dog wearing a special collar crosses a buried wire, and mats that can be placed on furniture to deliver a shock. Some aids deliver an aversive such as a spray of citronella when triggered.[61] The use of electric shock aversives for training dogs is the subject of considerable controversy. Supporters claim that the use of electronic devices allows training at a distance and the potential to eliminate self-rewarding behaviour, and point out that properly used, they have less risk of stress and injury than mechanical devices, such as choke chains. Opponents cite the risks of physical and psychological trauma associated with incorrect or abusive use.[62]
I can see why this type of training can seem stressful, it’s a lot of work. We tried many other training methods with Sally and none stuck but this one. We don’t do any jerking, we give light tugs on the leash, to me that is not jerking. Sally may look confused to you because she’s not used to be on leash in the basement. Typically when we put the leash on, it means we are going outside but it was rainy that day and Sal hates the rain. I don’t think she looks stressed, I think she is excited for some interaction time with me since it was during my work hours. There are many different types of training and we respect your decision to not utilize this form. Sally is such a well-behaved dog and much of that is thanks to these training methods. We have such a strong bond and our love for one another is unconditional.
Eating feces, or "coprophagia," is a common problem among dogs. Make sure the dog is fed nutritious food so that he has no dietary deficiencies. If his poop is abnormal, get him checked by a vet, because he may be trying to correct a digestive issue. If the problem is entirely behavioral, avoid swooping on the poop to pick it up before he gets to it, because this only makes it more highly prized. Instead, try and distract him with a favorite toy or game, and then praise him for ignoring the poop. Likewise, teach him a "Leave It" command, so he learns to get a truly tasty reward when he leaves the unsavory offering alone.
A common mistake that many pet owners make when aiding their dog in panic or anxiety is to comfort them. While this may seem like the best solution, it is actually doing more harm than you might think. Most dogs will take this action as a reward, and it will continue to encourage their unfavorable behavior. Instead of comforting them, encourage them to act calmly.

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.


Prong collars must never be turned inside out (with the prongs facing away from the dog's skin), as this may cause injury against the body and head. [1] Plastic tips are occasionally placed on the ends of the prongs to protect against tufts forming in the fur or, in the case of low quality manufactured collars with rough chisel cut ends, puncturing the skin. Like the slip collar, the prong collar is placed high on the dog's neck, just behind the ears, at the most sensitive point.[2]

Because you get force-free, easy to understand directions, troubleshooting guides, step-by-step guides, and pictures and video demonstrations you can use with any dog to quickly unlock his natural intelligence and eliminate bad behaviors. Quite literally I’ve compressed years of study of hundreds of problem dogs into a ‘paint-by numbers’ system for creating the wonderfully well-behaved pet you desire. I will show you why the formula is structured the way it is without wasting a moment of your valuable time.


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]
Dealing with dog anxiety? Barking, destructive tendencies, obsessive-compulsive chewing, going potty indoors—these behaviors can quickly make you crazy, and aren’t fun for your pup, either. Since it’s not practical to spend all of your time soothing your high-strung canine, we’ve rounded up some techniques, remedies, and secret weapons to help your anxious dog. From massage to training tips and even CBD treats, there’s something here for every dog.
At this point, you can start to incorporate very short absences into your training. Start with absences that last only last one to two seconds, and then slowly increase the time you’re out of your dog’s sight. When you’ve trained up to separations of five to ten seconds long, build in counterconditioning by giving your dog a stuffed food toy just before you step out the door. The food-stuffed toy also works as a safety cue that tells the dog that this is a “safe” separation.
The only other thing that I can think of is that there is some other physical issue that is causing her to feel pain or to feel more vulnerable and anxious. My Husky Shania acts in a similar way when she is not feeling well. She will suddenly want to go off to be by herself and hide somewhere safe. When she does that, I know that there is some physical issue. Pain can also cause trembling and panting.
Dogs are sensitive creatures and your anxiety can increase their anxiety. Try relaxation techniques to decompress and find your own inner calm. Anxiety is a complicated issue, of course, and often requires longer-term interventions to address the root causes. Life is stressful, after all! Even so, taking a few deep breaths before you greet your dog is one simple way to help them feel calmer, too.
Hi Lee! I just wanted to leave you a message real quick and let you know we had a great first day. We went out for a little bit and he did rather well. In the evening, there are a few instances where he would jump up or start to bite and we implemented the bah and a quick flick of leash and he looked up to give us his attention. We are truly amaze...
On rare occasions, a dog with mild separation anxiety might benefit from drug therapy alone, without accompanying behavior modification. The dog becomes accustomed to being left alone with the help of the drug and retains this new conditioning after he’s gradually weaned off the medication. However, most dogs need a combination of medication and behavior modification.
Operant conditioning (or instrumental conditioning) is a form of learning in which an individual's behavior is modified by its consequences. Two complementary motivations drive instrumental learning: the maximization of positive outcomes and minimization of aversive ones.[37] There are two ways in which behavior is reinforced or strengthened: positive reinforcement occurs when a behavior is strengthened by producing some desirable consequence; negative reinforcement occurs when a behavior is strengthened by avoiding some undesirable consequence. There are two ways in which behavior is decreased or weakened: negative punishment occurs when a behavior is weakened by not producing a reinforcing consequence; and positive punishment occurs when a behavior is weakened by producing a consequence that is a disincentive. In combination, these basic reinforcing and punishing contingencies provide four ways for modifying behavior.[38] Reinforcement increases the relative probability or frequency of the behavior it follows, while punishment decreases the relative probability or frequency of the behaviour it follows.
The Purina PetCare Advice Centre brings together a team with in-depth knowledge, experience and special interests with the skills to advise about health and nutrition, behaviour, training, socialisation, as well as basic first aid for your cat or dog. Our team of dedicated pet lovers can also provide information about Purina products and services to help you give your pet the best possible care. If you've got a question about any aspect of pet care, then ask the Purina PetCare Advice team.
Dogs have very short attention spans. If you try to take them on a two-hour training sessions, chances are good that they won’t learn much. For most dogs, 15-minutes to half an hour is usually enough to learn a command. In general, you should be doing several short sessions instead of one large one. Spread out these short sessions throughout the day or week and try to avoid marathon sessions. This will ultimately allow them to absorb more information and remember more commands.
I want to provide the help, answers, and hope for dog owners who are struggling, by giving them the compassion and understanding that they deserve.  I am looking for amazing clients who are looking forward to and are really excited about helping their dog,  their family, and ultimately themselves! If you are curious about what we offer or what it is like working with us, make sure to view our very active Facebook and Instagram Pages - I utilize social media to help current and potential clients see me working hands on with dogs, the methods we use, and to help continue education through daily videos and posts. I aim to be as transparent as possible when it comes to what I do, so that folks can see it doesn't have to take months or years to change behaviors and that dogs can learn fast (and have fun in the process)! The success of my clients following our work together is of upmost importance, so we offer many continuing education events like monthly Pack Walks and Group Classes, as well as daily educational posts on Take the Lead's Facebook page. I have helped many families and their dogs, and I can help you, too! I look forward to working with you :)
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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