Dogs have become closely associated with humans through domestication and have also become sensitive to human communicative signals. Generally, they have a lot of exposure to human speech, especially during play, and are believed to have a good ability to recognize human speech. Two studies investigated the ability of a single dog that was believed to be exceptional in its understanding of language. Both studies revealed the potential for at least some dogs to develop an understanding of a large number of simple commands on the basis of just the sounds emitted by their owners. However the studies suggested that visual cues from the owner may be important for the understanding of more complex spoken commands.[77]
As you attempt to decode your dog’s body language, take the situation he is in into account. In one context, a dog licking his lips may be expressing fear or anxiety; in another context, the same dog may lick his lips in anticipation of a treat. And some dogs lick their lips when they feel nauseous. Consider your dog’s overall behavior, not just one motion or gesture, when you assess his stress level. Be particularly aware of behavior that seems out of character for your dog.
Both conventional and holistic veterinarians treat social dog anxiety with desensitization techniques. The holistic approach differs in that it recommended a decrease in the frequency of vaccinations or at least a delay of giving any vaccines until the patient is behaving more normally. The rabies vaccination may especially exacerbate an aggressive personality.
Scents can also help calm a dog's anxiety, and DAP is a popular option. It is a synthetic chemical that is based on a hormone produced by lactating female dogs that help keep her puppies calm and increase their bond with her. While scientific studies have shown that DAP does work with puppies, it isn't as clear if it works with anxious adult dogs. Even so, there is the possibility that it can help, and it can be one of several tools used to help an anxious dog. It comes as a plug-in diffuser with vials that last about 30 days, and humans aren't able to smell it.
Jean was wonderful to work with in training our 3-year old rescue dog Sundance. She provided a wealth of knowledge and resources, combined with hands-on training to learn the Bark Busters method. Thanks to Jean, we have been able to establish proper pack order so that our dog understands we are in charge. Sundance has settled in well and is much le...
Once we are good with that, then I *very slowly* increase the environmental challenge. For example, I may do shorter, but more frequent walks close to the house and so on. The more successful walks we have, the more confidence my dog gains, and the less anxious she becomes. Similarly, the more panic attacks and negative experiences she has, the more fearful and anxious she becomes, which her undermine her confidence and set back training.
Ah, the great crate debate. While we’d never recommend leaving a dog in the crate for 23 hours a day, crates are an indispensable tool for potty training young puppies. Properly trained, your puppy’s crate becomes a safe space where he sleeps comfortably. While your puppy is in the crate, you can focus on other tasks knowing that your floors, cords, and slippers are safe from the teeth (and bladder) of a young puppy.

Come back and wait until he is quiet, and then ask him to wait in the crate while you open the door. He should not come bursting out. If you feel one action, such as putting on a certain pair of shoes, picking up your car keys, going to a certain door, brings about the beginning of stress, then do that action and do not leave. Get him so familiar with the action that he accepts it.

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.
Consequences must be immediate Dogs live in the present. Unlike us, they can’t make connections between events and experiences that are separated in time. For your dog to connect something she does with the consequences of that behavior, the consequences must be immediate. If you want to discourage your dog from doing something, you have to catch her with her paw in the proverbial cookie jar. For example, if your dog gets too rough during play and mouths your arm, try saying “OUCH!” right at the moment you feel her teeth touch your skin. Then abruptly end playtime. The message is immediate and clear: Mouthing on people results in no more fun. Rewards for good behavior must come right after that behavior has happened, too. Say a child in a classroom answers a teacher’s question correctly, gets up from his desk, sharpens his pencil and then punches another kid in the arm on the way back to his seat. Then the teacher says, “Good job, Billy!” and offers him a piece of candy. What did Billy get the candy for? Timing is crucial. So be prepared to reward your dog with treats, praise, petting and play the instant she does something you like.
When your puppy comes to you, don’t reach out and grab him. This can be confusing or frightening for some dogs. If your puppy is timid, kneel and face them sideways and offer him treats as you reach for the collar. Never call your dog to punish! This will only teach him that you are unpredictable, and it is a good idea to avoid you. Always reward your dog heavily for responding to his or her name, even if they have been up to mischief!
Is your goal to have your dog become a therapy dog? This specially designed 8-lesson course prepares you and your dog for their therapy dog testing and certification. We have had many of our former clients easily pass their therapy dog certification after our training program. The cost of this program is $950.00 (or 3 monthly payments of $338.83)). With successful completion of this program, we can evaluate and certify you and your dog through Therapy Pets Unlimited.
When you are home with them, it is critical that you give your dog plenty of attention and affection. Exercise is also an essential factor in this entire equation. Never skip out on their daily walks or play time just because you don’t have time for them. Your daily walks not only satisfy their daily exercise requirements, but it also puts them in a calmer, more happy state of mind.
Animal behaviorists assert that using dominance to modify a behavior can suppress the behavior without addressing the underlying cause of the problem. It can exacerbate the problem and increase the dog's fear, anxiety, and aggression. Dogs that are subjected to repeated threats may react with aggression not because they are trying to be dominant, but because they feel threatened and afraid.[70]
Positive reinforcement is the key to success. A common mistake is to punish your dog during training or become angry. This will only cause confusion. You can try to hold your dog's attention with treats and enthusiasm, but know that it is time to end a session when your dog becomes bored or tired. Try to end sessions on a positive note. Eventually, successful training will be achieved with patience and consistency.
In 1848 W. N. Hutchinson published his book Dog Breaking: The Most Expeditious, Certain and Easy Method, Whether Great Excellence or Only Mediocrity Be Required, With Odds and Ends for Those Who Love the Dog and the Gun. Primarily concerned with training hunting dogs such as pointers and setters, the book advocates a form of reward-based training, commenting on men who have "a strong arm and a hard heart to punish, but no temper and no head to instruct" and suggesting "Be to his virtues ever kind. Be to his faults a little blind."[6] Stephen Hammond, a writer for Forest and Stream magazine, advocated in his 1882 book Practical Training that hunting dogs be praised and rewarded with meat for doing the correct behavior.[7]

“Down” can be taught very similarly to “sit.” You can wait for your dog to lie down (beginning in a boring, small room such as a bathroom can help) and capture the behavior by reinforcing your dog with a treat when he lies down, giving him his release cue to stand back up (and encouragement with a lure if needed) and then waiting for him to lie down again. When he is quickly lying down after standing up, you can begin saying “down” right before he does so.
NOSEWORK (scent detection training): $300 – Are you looking for a fun, positive, and challenging game to play with your dog? Our Nosework program is designed to build your dog’s confidence while utilizing their keen sense of smell to detect odors! This program includes 5 private lessons. ***Be prepared to bring a high value reward to each session in order to motivate your dog to perform thorough and accurate searches.***
The ASPCA Virtual Pet Behaviorist specializes in the resolution and management of pet behavior problems only. Please do not submit questions about medical problems here. Only licensed veterinarians can diagnose medical conditions. If you think that your pet is sick, injured or experiencing any kind of physical distress, please contact his veterinarian immediately. A delay in seeking proper veterinary care may worsen your pet's condition and put his life at risk. If you are concerned about the cost of veterinary care, please read our resources on finding financial help.© 2009-2014 ASPCA. All Rights Reserved.
When you welcome a dog into your family, you may be excited about your new arrival but unsure how to train a dog to be obedient and polite. At Petco, we teach you how to speak your dog’s language through fun, informative classes that focus on encouraging good behavior and nurturing the bond between you and your pet. Our positive training classes can help new pet parents with kennel training, potty training, loose-leash training and obedience training. We offer a safe environment where pups can learn the skills they’ll need to thrive in real-world situations.
The first day with your new puppy will involve traveling, whether it’s a short distance from the shelter or a local breeder or a long ride in a car or the cabin of a plane. This is the perfect opportunity to start teaching your puppy to love his crate. Be sure it’s well stocked with treats and, if possible, a towel or T-shirt that bears the scent of his mother and littermates. That will go a long way toward making him comfortable in his new surroundings.
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”, “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.***
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