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]
Unfortunately, a cause for anxiety can’t always be determined. It might be that the primary event that caused the onset of anxiety happened in the past and went unnoticed or occured before your pet became a member of your family. It’s also possible that your dog is just prone to anxiety and they get upset anytime there is a change to their routine or environment.
If you leave your dog home alone, and return to find that Fido has redecorated, your dog is likely anxious about your being away. "This is separation anxiety — the excessive chewing to relieve the stress it feels; continual barking; pacing; whining," Victoria Stilwell, author and dog trainer, told Sandy Eckstein for WebMD. "Sometimes, if it’s really excessive, a dog will chew through walls. I’ve had dogs jump through windows, through glass, to get outside. Most of the destruction is centered on points of exit."
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.
Never yell come or call your dog to punish it, put it outside, or in the crate. The command come should always be used in a positive way. It should mean treats, playtime, or affection. If you need to stop your dog from eating something on the ground or to ignore another dog, use the words “Leave It”. You can yell these words, stomp your foot, and clap your hands for the startle factor. If you use the word Come, make sure you can follow through with the command (meaning the pup has a trailing leash that you can grab and make the pup come to you). Otherwise, the word loses its meaning for the dog.
Everyone loves a good massage, and the same can be said for our pets. Massage can help to calm an anxious dog by using long, slow strokes so soothe the nerves. A popular dog massage method is called TTouch, created by Linda Tellington-Jones. It is "a method based on circular movements of the fingers and hands all over the body. The intent of the TTouch is to activate the function of the cells and awaken cellular intelligence." The result is a relaxed dog. Plus, studies have shown that petting a dog or cat can help calm your own nerves, so it is a win-win solution. It's easy to find guides for how to massage your dog to help calm her.
One thing that is very important with desensitization exercises is that during the retraining process, it is important not to expose our dog to large doses of the fear stimulus. The key with desensitization is to start small, and only very slowly increase the strength of the stimulus. In this way, our dog is able to stay calm, learn from the experience, and can slowly rebuild confidence.
If you run into trouble, go back a few steps If you’re training your dog to do something new and you stop making progress, you may have increased the difficulty of the skill too quickly. Similarly, if you’re practicing a behavior your dog hasn’t performed in a while and she seems a little rusty, she may need some help remembering what you want her to do. If you run into training challenges like these, just refresh your dog’s memory by making the skill a little easier for a few repetitions. Go back to a step that you know your dog can successfully perform, and practice that for a while before trying to increase difficulty again.

Typical positive reinforcement events will satisfy some physiological or psychological need, so it can be food, a game, or a demonstration of affection. Different dogs will find different things reinforcing. Negative reinforcement occurs when a dog discovers that a particular response ends the presentation of an aversive stimulus. An aversive is anything that the dog does not like, such as verbal admonishment, or a tightened choke chain.[39]
To help my dog with his anxiety, I first try to identify the source of his anxiety. That is difficult to do without looking at the dog, his environment, routine, and other surrounding context. If I am not sure where the anxious behavior is coming from, I may visit with several good professional trainers. They can observe my dog, give me their opinion as to what is causing the anxiety, and why. Sometimes, I am too close to the problem, so it helps to get professional opinions from others.
Does your dog have anxiety? As any pet owner knows, dogs have personalities and behaviors for different situations. When they’re in their comfort zone, they may be relaxed and mild-mannered, but when agitated, they may become defensive, rowdy, or anxious. If you know the types of situations that cause anxiety in your dog, there are a few solutions you can turn to ease his discomfort.
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.
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.
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.

2 WEEK BOARD AND TRAIN: $2800 – Have you always wanted an amazing dog with exceptional obedience? Do you have a busy schedule? This is our most CONVENIENT training package! Simply drop your dog off and 14 days later you will come pick up a fully trained dog with an advanced level of obedience, 100% off leash! We have over 800 before/after videos on our YouTube channel showcasing dogs of all ages, sizes, breeds, and behavioral issues that have successfully completed this program. The 2 Week Board and Train Program includes training equipment, 2 weeks board, 40+ hours of training, playtime, socialization, and a 2 hour turnover lesson. The turnover lesson will highlight everything we taught the dog, and then we coach YOU on how to properly handle your dog! This program is ideal for owners who want a fully trained dog, but do not have the time or desire to attend lessons and practice daily with the dog. **This is a VERY popular program and is usually booked out a few weeks in advance. Please contact us for availability.**
 Together, we will take a hands on approach to find a solution to resolve the problems you are having with your dog!  Take the Lead K9 Training offers board and train services for obedience training and dog behavior modification.  I will help you resolve a variety of dog behavioral issues like aggression, anxiety, fear, not listening, jumping up, barking, biting, chewing, running away, chasing the cat, pulling on leash, and not coming when called.  I teach basic dog obedience, such as proper leash walking, sit, down, extended stay, and recall to puppies and adult dogs alike!  I also train off leash advanced obedience with low level remote collar training, where your dog will respond to you off leash with high levels of distraction.  Big or small, your dog can learn and listen to you - in public, around distractions, off-leash, and without having to always have a treat to get your dog's good behavior!

Taking part in an obedience class with other pet parents can also be helpful in that you will have someone to commiserate with as well as measure your progress against. If obedience classes are not for you, never fear, you can always begin to teach your dog at home yourself or hire a one on one trainer to teach you and your dog obedience in private lessons.

You must judge when your dog is able to tolerate an increase in the length of separation. Each dog reacts differently, so there are no standard timelines. Deciding when to increase the time that your dog is alone can be very difficult, and many pet parents make errors. They want treatment to progress quickly, so they expose their dogs to durations that are too long, which provokes anxiety and worsens the problem. To prevent this kind of mistake, watch for signs of stress in your dog. These signs might include dilated pupils, panting, yawning, salivating, trembling, pacing and exuberant greeting. If you detect stress, you should back up and shorten the length of your departures to a point where your dog can relax again. Then start again at that level and progress more slowly.
Rewards can be simple, like a doggie treat or a good belly rub. Or they can be special, like playtime with doggie pals or a game of fetch. To teach him not to do something, ignore him or take away things he likes. For example, if he jumps up on you when he wants to play, show him it's not OK by turning away. When he sits down, shower him with attention.
The foundation of training should be based on positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is the process of giving a dog (or person!) a reward to encourage the behavior you want, like getting a pay check for going to work. The idea is not to bribe the behavior but to train it using something your dog values.  Avoid using punishment such as leash corrections or yelling. Punishment can cause a dog to become confused and unsure about what is being asked of him.  It is important to remember that we can’t expect dogs to know what they don’t know – just like you wouldn’t expect a 2-year-old child to know how to tie his shoes. Patience will go a long way in helping your new puppy learn how to behave.
One of the cornerstones of good health for your puppy is regular veterinary care. It is crucial that your puppy maintains a nutritional diet and exercise routine to stay healthy and balanced. Plus, your vet can advise on heartworm, and flea and tick preventative care. While a lot goes into keeping your puppy in good health, it all begins with the first visit to the vet.
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.

Always remember that you are dealing with a very immature young animal. Be realistic, flexible, patient and always fair during puppy training sessions. Your puppy doesn't just automatically know this stuff! It's all new to him and he is bound to have the odd slip up and mistake along the way. Don't worry about these mistakes, just move on and do your best to prevent them in the future.
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.
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>
The dog’s snout should never be smacked to discourage biting, aside from the fact that negative reinforcement is not an effective training mechanism; smacking the dog’s snout can even encourage a firmer grip. Puppies chew to ease their teething discomfort and replacing the item being bitten with an item that is acceptable is the best way to discourage a negative biting behavior. One other method that is recommended by some trainers is to take your thumb and place it over your dog’s tongue gently holding the bottom jaw with your other four fingers. While holding the tongue, tell your dog “no” firmly and then let go. Repeat this process if biting continues.
Ideally you should give the command phrase once and then use your food to move the puppy into positions. Once the puppy has performed the task, add in verbal praise and an affectionate pat, which are known as secondary reinforcers (see below). If the puppy does not immediately obey on the first command, then you are likely proceeding a little too quickly. If you keep repeating the command, the puppy will learn that several repetitions are acceptable before it needs to obey. Keeping a leash attached can help to gain an immediate response if the puppy does not obey.
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:
Anxious dogs may also feel extra anxious when around other dogs or other people. It can take time for your pet to become acclimated to all the changes of being in your home. This can be especially true if you already have other pets living at home. Together they must “figure each other out” and find familiarity in their space. Until that happens, there can be extra moments of stress or anxiety for your pet.
A dog learns from interactions it has with its environment.[1] This can be through classical conditioning, where it forms an association between two stimuli; non-associative learning, where its behavior is modified through habituation or sensitisation; and operant conditioning, where it forms an association between an antecedent and its consequence.[2]
For dogs, English is a second language Dogs aren’t born understanding English. They can learn the significance of specific words, like “sit” and “walk” and “treat,” but when humans bury those familiar words in complex sentences, dogs sometimes have difficulty understanding. They can also get confused when people use different words for the same thing. For example, some people will confuse their dogs by saying, “Fluffy, down!” one day and “Sit down, Fluffy!” another day. Then they wonder why Fluffy doesn’t respond the same way every time. When teaching your dog a cue or command, decide on just one word or phrase, and make sure you and your family use it clearly and consistently.
One thing that I try with my dog is to walk him on-leash in a different but quiet area (e.g. around a quiet part of the neighborhood). Initially, I may just walk him in the front yard or close to the house, so that we can start to have successful walks again. I make sure to reward my dog well for staying calm, and I supervise him very well to make sure that the walk is a very positive experience.
The author of this article correctly points out that you are one of the largest factors in this obedience training. You must have a patient and calm approach in order for this to be effective. If you are not generally a patient person, you may have a difficult time with this training. That being said, there are ways around this handicap. You may decide to simply take things one step at a time. Focus on teaching in very short spurts. Take one command at a time. Going slowly like this will take more time, but it is a good way to keep you from feeling overwhelmed. Depending on your dog’s personality it may also be the best way for them.

Once you have your puppy you must determine what you will need the dog to do for you in order to guide its training. Once this is established you can begin bonding with your puppy. This helps create a baseline for your dog to recognize when you are in a relaxed state and when you are beginning to experience anxiety – dogs are very intuitive so the right dog will pick up on this naturally.
While you may be more concerned about one or two issues, it's important to work on all behavior and socialization training when introducing obedience training at home. Having an idea about what you want to focus on in the beginning will help you get off to the right start. Just remember to touch on all behavior concerns throughout the time you spend training.
However, this is only a guess based on our online discussion. There could be other factors (environmental or otherwise), that I am not aware of. For a more accurate evaluation of the behavior, it may be best to consult with a good professional trainer or behaviorist. A good trainer will want to meet with the dog, read her body language, and observe the surrounding context.
It may surprise you that dogs can become stressed or feel anxious in certain situations just like humans. But think about it, how many times have you seen a dog begin to desperately bark as soon as they lose sight of their owner? Other common signs of anxiety in dogs include trying to escape the yard or destroying the living room furniture as soon as their owners have left the building. It’s a lot more common of an issue than one might think.
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.
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.
Thank you for pointing out that my pet has limits and that there are things that a younger dog will not be able to pick up on as compared to an older dog. I do not know the age of which I can tell it is perfect for my pet to learn new things. I do not want to force him if he isn’t ready either. Because of this, it might be a better idea to let the professional train him. At least, that way, he is sure to receive the training appropriate for his age.
The 1980 television series Training Dogs the Woodhouse Way made Barbara Woodhouse a household name in the UK, and the first international celebrity dog trainer.[25] Known for her "no bad dogs" philosophy, Woodhouse was highly critical of "bad owners", particularly those she saw as "overly sentimental".[26] She described the "psychoanalyzing of dogs" as "a lot of rubbish".[27] Her no-nonsense style made her a pop-culture icon, with her emphatic "sit" and catch cry of "walkies" becoming part of the popular vernacular.[28]
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.

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>
Boot camp is a little more unconventional when it comes to teaching dog obedience. However, it is also a very effective method. Boot camp situations involve a trainer taking the dog to their home or training facility for a specified period of time and working with the dog one on one. Many people argue that this type of training is troublesome because it relies on someone else commanding the dog; however, in some instances, it can be very successful. Some boot camp settings involve owners paying daily visits to practice commands with their dog. These types of training situations are particularly successful for dogs that have significant obstacles to overcome such as aggressive tendencies or fear responses.

BASIC OBEDIENCE: $625 – Want full control of your dog? This program includes training equipment and 4 private lessons covering the following commands: “Come”, “Sit”, “Place”, “Heel”, “Down”, “Break”, and “Off”. Basic Obedience is ideal for dogs that are generally obedient except when distracted, dogs that are not obedient at all, fearful/anxious dogs, reactive dogs, destructive/bored dogs, dogs that pull on a leash, etc. ***Be prepared to practice daily for at least 30 minutes and schedule lessons 1 week apart.***
×