One treatment approach to this “predeparture anxiety” is to teach your dog that when you pick up your keys or put on your coat, it doesn’t always mean that you’re leaving. You can do this by exposing your dog to these cues in various orders several times a day—without leaving. For example, put on your boots and coat, and then just watch TV instead of leaving. Or pick up your keys, and then sit down at the kitchen table for awhile. This will reduce your dog’s anxiety because these cues won’t always lead to your departure, and so your dog won’t get so anxious when he sees them. Please be aware, though, that your dog has many years of learning the significance of your departure cues, so in order to learn that the cues no longer predict your long absences, your dog must experience the fake cues many, many times a day for many weeks. After your dog doesn’t become anxious when he sees you getting ready to leave, you can move on to the next step below.
If he's an older dog, he's probably used to his name; however, changing it isn't out of the question. If he's from a shelter, they may neglect to tell you that he has a temporary name assigned to him by staff. If he's from a breeder, he'll come to you with a long name, which you may want to shorten, or change. And if he's coming out of an abusive situation, a new name may represent a fresh start. But we're lucky: dogs are extremely adaptable. And soon enough, if you use it consistently, he will respond to his new name.

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.


Classical conditioning (or Pavlovian conditioning) is a form of learning in which one stimulus, the conditioned stimulus, comes to signal the occurrence of a second stimulus, the unconditioned stimulus.[43] Classical conditioning is when a dog learns to associate things in its environment, or discovers some things just go together. A dog may become afraid of rain through an association with thunder and lightning, or it may respond to the owner putting on a particular pair of shoes by fetching its leash.[44] Classical conditioning is used in dog training to help a dog make specific associations with a particular stimulus, particularly in overcoming fear of people and situations.[45]
Training classes for young puppies are also an excellent way to socialize your new puppy to a variety of people, dogs, and other stimuli in a controlled environment. In addition, you will learn how to prevent problems before they can begin, or deal with them as they emerge, rather than having to find a way to correct problems that have already developed. Your puppy might also make some new friends of the same age. You could then visit these friends (or vice versa) with your puppy for social play and exercise sessions. Since the primary socialization period for dogs ends by 3 months of age, puppy socialization classes are most valuable for puppies 8 weeks of age and older. If all puppies in the class have had initial vaccinations, are healthy and parasite free, the health risks are low and the potential benefits are enormous. Discuss the location of classes in your area and when to start them with your veterinarian.
Proper socialization entails exposing a pup to as many sounds, sights, people, places, animals, and locations. Some suggestions include; the park, pet store, school yard when children are playing, in the car, shopping malls, busy streets with garbage trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, and skateboards. Takes kibble everywhere you go and ask people to toss or hand feed a treat to your dog. Search out people who walk slowly or with a cane, in a wheelchair, strollers, men with hats on, large men, children of all ages. The more things your pup sees at an early age the easier it will be for them to adjust to new things as they grow up.
Do not allow your dog to bite you, even playfully. This sets a bad precedent and it will be difficult for you to break them of this habit. Dangerous, aggressive dogs will need special training from an experienced dog trainer. In some cases, a veterinary behaviorist will need to become involved. At no time should you take on an aggressive dog without the proper training. It is too dangerous.
Dogs are highly motivated by praise and rewards. Create positive associations for your puppy when he follows your commands by verbally encouraging him or sharing a bite of kibble or healthy dog treats. Rewards not only make training more fun for your pet, but also give him something to work for. Just make sure that treats don't make up more than ten percent of his caloric intake each day to ensure he doesn't put on any unnecessary weight.
One possibility that sounds interesting is the “safe area” idea. If the forecast predicts thunderstorm, then we can try keeping our dog in a low-stimulus (no windows/few windows), sound proof area, before the storm begins and *before* our dog starts to panic or becomes overly anxious. We can try masking out the sounds from outside with calming music, or a calm t.v. channel. At the same time, we distract our dog by giving him something interesting to do that he loves, for example playing a game, chewing on his favorite chews, playing with his favorite interactive food toy, etc.
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.

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."
7. Find a shared interest. It’s okay to be disappointed that your dog doesn’t want to go to the dog park, agility trials or pavement cafés. Try focusing on what you guys can do together instead. Set up indoor obstacle courses, go on quiet wilderness hikes, take nose-work classes or just chill at home. Don’t try to force the dog you have to be the dog you wanted. In the end, you’re likely to make her problems worse, not to mention strain your relationship.
Dog training has changed a great deal in the past 25 years, and we now know much more about how dogs learn and the most effective ways to motivate them. While dog training in the past relied on being the “alpha” in the relationship and required equipment like correction collars (or choke collars), behavioral science proves that it’s much more effective to use positive reinforcement training, where training is a team activity with both parties working together to achieve goals.
As mentioned above, some dogs begin to feel anxious while their guardians get ready to leave. For example, a dog might start to pace, pant and whine when he notices his guardian applying makeup, putting on shoes and a coat, and then picking up a bag or car keys. (If your dog doesn’t show signs of anxiety when you’re preparing to leave him alone, you can just skip to step two below.) Guardians of dogs who become upset during predeparture rituals are unable to leave—even for just few seconds—without triggering their dogs’ extreme anxiety. Your dog may see telltale cues that you’re leaving (like your putting on your coat or picking up your keys) and get so anxious about being left alone that he can’t control himself and forgets that you’ll come back.
Remember that training is an ongoing process. You will never be completely finished. It is important to keep working on obedience training throughout the life of your dog. People who learn a language at a young age but stop speaking that language may forget much of it as they grow older. The same goes for your dog: use it or lose it. Running through even the most basic tricks and commands will help them stay fresh in your dog's mind. Plus, it's a great way to spend time with your dog.
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