This is a tough one because she obviously has a learned, deep-seated fear of crates. Forcing her into one will only make the problem worse. You can try desensitizing her by feeding her in the open crate, playing with toys in it, and seeding it with treats, but this all takes time. If she is truly distressed, then a gentle sedative from the vet is going to be the most humane option.
I appreciate it when you said that I can enroll in a dog obedience class so that I will know how to train my dog or I can just hire a professional to do it for me. I think the latter will work better with my schedule. There are always so many things for me to do after all. Aside from this, I do not think it will be easy for me to train my little Rio since I do not have the patience to do it.
Set up his private den. He needs "a room of his own." From the earliest possible moment give your pup or dog his own, private sleeping place that's not used by anyone else in the family, or another pet. He'll benefit from short periods left alone in the comfort and safety of his den. Reward him if he remains relaxed and quiet. His den, which is often a crate, will also be a valuable tool for housetraining.
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.
While dog anxiety medication is available (i.e. clomipramine, prozac or nutritional supplements such as the amino acid called L-theanine - brand name Anxitane or Composure), holistic veterinarians prefer to use homeopathic remedies that are based on your puppy's personality and constitution. Homeopathic dog anxiety remedies include Western herbs like chamomile, lavendar, or St. John's Wort, Chinese herbs such as Shen Calmer from the Chi Institute and Bach flower essences such as Rescue Remedy. In combination with behavior modification, these remedies are a more natural method to help correct the problem.
Are you thinking of adding a new dog to your life? Would you like your current dog to be better behaved? Would you like to train your dog to serve your needs instead being trained to serve its needs? Attending dog classes led by a professional trainer is the best approach, but not everyone can afford classes. These tips are a good start to training your canine companion. There are many philosophies and approaches to dog training, so do your research and learn what works for you and your dog.[1] Regardless on which approach to training your dog you take, building a good relationship with your dog is essential to being able to train effectively.
Training should begin in a quiet environment with few distractions. The chosen reward should be highly motivating so that the puppy focuses entirely on the trainer and the reward. Although a small food treat generally works best, a favorite toy or a special dog treat might be more appealing. It might also be helpful to train the puppy just before a scheduled mealtime when it is at its hungriest. For difficult or headstrong puppies, the best way to ensure that the puppy will perform the desired behavior and respond appropriately to the command is to leave a leash attached and to use a head collar for additional control. In this way, you can prompt the puppy into the correct response if it does not immediately obey, and the pressure can be released as soon as the desired response is achieved.
Anxiety, meanwhile, is the anticipation of future dangers from unknown or imagined origins that result in normal body reactions (known as physiologic reactions) associated with fear; most common visible behaviors are elimination (i.e., urination and/or passage of bowel movements), destruction, and excessive vocalization (i.e., barking, crying). Separation anxiety is the most common specific anxiety in companion dogs. When alone, the animal exhibits anxiety or excessive distress behaviors.
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.
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Interesting that she mentions “coats. The Thundershirt resembles more of a coat than a wrap, whereas the Anxiety Wrap is more just that, a wrap which applies more maintained pressure and works on acupressure points. Did you know that Animals Plus (makers of the Anxiety Wrap) also makes a device called the Face Wrap that consists of an elastic strap that provides gentle pressure over the muzzle and behind the neck? I have found this product to work similarly to a head halter in calming dogs as well. I have applied this device to dogs with anxiety-related barking and seen remarkable results that were pretty much immediate. The dogs calmed down and focused right away. Simple but awesome product!
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.***
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.
The Thundershirt is a popular solution for dog anxiety. It is a tightly fitting garment that wraps around your dog. The idea is that the feeling of continuous pressure can help calm a dog's nerves for things like travel anxiety and, as the name implies, noise anxiety among other issues. However, there isn't much definitive science-based evidence to show that these actually work. Some dog owners swear by it; others have found it hasn't helped. The effectiveness of the Thundershirt may also depend on when and how it is used, and the particular personality and needs of the dog it is used on. So, something like this could be helpful if used alongside other natural solutions with each helping to enhance the benefits of the other.
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!
Your hub is so informative. We had a dog for 17 years, 13 of which were filled with major separation & noise anxiety. It’s a tough situation to deal with because she would do anything she could to get out of the house/yard if we left her including digging, jumping fences, etc… Everything we tried, including bringing her with us, didn’t work because she would be so stressed. The only thing we found to help her was an herbal remedy called Aconitum Napellus. We bought it at Whole Foods and it made a significant difference. She’s in heaven now after a long life but the thunder jacket you wrote about looks like something we would have tried.
Keep your training sessions short, consistent and always have fun. The key to shaping your puppy's behavior is to start out with very easy commands, continue to build on these successes and apply heaps of repetition. Base your puppy training sessions around trust and mutual respect rather than old school methods based on punishment, avoidance and harsh corrections. In this environment you will find that your puppy loves his training sessions and his confidence will grow with each and every session.

While barking and whining can get a little annoying or even embarrassing, you need to remember that it is a natural part of your dog's behavior and communication. So, it's important to work with your pup to know when it is okay to bark and when it is not. After all, you want your dog to alert you if he hears an intruder, but not every time he sees a squirrel.
Even if your pup gets the best start in life, he will still likely develop some “problem” behaviors as he grows up. We put the word “problem” in quotes because most of these behaviors are natural and normal dog behaviors, but they are not welcome in the human world. Behaviors like jumping on you as a gesture of affection, nipping at your hands as an invitation to play, and sniffing you in inappropriate places are all perfectly acceptable behaviors for dogs to do to other dogs.
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A dog also used to become anxious when we leave the house. This is also called separation anxiety. I helped my dog with that by doing desensitization and counter-conditioning exercises. The important thing with desensitization however, is that I had to make sure to prevent panic attacks from recurring. Each panic attack will undermine my dog’s confidence, make him even more anxious, and his behavior will worsen.
An anti-anxiety drug is designed to be given once a day and to keep your dog calm overall. It is not designed to be given at a particular time when your dog becomes overly anxious or excited. The best thing to do at such times is to speak calmly to your dog in a reassuring but firm voice. Keep your hand on your dog, providing your dog does not become aggressive. Some dogs may become aggressive and try to bite. If possible, remove the dog from the anxiety-provoking situation. Above all, remain calm yourself, because your dog will take cues from your behavior.
When it comes to your pet’s behavior, you know best. You know what they do and don’t like and what they will or won’t respond to. However, once you begin introducing new methods of care, foods, or medications into their routine, it’s best to review your change of plans with his veterinarian first. This way you can avoid any surprise reactions and ensure that you are choosing the healthiest route for your pet.
Hi there does anyone have any ideas, I have a 11yr old Golden retriever who has odd for him behaviour. he has started looking very scared his ears go back & he looks sharply behind him as though something is behind him, he rushes from my husband then back to me seeming to want reassurance, he pants & does pluck the hair from his front leg, he finds it difficult to settle & paces around these attacks normally last for around half an hour, I have tried rescue remedy & a herbal tranquil powder. I have now also started using a pet remedy diffuser he sometimes has a few days of this behaviour then is fine for a few weeks then it happens again. he usually is a very calm placid boy & in his old age has slept a lot he takes pain killers for a back problem & he is fairly deaf can hear high pitch & a shout Thanks for any help Jan
Condition your pup to be apart from you while you are home. This can save the dog from serious separation anxiety as he matures. Start with short separations of five minutes. Crate him or have an isolation area with nothing in it that he can harm. If he’s barking when you’re ready to let him out, wait until he stops before you open the door. Otherwise, he will associate barking as the way to be let out.
Many dogs suffering from separation anxiety are okay when left in a car. You can try leaving your dog in a car—but only if the weather is moderate. Be warned: dogs can suffer from heatstroke and die if left in cars in warm weather (70 degrees Fahrenheit and up)—even for just a few minutes. DO NOT leave your dog in a car unless you’re sure that the interior of your car won’t heat up.
Formal dog training has traditionally been delayed until 6 months of age. Actually, this juvenile stage is a very poor time to start. The dog is learning from every experience and delaying training means missed opportunities for the dog to learn how you would like him to behave. During the juvenile stage, the dog is beginning to solidify adult behavioral patterns and progresses through fear periods. Behaviors learned in puppyhood may need to be changed. In addition, anything that has already been learned or trained incorrectly will need to be undone and re-taught. Puppies are capable of learning much from an early age.
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.
However, it is important to note that dog behavior is very context dependent. Each dog and each situation is different, which is why visiting with a professional trainer/behaviorist can be very helpful. When I was having difficulties with my Shiba, we visited with several trainers so that they could observe Sephy, help us identify the source of his negative behaviors, guide us in reading his body language, and more.
Will the sound desensitization exercises help with getting her out for evening walks? What other desensitization exercises could I use? I know she is anxious with thunder storms but I’m not really sure what triggers her to be afraid of going for a walk, even if no storm is around or coming. Or why she won’t come in the den in the evenings or come on the couch or sleep with us. All I know is there’s something about the evenings for her.
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First, teach the release word. Choose which word you will use, such as “OK” or “free.” Stand with your puppy in a sit or a stand, toss a treat on the floor, and say your word as he steps forward to get the treat. Repeat this a couple of times until you can say the word first and then toss the treat AFTER he begins to move. This teaches the dog that the release cue means to move your feet.

Frequently provide food puzzle toys. You can feed your dog his meals in these toys or stuff them with a little peanut butter, cheese or yogurt. Also give your dog a variety of attractive edible and inedible chew things. Puzzle toys and chew items encourage chewing and licking, which have been shown to have a calming effect on dogs. Be sure to provide them whenever you leave your dog alone.
If your dog has a mild case of separation anxiety, counterconditioning might reduce or resolve the problem. Counterconditioning is a treatment process that changes an animal’s fearful, anxious or aggressive reaction to a pleasant, relaxed one instead. It’s done by associating the sight or presence of a feared or disliked person, animal, place, object or situation with something really good, something the dog loves. Over time, the dog learns that whatever he fears actually predicts good things for him. For dogs with separation anxiety, counterconditioning focuses on developing an association between being alone and good things, like delicious food. To develop this kind of association, every time you leave the house, you can offer your dog a puzzle toy stuffed with food that will take him at least 20 to 30 minutes to finish. For example, try giving your dog a KONG® stuffed with something really tasty, like low-fat cream cheese, spray cheese or low-fat peanut butter, frozen banana and cottage cheese, or canned dog food and kibble. A KONG can even be frozen so that getting all the food out takes even more of your dog’s time. Be sure to remove these special toys as soon as you return home so that your dog only has access to them and the high-value foods inside when he’s by himself. You can feed your dog all of his daily meals in special toys. For example, you can give your dog a KONG or two stuffed with his breakfast and some tasty treats every morning before going to work. Keep in mind, though, that this approach will only work for mild cases of separation anxiety because highly anxious dogs usually won’t eat when their guardians aren’t home.
Dog training classes or private sessions can also be an addition to your own training program. The dog trainer can help you improve the program and customize it to your dog's learning style. Try to be as involved as possible when it comes to your dog's training. You and your dog will be a stronger team when you are directly involved in the training process.
You can teach your puppy at home and I'll help you. My puppy training book is called Respect Training for Puppies: 30 Seconds to a Calm, Polite, Well-Behaved Puppy. I'll show you my proven step-by-step training schedule for teaching your puppy all the words he needs to know, plus consistent household rules and routines, housebreaking, crate training, acceptance of being handled, calmness, gentleness, and general obedience training.

Thanks for pointing out that the classes are similar to children’s classrooms in that they have a single teacher with a group of owners and dogs. Recently, I got a puppy named Alfie, and he is so energetic and lively. I want him to learn some good habits, though, for when he’s older, so I think that it’d be a good idea for me to find an obedience training class like you describe.


Choose your dog's name wisely and be respectful of it. Of course you'll want to pick a name for your new puppy or dog that you love, but for the purposes of training it also helps to consider a short name ending with a strong consonant. This allows you to say his name so that he can always hear it clearly. A strong ending (i.e. Jasper, Jack, Ginger) perks up puppy ears—especially when you place a strong emphasize at the end.
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