Dogs are probably the most "verbally" expressive of all domesticated animals, and this only adds to their charm. From the whine of a puppy to the angry growl of an adult, dogs mean what they say. The more you understand these signals, the happier you and your dog will be. At the same time, it's important to know which noises constitute an annoyance, and how to train your dog to stop making them. We'll offer suggestions on teaching a dog to stop barking in this section.
Choose a dog that fits your lifestyle. After centuries of breeding, the modern dog is one of the most varied species of animal on earth. While there’s probably a dog to suit every lifestyle, not all dogs will fit your specific needs. For example, if you like to relax, you should not get a Jack Russell Terrier, known for its constant barking and high energy.[2] Instead, you might want a bulldog that would much prefer to cuddle on the couch all day.[3] Research the personalities and care requirements of various breeds. Ask dog owners about their breed’s personality. Mixed breeds are also great options as they can contain personalities of various breeds you may be interested in
The first method is called capturing. Stand in front of your puppy holding some of his dog food or treats. Wait for him to sit – say “yes” and give him a treat. Then step backwards or sideways to encourage him to stand and wait for him to sit. Give another treat as soon as they sit. After a few repetitions, you can begin saying “sit” right as he begins to sit.

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.
Puppy training mainly focuses on socialization and basic manners, and thus fits well into a small-group training model. Puppies will learn to be friendly around other puppies and humans, and they will learn familiarity with the leash. Beginner and intermediate obedience classes are usually taught in a group training setting, wherein 5-10 owners and dogs learn basic to medium commands (sit and stay/down/heel). The group setting is recommended because it teaches dogs to ignore other distractions--whether they be dogs, humans or peripheral noises.
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.
Desensitization is the most effective method when your dog’s anxiety is brought on by a particular trigger such as fireworks, thunderstorms, or even car rides. This method means that your dog will learn how to reduce their reaction to the trigger or stimulus that is causing their issues. In this particular situation, you would want to overexpose your dog to this trigger and train them to act calmly.
We work Monday to Friday so durning the week my husband gets up and feeds her before he goes to work, then an hour later I take her for an hour walk and when we get back from our walk I go to work and she stays home for the day. When I get home from work we go for another hour walk or to the park (lately she won’t go for these walks but will go to the park if we drive there and she’s fine at the park). Then she has supper and in the evening another walk (again, lately she hasn’t been going for these walks, we have to drive her to a place and she only wants to go to the bathroom, no playing). We’ve been trying to get her to go to the bathroom in the backyard since she seems comfortable there, but we just got it done a few weeks ago so she’s still getting used to it.
You want your puppy to be able to respond to you in various situations and places, so be careful not to limit training to one room of your house or corner of the yard. Practice commands in your home, backyard, front yard, surrounding neighborhood, woods, park or in any other location you visit with your pet. There are different distracting smells and noises in new areas, and you want to be sure your dog can still perform what he knows in different environments.
Thank you for this very informative article. I've been trying to find more information about what may be causing the symptoms my dog has and many of these fit her. So many other articles categorise these symptoms as reactions to specific situations (noises, separation from owner), but she seems to exhibit these symptoms pretty much every day, independent of any discernible environmental stimulus. This will help me talk to the veterinarian about it during our appointment.

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]


As a pet parent, you need to act when your dog is suffering from anxiety. Avoid punishing or scolding your dog when it is having an attack. You should also avoid praising or patting because that may lead your dog to believe that you are encouraging its anxious behavior. The first step is to identify the stimulus that’s causing the reaction. Controlled exposure to the stimulus and giving rewards for positive behavior is a popular way of desensitizing the dog. It’s also advisable to seek help from a canine behavioral expert. If the problem persists, consult a vet. There are more than a few anti-anxiety medication and nutritional supplements that can help control the problem.
We’ve had our German shepherd mix rescue since she was a puppy; she will be 11 years old in March, and has been the joy of our lives. Suddenly, and for no apparent reason, she has started displaying signs we think are anxiety, and we aren’t sure how to proceed. Although she was never afraid of storms, in the last year she began trembling and panting during storms so much so that we purchased a thundershirt at the recommendation of our vet, with minimal improvement. We then noticed she would go up and down into the basement almost compulsively, recently staying in the dark in the basement for long periods of time. Now, she is climbing on furniture in a back room, which she has never ever done before, or she is hiding in a spare bathroom in a part of the house she was never allowed in formerly. She is panting and trembling almost constantly for no apparent reason, and we just don’t seem to know how to console her, or figure out what is wrong. She does seem to sleep at night, and seems relaxed when we awake in the morning, but before very long, she is panting and tembling again, and seems tormented. Do you think medication is needed or would help, or do you have other ideas? This all seems so sudden, and I am now starting to wonder if this is an inevitable part of her aging. Would sincerely appreciate any feedback you might be able to provide.
In one study laboratory-bred Beagles were divided into three groups. Group A received an electric shock when the dogs touched the prey (a rabbit dummy fixed to a motion device). Group H received a shock when they did not obey a previously trained recall command during hunting. Dogs in group R received the electric shock arbitrarily, i.e. the shock was administered unpredictably and out of context. Group A did not show a significant rise in salivary cortisol levels, while group R and group H did show a significant rise. This led to the conclusion that animals which were able to clearly associate the electric stimulus with their action, i.e. touching the prey, and consequently were able to predict and control the stressor, did not show considerable or persistent stress indicators, while animals that were not able to control the situation to avoid the shock did show significant stress.[62]
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.
If you’d like to learn how to train your dog or if your dog has a behavior problem you’d like to resolve, don’t hesitate get help from a qualified professional trainer or behaviorist. To learn more about locating the right expert for you and your dog, please see our article, Finding Professional Help. Many Certified Pet Dog Trainers (CPDTs) and Certified Applied Animal Behaviorists (CAABs or ACAABs) offer telephone consultations, in-home private consultations and training sessions, and group classes.
If possible, try to avoid letting your dog be exposed to dark rooms. Anxious dogs will try and escape and generally look for dark rooms such as a closet. This isn’t an ideal place for them, so try and keep these rooms closed so they are in a well-lit room. Attempt to spot the signs of an oncoming anxiety attack so you may prevent it from happening. If your dog knows how to sit and stay, nuances like these can help reinforce positive reactions to their perceived “negative” environments.
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