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.
Once you have determined to bring a new dog home, the real work begins! Especially if they have not been house broken the dog must be taught obedience. This can be a very frustrating and even thankless task. Initially, it seems like a lot of work for very little effort. The dog does not appreciate the training; it seems like you are constantly in a battle of wills and oftentimes your family will blame you for every failure or backwards step that the new animal takes!
When a dog perceives a threat, the hypothalamus, a section of brain tissues, signals the production of certain chemicals to prepare the dog for fight or flight. This is good when there is an actual threat, but in dogs with chronic anxiety, it causes problems such as depression. The chemicals begin to weaken the immune system and can lead to heart disease.
Once your dog can stay in a sit for several seconds, you can begin adding distance. Place him in a sit and say “stay,” take one step back, then step back to the pup, give a treat, and your release word. Continue building in steps, keeping it easy enough that your dog can stay successful. Practice both facing him and walking away with your back turned (which is more realistic).
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!
 I started Take the Lead with the goal of creating harmonious relationships between humans and dogs.  Dogs have a language all of their own and my goal is to help owners bridge the gap in communication.  The first step to strengthening our relationship with our dogs is understanding what they are telling us, but most importantly what we REALLY have been saying to them.   Dogs can be such a joy in our lives, but they can also be an equal nightmare!  I know it's not a lack of trying when it comes to families trying to improve their dog's behavior, in the end it's just missed communication of expectations between human and dog! The good news is, with the right training it doesn't have to be like that forever!
AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) evaluators are another class of dog-training professionals. AKC CGC Evaluators may or may not be trainers or behaviorists, but are certified by the AKC to evaluate dogs in the Canine Good Citizen test. Training other behaviors and getting a dog used to being alone, for example, can help reduce separation anxiety. The root cause, however, would likely need to be determined by a behaviorist, who could then refer you to a trainer if he or she was not able to help with the training issues.
Be consistent. Your dog won’t understand what you want from him if his environment lacks consistency. Everyone who lives with your dog should understand and be on board with his training goals. For example, if you are training your dog not to jump on people, don’t let the kids allow the dog jump all over them. This will undermine all the training you’ve done.
Obedience training usually refers to the training of a dog and the term is most commonly used in that context. Obedience training ranges from very basic training, such as teaching the dog to reliably respond to basic commands such as "sit," "down," "come," and "stay," to high level competition within clubs such as the American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club and the Canadian Kennel Club, where additional commands, accuracy and performance are scored and judged.
Dianne and John are excellent dog trainers and a pleasure to work with. After moving to a new home, our two dogs became aggressive towards each other. The situation was becoming dangerous, and we were beginning to think that we may have to rehome one of our dogs. We were feeling heartbroken and decided to contact Bark Busters. After just one sessio...
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.
Puppies don't have very long attention spans, so keep all the puppy training sessions short. Practice one command for five minutes at a time, and again later when you have opportunities outside of training sessions. Your dog can only do one thing at a time, so focus on one skill and move on once he has mastered it. You should also always end the training on a positive note so your pet is excited for his next lesson.

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Before you can train your dog to protect, he must first have mastered the basic commands, 'come', 'sit', 'stay', and 'down'. If possible, you may want to work on training him to 'speak' or bark--and be quiet--on command. Your dog should also be well socialized with other people and dogs. This will go a long way towards helping your dog learn to differentiate between the good guys and the bad guys. Supplies needed for this training include:
Essentially, dogs learn to respond properly to basic commands in obedience class--and humans learn how to properly give those commands. Dogs and owners will also learn how to communicate with each other, and how to avoid distractions or disturbances from the outside. No matter which method of dog training is used, it is necessary to be consistent and committed in order to train a dog. Also, it’s important that a pet owner understand their dog’s temperament and hereditary factors, and find a class and method that is appropriate.

Moderate or severe cases of separation anxiety require a more complex desensitization and counterconditioning program. In these cases, it’s crucial to gradually accustom a dog to being alone by starting with many short separations that do not produce anxiety and then gradually increasing the duration of the separations over many weeks of daily sessions.


In the beginning, I only let him meet with calm people that I know will result in a successful greeting. I also coach people on how to meet him. Often, fearful dogs show aggression because they feel threatened and cornered, and think there are no other alternatives available to them. I make sure I do not put any of my dogs in this type of situation.
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.

Crate training is a process, and you’ll have to put some training into getting your new puppy to love her crate. Don’t worry - Canis Major can help with crate training if you’re feeling stuck. It’s worth it for both the practical training benefits and the possibility of future crate needs! Without some sort of confinement, potty training a puppy is a huge uphill battle.

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.
After reading some of the articles and forums out there, I see that she is likely suffering from some kind of cognitive deficiency resulting from the loss/depletion of her senses and the early signs of kidney failure. As much as it pains me to say this, I realize that she may be suffering a great deal. I hate that she has to be drugged up on valium to have a decent quality of life. It breaks my heart. She is the sweetest dog I have ever had/encountered and I hate to see her going through this. We may be facing a tough decision in the next few days.

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Loud noises like construction, car alarms, and thunderstorms are also cause for anxiety in dogs. They may run under the table or in circles, howl, whimper, and show signs of fear during the events and even for a few hours after. Although some situations are unpredictable, for those that aren’t, providing extra comfort and care for your dog beforehand can help ease the anxiety.
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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.
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.
When I start to leash train my Husky puppy, I first do it in a safe environment, e.g. inside the house. In this way, she can slowly get used to the collar, the feel and weight of the leash, and me holding the leash. I make sure to desensitize her to the collar and leash, and I make sure that our leash training sessions are positive and very rewarding – with fun games, movement, and her favorite treats.
Hi Lee! I just wanted to leave you a message real quick and let you know we had a great first day. We went out for a little bit and he did rather well. In the evening, there are a few instances where he would jump up or start to bite and we implemented the bah and a quick flick of leash and he looked up to give us his attention. We are truly amaze...

If this is not possible with your schedule, then you may want to consider keeping your puppy in a crate while you are out. This will most likely prevent most of the peeing or pooping in the house instances since a new puppy (or dog) will be very reluctant to relive themselves where they sleep. On the other hand, the bladder of a young puppy is really only large enough to “hold it” for a few hours at a time.

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