Many anxieties and phobias can be helped through training and conditioning. For instance, separation anxiety (the fear of being left alone) is extremely common among dogs and can often be dramatically improved or even eliminated by gradual conditioning to being alone with positive reinforcement. However, some dogs are simply anxious in their general disposition, or they need help calming down enough before training them to get through a stressful situation can even begin. For these dogs, there are a handful of natural solutions you can try. Dogs still need training, too; there is no magic cure to fix fearfulness and anxiety for good. But the natural solutions listed below may go a long way in helping a dog cope as the real solutions — long-term training, desensitization and conditioning — take place.
As you attempt to decode your dog’s body language, take the situation he is in into account. In one context, a dog licking his lips may be expressing fear or anxiety; in another context, the same dog may lick his lips in anticipation of a treat. And some dogs lick their lips when they feel nauseous. Consider your dog’s overall behavior, not just one motion or gesture, when you assess his stress level. Be particularly aware of behavior that seems out of character for your dog. 

Success is usually attained in small steps. Training sessions with your dog should last ten to fifteen minutes, two to three times per day. This is especially true for puppies because of their very short attention spans. Longer sessions can cause an adult dog to become bored. Start by teaching basic commands. Try to stick with one action per training session so your dog does not get confused.

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Don't raise your voice to get his attention. Save the big booming voice for “life saving” situations, like if he escapes his fence or leash. If you rarely raise your voice, you'll get your dog’s undivided attention when you do need to yell. But if you are always “loud” to your dog, they will ignore that sound and tune it out. Shouting will no longer be regarded as something that commands special attention.
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 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."

When people come to visit, I make sure to properly manage Lara. I put a leash on her so that I can properly control her and stop her from getting too excited. Distance will weaken the “person” stimulus. I also make sure that the person is totally ignoring her – absolutely no eye-contact. This is very important, because eye-contact can be seen as an invitation to interact, and this will get Lara even more excited.
Based on the principles of social learning, model-rival training uses a model, or a rival for attention, to demonstrate the desired behaviour.[65] The method was used by Irene Pepperberg to train Alex the African Grey Parrot to label a large number of objects. McKinley and Young undertook a pilot study on the applicability of a modified version of the model-rival method to the training of domestic dogs, noting that the dog's origins as a member of large and complex social groups promote observational learning. The model-rival training involved an interaction between the trainer, the dog, and a person acting as a model-rival, that is, a model for desired behaviour and a rival for the trainer's attention. In view of the dog, a dialogue concerning a particular toy commenced between the trainer and the model-rival. The trainer praised or scolded the model-rival depending on whether the model-rival had named the toy correctly. It was found that the performance times for completion of the task were similar for dogs trained with either operant conditioning or the model rival method. In addition, the total training time required for task completion was comparable for both methods.[66]
If you are training a puppy, you will likely need to teach them not to bite. Puppies tend to bite on everything they can grab with their mouth and this action should obviously be discouraged from the beginning. One way is to firmly say NO every time you see this. Also, replace the fingers, hand or object that is being bitten with a toy that may be bitten. It is not recommended to ever slap the snout of a puppy; this may actually encourage a firmer grip. Puppies bite to ease the discomfort of teething, so you want to try and channel this into areas which are acceptable.
Bring any ideas you have to your dog’s next checkup and see what could be a possible solution(s) if he’s suffering from anxiety. You may have to test out a few different solutions to find exactly how best to alleviate the anxiety your dog is feeling for good. But once you figure out how to give him what he needs, it will be smooth sailing for the future.
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.

Profound fear and withdrawal of unknown cause (so called idiopathic fear and withdrawal) has also been noted in certain dog breeds, including the Siberian Husky, German Shorthaired Pointer, Greyhound, Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Bernese Mountain Dog, Great Pyrenees, Border Collie, and Standard Poodle, among others. There appears to be a strong familial component, with the likelihood of a genetic influence.
The essential thing Sally learned in her training was the commands sit and down stay. The trainer had us work on sit-stays and down-stays for 30 minutes each day for a few days. Start your dog on-leash and have them sit-stay by tugging the leash towards their back to help put them in a sitting position and then telling them to stay. When you tell them to stay, hold your hand out in front of yourself towards them.
Observational learning is the learning that occurs through observing the behavior of others. This form of learning does not need reinforcement to occur; instead, a model animal is required. While the model may not be intentionally trying to instill any particular behavior, many behaviors that are observed are remembered and imitated.[52] The domestic dog is a social species and its social dependency makes it aware of the behavior of others, which contributes to its own behavior and learning abilities. There is, however, ongoing discussion about how much, and how, dogs can learn by interacting with each other and with people.[53]

I applaud the author for finding creative ways to improve her dog’s life, but I am sure she could re-write this in a way that wouldn’t misinform and turn off novice dog owners. For example, she might say “I found that looking for other ways to connect with Sally, such as using play, life rewards, and affection in our day-to-day training, deepened our relationship. I also found that thinking about Sally’s behavior and our quality of life more holistically, outside of simple obedience cues, helped me address some overwhelming issues that I wasn’t sure how to tackle at first, such as getting and keeping her attention in distracting situations. While food treats are the easiest way to train a dog, they might not work for every dog and every situation. Even dogs that aren’t food-motivated can be trained.”


Most training schools are happy to allow you to attend and observe (leave Fido at home for this) a class or two to be sure the style of instruction fits with your beliefs. Dogs learn best through progressive reinforcement training; rewarding the dog for making the right choice and withholding rewards, or ignoring the dog for making an incorrect choice.
Stage three: Hold one treat in your palm in front of the dog and one behind you in the other hand. Instruct your dog to “leave it.” If the dog gets too close to the treat, make a fist to hide the treat and say “no” or “uh-oh” to show the dog that he won’t be rewarded or noncompliance. When he obeys the “leave it” command, give him the treat that’s behind your back.
8. Know your limits. If you’re really out of your depth, or your dog represents a serious danger to you or your children, it’s okay to consider rehoming. Training and medications are expensive, and anxious dogs often require a lifetime commitment. In some cases, it’s safer for you and better for the dog to find a new home where she can get what she needs if you don’t have the resources or the situation to provide it. You’re not a bad person or a failure—you’re making the wisest, kindest choice in the circumstances.
Help him relax when he comes home. When your puppy gets home, give him a warm hot water bottle and put a ticking clock near his sleeping area. This imitates the heat and heartbeat of his litter mates and will soothe him in his new environment. This may be even more important for a new dog from a busy, loud shelter who's had a rough time early on. Whatever you can do to help him get comfortable in his new home will be good for both of you.

Dog training is the application of behavior analysis which uses the environmental events of antecedents and consequences to modify the behavior of a dog, either for it to assist in specific activities or undertake particular tasks, or for it to participate effectively in contemporary domestic life. While training dogs for specific roles dates back to Roman times at least, the training of dogs to be compatible household pets developed with suburbanization in the 1950s.
No biting is more of an action taken to discourage puppy biting than it is an actual obedience training command. Puppies have a habit of biting anything and everything and this behavior should be discouraged from the beginning. Discouraging biting can be done with a variety of ways. One of the most used methods of discouraging biting is to firmly say “no” and replace the hand or fingers that are being bitten with a toy that it is acceptable to bite.
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.
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.

Dealing with dog anxiety? Barking, destructive tendencies, obsessive-compulsive chewing, going potty indoors—these behaviors can quickly make you crazy, and aren’t fun for your pup, either. Since it’s not practical to spend all of your time soothing your high-strung canine, we’ve rounded up some techniques, remedies, and secret weapons to help your anxious dog. From massage to training tips and even CBD treats, there’s something here for every dog.
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.
In most cases, dogs will naturally bark when someone they don't know is approaching. You can put this to good use by teaching him when to bark and when to stop. Each time your dog barks at a stranger, let him bark 2 or 3 times and then tug on his leash and give the command "Quiet". When he does, be sure to give him a treat and praise him. This lets him know no when he should bark and when he shouldn't.
I have a 14 year old shep mix and have been putting up with these behaviors for two years now. I know his senses of sight and hearing are diminishing, but not gone. He has a form of dementia, which is kinda a senile thing. He is not always in this state of mind, I have to constantly be with him, or his anxiety level will go off the wall with constant barking.

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.

This was probably the most tedious thing because it means you have to go outside with your dog for them to go potty, you have to take them to their water dish, etc. Your dog does nothing without you by their side. This sends the message to your dog that you are allowing them to go potty, drink water, eat food, rest on their dog bed, etc., which in turn helps you establish pack leader status.
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The essential thing Sally learned in her training was the commands sit and down stay. The trainer had us work on sit-stays and down-stays for 30 minutes each day for a few days. Start your dog on-leash and have them sit-stay by tugging the leash towards their back to help put them in a sitting position and then telling them to stay. When you tell them to stay, hold your hand out in front of yourself towards them.
"Fur & Feathers Pet Resort training program with Jennifer is awesome.  She explained everything in detail and then applied it to the dogs. She took the time to help me with our two dogs. The program was structured and hands on.  I was provided a detailed report and was given a comprehensive departure lesson and shown what was done during Heidi and Gunnar’s training stay." - Nancy, Oakland, FL
Over time, the words “good dog” and the affectionate pat become secondary reinforcers. Because they have been paired with food in the past, they take on more meaning and become reinforcement in themselves. It is important to use secondary reinforcement because you will not always have food with you when you need your pet to obey. In addition, if you rely on food to get your puppy to comply, you will have a puppy that will only do the task when you have a treat.
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.

I’ve walked our dog just about every night since we got him about 2 years ago and dearly miss it. I know he does as well because he’s still quite active and loved it when I said let’s go for a walk. He’s been through thunder storms before but he was always inside, he’s been in a camp hunting for 3-4 nights with gun shots sounding off causing him to shake and shiver but he always seemed to get over it.
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.
Pups between the ages of 9–12 weeks who were permitted to observe their narcotics-detecting mothers at work generally proved more capable at learning the same skills at six months of age than control puppies the same age who were not previously allowed to watch their mothers working.[54] A 2001 study recorded the behaviour of dogs in detour tests, in which a favorite toy or food was placed behind a V-shaped fence. The demonstration of the detour by humans significantly improved the dogs' performance in the trials. The experiments showed that dogs are able to rely on information provided by human action when confronted with a new task. Significantly, they did not copy the exact path of the human demonstrator, but adopted the detour behavior shown by humans to reach their goal.[55] A 1977 experiment by Adler and Adler found that puppies who watched other puppies learn to pull a food cart into their cages by an attached ribbon proved considerably faster at the task when later given the opportunity themselves. At 38 days of age, the demonstrator puppies took an average of 697 seconds to succeed, while the observers succeeded in an average of 9 seconds.[56]

Stage three: Hold one treat in your palm in front of the dog and one behind you in the other hand. Instruct your dog to “leave it.” If the dog gets too close to the treat, make a fist to hide the treat and say “no” or “uh-oh” to show the dog that he won’t be rewarded or noncompliance. When he obeys the “leave it” command, give him the treat that’s behind your back.
STARTER PACKAGE: $375 – Want to get a feel for our training before purchasing a full obedience package? If so, the Starter Package is for you! This program includes training equipment and 1 private lesson covering the following commands: “Come”, “Sit”, “Extended Sit”, “Break”, and “Off”. The Starter Package is ideal for dogs who just lack a recall (do not come when called), or dogs who are generally obedient but display some unwanted behavior such as counter-surfing, jumping, excessive barking, etc. ***Be prepared to practice daily for at least 30 minutes.***
Teach your dog to “leave it.” Teaching your dog to move his nose away from food and other items can be beneficial in a number of situations, including when food is accidentally dropped on the floor during family dinner or when your dog seems interested in picking up something potentially harmful during a walk. To teach this command, do the following:
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.
Regardless of the age of your dog, obedience classes could be a good way for you to teach your dog obedience. These types of classes are offered at multiple locations and are often offered in veterinary clinics. These classes involve a single teacher who works with a group of dog owners and their dogs in teaching obedience. These classes are group oriented much like children’s classrooms. Owners are taught obedience commands and how to encourage their dogs to obey. One at a time after being practiced, each owner will exhibit their dog’s ability to perform the task at hand.
Otherwise, there could be a food allergy or something else, and the anxiety merely exacerbates the condition. When my dog gets diarrhea, I usually switch to a bland diet. I use boiled/microwave chicken and white rice only, no treats, no extras. That helps to settle their tummy. For dogs that are allergic to poultry, we will need to use a different meat source. Once my dog is on a steady state, I very slowly reintroduce back her normal food, one at a time, to try and locate the source of the food allergy (if any).
Erin Ollila believes in the power of words and how a message can inform—and even transform—its intended audience. Her writing can be found all over the internet and in print, and includes interviews, ghostwriting, blog posts, and creative nonfiction. Erin is a geek for SEO and all things social media. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. Reach out to her on Twitter @ReinventingErin or learn more about her at http://erinollila.com.
I want to provide the help, answers, and hope for dog owners who are struggling, by giving them the compassion and understanding that they deserve.  I am looking for amazing clients who are looking forward to and are really excited about helping their dog,  their family, and ultimately themselves! If you are curious about what we offer or what it is like working with us, make sure to view our very active Facebook and Instagram Pages - I utilize social media to help current and potential clients see me working hands on with dogs, the methods we use, and to help continue education through daily videos and posts. I aim to be as transparent as possible when it comes to what I do, so that folks can see it doesn't have to take months or years to change behaviors and that dogs can learn fast (and have fun in the process)! The success of my clients following our work together is of upmost importance, so we offer many continuing education events like monthly Pack Walks and Group Classes, as well as daily educational posts on Take the Lead's Facebook page. I have helped many families and their dogs, and I can help you, too! I look forward to working with you :)

Based on what you’ve said I do believe it’s separation anxiety because if I do the same thing and close her in a room without me she reacts the same way…but if a door is open in the room she will gladly be in the room without anyone around her for a while so I don’t really understand…also this dog has been through a few homes and we got her at 9 months untrained so I think it’s making it harder to do anything with her…she has yet to catch on to the potty training after a month and we take her out very frequently


Non-associative learning is a change in a response to a stimulus that does not involve associating the presented stimulus with another stimulus or event such as reward or punishment.[46] Habituation is non-associative learning. An example is where a dog that reacts excitedly to a door bell is subjected to repeated ringing without accompanying visitors, and stops reacting to the meaningless stimuli. It becomes habituated to the noise.[47] On the other side of habituation is sensitization. Some dogs' reactions to the stimuli become stronger instead of them habituating to the repeated stimuli or event.[48] Desensitization is the process of pairing positive experiences with an object, person, or situation that causes fear or anxiety.[49] Consistent exposure to the feared object in conjunction with rewards allows the animal to become less stressed, thereby becoming desensitized in the process. This type of training can be effective for dogs who are fearful of fireworks.[50]
She was at the vet last in February when we discovered she had struvite crystals (after a couple leaking accidents). We have changed her diet to prevent them from coming again. And went for a follow up to ensure the crystals were all gone. They are all cleared up now. She is eating and drinking normally and has normal pee and poop. I don’t notice her mouth smelling any different than before.
STARTER PACKAGE: $375 – Want to get a feel for our training before purchasing a full obedience package? If so, The Starter Package is for you! This program includes training equipment and 1 private lesson covering the following commands: “Come”, “Sit”, “Break”, and “Off”. The Starter Package is ideal for dogs who just lack a recall (do not come when called), or dogs who are generally obedient but display some unwanted behavior such as counter-surfing, jumping, excessive barking, etc. ***Be prepared to practice daily for at least 30 minutes.***
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