Obedience training helps your pet learn his role in your family and in the world. It will teach him the skills he needs to interact with other dogs and with the people inside and outside your home. Puppy training is the first step to teaching healthy behaviors and avoiding negative ones. Often, dogs start their training by learning simple commands, such as "sit" and "stay," though later on they may be trained in more specific ways, such as how to stay in a crate without whining or how to sit patiently without begging while the family eats dinner.
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]
The dog’s snout should never be smacked to discourage biting, aside from the fact that negative reinforcement is not an effective training mechanism; smacking the dog’s snout can even encourage a firmer grip. Puppies chew to ease their teething discomfort and replacing the item being bitten with an item that is acceptable is the best way to discourage a negative biting behavior. One other method that is recommended by some trainers is to take your thumb and place it over your dog’s tongue gently holding the bottom jaw with your other four fingers. While holding the tongue, tell your dog “no” firmly and then let go. Repeat this process if biting continues.

I have a lab/ collie and he has been driving us nuts for the past couple of month and I believe its anxiety. My story begins. My husband had 2 dogs for the past 14 years. We had to put one to sleep a couple of months ago due to cancer. we also had a cat that was with him for 10 years that we had to put down at the same time as the other dog due to cancer also. We had 4 cats and 2 dogs at one time. My husband went to rehab for 30 days and while he was away all the animals were too much to handle and we couldn’t afford them so we had to give them up to a sanctuary. When he got home from rehab he lived with his parents for a while until be could reconcile our marriage. The dog will not let me sleep he paces wines and barks all the time. I thought it was because he missed my husband so he came back home. it didn’t not solve the problem at all. I don’t know what to do. I feel so bad for him but the house needs to get uninterrupted sleep. I don’t know what to do. Please help me.


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.

In the last 6 months I would say she has “calmed down”, but we feel it’s due to her getting more used to us and her new home (she was a stray and had a couple foster homes before we got her). She still has lots of energy when we go for walks and to the park. She likes to be in the backyard (even in the evenings) and goes for a walk just fine (in the mornings only). It seems to be she only likes going for walks in the morning, and we used to go 3 times a day (morning, afternoon and evening). The only thing I can think of that would have frightened her on a walk is a few times storms have rolled in (usually a thunderstorm). When there is a thunderstorm she gets anxious, paces, pants and usually hides in the bathroom where she seems to calm down after a while. She loves the dog park and plays well with all the dogs she comes into contact with, and LOVES people. We’re really good about keeping her schedule the same, eats at the same times everyday, walks at the same time ect. We live in a new neighbourhood so there are trucks (all kinds) driving around all day. That would be the only noises I could think of.


In the beginning, I make sure the other person *does not* initiate eye contact or talk. In this way, I keep things low key and non-stressful. The energy of the people around my dog is also very important. If I am anxious or worried, my dog will pick up on that and get anxious as well. I try to stay calm and positive, I let my dog set the pace, I keep sessions short but frequent, and I make the experience very rewarding.
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.
However, before giving your dog anti-anxiety pills or any kind of medication, make sure you understand the side effects to look out for. Also, only give your pet the recommended anti-anxiety medication dosage from your veterinarian. Extra dosages can result in harm to your pet. Each dog responds differently to anti-anxiety medication due to the rate of absorption and other potential health conditions that may affect how well it works.
You must judge when your dog is able to tolerate an increase in the length of separation. Each dog reacts differently, so there are no standard timelines. Deciding when to increase the time that your dog is alone can be very difficult, and many pet parents make errors. They want treatment to progress quickly, so they expose their dogs to durations that are too long, which provokes anxiety and worsens the problem. To prevent this kind of mistake, watch for signs of stress in your dog. These signs might include dilated pupils, panting, yawning, salivating, trembling, pacing and exuberant greeting. If you detect stress, you should back up and shorten the length of your departures to a point where your dog can relax again. Then start again at that level and progress more slowly.

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.
 Together, we will take a hands on approach to find a solution to resolve the problems you are having with your dog!  Take the Lead K9 Training offers board and train services for obedience training and dog behavior modification.  I will help you resolve a variety of dog behavioral issues like aggression, anxiety, fear, not listening, jumping up, barking, biting, chewing, running away, chasing the cat, pulling on leash, and not coming when called.  I teach basic dog obedience, such as proper leash walking, sit, down, extended stay, and recall to puppies and adult dogs alike!  I also train off leash advanced obedience with low level remote collar training, where your dog will respond to you off leash with high levels of distraction.  Big or small, your dog can learn and listen to you - in public, around distractions, off-leash, and without having to always have a treat to get your dog's good behavior!
I don’t want her pretending to like me for food. As it is, she only shows affection through snuggling or licking to get close to items she isn’t allowed to have that are placed behind me so she can’t get them. When she is close enough, she disregards me and grabs the item and tries to run with it. Occasionally, “leave it” works when she gets her teeth on something she shouldn’t, but most of the time I have to take it away and she she immediately begins to try to get it back with force or sneaky behavior.
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]
My dog often gets stressed when there is a lot of uncertainty in his life. Therefore, I try to create as much certainty as possible by setting up a fixed routine, consistent rules, and making him work for the things that he wants (Nothing in Life is Free). In this way, he knows exactly what to expect from me, from the other dogs in the household, from other people, and also what I expect from him. I also try to be very calm and decisive when interacting with my dog, so that he will pick up on that energy and know that he can count on me.
Punishment or aversive techniques will do little to stop these anxious dog behaviors in the long-run, because punishment does not address the source of the problem, which is the dog’s anxiety. In fact, suppression of these displacement behaviors, through pain and dominance methods, will make the problem worse, because pain increases stress and uncertainty.
After many failed attempts at desensitizing him to the triggers of his anxiety we tried natural calming agents to help. None worked. His anxiety was to profound and the methods were ineffectual. We just could not calm him enough, when exposed to his triggers, for the agents or program to work. We had to put him on medication. For his own safety. He was causing great harm to himself in his terror to escape what he probably thought was another abandonment.
Marian Breland Bailey played a major role in developing empirically validated and humane animal training methods and in promoting their widespread implementation.[12] Marian was a graduate student under B.F. Skinner. Her first husband Keller Breland also came to study with Skinner and they collaborated with him, training pigeons to guide bombs. The Brelands saw the commercial possibilities of operant training, founding Animal Behavior Enterprises (ABE). In 1955, they opened the "I.Q. Zoo" as both a training facility and a showcase of trained animals. They were among the first to use trained animals in television commercials, and the first to train dolphins and whales as entertainment, as well as for the navy.[12] Keller died in 1965, and in 1976 Marian married Bob Bailey, who had been director of marine mammal training for the navy. They pioneered the use of the clicker as a conditioned reinforcer for training animals at a distance.[11] ABE went on to train thousands of animals of more than 140 species.[12] Their work had significant public exposure through press coverage of ABE-trained animals, bringing the principles of behavior analysis and operant conditioning to a wide audience.[13]
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]
Some people believe that the only way to transform a disobedient dog into a well-behaved one is to dominate her and show her who’s boss. However, the “alpha dog” concept in dog training is based more on myth than on animal science. More importantly, it leads misguided pet parents to use training techniques that aren’t safe, like the “alpha roll.” Dogs who are forcibly rolled onto their backs and held down can become frightened and confused, and they’re sometimes driven to bite in self defense.
A dog with separation anxiety might try to escape from an area where he’s confined when he’s left alone or separated from his guardian. The dog might attempt to dig and chew through doors or windows, which could result in self-injury, such as broken teeth, cut and scraped front paws and damaged nails. If the dog’s escape behavior is caused by separation anxiety, it doesn’t occur when his guardian is present.
Jeff Lustman is from Carbondale, Illinois and has been a Dog trainer for the past 5 years. He trained and interned under Behesha Doan, one of the most well-known trainers/dog behavior specialists in the country. He has been a part of and led multiple training academy’s and dog behavioral training lectures back in Illinois. He has also trained service dogs for veterans with PTSD and led 4 different Veteran classes. Jeff Specializes in aggression and anxious dog behaviors and can train any dog that enters our building. With his vast knowledge of dog behavior and training, you can be confident that your dog will get the training you want and need.
Finally, whether you train your pet at home on your own or if you bring him to a class or an instructor, understand that patience is the most important skill you need during this process. Your puppy will inevitably make some mistakes or have an occasional accident. He needs your support during those times. Clearly and kindly correct the behavior or action and reinforce the training command you taught your pet. Your dog is counting on you and excited to learn.
The concepts of "pack" and "dominance" in relation to dog training originated in the 1940s and were popularized by the Monks of New Skete in the 1970s. The model is based on a theory that "dogs are wolves" and since wolves live in hierarchical packs where an alpha male rules over everyone else, then humans must dominate dogs in order to modify their behavior.[68] However, recent studies have shown that wolves in the wild actually live in nuclear families where the father and mother are considered the pack leaders, and their offspring's status depends on their birth order which does not involve fighting to attain a higher rank, because the young wolves naturally follow their parents' lead.[69]

I am a graduate of Florida Southern College, class of 2005. Back then my passion was for the arts and I studied graphic design. I found I had a natural knack for reading dogs, so I went out of my way to expand on it. I started with an ABC-DT certification. Once I gained enough experience I joined APDT and got my CGC Evaluator certification. In November, I will be taking the exam for my CPDT-KA. My next goal after that is to try to get my CNWI (canine nose work instructor) certification.
×