While keeping with the desensitize program and very close monitory from his vet, Sully (Neuroti-Dog) takes Xanax and Clomicalm. He used to take Clomipramine but the expense went through the roof the last few months so we changed it. When he was first put on medications our hope was to use the meds to calm him enough for him to respond to the desensitizing. It worked. Until he found new triggers to cause him anxiety. No sooner do we desensitize him from one trigger and he finds another. I walk around my house with my car keys in hand, my coat and shoes on more often than not. I use his buzz words without action on my part other than to give him his favorite treat and we won’t even get into what I have to do when the dry cleaner bag comes out! I never stop using this program, if I lax even one day, he goes back to his original triggers of anxiety. Needless to say, Sully requires constant monitory for not only his medications but his anxiety through desensitization. Oh, BTW, he ate his Thundershirt. :-/


In some cases, dogs experiencing anxiety may become more aggressive overall. If your pet doesn’t typically growl, he may point and growl at whatever is causing him to be anxious. The longer you have your pet, the more it’ll be obvious as to what causes him distress. With any luck, you can avoid these situations as much as possible. But when you can’t, the good news is there are remedies available.
Our methods focus on creating a positive relationship between you and your dog to improve your dog's behavior and obedience. Our expertise is in understanding how a dog naturally thinks, learns and communicates and then using this to show you how to be your dog’s leader. Once this relationship is established, behavior change is a natural next step. Our techniques work with any age, any breed, any issue. You and your dog get one-on-one attention, an individualized plan to suit your family AND guaranteed support for the life of your dog.

Trying to fit training into your hectic schedule? Our custom dog training programs are the perfect way to meet your obedience goals! Your dog will enjoy multiple daily sessions with our experienced trainers.  While learning behaviors expected from well-behaved members of your family, your dog will have daily play times and the pampering Fur and Feathers wins awards for!
Are you ready to start training your dog? A proper dog training program is the cornerstone of good behavior in dogs. It has often been said that there are no bad dogs, only uneducated owners. Most dogs thrive with boundaries and predictable routines. Without obedience training, they simply do not know how to behave. Well-trained dogs are happier and healthier than untrained dogs, and so are their owners.
Once your puppy can turn around to face you, begin adding movement and making the game more fun! Toss a treat on the ground and take a few quick steps away while calling your puppy’s name. They should run after you because chase is fun! When they catch you, give them a lot of praise, treats or play with a tug toy. Coming to you should be fun! Continue building on these games with longer distances and in other locations. When training outside (always in a safe, enclosed area), it may be helpful to keep your puppy on a long leash at first.

Motivational training has its roots in captive animal training, where compulsion and corrections are both difficult and dangerous, and ignoring bad behavior is not problematic as the animal lives under controlled conditions. As a dog training strategy, purely positive training is feasible, but difficult, as it requires time and patience to control the rewards the dog receives for behavior. Some activities such as jumping up or chasing squirrels are intrinsically rewarding, the activity is its own reward, and with some activities the environment may provide reinforcement such as when the response from dog next door encourages barking.[58]
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.
Dog intelligence is exhibited in many different ways, and a dog that might not be easy to train might nonetheless be quite adept at figuring out how to open kitchen cabinets or to escape from the yard. Novice dog owners need to consider a dog's trainability as well as its energy level, exercise requirements, and other factors before choosing a new pet. Very high intelligence is not necessarily a good thing in a companion dog, as smart dogs can require extensive daily mental stimulation if they are not to become bored and destructive.
New puppy owners often make the mistake of endlessly worrying about finding the right accessories, puppy treats, or bed. They spend little or no time thinking about how or what they will teach their new puppy. Yes, a puppy needs nutritious food and a safe, warm place to live, but another equally powerful and important biological necessity is the need for a strong pack leader.
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Typical positive reinforcement events will satisfy some physiological or psychological need, so it can be food, a game, or a demonstration of affection. Different dogs will find different things reinforcing. Negative reinforcement occurs when a dog discovers that a particular response ends the presentation of an aversive stimulus. An aversive is anything that the dog does not like, such as verbal admonishment, or a tightened choke chain.[39]
We offer classes from Canine Good Citizen through obedience competition as well as rally obedience and puppy training and socialization. The club is involved in many activities throughout the year. We attend festivals and fairs doing demonstrations and promoting responsible dog ownership. In January we hold the club’s Obedience and Rally Trial and throughout the year we offer Canine Good Citizen testing and hold Show N Go’s.
Dog training has changed a great deal in the past 25 years, and we now know much more about how dogs learn and the most effective ways to motivate them. While dog training in the past relied on being the “alpha” in the relationship and required equipment like correction collars (or choke collars), behavioral science proves that it’s much more effective to use positive reinforcement training, where training is a team activity with both parties working together to achieve goals.
3. Muzzle up. If your dog is reactive and big enough that you could lose control if she lunges, consider a good quality muzzle. A muzzled dog is still seen by most people as a dangerous dog, which can lead to some unpleasantness for the owner, but thankfully, the Muzzle Up! Project is trying to get rid of that prejudice and spread the word that a muzzle is a sign of a responsible owner and a safe dog. By making those with aggressive dogs feel safer, muzzles allow both people and dogs to get more enjoyment from being outside.
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.

This package is for those who really want their dog to be rock-stars! This includes 8 lessons for $950.00 (or 3 monthly payments of $338.83). You save $75.00 by paying for the Basic Obedience Package and 4 Advanced lessons up-front! The e-collar we use has a two-year warranty, it is completely waterproof, and it has a range of 3/4 mile (1200 yards)! This will be ready at your first lesson along with the 20-foot leash!

Dogs instinctually process their environments looking for danger. In an anxious dog, this behavior can manifest as excessive neediness — like wanting to be attached to you at all times — and destructive behavior when you're away from home. While dogs generally begin to develop anxiety between 12 and 36 months, it can happen at any age. Symptoms include trembling, hiding, reduced activity, and escape behaviors.
In 1935, the American Kennel Club began obedience trials, and in the following years popular magazines raised public awareness of the benefits of having a trained pet dog, and of the recreational possibilities of dog training as a hobby.[17] After WWII, the increasing complexities of suburban living demanded that for a pet dog's own protection and its owner's convenience, the dog should be obedient. William Koehler had served as principal trainer at the War Dog Training Center, in California, and after the war became chief trainer for the Orange Empire Dog Club—at the time, the largest dog club in the United States—instructor for a number of breed clubs, and a dog trainer for the Walt Disney Studios.[18] In 1962 Koehler published The Koehler Method of Dog Training, in which he is highly critical of what he calls "tid-bit training techniques" based in "the prattle of 'dog psychologists'".[17] Amongst the training innovations attributed to Koehler is the use of a long line in conjunction with a complete absence of oral communication as a way of instilling attentiveness prior to any leash training. Koehler insisted that participants in his training classes used "emphatic corrections", including leash jerks and throw chains, explaining that tentative, nagging corrections were cruel in that they caused emotional disturbance to the dog.[19] Vicki Hearne, a disciple of Koehler's, commented on the widespread criticism of his corrections, with the explanation that it was the emotionally loaded language used in the book that led to a number of court cases, and to the book being banned in Arizona for a time.[20] Despite the controversy, his basic method forms the core of many contemporary training systems.[21]
Counter-conditioning can also be used to train your dog to perform a desirable behavior once they have been exposed to their trigger. This works to replace the bad behavior issue with a learned command, such as sitting. If your dog is following your command and behaving in a positive light, you can reward their good behavior with treats or praise to reinforce their behavior.
Emily Vey is a content aficionado on the Dogs Naturally team. She’s constantly looking for the most up-to-date news and information to share with DNM readers and to help her own dogs live the healthiest lives possible. She lives in Ontario with her partner-in-crime Ryan, their husky Inuk and German shepherd Indi. Together they enjoy hiking, swimming and all things outdoors!
Things you can do at home to relieve your dog's anxiety include making a special space just for Fido where he can feel safe when you leave, and playing music. I always leave music on for my dog when I'm away, and the Washington Post reported that shelter dogs who listened to Canine Lullabies, by music legend Terry Woodford, adjusted better than other dogs.
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.
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Before you try to teach your dog to protect a child, you need to take the time to make sure he is fully obedience trained and well-socialized. This means taking the time to take your dog out in a wide range of environments where he will encounter lots of people, objects, other animals, sounds, and sights. You need to know that no matter what distractions you are around, your dog will obey your commands. He needs to know you are in charge.

I’m hoping you can give me some tips on how to get my dog to pay attention long enough to teach her more commands than “sit” without treats. Emily is a 4 month old golden retriever who I feel is too smart and stubborn for her own good…or mine. She learned to sit in four attempts, but that was with treats and she won’t pay attention without them. Even with them, I can’t get past that stage because she is so anxious to get another treat that she jumps on me if she as to remain seated for too long. If she isn’t treated for the sit, she can’t pay attention long enough to hear the next command. Then she adds biting to the jumping. She would rather fight me than listen or pay attention. If I get loud or try to demand compliance she ignores me and, if unleashed, she walks away pretending not to hear me. It drives me crazy listening to or reading so many trainers telling me to turn around and ignore her if she wont stop biting, as if she isn’t then biting me on the ass and ankles and tearing my shirt.

To communicate clearly and consistently with your dog, you need to understand how she learns. Dogs learn through the immediate consequences of their behavior. The nature of those consequences determines how they’ll behave in the future. Dogs, like other animals (people included), work to get good things and avoid bad things in life. If a behavior results in something rewarding-like food, a good belly rub, playtime with dog buddies or a game of fetch with her pet parent-your dog will do that behavior more often. On the other hand, if a behavior results in an unpleasant consequence-like being ignored or losing things she finds rewarding-she’ll do that behavior less often.
When your dog starts to feel less anxious about that, you can slowly start to disappear. First just go on the other side of the door. Ask your dog to stay, then close an inside door between you. Reappear after a few seconds. Slowly increase the amount of time you're gone. Put on your shoes and pick up your keys. Ask your dog to stay while you go into another room.
Developed in the 1930s, Obedience is one of the AKC’s oldest sporting events. From walking on- and off-leash to retrieving and jumping, or demonstrating your dog’s ability to stay, Obedience trials feature dogs that are well-behaved at home, in public places, and in the presence of other dogs. It is essential that the obedience dog demonstrates willingness and enjoyment while it is working with the handler.
Most people don’t have a problem being very clear about when they are unhappy with their dogs, but, they often ignore the good stuff. Big mistake! Make sure you give your dog lots of attention when he’s doing the right thing. Let him know when he’s been a good boy. That’s the time to be extra generous with your attention and praise. It’s even okay to be a little over the top.
Electronic training involves the use of an electric shock as an aversive. Common forms are collars which can be triggered remotely, or that are triggered by barking, fencing that delivers a shock when a dog wearing a special collar crosses a buried wire, and mats that can be placed on furniture to deliver a shock. Some aids deliver an aversive such as a spray of citronella when triggered.[61] The use of electric shock aversives for training dogs is the subject of considerable controversy. Supporters claim that the use of electronic devices allows training at a distance and the potential to eliminate self-rewarding behaviour, and point out that properly used, they have less risk of stress and injury than mechanical devices, such as choke chains. Opponents cite the risks of physical and psychological trauma associated with incorrect or abusive use.[62]
I have a Jack Russell Chiwawa mix that I rescued from a shelter when he was about 2/3 months old. He is now about 2 years old. Recently we have moved from an apartment to a house. He started doing this screaming and running around like he was in severe pain and it only last a couple seconds off and on for about 5 minutes. He was doing this almost daily and then he started back to plucking our other dog and leaving bald spots on her. After he started to loose weight and getting a little aggressive with my husband over little things I took him to the vet. They said he had a bowel issue and put him on some antibiotics. That worked for all of 3 weeks. Then his symptoms started over. The vet over time got aggravated with me and I ended up switching vets. At the second visit with the new vet he put him on the same antibiotics and they cycle had started over. I finally got him on video doing this screaming thing and the vet stated he was having a panic attack and that the stress of us getting ready to leave in the morning was causing this. The vet stated that with anxiety can come bowel problems and aggression. We were then referred to a behavior specialist but are unable to actually take him to be examined due to the high cost of this. It really saddens me because his ribs are showing and he is back to literally going crazy when we leave. Any suggestions on how to handle this on our own?
After we have conquered the backyard, I take her on short but more frequent walks that are close to home. I live in a quiet neighborhood, so it works out well. I make sure to always stay calm and to always make our outings positive. I play Find-It and other games with my puppy so that she gets engaged with me, and learns to associate walks with rewards and fun.
Once your dog has been diagnosed with anxiety, you can work on figuring out how to solve this issue and get them back to living a normal, relaxed life. Depending on the severity of the issue, the vet may prescribe medication or come up with a specific treatment plan to make your dog feel more comfortable. Anti-anxiety medication may be prescribed, however, this is usually in the last case scenario.
I make sure not to expose my dog to situations which he cannot handle. This is important because I am trying to build up his confidence through desensitization and creating a calm environment. The more successes we have, the more confidence he will build. However, bad experiences will undermine that confidence and significantly set back our progress.
Begin doorway “wait”-training early. Teaching a dog to respect the threshold is important. You do not want a dog that runs out the door every time it opens — that could be dangerous for him. Doorway training doesn't need to happen every single time you go through a doorway. But you should make the most of your training opportunities early in your puppy's life.
4. Consider changing your vet if he/she isn’t tuned in to your dog’s needs. While some vets are great with nervous and aggressive dogs, others are still very old school; they don’t listen to owners and use invasive and rough handling. There are, however, new techniques out there for vets dealing with anxious dogs. Dr. Sophia Yin has developed a program for vets that focuses on low-stress handling, which can make a huge difference in your dog’s anxiety levels. And Dogs in Need of Space has a list of vets who go the extra mile for anxious dogs; if you do want to change your vet, it’s a good place to start.
Remember that training is an ongoing process. You will never be completely finished. It is important to keep working on obedience training throughout the life of your dog. People who learn a language at a young age but stop speaking that language may forget much of it as they grow older. The same goes for your dog: use it or lose it. Running through even the most basic tricks and commands will help them stay fresh in your dog's mind. Plus, it's a great way to spend time with your dog.
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