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Puppies should be at least eight weeks old before they’re taken away from their mothers and littermates for weaning. The first eight weeks of a puppy’s life are a crucial time for him to learn social skills. Playing with littermates, wrestling with Mom and enjoying life with their own pack helps dogs understand how other dogs communicate and interact.
The author of this article correctly points out that you are one of the largest factors in this obedience training. You must have a patient and calm approach in order for this to be effective. If you are not generally a patient person, you may have a difficult time with this training. That being said, there are ways around this handicap. You may decide to simply take things one step at a time. Focus on teaching in very short spurts. Take one command at a time. Going slowly like this will take more time, but it is a good way to keep you from feeling overwhelmed. Depending on your dog’s personality it may also be the best way for them.
These are some of the easy ways to train your dog. Make sure you do these training steps regularly. Walking with your dog each morning is the best time to train and bond with your pet. Keep all training sessions short and fun. Stick to one command and be consistent. This will prevent your dog from getting confused. Finally, give your dog a long lasting chewy treat at the end of each training session. This will help him/her relax and not confuse them as to why the treats have stopped coming suddenly. If these easy ways to train your dog do not work for you, you might want to attend some organized training classes for added support.
In recent years, a new form of Obedience competition, known as Rally Obedience, has become very popular. It was originally devised by Charles L. "Bud" Kramer from the obedience practice of "doodling" - doing a variety of interesting warmup and freestyle exercises. Rally Obedience is designed to be a "bridge", or intermediate step, between the CGC certification and traditional Obedience competition.
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.
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.
Some pet parents still decide to enroll their pet in socialization classes once they're at-home obedience training is completed. Classes meant specifically for puppies often enroll dogs between the ages of eight to ten weeks old to five months old. These types of classes let dogs practice the good behavior techniques you've taught them at home with other adults and puppies. Early socialization with humans and other dogs will help your pup learn what's acceptable in the wider world outside your own backyard.

this was very helpful.. we have had our shiba inu pup for nearly three months and he IS house trained although we do keep pee pads in the house in the event that i miss an outing and even then he will only use it for pees.. i am a stay at home mom with 2 kids and a cat and i find it difficult to keep a schedule, mostly because i am scatterbrained, but also because of our young ones.. but now our pup has been expressing stress anxiety, in the form of chewing up plastic toys that belong to the kids, toilet paper, or wooden anything, peeing in the house and barking, whining or crying if we leave the house.. we have tried to make him feel secure by getting him a kennel and keeping it in our room, so he can be near our smells.. i know he likes it because i have found him in there on his own just hanging out.. but the chewing and especially the peeing in the house isn’t getting better.. the most i try and establish, routine-wise, is playing with him one on one at night before we all retire to bed and walking him in the morning and at noon.. my husband chips in too.. but i was wondering if you could give me a little insight.. we are a military family, so we visit a lot and will have to move often, about every 3 years, so he will find himself in strange locations with strange people and strange smells isolated from his pack, we are also active in our community and our oldest will be starting school soon.. is it too much for us to expect our pup to adapt to all this? am i just going to have to look forward to more anxiety displays?

If your dog is nervous because of situations like fireworks, thunderstorms, or even being in a crowd, then distraction may be your best option. By working your dog's brain you will help him focus on you and things he knows, rather than on the unknown around him that's frightening him. While it isn't the time to begin new training, it is a great time to practice tricks your dog knows and can earn rewards for. Try rewarding your dog with treats for simple commands like sit, stand, lie down, shake, sit up, roll over and other tricks he enjoys
You may find that an older dog latches on to housebreaking at a faster pace than a younger puppy. Housebreaking is most efficiently taught by taking your new puppy outside at any point at which you believe he or she needs to use the bathroom. Most frequently puppies will need to go after waking up, after playing, after eating, after drinking, as well as first thing in the morning and first thing at night. Larger dogs will need to go to the bathroom considerably less than puppies throughout the day, but when housetraining they should be taken outside after sleeping and after eating as well as first thing in the morning and first thing at night.
The Thundershirt is a popular solution for dog anxiety. It is a tightly fitting garment that wraps around your dog. The idea is that the feeling of continuous pressure can help calm a dog's nerves for things like travel anxiety and, as the name implies, noise anxiety among other issues. However, there isn't much definitive science-based evidence to show that these actually work. Some dog owners swear by it; others have found it hasn't helped. The effectiveness of the Thundershirt may also depend on when and how it is used, and the particular personality and needs of the dog it is used on. So, something like this could be helpful if used alongside other natural solutions with each helping to enhance the benefits of the other.
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.
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:

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.
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!
For the last two days, I have been giving her valium and her regular pain medicine with her new food. It helps during the day to some degree, but as soon as the lights are out, she starts shaking and pacing again. Today, she jumped up onto the couch and placed her head in my lap. She has never tried to get on this couch before. Earlier in the day, she trapped herself in the bathroom when she was following my husband around everywhere and he left the house. She clearly tried to get out, but ended up shutting the door on herself instead. I speculate that she was in a panic once she woke up and couldn’t figure out where she was.

Very thorough and well written hub. I would like to direct you to the Anxiety Wrap. It is the original patented pressure wrap designed for dogs – and cats – by Susan Sharpe, a T-touch practitioner and certified professional dog trainer. I believe the Anxiety Wrap is a superior product and recommend it in my own practice with clients who consult me about their anxious and fearful dogs. In a recent study completed at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, the Anxiety Wrap was found to be 89% effective in study participants – dogs with Thunderstorm phobia. I have used it on dogs with separation anxiety and generalized anxiety, including my own dog and have found it to provide consistently effective results. Check it out – I think you’ll be quite impressed too, and thanks for writing such a detailed, well thought out hub!
I know Sally’s normal behaviors and I’ve spent time with a professional trainer to learn how I can be the best pet parent to her. She’s seen wagging her tail a bunch in the video and she even gets her “show trot” going, which to me means she’s happy not stressed. Again, I appreciate your concern, but I can’t help but be a little on the defense since it feels like your comment is insinuating I am treating my dog poorly. Sally lives a pretty cush life. She roams the house freely, has the option to be outside whenever she asks, eats well, exercises regularly, gets plenty of snuggles and is rarely kenneled since I work from home. Thank you for taking the time to read this article and write up your comment.

First, make sure your puppy is comfortable wearing a leash. This can feel strange at first, and some puppies may bite the leash. Give your puppy treats as you put the leash on each time. Then, stand next to your puppy with the leash in a loose loop and give him several treats in a row for standing or sitting next to your leg. Take one step forward and encourage him to follow by giving another treat as he catches up.


Step 1: Give the command to sit. After waiting five to eight seconds, go ahead and use the vocal command with a hand motion of your choice to tell your dog to be released from his sitting position. If you act excited while doing this, your dog should naturally release. When he does so, click and treat. Repeat this step until your dog is consistently releasing.
Lindsay says of this study, "Schilder and Van der Borg (2004) have published a report of disturbing findings regarding the short-term and long- term effects of shock used in the context of working dogs that is destined to become a source of significant controversy ... The absence of reduced drive or behavioral suppression with respect to critical activities associated with shock (e.g., bite work) makes one skeptical about the lasting adverse effects the authors claim to document. Although they offer no substantive evidence of trauma or harm to dogs, they provide loads of speculation, anecdotes, insinuations of gender and educational inadequacies, and derogatory comments regarding the motivation and competence of IPO trainers in its place." [64]

Humans aren't the only species that can be calmed by soothing music, it can also help anxiety in dogs. Many owners leave a television or radio on when they leave the house to help a dog feel comforted. But there is also specialized music that one can play to help particularly anxious dogs. Through a Dog's Ear is a selection of music specifically aimed at calming nervous dogs. The website states, "The overarching psychoacoustic theory informing Through a Dog’s Ear is summed up in just two words — simple sound. This term refers to the process of minimizing intricate auditory information found in most music.


Puppies should be at least eight weeks old before they’re taken away from their mothers and littermates for weaning. The first eight weeks of a puppy’s life are a crucial time for him to learn social skills. Playing with littermates, wrestling with Mom and enjoying life with their own pack helps dogs understand how other dogs communicate and interact.

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.
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.
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.
Practice everywhere, with everyone If you learn that two plus two equals four in a classroom, you’ll take that information with you wherever you go. Dogs, however, learn very specifically and don’t automatically apply their knowledge in different situations and places as well as people do. If you teach your dog to sit on cue in your kitchen, you’ll have a beautifully kitchen-trained dog. But she might not understand what you mean when you ask her to sit in other locations. If you want your dog to perform new skills everywhere, you’ll need to practice them in multiple places-your home, your yard, out on walks, at friends’ houses, at the park and anywhere else you take your dog.

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.
Everyone loves a good massage, and the same can be said for our pets. Massage can help to calm an anxious dog by using long, slow strokes so soothe the nerves. A popular dog massage method is called TTouch, created by Linda Tellington-Jones. It is "a method based on circular movements of the fingers and hands all over the body. The intent of the TTouch is to activate the function of the cells and awaken cellular intelligence." The result is a relaxed dog. Plus, studies have shown that petting a dog or cat can help calm your own nerves, so it is a win-win solution. It's easy to find guides for how to massage your dog to help calm her.
She is a four-year old yellow Labrador and has very decent behavior when at home. She follows a strict diet and routine, as she gets fed twice a day at the same time and goes for daily walks around our neighborhood. When walking through the neighborhood she is fine, mellow and occasionally pulls but can definitely be controlled. She also can be left alone in the house with out any type of problem.
At first you are going to let the puppy see the food in your hand so that you will have her attention and can use it to guide her into position. As your puppy begins to comply more readily, you can start to hide the food in your hand, but give the command and repeat the motion or signal that she has learned to follow. Soon the puppy will come to expect the treat each time she performs the task. Then, signal and give the command, but when she performs the task, reward only with praise and give the puppy an affectionate pat. Next, you can begin to vary the frequency, giving praise with “good dog” and perhaps patting each time, but giving the food randomly, perhaps every 3 or 4 times. In time, the puppy should respond to either the hand signal or the command.

Rather than hoping your puppy will magically grow up understanding the laws of the land, start training now. With good training, very young puppies can learn to obey many basic commands, chew only on chew toys, hold their pee to go outside, and much more. Focus on what you can control - your puppy’s training - rather than waiting around for age fix your puppy.


A dog also used to become anxious when we leave the house. This is also called separation anxiety. I helped my dog with that by doing desensitization and counter-conditioning exercises. The important thing with desensitization however, is that I had to make sure to prevent panic attacks from recurring. Each panic attack will undermine my dog’s confidence, make him even more anxious, and his behavior will worsen.
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.

Dogs have become closely associated with humans through domestication and have also become sensitive to human communicative signals. Generally, they have a lot of exposure to human speech, especially during play, and are believed to have a good ability to recognize human speech. Two studies investigated the ability of a single dog that was believed to be exceptional in its understanding of language. Both studies revealed the potential for at least some dogs to develop an understanding of a large number of simple commands on the basis of just the sounds emitted by their owners. However the studies suggested that visual cues from the owner may be important for the understanding of more complex spoken commands.[77]

If your dog is nervous because of certain situations, such as fireworks or thunderstorms, or even is nervous about being in a crowd, then distraction can work wonders. Engaging your dog's brain in work will help him focus on you and things he knows, rather than on the unknown around him that's frightening him. While it isn't the time to begin new training, it is a great time to practice tricks your dog knows and can earn rewards for. Try rewarding your dog with treats for simple commands like sit, stand, lie down, shake, sit up, roll over and other tricks he enjoys. Another possibility, especially for dogs who are highly food motivated, is distracting your dog with puzzle toys like a treat ball or tug jug, or even a frozen Kong toy stuffed with peanut butter. This can also help him associate frightening things like loud noises or strangers coming over with highly valued rewards, so that the event goes from being scary to being at least tolerable.
If a dog doesn’t meet expectations at the end of a training course, it is as likely to be related to the training course or the pet owner as the dog. A recommended next step would be to carefully research more training methods and local trainers to find a program that is better suited to your dog. Another one is to consider whether lack of commitment, inconsistent at-home practice,  or an inconsistent discipline/reward system may have undermined the training program.
Anxiety, meanwhile, is the anticipation of future dangers from unknown or imagined origins that result in normal body reactions (known as physiologic reactions) associated with fear; most common visible behaviors are elimination (i.e., urination and/or passage of bowel movements), destruction, and excessive vocalization (i.e., barking, crying). Separation anxiety is the most common specific anxiety in companion dogs. When alone, the animal exhibits anxiety or excessive distress behaviors.
However, this doesn't mean you can't teach many other breeds to protect your kids. The big thing you need to know is that there is a big difference between guard dogs and attack dogs. In this article, we are talking about guarding, not attacking. Just remember: training your dog to guard or protect your kids is going to take some time and patience. 

I appreciate your concern, but I do not agree with your analysis. Whenever Sally has her leash on her she is EXTREMELY excited and ready to go on our next adventure outside. She works hard for me when I give her commands and she wants so badly to please me. For this video, we were in the basement because the weather wasn’t nice outside. This drove her bonkers because she knows that if the leash goes on, we’re going outside! She was working extra hard for me when I filmed this video and I know how difficult that was for her. She’s such a good girl.

Hello there! I have a 4-year old husky/shepherd mix with a confusing anxiety problem. I am an animal trainer & have several dog trainer friends all of whom are stumped with our problem. My dog’s anxieties appear to deal with smells. While we are out walking he will be calm and all of a sudden start sniffing the air, his tail will slowly lower until it is tucked underneath him and he will bolt in random directions. Excessive lip licking and panting also occur. I have narrowed down some things:
I need advice on how to help my dog with an anxiety which is not listed here. He has a huge toy anxiety. What I mean by that is he will play till he drops. He gets extremely worked up over toys and fixates on them. He pants heavily and shakes and salivates. He wont leave you alone even if you throw the toy for him to fetch because he brings it right back. This can go on for hours. I am concerned about his health and how this much anxiety is ad for him.
Strictly following the model set out in the Koehler Method of Dog Training, some 50 years later, the Koehler method continues to be taught in both class and private training formats. The method is based in the philosophy that a dog acts on its right to choose its actions. Koehler explained that a dog's learned behavior is an act of choice based on its own learning experience. When those choices are influenced by the expectation of reward, the behavior will most likely be repeated, and when those choices are influenced by the anticipation of punishment, they will most likely cease. Once the dog has learned that its choices result in comfort or discomfort it can be taught to make the correct decisions. Action→Memory→Desire encapsulates the learning pattern used by the method; the dog acts, remembers the consequences, and forms the desire to repeat or avoid those consequences. Adherents believe that once the behavior has been correctly taught, it should be performed, thus making any correction, fair, reasonable, and expected.[57] While the model has been used consistently since 1962, some of the punishment procedures described in the book are now not considered necessary, humane, or appropriate by many trainers.[23]

Take baby steps Dogs, just like people, learn best when new tasks are broken down into small steps. For example, you can’t go out and line dance unless you learn all of the individual steps first! When teaching your dog a new skill, begin with an easy first step and increase difficulty gradually. If you’re training your dog to stay, start by asking her to stay for just 3 seconds. After some practice, try increasing the duration of her stay to 8 seconds. When your dog has mastered an 8-second stay, make things a little harder by increasing the time to 15 seconds. Over the next week or two, continue to gradually increase the duration of the stay from 15 seconds to 30 seconds to a minute to a few minutes, etc. By training systematically and increasing difficulty slowly, you’ll help your dog learn faster in the long run.


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.
Lavender typically works as a sedative to help your dog feel restful. Aromatherapy oils like chamomile provides calming and in some cases, pain relief. While sweet marjoram has been used to help with stress relief in pets. Watch out for allergic reactions in pets and discuss this kind of remedy with your veterinarian to get recommendations for the best kind of products to use. Essential oils can be easily found and used for your pet. Even if they don’t benefit as much from their use, you can use still use them for your own.
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One of the most frequent complaints of pet parents is that their dogs “just won’t listen.” But put yourself in your dog’s shoes for a moment. If someone was constantly chattering away in a foreign language that you’d never heard before, how long would you pay attention? Probably not for very long-because you simply wouldn’t be able to understand what the foreign speaker was trying to communicate.


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.
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.

To train your dog to come when called, start on leash in a quiet area. Back away from your dog while enthusiastically telling her to “come!” Only give the command once, but be enthusiastic, and keep your body language relaxed and open. You can show your dog a treat to encourage her to head your way. Once she starts towards you, say “yes!” (or click) and reward her with a treat.

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