You should also consider bringing in a professional if your dog exhibits behavior that makes you nervous (like growling or biting), particularly if you have young children in your home. It’s safest to begin behavioral modification with a professional when a dog first starts exhibiting troublesome behaviors rather than waiting for them to take root. As the expression goes, dog rarely grow out of problem behaviors, they grow into them.
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.
When you welcome a dog into your family, you may be excited about your new arrival but unsure how to train a dog to be obedient and polite. At Petco, we teach you how to speak your dog’s language through fun, informative classes that focus on encouraging good behavior and nurturing the bond between you and your pet. Our positive training classes can help new pet parents with kennel training, potty training, loose-leash training and obedience training. We offer a safe environment where pups can learn the skills they’ll need to thrive in real-world situations.
Hi Caitlin, Kimberly recently had a baby and thus, is not currently responding to comments, but I wanted to thank you. We read through your thoughts and agree with many of them. So, we made some minor updates to our content based on your feedback and agree that this makes for a much stronger and more encouraging article. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts so we could make our content even better for our readers.
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.

Step 1: Have your dog lay down. Wait for him to stand up. When he stands up, click and treat. Repeat this action several times until he learns that he has to stand up in order to get his treat. Standing is so natural that it is likely that the dog won't immediately understand why he is being rewarded, so it may take more repetition than usual. (Initially, it's okay to click even if.............................................
One thing that is very important with desensitization exercises is that during the retraining process, it is important not to expose our dog to large doses of the fear stimulus. The key with desensitization is to start small, and only very slowly increase the strength of the stimulus. In this way, our dog is able to stay calm, learn from the experience, and can slowly rebuild confidence.
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.
Anxiety, it's not just for humans. If you've ever wondered: Does my dog have anxiety? It's important to know that pets can get anxious too, and there are some signs to watch for so you can help Fido feel better. Just like their human parents, dogs can develop anxiety, with separation anxiety being the most form of anxiety in dogs. What's more, certain breeds of dogs are more prone to anxiety than others, according to PetMD.
Lately, however, people are coming to realize that completely calm, bombproof dogs are closer to the exception than the rule. Many dogs have something they’re not good with, whether it’s alone time, storms, cats or children. This increased awareness has translated into more and easier tactics to help anxious dogs than walking them at 5 in the morning. Here are eight ways to make life with your anxious or reactive dog better for both of you.
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.
When embarking upon a journey to train your dog, it is important that you know the limits of your dog. A young dog is unable to comprehend the skills that an adult dog may pick up on; likewise, a senior dog may be a little slower in catching on. The individual nature of your dog also comes in to play when you decide to teach your dog obedience. If you have a dog that is easily distracted it may take them much longer to pick up a command than a dog that is a dog that is eager to please. In general, dogs that are praise or food motivated are more easily trained, and dogs that have a history of being mistreated or abused can be much more difficult to train.
Eating feces, or "coprophagia," is a common problem among dogs. Make sure the dog is fed nutritious food so that he has no dietary deficiencies. If his poop is abnormal, get him checked by a vet, because he may be trying to correct a digestive issue. If the problem is entirely behavioral, avoid swooping on the poop to pick it up before he gets to it, because this only makes it more highly prized. Instead, try and distract him with a favorite toy or game, and then praise him for ignoring the poop. Likewise, teach him a "Leave It" command, so he learns to get a truly tasty reward when he leaves the unsavory offering alone.

Regular exercise for your dog will prevent him from being destructive in your home. Dogs get bored. When they get bored, they find ways to "entertain" themselves. That may include chewing your favorite shoes, destroying furniture, or barking nonstop. Avoid this problem by taking them for regular walks (twice a day is best). And it's good for you too! “A tired dog is a good dog.” Exercise to the point of being tired is different for each individual.
During the entire retraining period though, I made sure not to expose Lara to any loud noises that would cause her to spook. The more she goes into panic mode, the more fearful she becomes and the more likely it may become a phobia. The more positive experiences she has, the more confidence she builds and the less fearful she becomes. With desensitization, I start small and slowly help Lara re-associate the previously scary stimulus (garbage truck sound) with positive events.
I have a Maltese Yorkie who has been diagnosed with anxiety, multiple vets want to medicate him, however this isn’t the way id like to deal with the problem. He doesn’t seem to have any real triggers he is just constantly anxious, in fact we have to keep the blinds shut because seeing outside causes him to bark nonstop and be unable to relax. Bentley licks compulsively and will not eat unless he chases a ball first, he will cry at the bowl until a ball is thrown. Recently he has also become unwilling to go outside unless a person goes with him (our other dog always goes and waits for him but he won’t leave the step without a human) on walks (which we go on twice a day) he is completely fine and happy. I’m not sure how to fix his anxious tendancies. I’m worried he is not as happy as he could be. Any advice out there would be great.

One possibility that sounds interesting is the “safe area” idea. If the forecast predicts thunderstorm, then we can try keeping our dog in a low-stimulus (no windows/few windows), sound proof area, before the storm begins and *before* our dog starts to panic or becomes overly anxious. We can try masking out the sounds from outside with calming music, or a calm t.v. channel. At the same time, we distract our dog by giving him something interesting to do that he loves, for example playing a game, chewing on his favorite chews, playing with his favorite interactive food toy, etc.
Slip collars (commonly called choke chain or check chains) are made of metal links or rolled material such as nylon or leather. A metal ring is at each end. Historically, slip collars have been used as a matter of course, mostly in North America and the UK. In the last few decades use of these collars has declined. Correctly used, the collar should make a quick clicking not zipping sound when quickly snapped and released to startle or get the attention of the dog and indicate to the handler that the technique was a swift jerk not a choke. The idea is not to strangle the dog, though this can happen if the collar is improperly used.
Prong collars (also called 'pinch collars') are a series of chain links with blunted open ends turned towards the dog's neck. The design of the prong collar is such that it has a limited circumference unlike slip collars which do not have a limit on how far they can constrict on a dog's neck. The limited traction of the martingale chain combined with the angle of the prongs prevents the prongs moving close enough to pinch. The collar is designed to prevent the dog from pulling by applying pressure at each point against the dog's neck.
Separation anxiety often begins in puppyhood, so begin training your puppy to enjoy time in a crate from the moment you bring him home. Crate training is by far the best way to prevent and manage anxiety in dogs. The crate becomes associated with a safe and comfortable place and dogs treat it like their “den” the way a wolf might. Soft blankets, toys and treats make the crate a wonderful place to be and dogs will enter the crate willingly.

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]
Discourage him from biting or nipping. Instead of scolding him, a great way to put off your mouthy canine is to pretend that you're in great pain when he's biting or nipping you. He'll be so surprised he's likely to stop immediately. If this doesn't work, try trading a chew toy for your hand or pant leg. The swap trick also works when he's into your favorite shoes. He'll prefer a toy or bone anyway. If all else fails, break up the biting behavior, and then just ignore him.
It can be scary dealing with anxious behaviors in your dog and not knowing what is going on or how you can fix it. Anxiety in dogs is a common problem, is very serious and should be handled appropriately. We hope this tips helped you better understand your dog's anxiety and that you seek the right actions to help him/her. If you have any additional tips please feel free to comment below or shout us out on social media! Have a pawesome day! 

Moderate or severe cases of separation anxiety require a more complex desensitization and counterconditioning program. In these cases, it’s crucial to gradually accustom a dog to being alone by starting with many short separations that do not produce anxiety and then gradually increasing the duration of the separations over many weeks of daily sessions.
Crate training is a process, and you’ll have to put some training into getting your new puppy to love her crate. Don’t worry - Canis Major can help with crate training if you’re feeling stuck. It’s worth it for both the practical training benefits and the possibility of future crate needs! Without some sort of confinement, potty training a puppy is a huge uphill battle.
The Merck Veterinary Manual also states that natural therapies and products can help dogs with anxiety. Some products work best in conjunction with other medications, while others can be used alone, depending on your dog’s case. Natural products use pheromones and aromatherapy to reduce anxiety. Talk to your vet about the natural products best suited for your dog.

Once you have determined to bring a new dog home, the real work begins! Especially if they have not been house broken the dog must be taught obedience. This can be a very frustrating and even thankless task. Initially, it seems like a lot of work for very little effort. The dog does not appreciate the training; it seems like you are constantly in a battle of wills and oftentimes your family will blame you for every failure or backwards step that the new animal takes!

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.
Dogs suffer from stress and anxiety as much as people do, though it can be harder to recognize their symptoms. Your pet might try to tell you that he’s stressed by pushing his ears back, tucking his tail, salivating, yawning, licking his muzzle, or lifting his front paw. Other, more obvious signs of dog anxiety include cowering or hiding, trembling, panting, or expressing his anal glands.

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.


Dr. Patricia McConnell recently spoke to Hannah Brannigan on her podcast about this subject. Dr. McConnell emphasized the importance of being a safe space for your puppy. Your puppy, she says, is actually likely to become braver more quickly if you offer backup. So go ahead, give your pup a cuddle during the next thunderstorm! It’ll help far more than it hurts.
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Step 1: Most dogs will yawn when they are anxious. You can use that to help you catch the yawn. Look for your dog to yawn when he wants to go outside or wants a ball or toy that you are holding. When he yawns, click and treat. Because this trick has to be 'caught' with the clicker, it can be fairly difficult, and you have to.................................
Anxiety in dogs is often caused from sudden, unexpected activities or moments. If you have a routine for when it’s time to go to the veterinary office, board a plane, or anything else that may cause anxiety, it will help your dog prepare for what’s ahead and feel more secure. Extra hugs, playtime, and treats can help confirm that even if there is a situation they do not like, the time is only temporary.
If you are not able to stay at home with your puppy, you should make every effort to return home to take your puppy out to the bathroom every few hours or hire a dog walker who can do this for you. When you are not home, you should crate your puppy to prevent accidents throughout the house. As a general rule, any dog will be reluctant to relieve itself in the area where it sleeps, but this should not be used as an excuse to make your puppy hold it. The bladder of an 8-week old puppy is large enough to “hold it” for only three hours at a time.
Some training methods use punishment, like leash corrections and scolding, to discourage dogs from doing everything except what you want them to do. Other methods cut right to the chase and focus on teaching dogs what you do want them to do. While both tactics can work, the latter is usually the more effective approach, and it’s also much more enjoyable for you and your dog. For example, you can easily use treats, games and praise to teach your dog to sit when people approach during walks in the neighborhood. If your dog is sitting, she won’t be dragging you toward the people, jumping up when they get close enough, mouthing on their arms and legs, and so on. That’s pretty efficient training-no pain or intimidation needed. Alternatively, you could grab your dog’s leash and jerk her to the ground every time she jumps up to greet people, and you’d most likely get the same effect in the end-no more jumping up. But consider the possible fallout:
THERAPY DOG DEVELOPMENT: $950 – We can evaluate, train, and certify your dog to become a Therapy Dog! This program includes training equipment and 8 private lessons. The first 4 lessons will cover our Basic Obedience curriculum, and the last 4 lessons will specifically target therapy testing scenarios. (Your dog must be at least 1 year of age, and possess a calm temperament in order to obtain therapy certification) ***Be prepared to practice daily for at least 30 minutes and schedule lessons 1 week apart.***
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