I have a 5ish year old Boxer we rescued 3 years ago. He was horribly abused, was terrified of men (and still is a little bit, it took him 2 months to get used to my husband), malnourished and suffers extreme separation anxiety. We tried everything under the Sun to help calm him and keep him relaxed. In our trial and error period of a full year he destroyed our mud room 3 times and chewed through 4 heavy gauge wire kennels. We can not, EVER, leave him in our home without a family member being home. He is still anxious if I, his alpha, am not home, but he doesn’t cause harm to himself or others. Luckily I am home with him most days.

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Feed your dog a high-quality diet with appropriate amounts of protein. If your dog spends most of his days lounging in your condo, don’t feed him food with a protein level that is ideal for dogs who herd sheep all day. The money that you will spend on feeding an appropriate quality food will often be money that you save in vet bills later on. I recommend you always check with your veterinarian for the right diet for your dog.
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.

The final command that has been extremely beneficial, in my experience, is “leave it.” Dropped a piece of raw chicken on the floor? “Leave it.” Changing baby’s diaper and the scent is intriguing to your dog? “Leave it.” Your dog may not catch on right away, so it’s okay to give a slight tug on your dog’s collar to pull them away from the object you want them to leave. After enough repetition, they will learn the command.
So, you say, your dog needs a job. Well, Nose Work certainly fits the bill. We get the dogs to get excited trying to find the hidden food/odor and then they get rewarded again, for locating the hidden item. Nose Work is for all ages of dogs, from puppies to much older dogs. Our classes are fun and the dogs truly light up when they see boxes or obstacles on the floor. Would you believe that you can actually compete in Nose Work/Scent Work trials? Plus, get numerous titles on your dog also? How about giving it a try? Let the dog do all the work just by using his wonderful nose. New intro to Nose Work classes will start up in September after Labor Day. For more information, email Jean at jabobis.2018@gmail.com
In the 1980s veterinarian and animal behaviourist Ian Dunbar discovered that despite evidence on the peak learning periods in animals, few dog trainers worked with puppies before they were six months old.[25] Dunbar founded Sirius Dog Training, the first off-leash training program specifically for puppies, which emphasizes the importance of teaching bite inhibition, sociality, and other basic household manners, to dogs under six months of age.[31] Dunbar has written numerous books, and is known for his international seminar presentations and award-winning videos on puppy and dog behavior and training.[32]
A dog learns from interactions it has with its environment.[1] This can be through classical conditioning, where it forms an association between two stimuli; non-associative learning, where its behavior is modified through habituation or sensitisation; and operant conditioning, where it forms an association between an antecedent and its consequence.[2]
All private training and behavior modification services begin with a 60-minute in-home consultation and training session with an associated investment of $60.00 (plus trip fee if farther than 20-miles). During the initial consultation we will discuss the best options to achieve your training goals. After evaluating the situation, we will work hands on with you and your dog to implement a number of different training techniques and/or an appropriate behavior modification plan.
Whether sound desensitization will help or not will depend a lot on the cause of the behavior, which is usually the first thing that I try to pin-point with my dogs. I try to observe them closely, and identify differences in the surrounding context for when they are anxious and when they are not. I try to be very detailed about this, because sometimes, even small things can be significant.

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.


Anxious dogs may also feel extra anxious when around other dogs or other people. It can take time for your pet to become acclimated to all the changes of being in your home. This can be especially true if you already have other pets living at home. Together they must “figure each other out” and find familiarity in their space. Until that happens, there can be extra moments of stress or anxiety for your pet.
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.
Move the training out to the yard with your child holding the leash and have a friend or two who your dog does not know dress and act in a threatening manner towards your child. When the dog barks at the "stranger" have your child give the 'quiet' command and give him a treat when he does. Keep repeating this training until you feel your dog is ready to stand and protect your child.

Separation anxiety is pretty common. Very few dogs actually LIKE being left alone -- they are social animals by nature. Anxiety in this case is most often caused by boredom and loneliness, perhaps associated with a previous negative experience while left alone. It can also be what is known as old-age-onset separation anxiety, which can be caused by a decline in cognitive understanding, or memory, in elderly dogs.
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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