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.
The Dog Obedience Club of Lee County is located near the Fort Myers area. Founded in 1983, we are an AKC sanctioned, not-for-profit organization dedicated to making dogs better citizens through training. Whether you wish to compete in obedience or just want a well-behaved companion and best friend, we can help you train your dog. Our instructors have all raised and trained dogs from a variety of breeds and have achieved AKC Obedience titles on their dogs. They actively compete in AKC obedience, rally, agility, tracking and more.
Dogs competing in dog sports, such as flyball, agility or Schutzhund, must be trusted in an open field, off leash and surrounded by other people, dogs, hot dogs, and flying discs. This requires more focused attention on the owner and a better recall than that found in most household companion dogs, and more advanced training than that required for formal obedience.
A Hungarian dog training group called Népszigeti Kutyaiskola use a variation of model-rival training which they describe as the Mirror Method. The mirror method philosophy is that dogs instinctively learn by following the example of others in their social sphere. Core to the program is including the dog in all aspects of the owner's life and positive reinforcement of copying behaviors. Mirror method dog training relies on using a dog's natural instincts and inclinations rather than working against them.[67]
Observational learning is the learning that occurs through observing the behavior of others. This form of learning does not need reinforcement to occur; instead, a model animal is required. While the model may not be intentionally trying to instill any particular behavior, many behaviors that are observed are remembered and imitated.[52] The domestic dog is a social species and its social dependency makes it aware of the behavior of others, which contributes to its own behavior and learning abilities. There is, however, ongoing discussion about how much, and how, dogs can learn by interacting with each other and with people.[53]
Expose your pup to as many scary things as possible when young. Things with wheels such as, shopping carts, bicycles, wheelchairs, etc.  Pop-open umbrellas are very scary. People: men wearing hats, young children running and screaming, people walking with a cane or slowly, etc. The more they are exposed to a variety of everyday situations without anything bad happening to them, the more relaxed they will be as adult dogs.
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.
Anxiety, 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, 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.

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.


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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.

An abrupt change in schedule in terms of when or how long a dog is left alone can trigger the development of separation anxiety. For example, if a dog’s guardian works from home and spends all day with his dog but then gets a new job that requires him to leave his dog alone for six or more hours at a time, the dog might develop separation anxiety because of that change.

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]
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.
Encourage him to enter the crate. Once you've made the crate an inviting space, use treats to lure him inside. At first, place some outside the door so he can explore the exterior of the crate. Then, place treats just inside the door, so he will poke his head in to retrieve them. As he grows more comfortable, place the treats further and further inside the crate.
Potty training is a behavior your dog can learn quickly, provided that you supervise your puppy, stick to a schedule and reward successes. Supervision requires that you pay close attention to your dog at all times so that you can pick up on pre-potty signals. Use a properly sized crate for those times when you can’t actively supervise your puppy, as well as for nap time and bedtime. Scheduling your puppy’s life will help make his days pleasantly predictable and will enable you to better track his potty habits. Schedule his meals, nap times, play times and, of course, his trips outside. Finally, make sure to accompany your puppy outside for every potty trip and give him a small treat immediately after he finishes his elimination. If you wait until you get back in the house, your puppy won’t make the connection between his potty and the treat. Find more tips, check out "How to Potty Train Your Dog."
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.
The use of medications can be very helpful, especially for severe cases of separation anxiety. Some dogs are so distraught by any separation from their pet parents that treatment can’t be implemented without the help of medication. Anti-anxiety medication can help a dog tolerate some level of isolation without experiencing anxiety. It can also make treatment progress more quickly.
The term "observational learning" encompasses several closely related concepts: allelomimetic behavior or mimicking where, for example, puppies follow or copy others of their kind; social facilitation where the presence of another dog causes an increase in the intensity of a behavior; and local enhancement which includes pieces of social facilitation, mimicking, and trial-and-error learning, but is different from true observational learning in that the dog actively participates in the behavior in the presence of the other dog and/or other environmental cues.[53] Four necessary conditions for observational learning are: attention, retention, motivation, and production. That is, the dog must pay attention to the dog or person performing the modelled behavior; retain the information gathered about the behavior during the observation; be motivated to reproduce the behavior in a time and place removed from the original; and finally, produce the behavior, or some reasonable facsimile thereof.[53]

An anti-anxiety drug is designed to be given once a day and to keep your dog calm overall. It is not designed to be given at a particular time when your dog becomes overly anxious or excited. The best thing to do at such times is to speak calmly to your dog in a reassuring but firm voice. Keep your hand on your dog, providing your dog does not become aggressive. Some dogs may become aggressive and try to bite. If possible, remove the dog from the anxiety-provoking situation. Above all, remain calm yourself, because your dog will take cues from your behavior.

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I found it interesting when you mentioned giving the dog a job and making sure that the person is patient with it because they will not totally obey in the beginning as the act is very difficult for them. If that is the case, I need to talk to my brother about working on his patience as he plans to train his pit bull, Peachie, to fetch the newspaper for him. Since he is not exactly very patient, it might be for the best that he hire a professional to be patient on Peachie for him.
The only other thing that I can think of is that there is some other physical issue that is causing her to feel pain or to feel more vulnerable and anxious. My Husky Shania acts in a similar way when she is not feeling well. She will suddenly want to go off to be by herself and hide somewhere safe. When she does that, I know that there is some physical issue. Pain can also cause trembling and panting.
Once the source has been identified, your vet will then be able to devise a proper treatment plan. Now, this may vary greatly depending on the source. If it is just a phobia or fear, they may provide you with specific guidelines and recommendations on how to avoid the trigger from upsetting your dog. If it is something more serious, your vet will create a more tailored treatment plan depending on your dog’s individual needs and requirements.

While dog anxiety medication is available (i.e. clomipramine, prozac or nutritional supplements such as the amino acid called L-theanine - brand name Anxitane or Composure), holistic veterinarians prefer to use homeopathic remedies that are based on your puppy's personality and constitution. Homeopathic dog anxiety remedies include Western herbs like chamomile, lavendar, or St. John's Wort, Chinese herbs such as Shen Calmer from the Chi Institute and Bach flower essences such as Rescue Remedy. In combination with behavior modification, these remedies are a more natural method to help correct the problem.
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.
Anxiety in dogs can also manifest as aggression when a dog feels like it needs to defend itself even if there isn't any danger present. Stilwell explained that behavior modification training can help your dog replace its fears and anxieties with positive associations. "This is where food plays a really powerful role," she said. "You’re actually training the brain to function in a different way. Because the dog’s sense of smell is immeasurably superior to ours, when you activate that sense of smell, you can deactivate the emotion of fear and anxiety."
You know your dog better than anyone else. You know when they are relaxed, you know when they are happy, and you even know when they are agitated after seeing another dog across the street. The point is, you should be able to spot any behaviors that are not common for your pup. Once these changes in behaviors arise, pay close attention to what may be triggering this to see if this is what’s causing them stress.
Come back and wait until he is quiet, and then ask him to wait in the crate while you open the door. He should not come bursting out. If you feel one action, such as putting on a certain pair of shoes, picking up your car keys, going to a certain door, brings about the beginning of stress, then do that action and do not leave. Get him so familiar with the action that he accepts it.
Finally, a visit to the veterinary office may make your dog feel leery and cause anxiety. Think about the conditions of the situation and why your pet may feel extra jumpy. Take him for a walk beforehand to get his energy out. Soothe him as you put on his leash or put him in a carrier. The more you remain by your dog’s side and let him know you’re there for the duration of the visit, the more comfortable he’ll feel.
I have a 1 year old pit lab mix and she’s driving me crazy! I leave her alone and when I come home she chews on her dog bed and on furniture and also on my shoes and just other stuff n the house. I tried having her in a crate but she tries to escape and hurts herself so I decided to just not try the crate anymore. We leave her to roam free n my studio apartment. We also have a small Pekingese mix and she doesn’t do anything as far as chewing. Just our lab mix girl. Idk what else to try for her because I leave her with toys and a stuffed kong and she still chews Up stuff n my apartment. SomeOne told me to try giving her benedryl but I have not tried that
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!
You want your puppy to be able to respond to you in various situations and places, so be careful not to limit training to one room of your house or corner of the yard. Practice commands in your home, backyard, front yard, surrounding neighborhood, woods, park or in any other location you visit with your pet. There are different distracting smells and noises in new areas, and you want to be sure your dog can still perform what he knows in different environments.
I appreciate it when you said that I can enroll in a dog obedience class so that I will know how to train my dog or I can just hire a professional to do it for me. I think the latter will work better with my schedule. There are always so many things for me to do after all. Aside from this, I do not think it will be easy for me to train my little Rio since I do not have the patience to do it.
Use these training tasks as you integrate the puppy into your life. For example, ask your puppy to “sit” prior to receiving her food, “sit” before you let her in or out the door, and “sit” before you pet her. These are times when your puppy wants something and is more likely to comply. In this way, you are training your dog all the time, throughout the day and also establishing predictable rules and routines for interactions and helping the dog to learn who controls the resources. Training your puppy prior to getting each requested necessity, helps to prevent problems. Having your puppy sit before getting a food or treat prevents begging, while teaching your dog to sit before opening the door can prevent jumping up or running out the door. Be creative. The time you spend training your puppy now will pay off when you have an adult dog. To have a well-trained dog, you need to be committedto reinforcing the training tasks on nearly a daily basis for the first year of your puppy's life. The more you teach and supervise your puppy, the less opportunity it will have to engage in improper behaviors. Dogs do not train themselves, when left to choose their behavior they will act like dogs.
For example, what did she do during thunderstorms? What is her usual routine like? What type of training is she used to? Previously, did she enjoy being outside? Did she enjoy being with people and other dogs? Did something unusual happen in the last few months? Were there changes in schedule? Unexpected visitors? Unusual noises? Did anything different occur during her walks?

Dog training classes or private sessions can also be an addition to your own training program. The dog trainer can help you improve the program and customize it to your dog's learning style. Try to be as involved as possible when it comes to your dog's training. You and your dog will be a stronger team when you are directly involved in the training process.
The easy ways to train your dog should be fun for you and your dog. There are many advantages of using training methods; they not only ensure that your dog becomes more obedient, they also keep his brain stimulated. The exercise also helps foster a good relationship between you and your dog. Before we discuss the easy ways to train your dog, you must know these Dos and Don’ts of dog training:

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]
Teach your dog to sit at the door, lie down, and stay while you go out of sight for increasing periods of time in your own house. Train your dog to sit and wait to be greeted by guests, move aside when you go to the refrigerator, and go to the bathroom on cue. In general, you should be teaching your dog in small steps to be a respectful and have confidence in himself.
 I started Take the Lead with the goal of creating harmonious relationships between humans and dogs.  Dogs have a language all of their own and my goal is to help owners bridge the gap in communication.  The first step to strengthening our relationship with our dogs is understanding what they are telling us, but most importantly what we REALLY have been saying to them.   Dogs can be such a joy in our lives, but they can also be an equal nightmare!  I know it's not a lack of trying when it comes to families trying to improve their dog's behavior, in the end it's just missed communication of expectations between human and dog! The good news is, with the right training it doesn't have to be like that forever!

Unfortunately, a cause for anxiety can’t always be determined. It might be that the primary event that caused the onset of anxiety happened in the past and went unnoticed or occured before your pet became a member of your family. It’s also possible that your dog is just prone to anxiety and they get upset anytime there is a change to their routine or environment.
There is nothing inherently wrong with telling your dog “no,” except that it doesn’t give him enough information. Instead of telling your dog “no,” tell him what you want him to do. Dogs don’t generalize well, so if your dog jumps up on someone to say hello and you say no, he may jump higher or he may jump to the left side instead of the right. A better alternative would be to ask him to “sit.” Tell him what you want him to do in order to avoid confusion.
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