Obedience training helps your pet learn his role in your family and in the world. It will teach him the skills he needs to interact with other dogs and with the people inside and outside your home. Puppy training is the first step to teaching healthy behaviors and avoiding negative ones. Often, dogs start their training by learning simple commands, such as "sit" and "stay," though later on they may be trained in more specific ways, such as how to stay in a crate without whining or how to sit patiently without begging while the family eats dinner.
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.
And just like people, there are plenty of ways to help relax and soothe pets. Love listening to a certain type of music to unwind? Apparently, so does your dog. When it comes to tension-taming tunes, pups seem to prefer the sounds of soft rock or reggae to jazz, pop, or Motown. Playing the music was linked to a decrease in shelter dogs’ heart rates (which is a sign of less stress) in one 2017 study.
Will the sound desensitization exercises help with getting her out for evening walks? What other desensitization exercises could I use? I know she is anxious with thunder storms but I’m not really sure what triggers her to be afraid of going for a walk, even if no storm is around or coming. Or why she won’t come in the den in the evenings or come on the couch or sleep with us. All I know is there’s something about the evenings for her.

Dogs use their entire body to communicate. Their eyes and ears are especially dynamic, and they give sure-fire clues to dogs' emotions and impulses. How dogs tilt their heads, move their legs and torsos, wag (or raise or drop) their tails -- all these things contribute to the messages being sent. In this section, we cover many of the silent messages your pooch will give you, from his nose to his tail.
In the beginning, I make sure the other person *does not* initiate eye contact or talk. In this way, I keep things low key and non-stressful. The energy of the people around my dog is also very important. If I am anxious or worried, my dog will pick up on that and get anxious as well. I try to stay calm and positive, I let my dog set the pace, I keep sessions short but frequent, and I make the experience very rewarding.
Dog anxiety can stem from a number of things. If you’ve adopted your pet from a shelter, previous owners or situations could have been traumatizing for him. Understanding your dog’s prior history can help when you welcome him to your home and way of life. It may take awhile before he becomes accommodated to a new environment with people who are strangers to him.

And just like people, there are plenty of ways to help relax and soothe pets. Love listening to a certain type of music to unwind? Apparently, so does your dog. When it comes to tension-taming tunes, pups seem to prefer the sounds of soft rock or reggae to jazz, pop, or Motown. Playing the music was linked to a decrease in shelter dogs’ heart rates (which is a sign of less stress) in one 2017 study.
Researchers have described several reasons why the dominance model is a poor choice for dog training.[71] First, a relationship based on dominance is established to gain priority access to scarce resources, not to impose particular behaviors on the less dominant animal,[72] so the dominance model is irrelevant for most of the behaviors that people want from their dogs, such as coming when called or walking calmly on a leash.[71] Second dominance-submission relationships, once established, are constantly tested and must be regularly reinforced.[73] Thus people, particularly children and the elderly, may not be able to retain their rank and are at risk of being injured if they attempt to do so.[71] Third, dominant individuals gain priority access to resources, but only while they are present, establishing dominance over a dog does not guarantee its behavior when the dominant individual is distant or absent.[71]

In most cases, dogs will naturally bark when someone they don't know is approaching. You can put this to good use by teaching him when to bark and when to stop. Each time your dog barks at a stranger, let him bark 2 or 3 times and then tug on his leash and give the command "Quiet". When he does, be sure to give him a treat and praise him. This lets him know no when he should bark and when he shouldn't.
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.
Many behavior problems can be prevented by providing “legal,” acceptable ways for your dog to express her natural impulses. There are some things that dogs just need to do. So rather than trying to get your dog to stop doing things like chewing, mouthing and roughhousing altogether, channel these urges in the right direction. Increased physical activity and mental enrichment are excellent complements to training. Please see our articles, Enriching Your Dog’s Life, Exercise for Dogs and How to Stuff a KONG® Toy, to learn more.

In the beginning, I make sure the other person *does not* initiate eye contact or talk. In this way, I keep things low key and non-stressful. The energy of the people around my dog is also very important. If I am anxious or worried, my dog will pick up on that and get anxious as well. I try to stay calm and positive, I let my dog set the pace, I keep sessions short but frequent, and I make the experience very rewarding.
Any area that the pup has access to must be kept clear and clean. Put out of puppy's reach anything you don't want him to chew or destroy. Do not allow your puppy to have unsupervised access to 'unchewables.' Do not chase the puppy in an attempt to take something away. Instead provide puppy with her own toys and teach her how to play with them exclusively.
Just as exercise is a great stress reliever for humans, it is wonderful for dogs. Exercise helps with a couple of issues when managing a dog dealing with anxiety. First, it stimulates the production of serotonin, a chemical that we humans also experience that makes you feel good when your body is being exercised. Second, it gets rid of pent-up aggression and energy that can build up anxiety.
The Monks of New Skete, who were breeders and trainers of German Shepherds in Cambridge, New York, published How to Be Your Dog's Best Friend: A Training Manual for Dog Owners in 1978 and it became an immediate best seller. Despite advocating a philosophy that "understanding is the key to communication and compassion with your dog,"[29] they endorsed confrontational punishments which were later shown to elicit dangerously aggressive responses in many dogs.[30]
Just as exercise is a great stress reliever for humans, so it is for dogs. Exercise accomplishes a couple of things when helping a dog deal with anxiety. First, it stimulates the production of serotonin, that feel-good chemical that we humans also get when we work out or go for a hike. Second, it gets rid of pent-up energy and tension that can exacerbate anxiety. Burning off all that extra doggy energy every day through a long game of fetch, a hike, running alongside you while you bike or other favorite activities can go a long way toward reducing problems with issues like separation anxiety or nervous tension. As the saying goes, a good dog is a tired dog.
If your dog is less anxious before you leave, you can probably skip the predeparture treatment above and start with very short departures. The main rule is to plan your absences to be shorter than the time it takes for your dog to become upset. To get started, train your dog to perform out-of-sight stays by an inside door in the home, such as the bathroom. You can teach your dog to sit or down and stay while you go to the other side of the bathroom door. (You can also contact a Certified Professional Dog Trainer for assistance. Please see our article, Finding Professional Behavior Help, to locate a CPDT in your area.) Gradually increase the length of time you wait on the other side of the door, out of your dog’s sight. You can also work on getting your dog used to predeparture cues as you practice the stay. For example, ask your dog to stay. Then put on your coat, pick up your purse and go into the bathroom while your dog continues to stay.
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.
When people come to visit, I make sure to properly manage Lara. I put a leash on her so that I can properly control her and stop her from getting too excited. Distance will weaken the “person” stimulus. I also make sure that the person is totally ignoring her – absolutely no eye-contact. This is very important, because eye-contact can be seen as an invitation to interact, and this will get Lara even more excited.
Teach him to come when called. Come Jasper! Good boy! Teaching him to come is the command to be mastered first and foremost. And since he'll be coming to you, your alpha status will be reinforced. Get on his level and tell him to come using his name. When he does, make a big deal using positive reinforcement. Then try it when he's busy with something interesting. You'll really see the benefits of perfecting this command early as he gets older.

Work on only one part of a skill at a time Many of the skills we want our dogs to learn are complex. For instance, if you want to train a solid sit-stay, you’ll need to work on teaching your dog that she should stay in a sitting position until you release her (duration), she should stay while you move away from her (distance), and she should stay while distracting things are going on around her (distraction). You’ll probably both get frustrated if you try to teach her all of these things at the same time. Instead, start with just one part of the skill and, when your dog has mastered that, add another part. For example, you can work on duration first. When your dog can sit-stay for a few minutes in a quiet place with no distractions while you stand right next to her, start training her to stay while you move away from her. While you focus on that new part of the skill, go back to asking your dog to stay for just a few seconds again. When your dog can stay while you move around the room, slowly build up the duration of the stay again. Then you can add the next part-training in a more distracting environment. Again, when you make the skill harder by adding distraction, make the other parts-duration and distance-easier for a little while. If you work on all the parts of a complex skill separately before putting them together, you’ll set your dog up to succeed.
One of the cornerstones of good health for your puppy is regular veterinary care. It is crucial that your puppy maintains a nutritional diet and exercise routine to stay healthy and balanced. Plus, your vet can advise on heartworm, and flea and tick preventative care. While a lot goes into keeping your puppy in good health, it all begins with the first visit to the vet.

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. :-/
I am trying to find a solution for my 11yr old female Husky, Blitzen’s night-time anxiety. This has been going on now for a few months. It’s as if she’s become nocturnal. Around 1a-3a every night she is wide awake and pacing, pawing at the bed, whining, almost hyper ventilating. We have a doggie door and she will go outside and whine the most pathetic sounding sad cry. I try to bring her into my room, but she paces and pants and can’t settle. I am becoming sleep deprived since I cannot sleep a whole night with this behavior. My vet suggested Sam E and Benedryl, both of which had the opposite effect and made her wired instead of calm. I am desperate for a solution for both of our sakes.
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.
Since dogs can have allergies to certain medications, plants, foods, etc., it is again advisable to work with your veterinarian or a homeopathic specialist for pets to find a healthy solution for your anxious dog. Simply let your vet know you’d rather avoid prescription anti-anxiety drugs or medication or try all organic solutions first and he or she will guide you to options for your pet.  With pets, what works for one dog’s behavior modification may not work for another. Even if you’ve received advice from other pet owners or discussion forums, confirm with your doctor before trying anything new.

Sit on the floor with him or on the sofa, if you plan to allow him on the furniture. Love on him and talk to him, so he gets to know the sound of your voice and touch of your hand. This is a great time to start teaching him that it’s OK for you to touch his paws, look inside or sniff his ears, rub his belly, touch his tail and groom him with a soft brush.

Just remember that your dog is relying on you as well. They need you to provide guidance and help. Take an active role in teaching and practicing obedience. Generally, they are willing to learn and eager to please. However, so often, it is us who have not done any kind of studying and research on how to best teach a dog. After all, you would not think of going into a kindergarten classroom and trying to teach those students without any kind of training. Or would you? God help those brave souls who answered yes to that one!
Clicker training is a nickname given to a positive reinforcement training system based on operant conditioning. Clicker training can also be referred to as marker training. The system uses conditioned reinforcers which are able to be delivered more quickly and more precisely than primary reinforcers such as food. The term 'clicker' comes from a small metal cricket adapted from a child's toy that the trainer uses to precisely mark the desired behavior; however, some trainers use a whistle, a word, or even a light as the conditioned reinforcer.[60] The trainer delivers a primary reinforcer, such as a toy or treat, after the noise or signal.

Deutsch: Hundeerziehung, Português: Treinar um Cão, Italiano: Addestrare un Cane, Español: educar un perro, Русский: дрессировать собаку, Français: éduquer un chien, Bahasa Indonesia: Melatih Seekor Anjing, Nederlands: Een hond trainen, Čeština: Jak vycvičit psa, 한국어: 개 훈련시키는 방법, Tiếng Việt: Huấn luyện Chó, 中文: 训练狗狗, हिन्दी: एक कुत्ते को प्रशिक्षित करें, ไทย: ฝึกสุนัข, العربية: تدريب الكلب, 日本語: 犬をしつける, Türkçe: Bir Köpek Nasıl Eğitilir
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]
Fantastic article, thank you very much. I already follow a great deal of your advice, except I haven’t trained my hound to go potty on command. I never used treats for rewards on walks simply because he never responds to treats when there’s more interesting things to look at. Instead, like you, I use praise and he’s very intune with me on walks. Treats are for inside; I play games with him, alongside our cat, using treats! Anyway, I digress. I just want to thank you for writing a wonderful article and sharing such details that will help people. Well done and best wishes.
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."

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.


In most cases, dogs will naturally bark when someone they don't know is approaching. You can put this to good use by teaching him when to bark and when to stop. Each time your dog barks at a stranger, let him bark 2 or 3 times and then tug on his leash and give the command "Quiet". When he does, be sure to give him a treat and praise him. This lets him know no when he should bark and when he shouldn't.


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.

The leash or lead is used to connect the dog to the handler, lead the dog, as well as to control the dog in urban areas. Most communities have laws which prohibit dogs from running at large. They may be made of any material such as nylon, metal or leather. A six-foot length is commonly used for walking and in training classes, though leashes come in lengths both shorter and longer. A long line (also called a lunge line) can be 3 metres (ten feet) or more in length, and are often used to train the dog to come when called from a distance.
Separation anxiety in dogs is fairly common and can lead to a variety of behavior problems. If your dog is feeling separation anxiety while you’re at work or away from the house, he may urinate or defecate on the floor and/or tear up furniture or other items. This is a way for him to get your attention but also a way to deal with the increased level of anxiety. There are many ways you can deal with behavior problems to help the separation anxiety in dogs.
Thank you for pointing out that my pet has limits and that there are things that a younger dog will not be able to pick up on as compared to an older dog. I do not know the age of which I can tell it is perfect for my pet to learn new things. I do not want to force him if he isn’t ready either. Because of this, it might be a better idea to let the professional train him. At least, that way, he is sure to receive the training appropriate for his age.

Before you begin dog obedience training, choose the best method for you and your dog. Training styles vary, but most trainers agree that dogs respond best to positive reinforcement, such as praise or treats. One common training variation, known as clicker training, includes the use of conditioned reinforcer. There are plenty of dog training books and websites where you can learn about training techniques and determine which best suits you and your dog. When planning out your training methods, don't forget about socialization.

After a big shedding season, my dogs lose a lot of fur especially in the lower leg regions, and during activity or play, they may irritate those “thin-furred” regions. As a result, they start licking, which causes more irritation, which results in more licking, and so on. In extreme cases, the behavior can be habit forming and lead to acral lick dermatitis. There are also other reasons for dog licking and itchiness.


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.
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.
During desensitization to any type of fear, it is essential to ensure that your dog never experiences the full-blown version of whatever provokes his anxiety or fear. He must experience only a low-intensity version that doesn’t frighten him. Otherwise, he won’t learn to feel calm and comfortable in situations that upset him. This means that during treatment for separation anxiety, your dog cannot be left alone except during your desensitization sessions.
If possible, try to avoid letting your dog be exposed to dark rooms. Anxious dogs will try and escape and generally look for dark rooms such as a closet. This isn’t an ideal place for them, so try and keep these rooms closed so they are in a well-lit room. Attempt to spot the signs of an oncoming anxiety attack so you may prevent it from happening. If your dog knows how to sit and stay, nuances like these can help reinforce positive reactions to their perceived “negative” environments.
Keep in mind that all of this needs to be a positive experience for the dog. Working on this will help your dog listen when you’re at the dog park or if they are in the front yard off leash and you want them to come inside. Remember to only say the command once, so your dog learns to listen the first time. After your dog has mastered a standard length leash distance, try a longer lead (around 15-20 feet).

Some dogs suffering from separation anxiety become agitated when their guardians prepare to leave. Others seem anxious or depressed prior to their guardians’ departure or when their guardians aren’t present. Some try to prevent their guardians from leaving. Usually, right after a guardian leaves a dog with separation anxiety, the dog will begin barking and displaying other distress behaviors within a short time after being left alone—often within minutes. When the guardian returns home, the dog acts as though it’s been years since he’s seen his mom or dad!
We work Monday to Friday so durning the week my husband gets up and feeds her before he goes to work, then an hour later I take her for an hour walk and when we get back from our walk I go to work and she stays home for the day. When I get home from work we go for another hour walk or to the park (lately she won’t go for these walks but will go to the park if we drive there and she’s fine at the park). Then she has supper and in the evening another walk (again, lately she hasn’t been going for these walks, we have to drive her to a place and she only wants to go to the bathroom, no playing). We’ve been trying to get her to go to the bathroom in the backyard since she seems comfortable there, but we just got it done a few weeks ago so she’s still getting used to it.

If this is not possible with your schedule, then you may want to consider keeping your puppy in a crate while you are out. This will most likely prevent most of the peeing or pooping in the house instances since a new puppy (or dog) will be very reluctant to relive themselves where they sleep. On the other hand, the bladder of a young puppy is really only large enough to “hold it” for a few hours at a time.


Whenever you’re training your dog, it’s important to get as many family members involved as possible so everyone’s on the same page. If you are telling your dog “off” when he jumps on the couch and someone else is saying “down,” while someone else is letting him hang out up there, how on earth is he ever going to learn what you want? Consistency will be the key to your success.
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