Your dog is not the only factor to take into consideration when you are training in basic obedience; you also play a huge part in your dog’s training process. If you are considerably impatient or easily frustrated, then you are going to want to approach teaching your dog obedience in short lessons that focus on one command at a time. You can also benefit from enrolling in a small obedience class that will allow you a reprieve if you are feeling overwhelmed.

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


Just like in humans, your dog can develop anxiety for a number of reasons such as illness, a traumatic experience, lack of socialization as a puppy, spending time in a shelter, or being re-homed multiple times, PetMD explained. Once you identify that your dog has anxiety, it's important to talk with your vet or an animal behavioralist to develop a treatment plan that's best for you and Fido.
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 cases of anxiety are so severe that your veterinarian may recommend medications or natural therapies. SSRIs and antidepressants are occasionally prescribed for dogs with anxiety, including fluoxetine and clomipramine. For predictable anxiety-producing events like thunderstorms, fireworks, or car rides, your vet might prescribe a medication such as benzodiazepine in conjunction with an antidepressant to help your dog cope with the stress.
When considering treating your dog for anxiety, it is important to know the source of the anxiety. Is your dog anxious about being left alone? Being confined? Is the anxiety caused by loud noise, or travel, or sudden changes in environment or routine? Some dogs have phobias of certain objects, types of people, or specific situations. The source greatly informs the treatment. For example, calming music might help a dog with separation anxiety, but won't do much to help a dog who has anxiety about walking in crowded places. There are pharmaceuticals available from veterinarians for extreme cases, but to minimize medicating your dog and experiencing any potential side-effects, try these options before going in for a prescription.
If my dog is able to focus and stay in-control, I reward him with a very high priority treat. For desensitization purposes, I usually bust out the really good stuff. I try to pick a highly aromatic or smelly treat that my dog loves, but does not usually get to eat. The smell will help to engage his nose, and further distract him from the source of his anxiety.

Jeff Lustman is from Carbondale, Illinois and has been a Dog trainer for the past 5 years. He trained and interned under Behesha Doan, one of the most well-known trainers/dog behavior specialists in the country. He has been a part of and led multiple training academy’s and dog behavioral training lectures back in Illinois. He has also trained service dogs for veterans with PTSD and led 4 different Veteran classes. Jeff Specializes in aggression and anxious dog behaviors and can train any dog that enters our building. With his vast knowledge of dog behavior and training, you can be confident that your dog will get the training you want and need.


Dogs that demonstrate the previously mentioned basic skills, as well as walking reasonably well on a leash and a few other minor tasks, can be tested for and earn the American Kennel Club's (AKC) Canine Good Citizen certification. While not a competitive obedience title, a CGC certification demonstrates that the dog is sociable, well behaved, and reliable in public settings.[1] Some insurance companies will waive breed restrictions on dogs with CGCs, and many states have passed resolutions supporting and encouraging CGC certification as a yardstick for canine manners and responsible dog ownership.
If you leave your dog home alone, and return to find that Fido has redecorated, your dog is likely anxious about your being away. "This is separation anxiety — the excessive chewing to relieve the stress it feels; continual barking; pacing; whining," Victoria Stilwell, author and dog trainer, told Sandy Eckstein for WebMD. "Sometimes, if it’s really excessive, a dog will chew through walls. I’ve had dogs jump through windows, through glass, to get outside. Most of the destruction is centered on points of exit."
Emily Vey is a content aficionado on the Dogs Naturally team. She’s constantly looking for the most up-to-date news and information to share with DNM readers and to help her own dogs live the healthiest lives possible. She lives in Ontario with her partner-in-crime Ryan, their husky Inuk and German shepherd Indi. Together they enjoy hiking, swimming and all things outdoors!
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:
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.

I have a problem with my 6 month german shepard.She is afraid to go out for a walk that I will have to drag her out and then she will be fine.Then all a sudden it looks like she realise that she is outdoors and the story begins!!!She will start pulling on the leash her tail tucked between her legs and she will not respond to any command or treat not even her favourites.The only thing she will want is getting back home and then she will be fine!!What do you think is the problem and hpw should I tackle it?THANK YOU.
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.
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.
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Alprazolam (Xanax), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Valium), clomipramine (Clomicalm), and amitriptyline (Elavil) are common prescription medications used to treat anxiety in dogs. Trazodone is a common prescription, too, though it’s primarily indicated for use in humans and veterinary use is considered extra-label. Medications like these are usually only for occasional needs rather than daily use (such as the night of a fireworks’ display).
Thank you for this very informative article. I've been trying to find more information about what may be causing the symptoms my dog has and many of these fit her. So many other articles categorise these symptoms as reactions to specific situations (noises, separation from owner), but she seems to exhibit these symptoms pretty much every day, independent of any discernible environmental stimulus. This will help me talk to the veterinarian about it during our appointment.
Once I figure out the most likely trigger, I do desensitization exercises to help my dog build confidence and to teach her new ways to cope with her stress. At the same time, I also try to manage her environment, so that she does not go through more panic attacks. For example, with the garbage truck, I just changed our schedule so that we do not accidentally encounter a garbage truck when we are outside and far from home. Then, when my dog is ready (after the taped sound desensitization exercises), I expose her to the truck slowly and in a controlled way – first when we are inside the house, by the door, in the front-yard and so on.

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.
Over time, the words “good dog” and the affectionate pat become secondary reinforcers. Because they have been paired with food in the past, they take on more meaning and become reinforcement in themselves. It is important to use secondary reinforcement because you will not always have food with you when you need your pet to obey. In addition, if you rely on food to get your puppy to comply, you will have a puppy that will only do the task when you have a treat.
Owning a dog can be really rewarding, but also really scary! There is potential that you will have to deal with stresses and anxieties that your dog has. Anxiety in dogs is a tricky thing to navigate through. It is important for you to recognize if your dog has anxiety and what type. Dealing with it then becomes much easier. There are steps you can take to help and we’ve put together a guide for you to find out how.
Step 1: Using either a laser pointer or touch stick, get your dog in the habit of jumping up to touch the light switch. It is best to have him jump up with his pads on the wall (instead of his claws) touching the switch with his nose. I used a laser pointer here, because I would play with it as a game, knowing that he would really go after it—even if it's on a wall.
How is it possible to tell if your dog is suffering from anxiety without them being able to communicate that to you verbally? Well actually, it’s quite simple. Dogs are intelligent creatures and are able to express what they are thinking and how they feel through body language and behavior. From there, it is your duty as their owner to be able to depict these cues and figure out what your pup is trying to say.
The Dog Obedience Club of Lee County offers monthly classes to show handlers how to track with their dogs. We meet at various locations to provide your dog with different scenting problems. Your dog will need a non-restrictive halter. Eventually you will need a 20 to 40 foot line, flags, flagging, inexpensive leather gloves, cloth articles and perhaps a GPS.
The first method is called capturing. Stand in front of your puppy holding some of his dog food or treats. Wait for him to sit – say “yes” and give him a treat. Then step backwards or sideways to encourage him to stand and wait for him to sit. Give another treat as soon as they sit. After a few repetitions, you can begin saying “sit” right as he begins to sit.
In the twentieth century, formalized dog training originated in military and police applications, and the methods used largely reflected the military approach to training humans. In the middle and late part of the century, however, more research into operant conditioning and positive reinforcement occurred as wild animal shows became more popular. Aquatic mammal trainers used clickers (a small box that makes a loud click when pushed on) to "mark" desired behavior, giving food as a reward. The change in training methods spread gradually into the world of dog training. Today many dog trainers rely heavily on positive reinforcement to teach new behaviors.
This is not the same as taking your puppy to a music festival or the bar and just exposing him to new things. Formulas such as “100 new people in 100 days” are well-meaning and might be right for some dogs. However, for a shy puppy, meeting that many people could backfire. It’s not enough to just expose your puppy to new things - you’ve got to make it positive.
Laying a solid training foundation will make life with your dog easier and more fun. If you’re not sure where to start, sign up for an in-person obedience class; there’s no better way to train your dog than to practice with an expert IRL. You can also follow any of the helpful links above, and check out our blog archives for additional tips and tricks.
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