When observing a class, take note of the dogs; do they look happy? Relaxed? Excited to work? Is the instructor encouraging dogs and owners? Does the class seem to be run in a safe and effective manner? If you don’t feel comfortable at a particular training school, your dog won’t either, and you’ll be setting Fido up to fail. Keep looking for a school where you feel comfortable; you and Fido will do your best work this way!
My Shiba is also very sensitive to the energy of the people around him. When he was young, I had a very difficult time with him, and it seemed that he would single me out for his bad behaviors. A big reason for this, was because of my own energy. I was frustrated with him, embarrassed by him, and also a bit afraid of him. He would pick up on these feelings, become stressed and fearful himself, and act even more crazy. This in turn made me feel even more frustrated and afraid, and it was not a good cycle.
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]
Marian Breland Bailey played a major role in developing empirically validated and humane animal training methods and in promoting their widespread implementation.[12] Marian was a graduate student under B.F. Skinner. Her first husband Keller Breland also came to study with Skinner and they collaborated with him, training pigeons to guide bombs. The Brelands saw the commercial possibilities of operant training, founding Animal Behavior Enterprises (ABE). In 1955, they opened the "I.Q. Zoo" as both a training facility and a showcase of trained animals. They were among the first to use trained animals in television commercials, and the first to train dolphins and whales as entertainment, as well as for the navy.[12] Keller died in 1965, and in 1976 Marian married Bob Bailey, who had been director of marine mammal training for the navy. They pioneered the use of the clicker as a conditioned reinforcer for training animals at a distance.[11] ABE went on to train thousands of animals of more than 140 species.[12] Their work had significant public exposure through press coverage of ABE-trained animals, bringing the principles of behavior analysis and operant conditioning to a wide audience.[13]
4. Consider changing your vet if he/she isn’t tuned in to your dog’s needs. While some vets are great with nervous and aggressive dogs, others are still very old school; they don’t listen to owners and use invasive and rough handling. There are, however, new techniques out there for vets dealing with anxious dogs. Dr. Sophia Yin has developed a program for vets that focuses on low-stress handling, which can make a huge difference in your dog’s anxiety levels. And Dogs in Need of Space has a list of vets who go the extra mile for anxious dogs; if you do want to change your vet, it’s a good place to start.
Don't raise your voice to get his attention. Save the big booming voice for “life saving” situations, like if he escapes his fence or leash. If you rarely raise your voice, you'll get your dog’s undivided attention when you do need to yell. But if you are always “loud” to your dog, they will ignore that sound and tune it out. Shouting will no longer be regarded as something that commands special attention.
Dogs don’t wake up one morning having decided to be anxious or fearful. Most dogs who exhibit anxiety symptoms have had some event in their past that triggered the anxiety. Dogs develop phobias and fears between the ages of 12 and 36 months or when they reach social maturity. If, during this time, something triggers a strong fearful reaction, they may develop a consistent fear pattern.
Are you ready to start training your dog? A proper dog training program is the cornerstone of good behavior in dogs. It has often been said that there are no bad dogs, only uneducated owners. Most dogs thrive with boundaries and predictable routines. Without obedience training, they simply do not know how to behave. Well-trained dogs are happier and healthier than untrained dogs, and so are their owners.

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.

Understand the value of the “stand” command. The value of the "sit" and "wait" seem obvious, but you may not understand at first why the "stand" is an important skill to teach your dog. You won't use the "stand" every day, but you'll need it throughout the dog's life. For example, a dog who can stay calmly in a "stand" is the ideal patient at a vet clinic or client at a groomer's.

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.


On rare occasions, a dog with mild separation anxiety might benefit from drug therapy alone, without accompanying behavior modification. The dog becomes accustomed to being left alone with the help of the drug and retains this new conditioning after he’s gradually weaned off the medication. However, most dogs need a combination of medication and behavior modification.
STARTER PACKAGE: $375 – Want to get a feel for our training before purchasing a full obedience package? If so, The Starter Package is for you! This program includes training equipment and 1 private lesson covering the following commands: “Come”, “Sit”, “Break”, and “Off”. The Starter Package is ideal for dogs who just lack a recall (do not come when called), or dogs who are generally obedient but display some unwanted behavior such as counter-surfing, jumping, excessive barking, etc. ***Be prepared to practice daily for at least 30 minutes.***
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