I can see why this type of training can seem stressful, it’s a lot of work. We tried many other training methods with Sally and none stuck but this one. We don’t do any jerking, we give light tugs on the leash, to me that is not jerking. Sally may look confused to you because she’s not used to be on leash in the basement. Typically when we put the leash on, it means we are going outside but it was rainy that day and Sal hates the rain. I don’t think she looks stressed, I think she is excited for some interaction time with me since it was during my work hours. There are many different types of training and we respect your decision to not utilize this form. Sally is such a well-behaved dog and much of that is thanks to these training methods. We have such a strong bond and our love for one another is unconditional.
During the entire retraining period though, I made sure not to expose Lara to any loud noises that would cause her to spook. The more she goes into panic mode, the more fearful she becomes and the more likely it may become a phobia. The more positive experiences she has, the more confidence she builds and the less fearful she becomes. With desensitization, I start small and slowly help Lara re-associate the previously scary stimulus (garbage truck sound) with positive events.
As you go about trying to train your new dog, you do want to keep several things in mind. First, the dog itself will have limits to what they can do and comprehend. You must respect these limits and not push them beyond. For example, a small puppy will certainly not be able to understand everything that an older dog will. Additionally, the puppy may not have certain skills that the older does. This may limit what they can initially do. On the other hand, an older dog may have trouble catching on to certain things, or may not be physically able to do some of the things a puppy can. Just try and get to know your dog and then respect whatever their specific limits are.
She was at the vet last in February when we discovered she had struvite crystals (after a couple leaking accidents). We have changed her diet to prevent them from coming again. And went for a follow up to ensure the crystals were all gone. They are all cleared up now. She is eating and drinking normally and has normal pee and poop. I don’t notice her mouth smelling any different than before.
If your dog is nervous because of certain situations, such as fireworks or thunderstorms, or even is nervous about being in a crowd, then distraction can work wonders. Engaging your dog's brain in work will help him focus on you and things he knows, rather than on the unknown around him that's frightening him. While it isn't the time to begin new training, it is a great time to practice tricks your dog knows and can earn rewards for. Try rewarding your dog with treats for simple commands like sit, stand, lie down, shake, sit up, roll over and other tricks he enjoys. Another possibility, especially for dogs who are highly food motivated, is distracting your dog with puzzle toys like a treat ball or tug jug, or even a frozen Kong toy stuffed with peanut butter. This can also help him associate frightening things like loud noises or strangers coming over with highly valued rewards, so that the event goes from being scary to being at least tolerable.
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.
Desensitization is the most effective method when your dog’s anxiety is brought on by a particular trigger such as fireworks, thunderstorms, or even car rides. This method means that your dog will learn how to reduce their reaction to the trigger or stimulus that is causing their issues. In this particular situation, you would want to overexpose your dog to this trigger and train them to act calmly.
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.
Thanks for pointing out that the classes are similar to children’s classrooms in that they have a single teacher with a group of owners and dogs. Recently, I got a puppy named Alfie, and he is so energetic and lively. I want him to learn some good habits, though, for when he’s older, so I think that it’d be a good idea for me to find an obedience training class like you describe.
Electronic collars (also known as E-collars) transmit a remote signal from a control device the handler operates to the collar. An electrical impulse is transmitted by the handler remotely, at varying degrees of intensity, from varying distances depending on range frequency. It is also done automatically in the bark electronic collar to stop excessive barking, and invisible fence collar when the dog strays outside its boundary. Electronic collars are widely used in some areas of the world and by some dog obedience professionals. This technique remains a source of controversy with many dog training associations, veterinary associations and kennel clubs.[5]
It's important to know what type of issues you're looking to avoid so that you can teach your dog good habits right from the start. Some pet parents hope to ward off excessive barking, while others are worried about their dog chewing on non-food items (like dangerous house plants or their shoes). Digging, begging, biting, stealing food and urinating in the home are other issues pet parents look to avoid.
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In competition obedience training, “heel” means the dog is walking on your left side with his head even with your knee while you hold the leash loosely. Puppy training can be a little more relaxed with the goal being that they walk politely on a loose leash without pulling. Some trainers prefer to say “let’s go” or “forward” instead of “heel” when they train this easy way of walking together.
Although fear, anxiety and phobias aren’t all the same thing, they are all related to a dog’s need for safety. Fear is a response to a perceived threat. A dog’s autonomic nervous system responds to the perceived threat by triggering a physical response throughout the body. Anxiety, on the other hand, is the anticipation of a fearful event based on past experiences. A phobia is an irrational fear that leads to anxiety and fearful symptoms.
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.
i have a 4 year old dachshound. i think she has anxiety. if she’s in my room with the door is closed.she does this scratching at the carpet. and tries to dig a hole into the floor. and she’s doing this whinning thing too. i live with my mother and she has 2 cats. sometimes they play, but at night time she sneaks out of the room to rip open a trash bag and starts fights with the cats. and i don’t usually have a ride to take her to the vets. is there anything i can do. before i go completely nuts with her.
I know Sally’s normal behaviors and I’ve spent time with a professional trainer to learn how I can be the best pet parent to her. She’s seen wagging her tail a bunch in the video and she even gets her “show trot” going, which to me means she’s happy not stressed. Again, I appreciate your concern, but I can’t help but be a little on the defense since it feels like your comment is insinuating I am treating my dog poorly. Sally lives a pretty cush life. She roams the house freely, has the option to be outside whenever she asks, eats well, exercises regularly, gets plenty of snuggles and is rarely kenneled since I work from home. Thank you for taking the time to read this article and write up your comment.
With my dog (Sephy), I try to re-establish as much certainty and consistency as possible. After we moved, I quickly set up a fixed routine and a consistent set of rules. I also increased supervision and spent more time with Sephy, engaging him in various positive and structured activities. We also went on longer walks, in quiet hiking trails. In this way, he gets to explore and relax in a peaceful environment. The structured activities redirect him from his stress, and gives him positive outlets for his energy.
Operant conditioning (or instrumental conditioning) is a form of learning in which an individual's behavior is modified by its consequences. Two complementary motivations drive instrumental learning: the maximization of positive outcomes and minimization of aversive ones.[37] There are two ways in which behavior is reinforced or strengthened: positive reinforcement occurs when a behavior is strengthened by producing some desirable consequence; negative reinforcement occurs when a behavior is strengthened by avoiding some undesirable consequence. There are two ways in which behavior is decreased or weakened: negative punishment occurs when a behavior is weakened by not producing a reinforcing consequence; and positive punishment occurs when a behavior is weakened by producing a consequence that is a disincentive. In combination, these basic reinforcing and punishing contingencies provide four ways for modifying behavior.[38] Reinforcement increases the relative probability or frequency of the behavior it follows, while punishment decreases the relative probability or frequency of the behaviour it follows.
For some dogs that have considerable behavioral problems, there is also a “boot camp” scenario where your dog is taken in by a one on one trainer for approximately a month. In the “boot camp” scenario it is important that you meet with your dog and its trainer periodically to also learn the commands that your dog is learning so that you can take an active role in teaching and practicing obedience with your dog.

Positive-reinforcement is the methodology suggested by humane organizations, veterinary associations and dog trainers alike. This type of training focuses on rewarding desired behaviors using something that the dog values (typically treats), removing the reward for undesired behaviors and not using physical punishment or fear to bring about behavioral change.
In the 1950s Blanche Saunders was a staunch advocate of pet-dog training, travelling throughout the U.S. to promote obedience classes.[15] In The Complete Book of Dog Obedience, she said, "Dogs learn by associating their act with a pleasing or displeasing result. They must be disciplined when they do wrong, but they must also be rewarded when they do right."[22] Negative reinforcement procedures played a key part in Saunders' method, primarily the jerking of the choke chain. The mantra taught to students was "Command! Jerk! Praise!" She felt that food should not be an ongoing reward, but that it was acceptable to use "a tidbit now and then to overcome a problem." Saunders perhaps began the shift away from military and police training methods, stressing repeatedly the importance of reinforcement for good behaviour in training—a move toward the positive training methods used today.[23]

Training can be started at any age, though, younger the dog, the better it is for him. When done properly, training can be great fun for both you and your pet and can also exercise his brain. For best results, use positive rewards and treats when training. Food treats work really well and can include anything from small pieces of liver, beef jerky, chicken, cheese, hotdog sausages etc. You can even give him his favorite toy or play his favorite game. When using food treats, you must reduce the portion of his meals or he will end up gaining weight. When teaching a command, say the command, and then show what you want the dog to do. You must reward him every time he does what you say correctly. Also praise him verbally each time. Over time, you can reduce the treats and only praise him verbally.


Jean was wonderful to work with in training our 3-year old rescue dog Sundance. She provided a wealth of knowledge and resources, combined with hands-on training to learn the Bark Busters method. Thanks to Jean, we have been able to establish proper pack order so that our dog understands we are in charge. Sundance has settled in well and is much le...
“Today’s dogs suffer from a lack of mental stimulation and quality time spent with “their” people. The resulting boredom and anxiety can lead to no end of physical and behavioral problems. Brain Training for Dogs is the solution! In a clear and concise manner, Adrienne Farricelli walks owners through a series of puzzles and exercises that will challenge and entertain dogs of all abilities.”
With the approval of your veterinarian, you can give your dog anxiety medication to help ease his anxiety. Benadryl is commonly prescribed to help alleviate symptoms of anxiety in dogs.  The antihistamine is known to serve as a mild sedative. When administered correctly prior to the environment or activity that may cause heightened anxiety in your pet, it can help him remain calm and relaxed.
Thank you for your feedback, Tamara. We do not recommend using a pinch collar without proper training for the person first. I personally disagree that it is a negative reinforcement, but I respect your opinion. Sally has never been hurt using the pinch collar. I completely agree that using treats is a perfectly appropriate way to train a dog. However, treat training doesn’t always work for every dog, like in my instance with Sally. So I had to find an alternative and that’s when I sought out help from a trainer who recommended this method to me. Each dog has its own needs and its up to us as the pet parent to know their needs and help them be the happiest they can be.
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.
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. Fortunately there are plenty of alternative arrangements:
Basic or beginner's obedience is typically a short course ranging from six to ten weeks, where it is demonstrated to the handler how to communicate with and train the dog in a few simple commands. With most methods the dog is trained one command at a time. Though there may or may not be a specific word attached to it, walking properly on a leash, or leash control, is often the first training required prior to learning other commands.

Obedience training usually refers to the training of a dog and the term is most commonly used in that context. Obedience training ranges from very basic training, such as teaching the dog to reliably respond to basic commands such as "sit," "down," "come," and "stay," to high level competition within clubs such as the American Kennel Club, United Kennel Club and the Canadian Kennel Club, where additional commands, accuracy and performance are scored and judged.


Lavender typically works as a sedative to help your dog feel restful. Aromatherapy oils like chamomile provides calming and in some cases, pain relief. While sweet marjoram has been used to help with stress relief in pets. Watch out for allergic reactions in pets and discuss this kind of remedy with your veterinarian to get recommendations for the best kind of products to use. Essential oils can be easily found and used for your pet. Even if they don’t benefit as much from their use, you can use still use them for your own.
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.
Dog intelligence is exhibited in many different ways, and a dog that might not be easy to train might nonetheless be quite adept at figuring out how to open kitchen cabinets or to escape from the yard. Novice dog owners need to consider a dog's trainability as well as its energy level, exercise requirements, and other factors before choosing a new pet. Very high intelligence is not necessarily a good thing in a companion dog, as smart dogs can require extensive daily mental stimulation if they are not to become bored and destructive.
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.

When teaching new skills, keep training sessions short and sweet Like kids, dogs don’t have long attention spans. There’s no hard-and-fast rule, but an ideal average training session should last 15 minutes or less. Within that session, you can work on one skill or switch between a few different skills. To keep things interesting, try doing 5 to 15 repetitions of one behavior and then doing 5 to 15 repetitions of another behavior. You can also practice new skills and keep old ones polished by doing single repetitions at convenient times throughout the day. For example, before giving your dog a tasty new chew bone, ask her to sit or lie down to earn it.
• Sounds: Dogs can moan, whine, whimper, bark excessively or howl when they’re anxious or afraid. These sounds may differ from their regular sounds. A dog’s whimper for a treat or a happy bark at hearing you come through the door may sound different than a noise made out of fear. Owners know when their dogs react differently to stimuli. The more time you spend with your dog, the easier it will be to spot fear-based reactions.
We really feel bad for her, because she isn’t a bad dog, her anxiety just takes over and we know this is not healthy for her. We don’t want to not take her out places either, because we also have another younger dog ( a pitbull mix) who acts very normal when out, and we would like to do things with them together. We would give endless amounts of desensitizing training as we are very eager to resolve this, but we are confused as to where to begin.
Do not allow your dog to bite you, even playfully. This sets a bad precedent and it will be difficult for you to break them of this habit. Dangerous, aggressive dogs will need special training from an experienced dog trainer. In some cases, a veterinary behaviorist will need to become involved. At no time should you take on an aggressive dog without the proper training. It is too dangerous.
Choose your dog's name wisely and be respectful of it. Of course you'll want to pick a name for your new puppy or dog that you love, but for the purposes of training it also helps to consider a short name ending with a strong consonant. This allows you to say his name so that he can always hear it clearly. A strong ending (i.e. Jasper, Jack, Ginger) perks up puppy ears—especially when you place a strong emphasize at the end.
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