Training should begin in a quiet environment with few distractions. The chosen reward should be highly motivating so that the puppy focuses entirely on the trainer and the reward. Although a small food treat generally works best, a favorite toy or a special dog treat might be more appealing. It might also be helpful to train the puppy just before a scheduled mealtime when it is at its hungriest. For difficult or headstrong puppies, the best way to ensure that the puppy will perform the desired behavior and respond appropriately to the command is to leave a leash attached and to use a head collar for additional control. In this way, you can prompt the puppy into the correct response if it does not immediately obey, and the pressure can be released as soon as the desired response is achieved.
Dogs are pack animals and knowing this will provide you with a huge advantage when training your pet. Basically, you need to let your dog know that you are the Alpha Dog. Encourage them to lick the backs of your hands and continuously rub their bellies. Whenever a dog reveals their belly, it means that they are submitting to you. Being the pack leader will ultimately make dog training sessions much more effective and less of a hassle.
She is calm in the car, and loves going in the car. Sometimes when we drive only a few blocks she will jump out but will not want to walk anywhere or leave the side of the car (in the evenings). And sometimes she won’t leave the car at all. But, if we go to the park in the evening she’s totally fine and will jump out and is ready to play at the park. Now we’ve been taking her to the park in the evenings. At the dog park we’ve been taking her to she has never experienced a thunderstorm.
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If your dog has been diagnosed with anxiety, you can also try to avoid or prevent situations that trigger your dog’s anxiety. For example, if you know that your dog grows anxious around large groups of dogs, you should avoid dog parks. Avoidance does not mean that you need to put your life on hold, but it can reduce some of the stress on you and your dog.
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.
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.
Your young puppy is totally reliant and dependent on you to help him habituate and fit into our human, domesticated world. Your guidance and leadership will determine what path his life takes and what type of dog he will become. During puppyhood you play the lead role and are responsible for shaping the character, temperament and behavior habits that your dog will carry throughout his life. Your puppy's future is in your capable hands...
Rewards can be simple, like a doggie treat or a good belly rub. Or they can be special, like playtime with doggie pals or a game of fetch. To teach him not to do something, ignore him or take away things he likes. For example, if he jumps up on you when he wants to play, show him it's not OK by turning away. When he sits down, shower him with attention.
Changing behavior takes time. You need to have realistic expectations about changing your dog’s behavior as well as how long it will take to change behaviors that you don’t like. Often behaviors which are “normal” doggie behaviors will take the most time such as barking, digging and jumping. You also need to consider how long your dog has rehearsed the behavior. For example, if you didn’t mind that your dog jumped up on people to say hi for the last seven years and now you decide that you don’t want him to do that anymore, that behavior will take a much longer time to undo than if you had addressed it when he was a pup. Remember it’s never too late to change the behavior some will just take longer than others.

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.


Submissive urination is a normal way for your puppy to demonstrate submissive behavior. Even a dog that is otherwise housetrained may leave dribbles and puddles of urine at your feet when greeting you. Excitement urination with a puppy is usually caused by lack of bladder control. The puppy is not aware that he is urinating; he's just excited and any punishment will only confuse him.
What you have described are exactly same symptoms as my dog. Lady came to my mom’s house one day from the desert. It was clear that someone had abandoned her because she still had on a dusty pink collar with the tags removed. My mom adopted her immediately and kept her for about two years before her she lost her house and partner to a fire. While in transition, my husband and I took Lady in and became so attached to her that she ultimately became a wonderful part of our family. We took her to the vet and found out that she is a German Shepherd/Lab mix and that the closest they can guess her age is “over ten”. She has been “over ten” for four years now. Due to her situation, she has always had some degree of separation anxiety. She also would get nervous during thunderstorms. However, during the last two weeks, her anxiety increased significantly. She started pacing around frequently. My husband and I are both teachers and were on break so we were rarely, if ever, away from the house at the same time. There are rarely thunderstorms in the middle of the winter here. Her anxiety seemed to come from somewhere we couldn’t identify, and it was constant. She has had a very hard time sleeping for the last couple of weeks. She gets into small spaces (corners) and shakes. She positions herself almost on top of me and just trembles. I took her to the vet earlier this week and she tried to find a source of pain that could be triggering the behavior. She couldn’t find any kind of issue that could be the cause of the increased anxiety. Lady does have arthritis, but she has been on pain medication for over a year now. The vet prescribed some valium and instructed me to change her diet slightly. She also administered a drug test and found that one of the kidney levels had jumped from the low normal range to the abnormal range (16 points) in the last year.
Step 1: Give the command to sit. After waiting five to eight seconds, go ahead and use the vocal command with a hand motion of your choice to tell your dog to be released from his sitting position. If you act excited while doing this, your dog should naturally release. When he does so, click and treat. Repeat this step until your dog is consistently releasing.
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.
Non-associative learning is a change in a response to a stimulus that does not involve associating the presented stimulus with another stimulus or event such as reward or punishment.[46] Habituation is non-associative learning. An example is where a dog that reacts excitedly to a door bell is subjected to repeated ringing without accompanying visitors, and stops reacting to the meaningless stimuli. It becomes habituated to the noise.[47] On the other side of habituation is sensitization. Some dogs' reactions to the stimuli become stronger instead of them habituating to the repeated stimuli or event.[48] Desensitization is the process of pairing positive experiences with an object, person, or situation that causes fear or anxiety.[49] Consistent exposure to the feared object in conjunction with rewards allows the animal to become less stressed, thereby becoming desensitized in the process. This type of training can be effective for dogs who are fearful of fireworks.[50]
5. Learn your dog’s body language. Your dog constantly communicates how she’s feeling, and the better you understand what she’s saying, the easier it can be to avoid stressful situations. Something that was fine for her last week might be too much for her to cope with today due to a phenomenon called trigger stacking (an increase in anxiety-related behaviors caused by the dog experiencing repeated stressful events without enough time in between for the associated stress hormones to leave her system). Avoid this by keeping an eye out for signs that tell you how your dog is feeling.
Dogs are probably the most "verbally" expressive of all domesticated animals, and this only adds to their charm. From the whine of a puppy to the angry growl of an adult, dogs mean what they say. The more you understand these signals, the happier you and your dog will be. At the same time, it's important to know which noises constitute an annoyance, and how to train your dog to stop making them. We'll offer suggestions on teaching a dog to stop barking in this section.
I have a Maltese Yorkie who has been diagnosed with anxiety, multiple vets want to medicate him, however this isn’t the way id like to deal with the problem. He doesn’t seem to have any real triggers he is just constantly anxious, in fact we have to keep the blinds shut because seeing outside causes him to bark nonstop and be unable to relax. Bentley licks compulsively and will not eat unless he chases a ball first, he will cry at the bowl until a ball is thrown. Recently he has also become unwilling to go outside unless a person goes with him (our other dog always goes and waits for him but he won’t leave the step without a human) on walks (which we go on twice a day) he is completely fine and happy. I’m not sure how to fix his anxious tendancies. I’m worried he is not as happy as he could be. Any advice out there would be great.
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.
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.

However, this is only a guess based on our online discussion. There could be other factors (environmental or otherwise), that I am not aware of. For a more accurate evaluation of the behavior, it may be best to consult with a good professional trainer or behaviorist. A good trainer will want to meet with the dog, read her body language, and observe the surrounding context.


Now once we arrive and she leaves the car is when it all goes downhill….She constantly whimpers and pants to the point of vomiting. She also gets an uncontrollable oral fixation issue that causes her to pick up anything she can fit in her mouth. Now this wouldn’t be that bad of an issue, however even if we give her a tennis ball, she will still try to pick up sticks that are 5 times her size, which causes her mouth to bleed. She has even tried to pick up fallen trees and has dragged them while crying because it hurts her mouth so bad. We try to intervene by focusing her attention on a more acceptable object, like a frisbee ,tennis ball or smaller stick but she becomes obsessive and will not leave the object of her desire, even if it is causing her pain until we leave the place we are at. During this time, her energy levels are through the roof and it affects the other dogs around her, and it causes her and them to become aggressive.
I have printed out much of what has been posted so can read it thoroughly. My Shiba, Keeta, suffers from anxiety. She is afraid of noises, Even if we acquaint her with it, it can come back to her and she sits and shakes. I have used the DAP collar, and my homeoapathy vet’s tranquility drops. I can understand thunder and lightening and shooting, but I don’t know what to do when she continues the fear and won’t let go of the anxiety when sounds and actions are gone for a long time. Also, after 5 years, she now shakes when we bathe her. Oh yes, we just completed a month long session with an ear infection; she would tuck her tail and shake every morning anticipating the treatment. We discovered she was gluten intolerant and she hasn’t had the ear infection in 4 years, but she got one. As I said I haven’t read everyth8ig thoroughly but would appreciate any comments.

However, this doesn't mean you can't teach many other breeds to protect your kids. The big thing you need to know is that there is a big difference between guard dogs and attack dogs. In this article, we are talking about guarding, not attacking. Just remember: training your dog to guard or protect your kids is going to take some time and patience. 

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6. Try medication. When I tell people, “My dog’s on Prozac,” most of them laugh; they think it’s a funny way of talking about her anxiety. It’s not: she really is on Prozac. Many of the same antidepressant medications that millions of humans use have been proven to help dogs with anxiety have the confidence to try new behaviors. A conversation with your vet is the first step on this route. Your vet can refer you to a veterinary behaviorist, a DVM who is knowledgeable about both training and medication; a vet behaviorist can give you a complete prescription tailored to your dog’s needs and, ideally, liaise with your trainer or applied animal behaviorist (a professional who specializes in dogs with behavioral problems but is not a vet).
When your dog is feeling anxious, it’ll be noticeable. You’ll come to be familiar with his behavior problems over time and know when to expect bigger moments of anxiousness. And symptoms are typically obvious. Dogs who are suffering from anxiety tend to bark more aggressively for longer periods of time. Your dog may also tear around the house, full of energy, and unable to settle down.
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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