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I make sure not to expose my dog to situations which he cannot handle. This is important because I am trying to build up his confidence through desensitization and creating a calm environment. The more successes we have, the more confidence he will build. However, bad experiences will undermine that confidence and significantly set back our progress.
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.
The use of medications can be very helpful, especially for severe cases of separation anxiety. Some dogs are so distraught by any separation from their pet parents that treatment can’t be implemented without the help of medication. Anti-anxiety medication can help a dog tolerate some level of isolation without experiencing anxiety. It can also make treatment progress more quickly.
THERAPY DOG DEVELOPMENT: $950 – We can evaluate, train, and certify your dog to become a Therapy Dog! This program includes training equipment and 8 private lessons. The first 4 lessons will cover our Basic Obedience curriculum, and the last 4 lessons will specifically target therapy testing scenarios. (Your dog must be at least 1 year of age, and possess a calm temperament in order to obtain therapy certification) ***Be prepared to practice daily for at least 30 minutes and schedule lessons 1 week apart.***
Even if your pup gets the best start in life, he will still likely develop some “problem” behaviors as he grows up. We put the word “problem” in quotes because most of these behaviors are natural and normal dog behaviors, but they are not welcome in the human world. Behaviors like jumping on you as a gesture of affection, nipping at your hands as an invitation to play, and sniffing you in inappropriate places are all perfectly acceptable behaviors for dogs to do to other dogs.
"Fur & Feathers Pet Resort training program with Jennifer is awesome.  She explained everything in detail and then applied it to the dogs. She took the time to help me with our two dogs. The program was structured and hands on.  I was provided a detailed report and was given a comprehensive departure lesson and shown what was done during Heidi and Gunnar’s training stay." - Nancy, Oakland, FL
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!
Essentially, dogs learn to respond properly to basic commands in obedience class--and humans learn how to properly give those commands. Dogs and owners will also learn how to communicate with each other, and how to avoid distractions or disturbances from the outside. No matter which method of dog training is used, it is necessary to be consistent and committed in order to train a dog. Also, it’s important that a pet owner understand their dog’s temperament and hereditary factors, and find a class and method that is appropriate.

Puppies can begin very simple training starting as soon as they come home, usually around 8 weeks old. Always keep training sessions brief — just 5 to 10 minutes —and always end on a positive note. If your puppy is having trouble learning a new behavior, end the session by reviewing something he already knows and give him plenty of praise and a big reward for his success. If your puppy gets bored or frustrated, it will ultimately be counterproductive to learning.


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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.
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.

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.


I found that looking for alternative ways to connect with Sally outside of food, such as play, life rewards, and affection, deepened our relationship. I also found that thinking about Sally’s behavior and our quality of life more holistically, outside of simple obedience cues, helped me address some overwhelming issues that I wasn’t sure how to tackle at first, such as getting and keeping her attention in distracting situations.
If you are not able to stay at home with your puppy, you should make every effort to return home to take your puppy out to the bathroom every few hours or hire a dog walker who can do this for you. When you are not home, you should crate your puppy to prevent accidents throughout the house. As a general rule, any dog will be reluctant to relieve itself in the area where it sleeps, but this should not be used as an excuse to make your puppy hold it. The bladder of an 8-week old puppy is large enough to “hold it” for only three hours at a time.
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]
Choose the proper equipment. A 6-foot leash and flat collar or martingale collar may be all the you need to start, besides your treats. Consult a trainer for advice on other equipment like a “Promise Leader” head halter, a “No Pull” harness, a metal training collar, or other device. Puppies or small dogs generally do not need harsh equipment. Larger dogs may temporarily need specialized equipment (like the “Promise Leader”) to keep their focus.[4]
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.
Ultimately finding the right obedience training solution for you and your dog involves weighing out what you need, what you can afford and how your dog will react to a specific training solution. If you are unsure how to address your dogs training needs because they are a newer addition to your family, ask your vet for their advice. Often your vet will be able to assess just what your dog needs based on their experience with other dogs with similar behavior patterns.
AKC Canine Good Citizen (CGC) evaluators are another class of dog-training professionals. AKC CGC Evaluators may or may not be trainers or behaviorists, but are certified by the AKC to evaluate dogs in the Canine Good Citizen test. Training other behaviors and getting a dog used to being alone, for example, can help reduce separation anxiety. The root cause, however, would likely need to be determined by a behaviorist, who could then refer you to a trainer if he or she was not able to help with the training issues.
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.

Dogs that experience anxiety may display their stress in very different ways. Some symptoms, like panting or shaking, are subtle and can be easily missed or dismissed because they are normal in other circumstances. Other more noticeable symptoms include aggression and excessive barking. Pet owners may mistake such symptoms as their pet simply acting out due to boredom or other behavioral causes. But if these symptoms occur in common situations, like during a thunderstorm or when pet owners leave the house, it can indicate that the dog is responding to anxiousness and stressful feelings.


Remember that training is an ongoing process. You will never be completely finished. It is important to keep working on obedience training throughout the life of your dog. People who learn a language at a young age but stop speaking that language may forget much of it as they grow older. The same goes for your dog: use it or lose it. Running through even the most basic tricks and commands will help them stay fresh in your dog's mind. Plus, it's a great way to spend time with your dog.
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