We all want our four-legged friends to lead their happiest and healthiest lives possible. It can be hard for them to do that when their lives are ruled by fear and anxiety. Breaking these cycles and establishing new healthy habits is no easy task. It takes patience, dedication and a willingness to give your dog the very best of your attention and time.
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.
Regular exercise for your dog will prevent him from being destructive in your home. Dogs get bored. When they get bored, they find ways to "entertain" themselves. That may include chewing your favorite shoes, destroying furniture, or barking nonstop. Avoid this problem by taking them for regular walks (twice a day is best). And it's good for you too! “A tired dog is a good dog.” Exercise to the point of being tired is different for each individual.
A dog also used to become anxious when we leave the house. This is also called separation anxiety. I helped my dog with that by doing desensitization and counter-conditioning exercises. The important thing with desensitization however, is that I had to make sure to prevent panic attacks from recurring. Each panic attack will undermine my dog’s confidence, make him even more anxious, and his behavior will worsen.
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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.
A dog also used to become anxious when we leave the house. This is also called separation anxiety. I helped my dog with that by doing desensitization and counter-conditioning exercises. The important thing with desensitization however, is that I had to make sure to prevent panic attacks from recurring. Each panic attack will undermine my dog’s confidence, make him even more anxious, and his behavior will worsen.

Thank you for your reply. We took your advice and are keeping Bailey’s experiences with my husband very positive. Bailey always loved to share whatever my husband is eating, so he made a little Hansel and Gretel trail of sweet potato chips that led up to the sofa. This is working for now. We will continue to take things slowly and positive, letting Bailey set the pace within reason. Thanks again.


BASIC OBEDIENCE: $625 – Do you want full control of your dog? Our Basic Obedience Package will give you everything you need to have complete control of your dog outside, off leash, around distractions! This program includes training equipment and 4 private lessons covering the following commands: “Come”, “Sit”, “Extended Sit”, “Place”, “Extended Place”, “Heel”, “Down”, “Extended Down”, “Break”, and “Off”. Basic Obedience is ideal for dogs that are generally obedient except when distracted, dogs that are not obedient at all, fearful/anxious dogs, aggressive dogs, destructive/bored dogs, dogs that pull on a leash, etc. ***Be prepared to practice daily for at least 30 minutes and schedule lessons 1 week apart.***
Keep your training sessions short, consistent and always have fun. The key to shaping your puppy's behavior is to start out with very easy commands, continue to build on these successes and apply heaps of repetition. Base your puppy training sessions around trust and mutual respect rather than old school methods based on punishment, avoidance and harsh corrections. In this environment you will find that your puppy loves his training sessions and his confidence will grow with each and every session.

“Down” can be taught very similarly to “sit.” You can wait for your dog to lie down (beginning in a boring, small room such as a bathroom can help) and capture the behavior by reinforcing your dog with a treat when he lies down, giving him his release cue to stand back up (and encouragement with a lure if needed) and then waiting for him to lie down again. When he is quickly lying down after standing up, you can begin saying “down” right before he does so.
Scents can also help calm a dog's anxiety, and DAP is a popular option. It is a synthetic chemical that is based on a hormone produced by lactating female dogs that help keep her puppies calm and increase their bond with her. While scientific studies have shown that DAP does work with puppies, it isn't as clear if it works with anxious adult dogs. Even so, there is the possibility that it can help, and it can be one of several tools used to help an anxious dog. It come as a plug-in diffuser with vials that last about 30 days, and humans aren't able to smell it.
Don’t let your dog’s anxiety take control of your life. With the right treatment strategy, you can help your dog overcome his anxiety and prevent dangerous and destructive situations from happening in the first place. If you think your dog might have anxiety, talk to your veterinarian today about a treatment plan that best fits your dog and your lifestyle.

Once your dog can stay, you can gradually increase the distance. This is also true for the “sit.” The more solidly he learns it, the longer he can remain sitting. The key is to not expect too much, too soon. Training goals are achieved in increments, so you may need to slow down and focus on one thing at a time. To make sure the training “sticks,” sessions should be short and successful.


The most common form of anxiety is separation anxiety in dogs, which can occur when a dog is left alone for any period of time. Separation anxiety occurs when a dog or puppy develops a phobia from being left alone. Dogs suffering from this condition may develop behavioral issues and severe stress. Often, dogs who have been adopted from a kennel have either lost a loved one or have been previously mistreated, which has caused separation anxiety to surface later on when they’re older.
Playing with your dog must have many rules. You as leader start and stop playtime. Always have a special toy that only comes out when you decide to play.  Use some phrase like “let’s play” and get your dog jazzed up for one minute. Stop play and have your dog sit then “settle down” for about 30 seconds. Say “let’s play” again and get your dog excited for one minute. The more times you hype up your dog, then teach it to settle down during play, the easier it will be for you to settle it down in other situations.
Humans aren't the only species that can be calmed by soothing music, it can also help anxiety in dogs. Many owners leave a television or radio on when they leave the house to help a dog feel comforted. But there is also specialized music that one can play to help particularly anxious dogs. Through a Dog's Ear is a selection of music specifically aimed at calming nervous dogs. The website states, "The overarching psychoacoustic theory informing Through a Dog’s Ear is summed up in just two words — simple sound. This term refers to the process of minimizing intricate auditory information found in most music.
Some dogs suffering from separation anxiety become agitated when their guardians prepare to leave. Others seem anxious or depressed prior to their guardians’ departure or when their guardians aren’t present. Some try to prevent their guardians from leaving. Usually, right after a guardian leaves a dog with separation anxiety, the dog will begin barking and displaying other distress behaviors within a short time after being left alone—often within minutes. When the guardian returns home, the dog acts as though it’s been years since he’s seen his mom or dad!
No-pull harness The no-pull harness is worn on the body of the animal. The no-pull harness differs significantly from the standard harness since it makes it harder for the dog to pull because it distributes energy over the dog's back and shoulders. Like the head collar, the no-pull harness does not teach the dog not to pull, it only makes it harder for the dog to pull.
There is nothing inherently wrong with telling your dog “no,” except that it doesn’t give him enough information. Instead of telling your dog “no,” tell him what you want him to do. Dogs don’t generalize well, so if your dog jumps up on someone to say hello and you say no, he may jump higher or he may jump to the left side instead of the right. A better alternative would be to ask him to “sit.” Tell him what you want him to do in order to avoid confusion.
Aim to develop a behavior in our dog that reflects the harmonious partnership you both share. He should have enough confidence in himself and in your leadership. This way, he can be confident in situations, such as being left alone, because he knows that you will always provide the leadership and guidance required. He trusts and knows that you will come home.

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.***

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