Dr. Patricia McConnell recently spoke to Hannah Brannigan on her podcast about this subject. Dr. McConnell emphasized the importance of being a safe space for your puppy. Your puppy, she says, is actually likely to become braver more quickly if you offer backup. So go ahead, give your pup a cuddle during the next thunderstorm! It’ll help far more than it hurts.
In this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about the signs and symptoms of anxiety in dogs. With a little guidance, you will be able to tell if your dog is feeling stressed and learn ways to help them overcome it. By avoiding triggers and training them to react differently, you will be able to reduce their anxiety and exterminate those bad behaviors.
Most training schools are happy to allow you to attend and observe (leave Fido at home for this) a class or two to be sure the style of instruction fits with your beliefs. Dogs learn best through progressive reinforcement training; rewarding the dog for making the right choice and withholding rewards, or ignoring the dog for making an incorrect choice.

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.


One of the cornerstones of good health for your puppy is regular veterinary care. It is crucial that your puppy maintains a nutritional diet and exercise routine to stay healthy and balanced. Plus, your vet can advise on heartworm, and flea and tick preventative care. While a lot goes into keeping your puppy in good health, it all begins with the first visit to the vet.

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.
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However, a training class serves many functions. Trainers can demonstrate techniques and help guide you through the steps in training. They can help advise you on puppy training problems, and can help you advance your training to exercises that are more difficult. The puppy will be learning in a group situation, with some real life distractions. And, considering human nature, the pet owner who takes his or her dog to a puppy class will be forced to practice (do their homework) throughout the week if they do not want to fall behind by the next class. Finally, a training class is a good place to meet and talk to other new puppy owners and see how all puppies behave.
By far the most dangerous symptom of dog anxiety is aggression. This aggression can be targeted directly or indirectly, depending on the situation. Direct aggression occurs when a dog acts aggressively toward people or other animals. Indirect aggression can be equally dangerous, and often happens when a person comes between the dog and the source of the dog’s aggression, such as another dog. Even if a dog is prevented from harming others, aggressive behaviors such as growling or barking can lead to dangerous situations for humans and dogs, alike.
Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.
2. Make her visible. This might sound like the last thing you want to do with an anxious dog—I’ve certainly spent my share of time hiding around corners and not opening my door until I’ve checked that the coast is clear—but drawing attention to your dog’s anxiety is a good way to tell other people not to approach. Put a yellow ribbon on your dog’s leash, or buy a bandanna or harness that says “nervous” or “no dogs” and you’re giving people a heads-up without having to yell at them.
While training and socialization can have a huge effect on your puppy's behavior, you are still working with the tools that genetics gave you. Everything from stress on your puppy's grandparents to hormones in utero can change your puppy's genetics and brain - permanently. Unfortunately, love isn't enough to turn an undersocialized puppy into a confident Lassie-type. Even with the best training out there, dogs have genetic limits (and those limits can change based on hormones and stressful experiences).
In order to be certified as a therapy dog or emotional support dog, animals need to receive an evaluation/written designation from a licensed health professional: social worker, physician, psychiatrist typically. As for service dogs, which are allowed to accompany their owners into most businesses and pet-restricted areas, they can receive training, certifications, and registrations from several organizations such as TDI and United States Service Dog Registry. These certifications are not required by the Americans with Disabilities Act, but may streamline the process of getting a dog access to typically off-limits areas. Service dogs and therapy dogs are not the same thing. The same dog might fall into both categories, but therapy and emotional support animals are not recognized under the ADA.

After reading some of the articles and forums out there, I see that she is likely suffering from some kind of cognitive deficiency resulting from the loss/depletion of her senses and the early signs of kidney failure. As much as it pains me to say this, I realize that she may be suffering a great deal. I hate that she has to be drugged up on valium to have a decent quality of life. It breaks my heart. She is the sweetest dog I have ever had/encountered and I hate to see her going through this. We may be facing a tough decision in the next few days.
Is your goal to have your dog become a therapy dog? This specially designed 8-lesson course prepares you and your dog for their therapy dog testing and certification. We have had many of our former clients easily pass their therapy dog certification after our training program. The cost of this program is $950.00 (or 3 monthly payments of $338.83)). With successful completion of this program, we can evaluate and certify you and your dog through Therapy Pets Unlimited.
When your dog is relaxed, you can see it in his face. His eyes will be soft and rounded or possibly slightly squinted. The coloring of his eyes will be easily seen. He will hold his ears semierect and forward (unless he has floppy ears). When he interacts with a person, his ears may go back slightly, in a polite social gesture. His mouth will be relaxed — in fact, it may look like he’s smiling.
The cost of dog training varies by location, and also depends on whether training is one-on-one or group classes, and whether it is at a facility or in-home. Pet stores and non-specialized trainers cost between $70-150 for a multi-week beginner-training group class. Private training averages $60-70 per session. For dogs with aggression issues, private training costs may increase to $90-100 per session.
Keep in mind that all of this needs to be a positive experience for the dog. Working on this will help your dog listen when you’re at the dog park or if they are in the front yard off leash and you want them to come inside. Remember to only say the command once, so your dog learns to listen the first time. After your dog has mastered a standard length leash distance, try a longer lead (around 15-20 feet).
Begin doorway “wait”-training early. Teaching a dog to respect the threshold is important. You do not want a dog that runs out the door every time it opens — that could be dangerous for him. Doorway training doesn't need to happen every single time you go through a doorway. But you should make the most of your training opportunities early in your puppy's life.
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 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.
Choose a dog that fits your lifestyle. After centuries of breeding, the modern dog is one of the most varied species of animal on earth. While there’s probably a dog to suit every lifestyle, not all dogs will fit your specific needs. For example, if you like to relax, you should not get a Jack Russell Terrier, known for its constant barking and high energy.[2] Instead, you might want a bulldog that would much prefer to cuddle on the couch all day.[3] Research the personalities and care requirements of various breeds. Ask dog owners about their breed’s personality. Mixed breeds are also great options as they can contain personalities of various breeds you may be interested in
Anxiety, meanwhile, is the anticipation of future dangers from unknown or imagined origins that result in normal body reactions (known as physiologic reactions) associated with fear; most common visible behaviors are elimination (i.e., urination and/or passage of bowel movements), destruction, and excessive vocalization (i.e., barking, crying). Separation anxiety is the most common specific anxiety in companion dogs. When alone, the animal exhibits anxiety or excessive distress behaviors.
Strictly following the model set out in the Koehler Method of Dog Training, some 50 years later, the Koehler method continues to be taught in both class and private training formats. The method is based in the philosophy that a dog acts on its right to choose its actions. Koehler explained that a dog's learned behavior is an act of choice based on its own learning experience. When those choices are influenced by the expectation of reward, the behavior will most likely be repeated, and when those choices are influenced by the anticipation of punishment, they will most likely cease. Once the dog has learned that its choices result in comfort or discomfort it can be taught to make the correct decisions. Action→Memory→Desire encapsulates the learning pattern used by the method; the dog acts, remembers the consequences, and forms the desire to repeat or avoid those consequences. Adherents believe that once the behavior has been correctly taught, it should be performed, thus making any correction, fair, reasonable, and expected.[57] While the model has been used consistently since 1962, some of the punishment procedures described in the book are now not considered necessary, humane, or appropriate by many trainers.[23]
Discourage him from biting or nipping. Instead of scolding him, a great way to put off your mouthy canine is to pretend that you're in great pain when he's biting or nipping you. He'll be so surprised he's likely to stop immediately. If this doesn't work, try trading a chew toy for your hand or pant leg. The swap trick also works when he's into your favorite shoes. He'll prefer a toy or bone anyway. If all else fails, break up the biting behavior, and then just ignore him.
It may surprise you that dogs can become stressed or feel anxious in certain situations just like humans. But think about it, how many times have you seen a dog begin to desperately bark as soon as they lose sight of their owner? Other common signs of anxiety in dogs include trying to escape the yard or destroying the living room furniture as soon as their owners have left the building. It’s a lot more common of an issue than one might think.
Anxiety in dogs is often caused from sudden, unexpected activities or moments. If you have a routine for when it’s time to go to the veterinary office, board a plane, or anything else that may cause anxiety, it will help your dog prepare for what’s ahead and feel more secure. Extra hugs, playtime, and treats can help confirm that even if there is a situation they do not like, the time is only temporary.
When training is started at 7 to 8 weeks of age, use methods that rely on positive reinforcement and gentle teaching. Puppies have short attention spans, so training sessions should be brief, but should occur daily. Puppies can be taught to “sit,” “down,” and “stand” using a method called food-lure training. We use food treats to entice the dog to follow its nose into the proper positions for “sit,” “down,” “stand,” and “stay”.

There is no conclusive evidence showing exactly why dogs develop separation anxiety. However, because far more dogs who have been adopted from shelters have this behavior problem than those kept by a single family since puppyhood, it is believed that loss of an important person or group of people in a dog’s life can lead to separation anxiety. Other less dramatic changes can also trigger the disorder. The following is a list of situations that have been associated with development of separation anxiety.


Clicker training is a wonderful way to utilize the power of positive reinforcement. The clicker, a small device that makes a precise noise, effectively marks when your dog has performed the correct action that will pay off with a food reward. Once your dog has mastered the behavior, you can wean them off of the clicker and put it away until it’s time to teach something new. Clicker training can be used for everything from teaching the basics like “sit,” “down” and “come” to more complex behavioral modification for challenges like leash aggression.

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:
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!

Strictly following the model set out in the Koehler Method of Dog Training, some 50 years later, the Koehler method continues to be taught in both class and private training formats. The method is based in the philosophy that a dog acts on its right to choose its actions. Koehler explained that a dog's learned behavior is an act of choice based on its own learning experience. When those choices are influenced by the expectation of reward, the behavior will most likely be repeated, and when those choices are influenced by the anticipation of punishment, they will most likely cease. Once the dog has learned that its choices result in comfort or discomfort it can be taught to make the correct decisions. Action→Memory→Desire encapsulates the learning pattern used by the method; the dog acts, remembers the consequences, and forms the desire to repeat or avoid those consequences. Adherents believe that once the behavior has been correctly taught, it should be performed, thus making any correction, fair, reasonable, and expected.[57] While the model has been used consistently since 1962, some of the punishment procedures described in the book are now not considered necessary, humane, or appropriate by many trainers.[23]

In 1848 W. N. Hutchinson published his book Dog Breaking: The Most Expeditious, Certain and Easy Method, Whether Great Excellence or Only Mediocrity Be Required, With Odds and Ends for Those Who Love the Dog and the Gun. Primarily concerned with training hunting dogs such as pointers and setters, the book advocates a form of reward-based training, commenting on men who have "a strong arm and a hard heart to punish, but no temper and no head to instruct" and suggesting "Be to his virtues ever kind. Be to his faults a little blind."[6] Stephen Hammond, a writer for Forest and Stream magazine, advocated in his 1882 book Practical Training that hunting dogs be praised and rewarded with meat for doing the correct behavior.[7]
When I start to leash train my Husky puppy, I first do it in a safe environment, e.g. inside the house. In this way, she can slowly get used to the collar, the feel and weight of the leash, and me holding the leash. I make sure to desensitize her to the collar and leash, and I make sure that our leash training sessions are positive and very rewarding – with fun games, movement, and her favorite treats.
Bringing a young pup into our lives is a big responsibility and commitment to fulfill. Our puppies have a long list of requirements and deadlines that must be met for their well-being and longevity. Tasks like puppy house training, crate training, puppy socialization, leash training and basic obedience need to be addressed right from the very start.
Hi there, I have a Lasso Apso x Toy Poodle (Jethro) who, I think, is suffering from anxiety as he is very timid throughout the day, barking at every noise and anything outside the house especially people arriving at our neighbour’s house, or people coming to visit our house or even coming into our cul-de-sac. He can hear cars arriving from down the street, he is already growling as they begin to turn in the cup-de-sac. He constantly growls and chases our cat who he has grown up with. She is now 15 years old and he is making her life miserable. We also have an adorable 15 year old Cocker Spaniel who is not as energetic anymore, but they are best friends. The problem with Jethro is that he is becoming so unbearable timid at almost everything and very protective. He is now barking at any animal that appears on the television. To begin with it was just dogs, now it is any animal even cartoon animals. He almost rips the lounge chair by grabbing and shaking the cushion then rushing towards the television growing and barking constantly until there is a scene where the animal/s isn’t there. He has also begun barking and growling at some male characters. It is obvious that he dislikes males as these are his target if one comes anywhere near our house. He is ok when we take him for walks at the dog beach. He is well-behaved with other dogs and people although he does walk in a criss-cross pattern and is quite protective of our cocker spaniel if she wanders off. We have mentioned his anxiety to our vet and they thought is may be due to a urinary infection and took samples for testing but came back negative. We are concerned with the increased nature of his behaviour and worried that he may become so anxious that he may bite someone in the future. He is untrustworthy at present and we daren’t let him out the front of the house without being on a lead during the day. He is also nervous of particular items such as black bowl we have for his dry food. If he gets to the bottom of the bowl it sits and barks until we tip the biscuits out. He is also nervous of our garbage bin when it is in the dark or other strange or unusual objects that may come up. We noticed his behaviour change when he was less than 2 years, after we had renovations done. Builders were in and out of the house lot and not always with our supervision. His first fear was of the broom and he still hates it when I pick up the broom or start the vacuum cleaner. He runs from the room with his tail down. My feeling is that he may have been hit with the broom by the builders and thus his anxiety of the broom and also males… He does not respond to females with the same vengeance. He does not respond in the same way with family members either. He does however, growl and bar his teeth if he is curled up and doesn’t want to be picked up or touched. He has had a recent health check and the vet is not a good place for him, he runs and pulls to get out. He is stiff and hard to relax. I have used massage and music to keep him calm and taken him for longer walks. He is very energetic. Does he need more exercise? I am running out of ideas. He is a lovely little dog and it is distressing for all of us to think he may be suffering from anxiety.
Your hub is so informative. We had a dog for 17 years, 13 of which were filled with major separation & noise anxiety. It’s a tough situation to deal with because she would do anything she could to get out of the house/yard if we left her including digging, jumping fences, etc… Everything we tried, including bringing her with us, didn’t work because she would be so stressed. The only thing we found to help her was an herbal remedy called Aconitum Napellus. We bought it at Whole Foods and it made a significant difference. She’s in heaven now after a long life but the thunder jacket you wrote about looks like something we would have tried.

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.
To help my dog with his anxiety, I first try to identify the source of his anxiety. That is difficult to do without looking at the dog, his environment, routine, and other surrounding context. If I am not sure where the anxious behavior is coming from, I may visit with several good professional trainers. They can observe my dog, give me their opinion as to what is causing the anxiety, and why. Sometimes, I am too close to the problem, so it helps to get professional opinions from others.

If he's an older dog, he's probably used to his name; however, changing it isn't out of the question. If he's from a shelter, they may neglect to tell you that he has a temporary name assigned to him by staff. If he's from a breeder, he'll come to you with a long name, which you may want to shorten, or change. And if he's coming out of an abusive situation, a new name may represent a fresh start. But we're lucky: dogs are extremely adaptable. And soon enough, if you use it consistently, he will respond to his new name.
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