Treating dogs with severe separation anxiety

Personal protection puppy training
If you have a puppy or an adult who has never been leash trained, begin with short, positive sessions. If your dog has already formed the habit of pulling on his leash, you must convince him of two things: Pulling will not hasten his arrival at his goal, and walking politely will make you happy enough to reward him. You should be able to take your dog for a walk around the block or into a crowded veterinary office without having your legs wrapped up or your shoulder dislocated. Even if he’s a whirling dervish or major-league puller, there will be times when he stops the craziness enough to let the leash go slack. Give a treat every few steps at first, increasing the distance you walk between treats until he forms the habit of walking at your side without treats. In other words, when he pulls, rather than simply stopping, turn around and walk the other way.
Even a pint-sized pooch can take the fun out of a walk if he pulls, spins, and jerks you around, and good leash skills are also important for safety, both your dog’s and your own.


In the beginning you should have treats or some other reward for your dog, as well as your clicker if you use one to mark good behavior. It is a good idea, though, to teach your dog to stay on one side so that he doesn’t trip you as he runs back and forth. In other words, teach your dog that if he tries to pull you toward something, you will stop in your tracks. In either case, your best option is to take an obedience class or even a few private lessons from a qualified instructor who can help you get your dog under control. When he is properly leash trained, your dog will walk steadily on one side of you with the leash slack.
If your dog is determined to get where he wants to go, he may not notice right away that you are playing statue, but sooner or later he will either stop pulling or turn and look at you.
If his weaving or circling is wild enough to pose a risk, shorten your leash so that he has to stay on one side of you, and reward him when he does.


Like many other aspects of good training, teaching him to do this will require some time and effort, but the payoff is a dog who is a pleasure to walk. Simply hold your leash firmly, turn around, and walk at a normal speed in the other direction. You may have to spend a few days going for short, slow walks, but many dogs figure out very quickly that pulling slows progress rather than speeds it up.



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