Treating dogs with severe separation anxiety

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There are many reasons why dogs pull on leashes, with the biggest reason being that they are simply excited!  Dogs need to get out of the house on a regular basis in order to get exercise and to stimulate their minds.  Going for walks also gives them opportunities for socialization and to familiarize themselves with their neighborhood, essentially creating a visual and a scent-based map in their mind so they can find home if they ever get lost. First, begin by walking by controlling the length of the leash with your left hand and looping the handle around your right wrist for safety. If your dog rushes forward and pulls, IMMEDIATELY stop walking (even if you are in mid-stride) and do not move an inch until your dog comes back to you and the tension goes away.  The SPLIT SECOND that tension disappears, continue your walk. You can even use treats to reward your dog when they come back to walk nicely at your side!
If you feel uncomfortable with your dog meeting strangers, it’s OK to tell them you would prefer they not meet your dog right now. With consistent hard work, you and your dog should be walking in sync in no time!  Once your dog is walking nicely on the leash, I encourage you to start opening up your dog’s world by taking them to new places and introducing them to as many people and dogs as you can.
Hi Cathy and Charles, I’m sending your behavior question on to Jessica as a topic for a future blog.
Hi Nicole, Your dog probably has behavior problems because his previous owners didn’t take time to train him. Hi Hilary: It sounds like your puppy just needs some more work and positive reinforcement on leash training. Along your walk, bring with you something spectacular (such as a squeaky tennis ball, a rope toy, or just some attention could do just fine!). Counter your dog’s excitement with slow steps and as much eye contact as you can get.
Whether your dog already pulls on the leash during walks, or you have a new puppy who you would like to teach to walk politely before a problem starts, the tips in this blog will help your dog become a great walking companion.
The goal is to set your dog up to be able to do something correctly that you can reward him for. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
You know that your precious pooch would never stray out of your sight during your nightly walk. Some cities and counties in California, such as the town of Livermore, do not require leashes for dogs who are under voice control by their owners.
The penalties for failing to follow dog leash laws vary just as widely as the laws themselves.

Punishment and pain can also lead to an escalation of bad behavior and in some cases even aggression toward the owner. However, your dog has to be taught that the clicker means something, clicking alone is not reinforcing, you must teach your dog what the clicker means.
Leash training, like most dog obedience training is less problematic if we can break it down into straight forward, manageable steps. Scheduling multiple training sessions throughout the day will help your dog learn more quickly because dogs like schedules and he will look forward with happy anticipation until you can go out again!
Moving forward is the reward for walking without pulling, so your dog will only get to continue the walk when there is no tension on the leash what-so-ever. If the dog resumes pulling, turn around and repeat the process, essentially playing “Doggie Yo-Yo”.  This teaches your dog that the more he carries on and behaves inappropriately, the further away he gets from what he wants, and the better behaved he is, the closer he gets!
It should be tight enough so that you can only slip 2 fingers underneath it (not 3 or 4 or your whole hand). A dog that is exposed to the world they live in will be a more confident, emotionally healthy and happy dog in the long run. It sounds like your dog needs some active training because something is not totally clicking. I believe it might be defensive, as she was kept in a cage for many hrs a day around other dogs who would torment her. I always stop when she pulls and she will quickly come back to my side, or sit down and wait for me to start walking again – which is great! She is potty trained, but has these strange small accidents where she doesn’t even squat to go but pees in the air while walking! For some dogs that already pull on the leash when walking, this might mean simply not sprinting ahead when you take one step forward. If your dog needs exercise and is not able to get it in another way, consider purchasing a Sense-ation, Sense-ible, or EZ Walk harness (these all clip in the front instead of the back to prevent pulling) that gently and humanely help prevent most dogs from pulling while walking.  Purchasing a harness may or may not be a permanent solution for your dog depending on your goals for his walking skills, and you will likely want to continue working on rewarding his calm and focused behaviors since these will still be very important with or without the harness in the face of distractions. It is important to follow dog leash laws in California, however, to keep your pup safe and to protect your neighbors.
In Long Beach, for example, leash laws require owners and handlers to use a leash no longer than 8 feet.
If your dog is patrolling your backyard fence in search of wayward squirrels, for example, no leash is necessary.

Others, such as Sacramento, waive dog leash laws if the pooch is currently in a training program or has completed obedience school. You might be subject to state, county and city ordinances, so contact your local animal control office or dog rescue center to learn which laws are applicable in your town.
I believe all dog should be trained well enough to be walked on a buckle collar or harness alone, no dog training collar to over-use or rely on! Skinner one of the leading researchers on reinforcement found that positive reinforcement is superior to punishment in altering behavior because positive reinforcement results in lasting behavioral modification and punishment changes behavior only temporarily and presents many detrimental side effects. BUT, as soon as I take a single step, she bolts forward, sometimes so hard that she tumbles when she gets to the end of the leash (I use the easy walk, front attaching, harness). For others, this might mean you reward for any time he looks at you, or for walking a step forward with you. This ordinance ensures that unconfined dogs remain under the control of their dutiful owners. These jurisdictions assume that responsible pet owners who enroll their dogs in training will be able to use verbal commands to stop their canine companions from misbehaving in public. Dog parks, for example, provide citizens with a place to let their dogs run free and socialize with each other. In Sacramento County, for example, even retractable leashes must be 6 feet long or shorter. Once you leave one of these designated areas, clip the leash back on until you return home.
This means that you cannot use an 8-foot retractable leash even if you keep it 6 feet long. If your dog is still peeing in the house, you aren’t finished with the housebreaking process. Try to be more exciting to your dog than all of the other potential distractions (amazing-smelling bushes, other dogs, humans, dirt, grass – the usual).

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