Treating dogs with severe separation anxiety

Personal protection puppy training
My dog, Milo, loves to explore at the off-leash park but, when it's time to go home, it takes me 10 to 20 minutes to catch him to put him back on leash. Once your dog knows these games well in low distraction situations such as in the house, it’s time to graduate to more challenging scenarios outside. That first outdoor scenario may be in front of your house, at the park with few dogs, just outside the dog park or even inside the dog park. Step 1: The first step is to make sure that while your dog is still on her regular 6-foot leash, you can easily get her focus on you with the distractions.
For this portion of the training, use a long leash (15-20 feet) and attach it to your dogs’ flat collar or better yet, a front-attaching harness (such as the Easy-Walk harness or a Freedom Harness). Note that you can always inform the owner first that you are going to train their dog so he won’t crowd or jump on you and your dog. Here’s a video of my dog Jonesy heeling in order to have a chance to chase squirrels.
Now you have the tools to call your dog before she gets overly aroused or rushes the other dog, or before a dog has a chance to rush her.
Its incredible what you can do when you use clicker training and other positive methods- my betsy is no means a pro but I am still amazed at what she has achieved in such a short amount of time She has taught me so much! One of the proudest moments I’ve had with my dog was getting her to stop mid run and come back to me while she was chasing a rabbit. Your dogs recall is arguably the most important command you can teach, but it can also be one of the hardest commands to get reliably. Chasing that squirrel is highly rewarding to your dog, especially if they’ve got a high prey drive.
The trick to getting your dogs recall reliable is to assure them that they’re always making a positive choice, and with a lot of practice.
The more your practice using positive reinforcement and consistency the more reliable your dogs recall will be.
No matter how well you think your dog is trained certain situations are going to come up where it’s much safer to just keep them on a leash.
As stated above getting your dog enthusiastic about coming back to you can make recall much easier to teach.
I personally prefer a clicker because it enables you to respond at the exact moment your dog does the desired behavior with a distinct sound. Any toys that you designate as training tools should be kept separate and out of reach from your dog. If your dog was in the middle of doing something fun before you had him come to you give him his reward and then allow them to go back to what they were doing. Puppies love to follow moving objects so teaching them to come to you while you’re running around can be accomplished quite easily. Dogs that are trained with negative consequences or punishment get stressed out which can lead to other behavioral issues such as fearfulness or aggression. Some dogs love training – but even the most enthusiastic learners do best with breaks. It really is the best feeling in the world when you see the success of your hard work paying off right in front of you – running and wagging her tail enthusiastically the whole way back to you. When I was writing the part about not all doings being so eager to please and a bit tougher to train I had you in mind.
I personally haven’t had any experience with ant Spitz type breeds when it comes to training.

I love these tips and plan on reinforcing our recall, it’s thrilling when we can call them off something. Before dogs are allowed to be off-leash at any park, you should first train a fantastic come when called so that you can call them before they get too excited and before they are rude.
As an added benefit, this come when called will not only help your dog at the park but, because your dog will be less likely to get overly aroused or to spark an aggressive response from others dogs, it will also affect his behavior and response to dogs in other situations, such as when walking on leash.
These are the same dogs that will also crowd and jump on you when you have a toy or when you just look more interesting then their own humans. In between treats, reward your own dog so that your own dog is learning that good things happened when he’s polite around the other dog. Cattle Dog Publishing takes scientific principles of animal behavior and creates practical applications that are easy to understand and accessible for everyday use. It wasn’t easy, and there were frustrations but seeing your dog stop mid run and come right back to you enthusiastically made it all worth it. If I were that dog I’d much rather sniff that tree or roll in something smelly than come back to my angry, yelling owner. The more you actively play with your dog and engage them the more attentive they’ll be when it comes to training. You know your dog best – when they make the right choice and come to you make it worth their while with a high value treat or game. It can be quite exciting and liberating but there are still going to be occasions when it’s appropriate to keep your dog on leash.
If your unsure about your dogs reliability it’s always better to to keep them leashed to avoid potential dangers. Puppy in the middle is one of our favorite recall games; you and a partner practice calling your dog back and forth. Sometimes I found myself praising my dog with all sorts of words as she was coming back and eventually I could the positive effect of verbal praise being diminished. They’re learning by example and following around other members of the family comes naturally to them. If you can lay the foundation of a great recall with a young puppy it will be tremendously helpful for when they reach their rebellious teenage phase. Your dog needs to realize that not coming when called isn’t an option without being overly harsh. Everyone in your family should give a few minutes of their day to actively work on training the dog. After you have a reliable recall when it’s just you and the dog add in one distraction at a time. If you give in to your anger and yell or scold your dog they’re going to associate coming back to you with a negative consequence. The extra stress can interfere with their further training and ability to learn new behaviors. I just wrote about training the recall today on my blog after witnessing a man trying to get his dogs back after they broke out of their fenced-in area. We often forget that instinct over-rides training, so we have to work to reverse this by making training more fun and interesting than instinctual attractions. This last bit, where she is sometimes rewarded by doing whatever safe behavior she was enjoying before, can be really important when that activity is super high value because it teaches her that you won’t take her fun away, rather you are just creating an equally fun intermission. Our understanding and knowledge, and thus our training and teaching techniques, are always evolving.

Frustration and yelling seems to come so naturally to us when our dog doesn’t listen. I had to train myself to try new methods that were unfamiliar and learn more about dog behavior and motivation. By trying to be more interesting to our dog than that squirrel, and then punishing them when we do manage to get them back. Playing with your dog throughout the day helps them burn off some of that mental and physical energy and makes it easier for them to focus later on. Clearly communicate to your dog that coming to you was the best choice they’ve ever made. If your dog starts to show signs of growing bored pack it in for the day and start again tomorrow. Recall can be hard for certain dogs to master – it goes against their natural instinct to sniff, explore, or chase. Using positive reinforcement during training is clearly communicating with your dog that they’ve done exactly what is expected of them. If you talk to your dog a lot you might find the same is true – our words can mean less if we overuse them. Your dogs recall command is challenging to teach, the stakes are high, so the reinforcement needs to be exciting. You know your dog best, use the higher value rewards when working with new distractions or from a further distance.
Success comes in small steps and your dog needs to be trained in many different situations before you can expect them to come to you in a highly stimulating environment.
As long as it remains positive and consistent you should begin to notice your dog will start to reliably listen to every family member. Since I rarely let rita off leash anymore, I’ve gotten lazy about keeping up with her recall training. I just finished an article for my new blog on training a reliable recall, and I linked to your article for further reading.
If this level of distraction is too high, I can move to the side of the park where the dogs are far away. My goal is for my dog to think the exercise is so fun she always sprints to catch up to me. Our goal is to develop a habit that when she hears her name she just automatically turns and sprints to you without thinking.
Even the best trained dogs are going to find certain distractions more rewarding than their owners from time to time. It also makes it much more likely that they’ll repeat the desired behavior with repeated training sessions.
Training near distractions is often quite challenging – use a friend to your advantage by keeping the situation under control while they create distractions. And if you stick with this plan regularly, you can often train a fantastic come when called in just a week or two. The quickest to learn dog I ever trained, a working Great Pyrennees was totally focused on her job.

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