Treating dogs with severe separation anxiety

Personal protection puppy training
When a dog jumps up on a couch, chair, table, bed, stairs (whatever it may be) and growls when you come near him, touch him, or protest when you ask him to get down, the dog is telling you he owns it. When your dog, at his own free will, jumps up on a couch, chair, table, stairs, whatever he is claiming as his own, you are reinforcing his dominant state of mind.
You and all other humans in the house must claim this spot as your own, making humans the pack leaders. Some very dominant dogs, particularly little dogs, just can't handle being on furniture without considering that as proof of their ownership of the space. You do not necessarily have to ban your dog from the couch for life, but you must communicate to your dog when he is allowed to come up onto YOUR couch and when he cannot. Place yourself wherever your dog is claiming as his, for example, sit down on the couch with your arms and legs stretched out, making yourself bigger and covering more area. If your dog jumps up on the couch while you are not sitting on it, take the dog by his collar and lead him off the furniture, with the same calm assertiveness. When your dog is willingly lying in his new lower spot that you chose for him (such as his dog bed or blanket), you can toss him a treat.
If you wish to have your dog up on the couch with you, and you feel like you have this problem under control, YOU may invite HIM up to YOUR spot.
The number one way to communicate to a dog that you are his pack leader is to take him for a walk. When you leave the house or the room, even for a minute, ignore the dog for a few minutes upon your return.
You should not lie on the floor to watch TV when the dog is around and no one should roll around the floor playing with the dog, as a human should never put himself in an equal or lesser height position than the dog. You are the one who greets newcomers first, the dog is the last to get attention (the pack leader is the one who greets newcomers and lets the rest know when it is safe to greet the newcomer).
If a dog is lying in your path, do not walk around the dog, either make the dog move or step over the dog. During the time you are establishing your higher pack position, no hugs should be given to the dog by you, as a dominant dog may consider this a challenge of power.
Any attention given to the dog, including petting, should be given when the human decides attention is to be given (absolutely no petting when the dog nudges or paws you or your hand.
Very dominant dogs that have a problem with growling should not be allowed to lie on your furniture, as the leader of the pack always gets the most comfortable spot.
No tug-of-war, as this is a game of power and you may lose the game, giving the dog a reinforcement (in the dog's mind) of top dog. Small dogs or puppies that demand to be picked up or put down should not get what they want until they sit or do another acceptable quiet behavior.


Dogs should never be left unsupervised with children or anyone who cannot maintain leadership over the dog. To reinforce your position even more, you can make your dog lie down and stay there for 20 to 30 minutes a day.
By incorporating all these behaviors in his normal day your dog will realize that you, the human, are alpha over him and he is beneath you. Give the dog another spot in the room to lie on that is his own, such as a dog bed, blanket, pillow, open box or an open crate. If your dog, however, is already displaying this alpha role of protecting, you must ban him until he accepts you as his pack leader. There are very few dogs that actually want the alpha position, as the majority of puppies are not born leaders. Not the type of walk most humans take their dogs on but a pack walk, where the dog is made to heel beside or behind the human who is holding the lead. The children should give the dog commands at least once a day and reward with a treat when the command is followed. In the dog world the most comfortable place to sleep is reserved for the higher members of the pack. Obedience exercises and classes are great and very useful, however, obedience training alone does not address pack behavior problems. A dominant dog will often seek out high places to watch over his domain, claiming the place as his own.
After he has learned that the couch is YOURS, not HIS, then you can start inviting him back up. It's not that your dog cannot be up on the furniture, it just has to be on your terms, not his; YOU are the pack leader, not HIM.
Dogs must always go through the doorways and up and down stairs after the humans, as the leader of the pack always goes first.
Tell the children not to have staring contests with the dog, as if they avert or blink first, it will only reinforce, in the dog’s mind, that he is Top Dog. If a dog is allowed to sleep on the bed, the dog must be invited up and not be allowed to push the humans out of the way.
If you do decide to allow your dog on the furniture, you must be the one who decides when he is allowed up and you must be the one who decides when he is to get off, by inviting him up, and telling him to get down.
You should be able to handle or remove any item at all times from the dog with no problems from the dog.
A status such as this cannot just be given to someone, they have to earn that seat and your dog is, in his mind, earning it.


Make sure the spot you are directing him to is lower (height-wise) than the area he was previously claiming. The most important thing to remember is, you decide when he is allowed up and you decide when he is to get off, by inviting him up and telling him to get down.
A dog will see a stare-down as a challenge and if you avert your gaze first, your dog wins.
The only member of the pack that gets perks is the alpha dog, and since we cannot allow our dogs to be alphas, we need to make sure we communicate to our dog that we humans are the leaders.
A dog must not be allowed to sniff or eliminate anywhere he wishes, but where you allow him. There is no other way to happily coexist with dogs than for all humans to assume this role. If one of your dogs is not obeying, or is showing signs of dominance, you need to take control. The dog should be concentrating on following the human, not worrying about leading the way. He is telling you, as his subordinate, to leave the area, or to get his permission to be there.
He may have access to no chair, no couch, no furniture until all of his dominance issues are dealt with. This will escalate your problem as it will make your dog feel an even stronger need to be your leader.
Not only will this release built-up energy, but it will satisfy the dog's instinct to migrate which all dogs possess. Dogs that have excess energy bottled up inside them and taht do not have their migration instinct met will develop various instability issues that most people mistake for being breed traits. It is this weakness that triggers a dog to try and take over (for the good of the pack; the pack needs a strong leader). Be consistent and strict with this rule and you will see a huge change in your dog’s behavior.
You, as the human, own the furniture, and you, as the human, will decide who can and cannot sit on it, and when. When your dog calms down and waits patiently, (ears set back, head lowered even slightly, lying down is good if he is relaxed with his ears back, no signs of growling on his face) invite him to eat his food.



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