Pets, like people, all have different personalities. Some dogs are adventurous, some are curious, and some are playful. There are dogs that love to sit on their owner’s laps, some who like to be surrounded by kids, and others who prefer the company of other animals. Some dogs may be nervous, and this anxiety can come across in a variety of ways. Dog training methods for anxious dogs is a much about treating the problem as it is teaching the dog new commands.
Who is teaching whom?
Dog training experts often say that training methods are more about teaching the owner how to understand and work with their pet as it is about teaching Rex to sit. New dog owners sometimes misunderstand their pet’s behavior and will try to reprimand the animal for typical canine conduct. Owners need to learn from their dog as much as the dog needs to learn from his owner.
One of the most important methods for calming nervous pets is to study their behavior and their environment. Try to determine the source of the anxiety and how the animal responds to it. Sometimes another pet in the household may be causing the reaction. A small dog in the household with a cat may be intimidated by the cat. This may sound strange, but it can happen.
Cats and dogs both have a pack order in the wild. If the cat is good sized and been in the household longer, they may consider themselves alpha and dominate the dog. The dog, because it isn’t aggressive, may become submissive to the cat. If the dog becomes too submissive, the cat may eat the dog’s food, not let the dog in certain areas of the house, or show other aggressive behaviors.
If this is the case, consulting a veterinarian or dog trainer can help the owner learn how to teach the dog to be more self-sufficient and to establish with both pets who is alpha in the home.
Behaviors of anxious pets can be excessive barking, submissive peeing, pulling on the leash, and even biting. Each of these behaviors can be dealt with using some basic training methods. If the dog barks constantly, especially when the owner doesn’t see anything, this can be considered alarm barking.
Alarm barking often occurs when the dog hears a noise but can’t see the source. Alternatively, they may bark at everything in sight hoping to sound fierce when they are frightened. In this case, the dog needs to be calmed and trained to stop barking.
If the dog starts barking, the owner should make him sit, stroke, and talk to the animal until it calms down. Once it is calm, praise him and perhaps offer him a treat. They will then learn that the owner wants them to relax. Once they learn to settle down on their own when they hear noises outside, the owner can work on the « quiet » command to get them to stop barking.
They need a leader
A leader of a pack protects its members as well as tells them what to do or not to do. Dogs need to be able to understand that owners will protect him and take care of them. Showing the pet that they are the alpha by being calm, firm and assertive will help calm the animal’s anxiety and remove some of the unwelcome behaviors they exhibit.
Dog training methods for anxious animals vary depending on the source of the their anxiety and the type of behaviors they exhibit. If the person is a first-time dog owner, they may want to seek professional help when training an anxious pet. Researching local dog trainers and asking on online forums may help the owner learn how to help their nervous friend.