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DogTraining: A forum on dog training and behavior. Here you'll find content that will help you train your dogs. Dog training links, discussions and questions are encouraged and content related to other species is welcome too. This community is geared towards modern, force-free, science based methods and recommendations. Make sure you check out our WIKI for recommended resources and articles about common problems.


This is a forum on dog training and behavior that focuses on a least intrusive, minimally aversive approach.

The advice here is not a replacement for professional help. If your training is not fun and effective, or if you need additional help, then please find a certified trainer for assistance.


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2023/09/26 [Separation Anxiety Support Group]

Welcome to the fortnightly separation anxiety support group!

The mission of this post is to provide a constructive place to discuss your dog's progress and setbacks in conquering his/her separation anxiety. Feel free to post your fortnightly progress report, as well as any questions or tips you might have! We seek to provide a safe space to vent your frustrations as well, so feel free to express yourself.

We welcome both owners of dogs with separation anxiety and owners whose dogs have gotten better!


New to the subject of separation anxiety? A dog with separation anxiety is one who displays stress when the one or more family members leave. Separation anxiety can vary from light stress to separation panic but at the heart of the matter is distress.

Does this sound familiar? Lucky for you, this is a pretty common problem that many dog owners struggle with. It can feel isolating and frustrating, but we are here to help!



Don't Leave Me! Step-by-Step Help for Your Dog's Separation Anxiety by Nicole Wilde

Be Right Back!: How To Overcome Your Dog's Separation Anxiety And Regain Your Freedom by Julie Naismith

Separation Anxiety in Dogs: Next Generation Treatment Protocols and Practices by Malena DeMartini-Price

Online Articles/Blogs/Sites

Separation Anxiety (archived page from the ASPCA)

Pat Miller summary article on treating separation anxiety

Emily "kikopup" Larlham separation training tips


Using the Treat&Train to Solve Separation Anxiety

introducing an x-pen so the dog likes it (kikopup)



Online DIY courses:





Introduce your dog if you are new, and for those of you who have previously participated, make sure to tell us how your week has been!

1 Comment
12:00 UTC


Aggression over bone

I need some advice on what to do going forward.

Today I gave my dog a bone and she wanted me to pet her while she had it so I did. Then stopped for a second and got up cause my back was hurting. And started petting her with my foot shortly after. Except after about 5 seconds she went and full on bit me.

I’ve read a ton about resource guarding. I’ve done tons of treats and walking by and leave it training when she has a bones before. She’s been pretty good about it. I don’t always give her one and sometimes if I do she doesn’t want it, so I don’t know if that played apart.

I want to know if I need to continue doing training like that but after tonight it doesn’t seem like any training helped. I also except people to say “don’t give her a bone again” but I don’t want her to end up guarding something else.

03:20 UTC


Predatory drift….

I own a primitive rabbit hunting dog. Who often kills small game. I also own 2 smaller breed dogs (not tiny) but smaller then the other. Over the years there has been minor spats between dogs: Today was something different They had all had high energy, running in the house. My one dog yelped at the larger dog latched onto him. Thankfully I was right next to them, didn’t allow the shake and got him to release. It was only a few seconds but there was some minor punctures. Does this sound like predatory drift? Over stimulation? How can I prevent this from happening in the future?

02:46 UTC


Ban Dog Daddy from conducting classes in San Francisco & Sacramento

TW: Abuse

Mods, I hope this post is allowed, I didn't see anything in the wiki expressly saying it's not.

Please sign the petition to help us prevent abusive so-called dog trainer, Augusto Deoliveira from conducting workshops in San Francisco


22:58 UTC


2023/09/18 [Loose Leash Walking Virtual Workshop]

Welcome to the fortnightly loose leash walking virtual workshop!

Join us as we compete with the squirrels, cats, other dogs, fresh urine scents and things that go zoooooooom!


Articles (All have videos embedded)

Youtube (Many of these are videos which are embedded in the above articles)

See our page on leash reactivity for help managing and training dogs that bark and lunge while on leash.

APDT webinar

02:00 UTC


Rough play, separation anxiety, leash training. I’m overwhelmed.

I’m fostering a 1.5 year old Doberman. I’ve had him for 2.5 weeks. He’s an owner surrender.

The good: he’s a calm, sweet boy when he’s feeling secure. He is housebroken and was trained in basic commands and “crate trained” in the sense that he will go in his crate and sometimes does on his own. He’s very smart - classic Dobe, and he often learns new things after just two repetitions. He loves people and other dogs. I haven’t seen any aggression issues and have grown confident making introductions.

The bad: previous owners “wrestled” with him and used commands more as tricks that behavioural tools. Pushy play was rewarded, so he will jump, shove, and nip when a human refuses to play with him. Kennel was “time out” for bad behavior. He was encouraged to escalate and given no actual boundaries except time-outs in the kennel, has almost no self-control and doesn’t know how to self-regulate or keep himself busy without human interaction. When I did the surrender, he jumped on me and “mouthed” me non-stop for nearly and hour and a half. I recognized that there were probably a lot of factors that were increasing that behavior at that time, and that wasn’t an incorrect assessment; he hasn’t carried on like that in that volume or intensity since he’s been with me. But he still does it at times throughout the day and even a few seconds of it is almost guaranteed to leave a scratch, scrape, or bruise.

So, he jumps, lunges, pulls on the leash, and bites. He is extremely easily overstimulated - it’s rare that his threshold is low enough that we are able to engage in constructive training and, although we are working intensely on focusing on me and he is aware that it’s the desired behavior, some days we can barely get out the door before he becomes distracted and anxious. Add to this a solid case of separation anxiety. Not the worst I’ve ever seen, but the first and only time I left to go to the office, he barked for five hours straight and I came home to three notes on my door from neighbors.

What I’m doing: I’m a runner. He runs with me every morning, then gets some puzzle toy time or other nose work activity. Then he gets a bone that he is allowed to have in his kennel while I get ready. He is in doggy daycare right now since he can’t stay home. This is super expensive - I can do it for a while, but not long-term. In the afternoon, I take him for a walk/to a park/on some kind of outing for at least an hour and a half. We do several short training sessions throughout the evening.

For separation anxiety: I’m doing little tiny baby steps to condition and desensitize. He’s a smart boy - he’s making good progress in the evening, it’s slow-going in the morning.

For jumping/biting/pushy play: depends on how he acts and how quickly he escalates. If it’s really mild, I just walk away. If it’s moderate, I hold his collar until he calms and closes his mouth, give him a “yes, good boy,” and after I release, I give him a few seconds of play as a reward. This sometimes works right away, other times we have to do it repeatedly as he will come right back and nip or escalate rather than truly calm. My arms are covered in scrapes and bruises because he’s 95 lbs and I can’t always get ahold of him on the first try. I’ve never had it go on for more than a few minutes, but that’s enough to do some damage. Compounded because the mood usually strikes him a few times a day. I need to shut this down like.. yesterday. I’ve got a spray bottle that he hates for cases where it’s just plain out of control, but I need to train him out of it independently because he knows when I have it with me and when I don’t. We are also training on “leave it” intensely, and praising when he licks or is gentle. **using a house lead is a no-go. He loves chewing on and playing with leads. Even the really short one is somehow within his reach. Also, grabbing a short lead puts your hand in prime biting range.

For walks: using stops/starts/change directions on a longer lead works pretty well with some caveats: if he gets riled about the high engagement, he jumps, nips, grabs the lead and tugs. I’ve tried gentle leader, no pull harnesses, and I use a martingale high on his neck now. Because a large part of the issue is everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) around us being either scary or super exciting, I find the tools aren’t solutions. He needs to refocus. When he is focused on me and at an appropriate level of energy, he does really well.

The supplemental support: he’s got like eight different “calming” chews and supplements - this is a highly anxious dog. They don’t change his mental state at all, from what I can see. He started on a low dose of trazodone last week and it made a HUGE difference. He was able to listen and respond to corrections and to focus on me for minutes at a time rather than seconds. I was also able to walk out the door and be out for a solid 10 minutes one night.

All this said, I skipped the trazodone today since it’s a weekend and I’m able to work with him all day. Our morning walk was so bad I cried and I haven’t wanted to even look at him since we got back. He could barely focus, I felt like I barely had any opportunity to give him positive feedback, and he jumped and nipped and tugged several times. About mid-walk, he did something that I still haven’t figured out and slipped out of both his harness and his collar. He has never had that issue. I feel like all I did was damage the relationship and I am so upset I can barely look at him right now. My hands are swollen from the past few weeks of leash training. I’m covered in bruises and scrapes. I feel exhausted.

Does anyone have any encouragement or constructive tips?

I know this post makes him sounds like a nightmare, but he’s not. He hangs out with me or naps on the couch most of the day. He loves everyone he meets. He is so fun to work with when he’s in the sweet spot - fun and smart. I’m working so hard on getting him to a good place - I know he’ll be an unusually wonderful dog hen he gets there, but some of these issues are so intense or restrictive on our ability to live life that it feels overwhelming. Is this normal for working with a dog like this? Has anyone had success with a dog like this? How long should I expect it to be before we are coexisting fairly pleasantly?

18:52 UTC


Urgent help needed!! Dog-on-dog aggression

Hi, I dont really use Reddit but all my searching has come to a blank so I'm resorting to here.

I have two dogs in my household, both under 5 years old and female (neither neutered). Angel is a staffie and Dee is a presa canario (it says in her paperwork but I am not sure if she actually is). We didn't get them at the same time but got Dee 6 months after getting Angel because she was lonely and loved to be around other dogs.

The only issue we have had was food considering Angel is VERY food motivated (she is not aggressive when it comes to people, but gets aggressive when it comes to Dee. We separate them when they eat so they don't fight.) Dee has other issues but the one I'm talking about here is her most concerning.

Dee is territorial of the home, so when delivery or mail comes she goes mad and practically throws herself at the door and windows. Recently she started taking out her aggression on our other dog. She has yet to draw blood but I'm worried she may as it seems to be getting worse. I know her aggression is most likely out of fear, as she was in a crate her whole life before we got her from a shelter.

Angel doesn't understand the aggression and doesn't fight back, and when Dee starts displaying aggressive body language, Angel doesn't understand. I have to physically stand in the way of Angel when the mail comes so Dee doesn't go for her as she has never attacked or gone for me or other people, she will purposefully run past me or others just to get to Angel.

Dee isn't aggressive on walks, she only barks when people get too close at first until she realizes they aren't a threat and stops. She has never purposefully injured a person or another dog outside of the home. She has never bitten me or my parents or displayed any aggression towards us. Dee isn't even aggressive to Angel most of the time thought the day or night, they often even sleep together. But it's this one thing that sets her off and I'm worried that's going to be my make-or-break situation because it's really stressful to watch.

I've tried most things I could think of or have been recommended by others, water spray, loud noises, just letting her get on with it. But I've resorted to just putting her outside if she attacks Angel and ignoring her. I cannot rehome her because it is technically my parent's decision, and they don't seem to understand the seriousness of the situation as it is only me who has to deal with this (I work at night while they work in the day so I take care of the dogs though the daytime.)

We have plans to get bark alarms or just things that make high-frequency noises to use when she barks at people (as Angel doesn't react when we get mail), we also plan on getting a crate to see if it helps give her some security. I may try a vibrating collar as a distraction if the noises dont work.

Any advice is greatly appreciated. If this is the kind of thing I should take Dee to the vet or a professional trainer then please let me know, even if getting her neutered will help please just say. I just want what's best for these two and they deserve to be happy.

18:45 UTC


Front clip harness

Front clip harness

I've been working with my almost 6 month lab for the past 2-3 months on loose leash and we were still having a lot of issues with pulling at times & now that she's bigger it was getting really tough. A ton of posts on here & other pages all said to get the front clip. Before I would have to stop or pull her back when she wondered forward after treating, now she just stops & waits for me with very little leash pressure. Her reactivity is a lot better too, before she would go nuts hearing those dogs and pulling like crazy but I feel the front clip helps her focus on me more. At first I thought it was just coincidence & we were having a good day but after four days with it, best purchase I've made for her.

15:02 UTC


sheepdog doesn’t run away intentionally but wanders??

Sheep dog doesn’t run away but wanders?

My granda needed a new sheepdog so bought a 4/5yr old border collie called Shep. He is partially trained already but needs some work (any tips with that is appreciated). He doesn’t intentionally run away, but does wander when he isn’t tied up. Even the man selling him told us this.

This is making my 70yo granda frustrated and he’s about to return the dog because he finds it difficult to get him again (which i don’t want because i’ve become so attached!!!) it’s happened twice so far. please any advice is welcome.

He’s such a kind dog, the man selling him told us the owners before him abused him and now he is so so sweet and wouldn’t hurt a fly. But he’s not amazing as a sheepdog. Please help any way you can I really want my granda to keep this dog!

1 Comment
09:20 UTC


Younger dog fighting with geriatric dog

I have two 12 pound dogs--an almost 16 year old and an almost 1 year old. Both are female, and the older one (K) is spayed. The puppy (E) is just finishing her first heat. I've had each of them since they were 12 weeks old.

When I first brought home E she got along well with K. K would occasionally correct E when she got rambunctious, but I wasn't concerned.

But now the tables have turned. E will attack K for seemingly no reason. Neither dog gets injured--just covered in slobber--but I know the old girl is hurting. What's the best way to correct the situation?

1 Comment
07:15 UTC


Did I overstep?

My sister has a male pitbull mix dog, 1.5 yrs, 80lbs, neutered. They have raised it from a puppy, and have spent $1000s trying to train him. My sister and niece (10y) love this dog. He is good with people, but has a huge prey drive. Only my sister can handle him on walks, but just barely. They almost never walk him now. He is not food motivated, but does want to please people.

He was temporarily banned from daycare a few months ago after picking up a smaller dog in his mouth. There was no injury, but they want to be safe until he is better trained. This week he slipped through their fence when someone opened it and he went after another dog. He picked it up in his mouth again, and this time there was one small puncture wound. The other dog owner was nice about it, and just asked them to cover the vet bill.

They are going to meet with the trainer again to make a plan. I told her to take this very seriously. That the next incident could be much worse, and she should consider rescues that take dogs with bite histories. I want her to give up this dog immediately. It is causing her family so much stress and money, but they are willing to do anything to keep him. Am I overstepping? I am by no means a dog expert, and they have hired the best people they can find to train him. I am terrified of what could happen though.

Is there any hope for dogs like this?

04:17 UTC


Free feeding help

We have 2 dogs, a 2 year old Maremma sheepdog and a 1 year old black lab. When we got our Maremma we did the usual 2-3 square meals a day but she turned her nose up at it and would just graze at it throughout the day. She elected to go on a free feeding diet and that has worked just fine for her. Per her instincts, she usually tours the house on security rounds during the night and gets her meals during that time typically. She eats like a bird, but she's quite healthy.

Now...for the lab. Being the lab that he is, he tends to over eat but we managed to stay on top of his activity level and he seemed to maintain a healthy weight for a while. But our weather this summer has been exceedingly cold, wet and dismal and our walks/ball throwing have been averaging on the shorter side. Now he's gaining weight and is topping out at 94 pounds.

Since our maremma doesn't want to be put on a schedule but our Lab probably needs to be, how should we manage the transition? Should we train our lab to avoid her food dish which will be tantalizingly full of food, or just keep both empty until the evening and kennel the lab so that our Maremma can graze on her own during the night? She does sometimes eat during the day, it's sort of random.

1 Comment
01:15 UTC


Puppy training advice

Hello! First time dog owner. She is a lovely Goldendoodle and I want to be sure to train her now before she’s too big and reckless. Any good tips outside of the ordinary? Thanks in advance!

1 Comment
22:50 UTC


New dog lacks impulse control - first dog too passive

Hi folks!
We adopted a rescue two weeks ago, and so far things are /mostly/ okay. He's relatively low energy, which matches the energy of our other dog. They play really well together and listen to each other's cues very well. They share toys (most of the time...) and can also share chews. His leash walking has gotten significantly better in the two weeks we've had him, and he's close to loose leash walking the entire time. Also since having him he's learned sit, down, touch and leave it, though we're still heavily working on leave it, due to what I'll explain below.
He's from a hoarding situation from what we know, and he's showing behaviors indicative to neglect, especially around food and water. He is not trained at all, and we've had to teach him all of the basic manners. He's learning, and we can see some things working, but others are.... a bit concerning, I suppose.

He's not aggressively reactive by any stretch - no growling, barking, stiffening up, locked eyes... I can feed both dogs at the same time out of separate bowls, touch the bowls while they're eating, move around and such. But once he finishes his bowl, he basically just hurls himself towards her bowl. We stop him in time, and he absolutely gets the appropriate amount of food over the course of the day, but this is something we are working on.

With water, if our other dog starts drinking and he notices, he will race towards the water bowl to get to the water first. It's an immediate reaction and hard to stop, and he will push and pull until he gets to that water dish, even if we have him on a leash. He's DESPERATE to get to it. Again, no barking, growling, "standard" aggression. Just absolutely determined to get to that water. We have three water bowls inside, and another one outside, so there's no lack of water available.

All of this is one issue, but the biggest part of this is actually because our other dog is TOO passive. We've been struggling to get her to eat and drink normally since we got her 2 years ago, so the issue we're running into now is continuing her training and convincing her to eat / drink normally, while also inhibiting his impulse control. We have to take a LOT of time to convince her to eat and drink. Constantly have to guide her over to her water and food bowls. I can't see how she wouldn't need more of either - if we don't correct her and ask her to eat / drink, she will likely go for most of the day without doing either. So when the new guy interrupts her, or a lawnmower can be heard, or there are ANY distractions whatsoever, she just won't eat or drink. She won't go BACK to the resources after a distraction happens for quite a long time. She's not really food motivated, and she's stubborn. For an example, this morning, our neighbor was mowing the lawn, which meant she was too distracted to eat, which means she hasn't eaten yet today save for a handful of kibble we managed to convince her to take. Then when we were making breakfast, she went to have a drink of water, then the new dog noticed and pushed her aside to get his own (again; three water bowls available), and instead of going to one of the other bowls, she just decided to not drink. A half hour after that, we leashed the new guy, brought the water bowl into the hallway where she was sitting down, and had to sit there and convince her to drink.

I'm at a bit of a loss. We're not against getting a trainer by any means, and it's definitely on the horizon, but I figured I'd ask here too and see if anyone else happened to have run into an issue like this. I haven't seen a lot of resources online for convincing a dog to eat and drink, instead of the opposite situation, and trying to figure out that part of things while also trying to inhibit the impulses from the new dog who is VERY untrained for being a year and a half old.... struggle is real. We also do understand the idea of 3 days / 3 weeks / 3 months and understand that things will take time. But when it comes to the nutrition of the other dog, we'll take any advice we can get to get things rolling more efficiently.

Thanks so much!

19:20 UTC


Help: dog takes everythingggg outside

Hi, I’ve got a little over 1 year old golden retriever who we’ve recently started letting have access to outside while we are gone through a doggy door. It’s been great because he can come in & out as he pleases to use bath room, etc. BUT he has a new habit of taking everything outside with him. When we get home after work almost every single one of his toys is outside + a few other things like shoes, etc. if we forget to put them up. Thankfully he’s not one to really tear anything up but it’s getting annoying having to pick up stuff everyday. We’ve recently just been locking the doggy door so he can’t go outside but I’d love to figure how to train him out of this. Any tips on how to get train him not to do this? Thanks!

1 Comment
19:05 UTC


finally met another dog owner, how to socialize her shy dog to warm up to mine?

dogs are unpopular where I live, so my dog hasnt had a dog friend in nearly 3 years. the other day I finally met someone around my age who had a dog and we introduced our dogs to each other and just had our first playdate today. problem is, my dog is super super excited to play with her dog, but her dog is super shy.

theyre both 5 years old and near the same size, shih tzu mixes, with my dog being slightly bigger. didnt get them to interact, we just kept them both leashed in the same area, so they could get used to each others presence. my dog is super friendly and not rough when hes excited, cause he's lived with cats before, so theres no issue on our side, the more time they spend together the calmer he'll get.

main issue is the other dog. she is super shy, and while she doesnt seem to mind me, she hasnt warmed up to my dog at all. she isnt interested at all, for the most part she just ignores him. I was thinking next time we could go on a walk together so they can spend time together, but other than that im not sure what to do to get her to warm up to him. shes not interested in toys or treats either. what should we do?

18:23 UTC


Incompatible behavior ideas please

I recently inherited a five year old 90 lb lab from my uncle, who was abusive. For a dog with a history of living in a 8 x 10 kennel 24/7 that was never trained, socialized, or neutered, and was often hit and kicked, he's doing amazing. He's doing really well on the leash, he's responding to basic commands, and there's no sign of aggression whatsoever. I have him scheduled to be fixed.

Now that he's settling in, I'm starting to see some undesirable behaviors come out. Most have been reduced through regular exercise, which is great. However, pretty much every day for his entire life, his only human interaction involved him jumping up on my uncle and then being rewarded with lots of attention and yelling. Usually this happened at meal times, so those are trigger times for him. He kind of has sit (we're working on it) but it's not solid, and he's much more interested in pets and attention than treats. He is big and he is strong.

I want to teach him an incompatible behavior and be able to reward him with pets, but right now when he's in that excited state, as soon as he offers a sit and you go to pet him, he jumps up in your face. Same with lying down. I have the time and patience to keep ignoring/rewarding, but I also don't want to get my teeth knocked out by his big dumb skull. Does anyone have any suggestions for an incompatible behavior for jumping that isn't sit?

17:15 UTC


Tips to Help a Serial Packwalker?

My 10mo pup must walk in a pack of 3. It doesn’t matter whether it’s my boyfriend + me, one of us + a stranger or friend, or two friends — it must be at least 2 humans. She will normally lay down and refuse to walk any further than the edge of our front yard if only one human is with her. This makes it a bit difficult with a trainer we consulted with to observe and offer any feedback since she would count as the second human. Whenever my boyfriend’s traveling for an extended period of time this means I either have to find a friend who will trek out or she gets no walks (although one in 10 times she will be so full of energy after like 3 consecutive days and walk with me, though strictly sticking to our route). Taking her in the car to a new area works sometimes, but if she knows the place she’ll start to refuse again and also I cannot drive.

We’ve had her since she was 10weeks old. She’s a mutt, looks very herding breed, and is very submissive and affectionate, high energy, also a bit nervous at times. It took her until about 5months to even walk outside reliably because the car sounds freaked her out — to the point of refusing treats, overstimulated— even though we took her to places for pre-parvo-vax friendly socialization often from the day we got her.

Has anyone else had experience with this? How can we help with training her to be okay pack of two?

12:50 UTC


Two “yes” words

I have two dogs and I’m wondering if I should have different “yes” or “good boy” words for them.

I only walk them together about 50% of the time but I find that I’ll say “yes” to one dog doing the right thing while the other is doing something not so great and they both turn for a treat.

12:34 UTC


Do rescue personalities change over time?

Context: my girlfriend is currently fostering a dog. We basically live together and will officially soon. The dog is very sweet, a little over a year old, but was on the streets before and has not been trained. But he's very food motivated and does not have any really bad behaviors I have noticed, he just chews on things like shoes, towels, etc. He was very weak when we got him and is not socialized with other dogs yet because of this, but he is getting stronger and is starting to play with her older dog. Generally, he is a good little boy. But I've been told that rescues don't show their full personality for a few months and have heard stories of nice dogs becoming very naughty. She wants to adopt the dog but I am worried the dog we have now might not be what it really is. Is that actually true? I have no experience with rescues.

10:40 UTC


Any advice?

I have a 9month old male American bulldog. When we first got him, he was sleeping indoors in a spare room. He was peeing etc inside for some time but he grew out of this with time and patience. I finally saved up and got him a good quality dog kennel that will suit him now and also when he is older and bigger in size.

Now, I don’t want to write a mini bible about the problems I’m having with him , so I’ll make some points unless I need to go a bit further in detail.

  1. Rare these days, but still wees inside.

  2. He refuses to walk on a leash, and I mean by that he digs his paws into the ground/lies down and won’t budge. If I let him off the lead, he’ll run home. This won’t happen if I bring him somewhere a bit further from home but isn’t very maintainable for me due to college and work. I have no problem walking him everyday, but I just can’t travel to the countryside everyday.

  3. When put outside, he consistently barks until it clicks with him that nobody is in the kitchen, this has been going on for a long time now and has not got better.

Just to add: I am someone with great patience and really do love to see him grow, but I have never experienced these things with any of my previous dogs. I’ve thought about him having separation anxiety but he’s never stayed with any of us over night in any bedroom, ever. Even if we leave him in the kitchen with the back door open so he can go to the toilet freely, sometimes he still goes inside.

I really love him and hate the fact I can’t bring him for walks without needing a day off work, I’m just completely stuck about what I’m going to do. Any advice or help is appreciated. Thanks

09:44 UTC


Dog Wakes Me Up Every Morning around 4am to go Potty

Hello. My 3.5yr old border collie/Pyrenees mix has gotten in a habit of waking me up around 4am every day so she can go outside to potty. We usually let her out around 9:30pm as we're getting in bed and we limit her water at night. When we go to sleep, I have started emptying her water bowl altogether so she doesn't drink more.

I tried ignoring her once and it was fine, then the 2nd time I did she pee'd inside.

Any idea what we can do to break this habit?

1 Comment
08:25 UTC


Why does my dog bark at guests at the end of their visit?

We have had a dog for about 3 weeks now; a two year old terrier mix. Tonight we had a friend over he hadn’t met yet, and he was very comfortable with him the whole visit and didn’t have any issues at all. At the end of the night he got up to leave, around 10pm, and the dog started growling and barking at him and I had to hold him back. He barked until he left. Two weeks ago we had an almost identical situation with a different friend. What could be causing this?

1 Comment
05:17 UTC


correct response to dog firmly planting herself on the ground when obsessively sniffing?

i have a 1 year old cavapoo and im not sure what to do about her obsessive sniffing in order to stop it but also avoid reinforcing this behaviour.

she’s a small dog but she plants herself so strongly into the ground that it actually takes a lot of force for me to even attempt pulling her away. ive tried staying still and not moving until she lets up the tension on the leash but a lot of the time that ends up with her whole body nearly flat on the ground because she’s spread herself out to try to reach whatever it is. shes normally food driven but she could care less in those moments, same goes for me enthusiastically trying to show excitement get her attention and motivated to keep following me.

in normal situations im able to get her attention like when shes just casually sniffing or there are only small distractions. but nothing i try works in these obsessive moments. they happen at least a few times every outing so it’s starting to get more difficult to deal with. thanks for any tips or advice!

01:50 UTC


Advice on how to let my dog know he doesn't have to worry

So, my little guy was rescued as an emotional support animal for our other dog Luka after her packmates passed away. She could not deal with being alone. We found Fergus and introduced them and they really got on well so we adopted him. We joked about him being her esa but he really was in many ways. We had to say goodbye to her a little less than a month ago and it was extremely difficult. He had changed to where he was very protective of her at all times for a long time bc he knew she was dying of cancer or at least knew she was sick. There were little changes in his behavior for probably a full year that we didn't really notice until we knew she was very ill too. Hindsight is 20/20 and all.

He has been for most of his life extremely outgoing and friendly. Now, he feels nervous and barky around strangers or even people he knows but hasn't seen in a long time. He guarded Luka constantly when people came over while we were trying to treat her cancer. When she passed we took him with us and he got down on top of her and laid across her as she died and that was literally one of the most upsetting things my husband and I have ever seen. It wrecked us. I'm struggling to type it out now bc I'm still grieving.

He was getting better but I am 37 almost 38 weeks pregnant. Last Saturday I fell and broke my ankle and I noticed today when we had a maintenance person in our home that he is guarding me now. Growling and barking and shaking and standing over me. Now, I don't like this maintenance man, he makes me uncomfortable so that may be part of it. But I can see his stress and worry and I don't know how to tell him we are the ones there to protect him and that he can stand down. He isn't aggressive, no biting or anything. I just no he is worried and feels like it's his job to protect me. How can I let him know I'm ok. He knows I'm hurt. He keeps licking my foot that is broken. I just worry about his mental health bc so many changes have happened recently.

00:39 UTC


Shelter dog improper urination/poop

Tldr: Fostering an 11month old puppy looking to adopt, was told he was house trained but consistently peeing and pooping in house. Help

My family have recently decided to adopt a dog, and have specifically aimed for a shelter dog around a year old and potty trained. Having found a dog, 11 months old, we met and decided to try a foster for him before adopting.

Trig is a golden retriever + something, no DNA tests done. He is very timid, on 200mg of trazadon, but very sweet and seems to love our family. In fact the only thing keeping me from saying he's the perfect dog is the constant accidents.

The shelter vet had taken Trig home with them for training, he was originally set to be a support animal but that plan fell through, and said he was house broken and accident free with a potty break every 2-3 hours.

I take Trig out every 1-2 hours to go potty, with only a 50% success chance, and never successfully pooping outside. I praise and treat his successes and have avoided punishing accidents, but often when he comes back in from 30-45 minute long potty attempts he walks into the same area and pees/poops. I've cleaned the area thoroughly with a typical household cleaner and then again with a mop solution and mop.

It has been there days, am I too impatient? I have a 3yr old toddler I am also potty training and I'm afraid unless I can get Trig back to trained soon I'm going to have to give up the pet owner dream.

I appreciate any advice, -a new dog owner.

00:28 UTC


Dog won’t ring bell on her own

I have a 6-7 month old GSD mix that I just adopted about 6 weeks ago. We’ve really been working on potty training her properly because she was living in a nursing home and I think her previous owners had her going on puppy pads. Now that we’ve had her for a while she won’t have any accidents as long as we take her outside every 2-3 hours when she’s out and about in the house. Probably a month ago now I taught her how to ring a bell on the door to go out and she just hasn’t caught on. We taught her to ring the bell and she got that part and she will always ring it right before we go outside each time but now she will automatically ring it when we’re putting her leash on to go out but she won’t ring it to let us know she needs to go. because of that we’re still struggling with her having accidents in the house if we don’t watch the clock and walk her every few hours. I’m stressed because the vet I took her to told me that if she isn’t potty trained by now she’ll probably always have accidents. My other dog was super hard to potty train too but we eventually got it and she never learned the bell she just scratches at the door. Does anyone have any advice? What am I doing wrong? Do we need to just keep at it and eventually she’ll get it? How do we get her to make the connection?

1 Comment
23:45 UTC


Does this qualify as separation anxiety?

Firstly, I did see the resources pinned at the top of the sub and I have read some posts about separation anxiety but I still can’t decide if my dog has it or not as silly as it sounds.

My 2 year old corgi is perfectly content being left alone if he’s crated. Twice a week he is in his crate for a whole work day (minus a 30-40 minute walk at lunch). I don’t think his IQ is particularly high but I don’t think he’s so daft to think we are still home when crated.

Since I don’t love crating him that long I tried a handful of times leaving him in the apartment. He would howl and bark but it seemed less like anxiety and more like barking because he heard a noise. I live in an apartment though so the noises are endless. When we’re home he doesn’t mind the 4 year old stomping above us or the turning of keys, but he seems on high alert when we’re not home. I did try leaving on the TV but it didn’t seem to help. I can leave him alone to run the trash or get the mail, he seems to know though the difference between that and leaving in my car despite not having any windows for him to see out the front door.

He’s not overly clingy when we are home. He likes to be in the same room but doesn’t need to be. Currently as i’m typing this I have no idea where in the apartment he is. Point being, the only criteria he meets is the barking when we’re gone in the specific situation where he’s not in the crate. Are some dogs just not comfortable free in the house?

A little quick list of things i’ve tried too; leaving stuffed kongs, playing music, turning fans on, going for long walks before, confining to a smaller space within the house (that was worse). Since he is comfortable in the crate I don’t feel like there’s a rush…but I would love to have him comfortable in the house.

22:21 UTC


What is the connection between inability to ignore stuff and separation anxiety?

I have a 1.5yo sheepadoodle and recently realized he has a bit of separation anxiety (thought it was gone, but it may have never been really gone).

I know there's a lot of resources out there for separation anxiety but I have more of a theoretical question. The literature on SA recommends that as a first step, dogs should NOT feel like they have to be involved with all the goings-on in the house, whether you are grabbing your keys to leave, getting up from your desk, dropped something on the floor, etc.

While I can understand that this is helpful if you want your dog to be well-slept and calm, I don't see what it has to do with separation anxiety in particular. Separation anxiety is triggered by you not being at home, so how does desensitizing your dog to your "leaving routine" do anything other than make it a surprise when you do leave? And more generally, why is it good practice to not let dogs anticipate things in general (such as when they're about to get a walk), as it relates to separation anxiety?

Is the idea that you're trying to increase that baseline threshold of "ignore everything"? Or get them to practice calmness? Or in the case of the leaving routine, is it a way to coax them into "accidentally" staying calm while you're gone, until you come back?

For some context, my dog is easily excitable and pays attention to, and gets up for, pretty much anything, even when he's tired (he gets 2 walks daily). I just don't see what it has to do with SA, and would like to know before I start training.

18:35 UTC


Years ago my AmStaff killed a groundhog in my yard. He doesn’t really get to see other dogs often. He’s gentle and sweet with us and our kids. Do you think its safe for me to bring a new puppy into our home? I get scared when I flashback to that day. Will he know the difference?

Will he try to attack a puppy inside our home or will he know the difference?

1 Comment
15:14 UTC

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