Training for the Anxious Dog

Anxiety is one of the most challenging issues to resolve. For most dog owners. Fortunately their is hope and you can. Help your dog get through it if you follow my advice.

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When your dog is fearful they believe something bad is going to happen. Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. It can affect your dogs entire nervous system if chronic and lead to negative physiological and behaviol changes such as reactivity, aggression, lack of appetite, poor digestion of food, lack of sleep, pacing, vocalizing, self harm and destructive behavior, and chonic stress. 

Anxiety can present in several ways

Travel anxiety (cars),

Separation Anxiety (leaving your dog alone),

Isolation Distress (trapped in an enclosure),

Social anxiety,

 Noise anxiety,

 and generalized anxiety disorders.


When working with an anxious dog we need to find out if your dog is generally anxious or if it is conditional. Once we establish the conditions around the anxious behavior we can begin to add predictability to your dogs routine.  We can set up training which gradually teaches your dog that nothing bad is going to happen and possible give them something to lool forward to.

Some of our tactics include:

Desensitization and Countercondition with short exposure and high value rewards,

Increased mental and physical stimulation,

adding routine,

increased/or decreased socialization,

veterinary medication support,

nutritional support,

positive reinforcement of alternate behaviors,

environmental managment,

calming and relaxation protocols.


Is this my first time meeting your dog?

Please start with an initial training consultation.

Choose in-person or virtual


Each in-person (private) training program starts with an initial consultation that typically lasts about 90 minutes. This first meeting allows me to get to know your pets better, experience the relationship dynamics and assess the environment for immediate considerations that may prove useful to improve your dogs’ behavior.


Like our in person consultation, this first meeting allows me to get to know your pets better, experience the relationship dynamics and assess the environment for immediate considerations that may prove useful to improve your pets’ behavior. This initial in person consultation is a little more talk than action.

Or for on-going training

Select one of them below


Our in person coaching programs are a fantastic choice for many pet owners who might need a more intimate approach, allowing me to show you professional training and behavior modification techniques in person. You will learn how to improve your technique and timing with me present.


Are you short on time or have a busy schedule? Do you want a faster paced program similar to a boot camp while allowing your dog to still live in the comfort of their own home? This is ideal as many off-site “bootcamps” have several different trainers working in a stressful environment with methods I often generally do not recommend.


Are you keeping your distance socially or outside my service area? Online virtual training is a great tool for a wide range of behavior issues and training goals. The main difference is that these visits are conducted over video through Zoom, Skype or Facetime via your home computer and cell phone.

Virtual Online Group Coaching

Is your furry friend making you pull your hair out with their anxious behavior when guests arrive? Does your dog suddenly transform into a “perfect angel” when the trainer is around, leaving you baffled? Look no further! Join me, Bryndon Golya, a Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), for a transformative virtual dog training experience

Frequently Asked Questions

Anxiety in dogs can manifest in various behaviors, physical symptoms, and changes in demeanor. Signs your dog is anxious include: excessive barking, pacing, trembling, destructive behaviors, excessive licking and chewing, hiding, changes in potty routines and marking, Diarrhea, inappetence, yawning and lip licking, and drooling.

It is possible to contribute to your dog’s anxiety but that is to be determined by a professional. If your home is too busy, You don’t sleep well, you are constantly stressed and your behavior is unpredictable or scary you may be part of the problem. If you don’t include enough mental and physical exercise or don’t meet your dog’s basic needs, anxiety is likely. Dogs who are never left at home alone may learn to be clingy and may have separation anxiety.

We can’t ask our dogs that but it is very likely the same. We share very similar neurobiology as our dogs and studies have shown correlation to causes for human and dog anxiety, aggression, and other behavior issues.

All behavior is determined by our immediate and past environments. Both what we experience around us and the internal environments in our bodies and minds. Behavior is respondent to the environment so that is the first place we usually look when addressing anxious behavior in dogs.

Yes, some breeds are more prone to anxiety but it can happen to any dog as anxiety comes from a variety of factors. The most common dog breeds who more typically show anxious behavior are likely the herding and working breeds. This happens mostly when their breed specific needs aren’t addressed. Dog’s bred to work closely with humans like labradors may suffer more from separation anxiety when left alone. Small vulnerable breeds like chihuahuas and yorkshire terriers often show anxiety more than others.

Sometimes genetics and early upbringing, coupled with early trauma can predict a dog who struggles with anxiety for life. This is not the case for the majority of dogs. With proper consideration of their needs, environmental management, diet, positive training strategies that include desensitization and counterconditioning and patience, your dog will very likely find it possible to relax in the world around them. 

What are the typical causes of anxiety in dogs, and can it be related to their past experiences?

Separation anxiety is one of the most challenging behaviors to remedy. It often takes weeks to months to resolve with a complex training plan that may involve many resources. For more specific information on treating this condition we highly recommend you seek out a CSAT( Certified Separation Anxiety Trainer)

Because anxiety of any kind can generalize to new places quickly, we advise you seek help sooner than later. Most of the time if left untreated anxiety will worsen. This could lead to aggressive behaviors as your dog doesn’t know what else they can do to reduce their uncertainty, frustration, and fear. 

While not always necessary, medication is often very helpful for dogs exhibiting anxiety. Medication is at the discretion of a veterinarian and should always be given with a behavioral treatment plan. In many cases a veterinary behaviorist may get involved for challenging cases. Fortunately,I have experience working with vets and vet behaviorists in a variety of behavior cases.

For other questions, call us at

(949) 836-6708