Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How a Puppy Learns

How a Puppy Learns
  • Simply put, all canines are born with instinct to survive -- such as having razor sharp teeth to compensate for underdeveloped jaw muscle. 
  • In addition to their instincts they learn from classical and operant conditioning. 

Classical Conditioning:
  • This means they learn to associate one thing with another.
    • An example would be, the dog hears the can opener start and runs to the kitchen because past history has proven he is about to receive a can of dog food. The dog has come to learn one thing equals another.
    • Dog learns when the sound of the garage door goes up, it is followed by you entering the house.

Operant Conditioning:

    • This means the dog comes to learn one thing is the predictor that something else is likely to occur. Your dog comes to learn “what he does” has consequences.
      • Example: Dog runs and jumps on a trash can, paws at it until it falls over and chews on all that great stuff that tumbles out!

    Puppies also learn without our input. This means fair boundaries need to be set when your puppy is still young and cute. Doing so allows your puppy to learn what normal is and how pleasant things can be when he repeats wanted behaviors. When a puppy is small and cute things he does may not bother you, but those same things will be repeated when he is older and most likely will bother you then. The lesson to be learned is; what you want your puppy to do as an adult dog is what you patiently teach him to do as a puppy.

    The 4-possibilities

    Positive Reinforcement (R+)
    This involves giving the dog something he wants when the requested behavior is performed. EX: You say “sit” and the dog sits & receives a treat. This serves to increase the likelihood of the dog sitting in the future.

    Negative Reinforcement (R-)
    This involves the removal of something the dog doesn’t like when the requested behavior is performed. EX: You say “sit” the dog sits & pressure is removed from his hips. This also serves to increase the likelihood of the behavior being offered in the future.

    Positive Punishment (P+)
    This involves giving the dog something he does not like when the requested behavior is not performed. EX: You say “sit” and the dog lies down instead. The dog is pulled up by his collar until he sits. This is likely to decrease the down behavior, leaving only the sit, in the future.

    Negative Punishment (P-)
    This involves the removal of something the dog likes when he does not perform the requested behavior. EX: You ask the dog to sit, the dog lies down. You eat the treat that he was hoping to get. This is likely to decrease the down behavior, leaving only the sit, in the future.

    Examples of Positive Reinforcement (R+)

    • You ask the dog to “sit’, he sits and you give him a treat.
    • Dog jumps on you and you pet him.
    • Dog whines in the crate and you tell him to “be quiet and go to sleep”

    *Regardless of what you want or intend to teach your dog, you are strengthening all 3 of the above behaviors.

    Examples of Negative Reinforcement (R-)

    • You say “sit” and the dog sits. You stop choking him with a choke collar.
    • You say “sit” and the dog sits so you stop pushing on his hips.
    • You say “come” and the dog turns towards you and you stop shocking him with a shock collar. 

    *This course does not promote the use of intimidation nor physical punishment, but uses these as examples of negative reinforcement, (R-).

    Examples of Positive Punishment (P+)

    • Dog jumps on you and you put your knee into his chest.
    • Dog licks you and you smack the dog on the top of the head.
    • Dog trips you and you kick the dog.
    *This course does not promote the use of intimidation nor physical punishment, but uses these as examples of negative reinforcement, (P+).

    Examples of Negative Punishment (P-)

    • You ask the dog to sit, the dog lays down and you eat the treat the dog was anticipating on eating.
    • Dog jumps on you and you turn away form the dog.
    • Dog plays too rough and you walk away.

    Regardless of what you want or intend to teach your dog, you are decreasing the likelihood of the dog failing to sit, jumping and playing too rough.

    The 4-Stages of Learning

    • Acquisition -- acquiring the behavior
    • Fluency -- automatic performance of the behavior
    • Generalization -- applying the behavior in different environments and distractions
    • Maintenance -- always use it or lose it

    *Canine Companion, October 2009

    Monday, October 3, 2011

    Susan’s Tips for Improving the Quality of Life for Your Older Dog:

    Susan’s Tips for Improving the Quality of Life for Your Older Dog:

    1. Teach your dog hand signals for “come,” “sit,” “down,” “wait,” etc. When he/she is older and harder of hearing, this will help relieve possible anxiety that may arise from lack of communication. Limit your demands as your older dog as the dog knows best what position is most comfortable.

    2. Older dogs often do best laying on therapeutic beds. These are the one-piece form similar to the tempur-pedic mattress humans use for relief of discomfort. If you’re in a hot climate, consider a cooling dog bed; cold climates – look for heated dog beds.

    3. Train your dog to use steps or a ramp while young so the training is already in place when age dictates their use. These can be used for getting onto the bed as well as getting into a vehicle.

    4. Take a fresh look at ways to make things more convenient for your dog as he/she gets older and less able to get around. Dogs are stoic and often silently suffer with arthritis or sore joints, etc., long before we know it. Raising the food and water bowl (this is good for any large-chested dog to guard against bloat) may also make it easier for your aging dog to eat or drink. Smaller dogs may need their bowls lowered.

    5. Take a look at things from your dog’s point of view; get on all fours and look around. Make adjustments where necessary in order to allow their golden years to be more comfortable.

    6. One of the BEST things you can do is to keep your dog healthy and moving is feeding a high quality diet, keeping them well-exercised and at a good weight. Speak to your veterinarian about joint supplements to rebuild cartilage and improve comfort where possible. Obesity exacerbates many issues including arthritis and can make your dog’s final years uncomfortable.

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    The Jumping Dog or How to Lose Friends

    Canine Companion conducts dog training classes in Fort Wayne, Huntington and surrounding communities and behavior consulting nationwide. Along with their combined 30 years experience and endorsement by national organizations, the trainers are all graduates of Purdue University’s DOGS! Program and have earned the title of Certified Pet Dog Trainer through the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.

    The Jumping Dog or How to Lose Friends

    One of the cutest things is when a small puppy reaches up by jumping towards us. Friends almost always say in a baby like high pitched voice “Oh isn’t he cute” and “Oh it’s OK, I don’t mind”.

    Fast forward five months or more. The same friends who once thought your canine cute now has a look of terror or disgust upon seeing him bound towards them! The dog is excited to see people who once welcomed him and equally excited to meet new friends, before you know it his front paws are all over them. Where did the cuteness go? When your friends eye glasses are bent and hanging half off their heads, their clothes now sport muddy paw prints and worse, a big snag has been added to their outfit the cuteness is no more! Still worse is the five-year-old who ends up being knocked down and bumps his head. Gone are the days of the cute puppy who jumped to meet and greet everyone.

    It could have all been avoided by asking family, friends and all who stopped by to simply not interact with the puppy until he was calm and keeping all four feet on the floor. The good news is, even the old dog who has been jumping since puppyhood can be shown a better way of greeting people. Thank goodness it can be reversed!

    First we need to understand jumping from a dog’s point of view. Puppies while with their pack, jump into their mother’s face for many canine acceptable reasons, from food to submission it’s part of canine culture. We remove puppies from this canine culture placing them into our human culture. We talk to our puppy using baby like high pitched voices when we want to interact. This, in the canine world, tells the puppy you’re excited and want to play. The only reasonable action for the puppy is to become excited and jump into your face, just like he would have done to his canine mother. The puppy is only trying to let you know he too, is excited to be with you. Any behavior we encourage or reinforce will become stronger, from puppy jumping to barking and more. We unintentionally reinforce our puppies to perform unwanted behaviors as adult dogs and then wonder what went wrong.

    So how do you stop unwanted jumping? The first thing to do is stop encouraging the puppy or dog to jump by getting him excited. Upon coming home walk in the house without saying a word to the puppy or dog. Doing this communicates your coming home is no big deal and therefore he has no reason to get excited and start jumping. Go about your routine for 10 to 20-minutes and when your dog no longer seeks your attention, you may initiate interaction. Interact with your dog using a low pitched voice and calm words, which will keep the dog calm.

    The longer your dog has jumped the longer it will, most cases, take him to stop jumping. It’s no different than you trying to stop a bad habit. The longer you practiced the bad habit the longer it will take you to stop thinking about doing it again.  The second step is to cross your arms and turn your shoulder towards the dog whenever he jumps followed by once again facing the dog as soon as he puts four feet on the floor. Doing this tells the dog you will ignore him unless he has four feet on the floor. It will take time for him to problem solve what you want from him, so be quiet, patient and consistent. You must also be your dog’s advocate by insisting your family, friends and visitors do the same.

    Enlist the help of family and neighbors to speed up the training. Ask them to stop by with the purpose of ignoring your dog until he’s got four on the floor. All will be thankful as well as learning how to work with their own jumping dog.

    Tip of the week: When ending unwanted behaviors, increase exercise, which not only lessens his energy level, but also expands your dog’s world. The more he gets out, meeting people, places and things, the less excited he will be when the world enters his home. Also use food stuffed toys to redirect your dog’s attention when visitors stop by. 

    Bark questions to: Canine Companion, 11652 North - 825 West, Huntington, IN 46750 or email

    Copyright 2010 by Susan Sharpe

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011

    My Dog is Stubborn

    Canine Companion conducts dog training classes in Fort Wayne, Huntington, Columbia City and surrounding communities and behavior consulting nationwide. Along with their combined 30 years experience and endorsement by national organizations, the trainers are all graduates of Purdue University’s DOGS! Program and have earned the title of Certified Pet Dog Trainer through the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.

    “He is so stubborn” – trainers hear this statement on a daily basis. The truth is, dog’s do not have the same emotions that humans do, and stubbornness is a human response, not a dog reaction. They can, and often are, under-motivated. Why should he do what you have asked? Dogs are self-centered – what is in for the dog? No dog will follow cues “just to please you” – as many breeds may be described. They do it only because there is something rewarding in it for them. Sadly sometimes their reward is to escape punishment from their owner.

    First and foremost, find what your dog likes and use them for motivation. Some dogs love squeaky toys, tennis balls, tug toys or any number of toys. Not all dogs like the same types of games and toys, so you must find what your dog likes and then use these items as motivators for learning. Such as coming when called.

    All dogs like food, they must eat to stay alive, but not all food is created equal and not all dogs have the same food motivation. Some dogs enjoy their kibble; other dogs require a higher level of payoff (hotdogs, cheese, liver, tuna, etc.) to work well around distractions. Behavioral studies have proven dogs need a minimum of five different flavors to prevent habituation to the treat. This is no different than you eating your favorite food every day. It wouldn’t take long for it to lose its value. When your dog is outside and you call him, and he fails to come, he not being stubborn, he is just under-motivated. Think of your dog’s options when he is outside and hears your call. He can stay outside and keep barking at the neighbor’s dog, which is so much fun. Or he can come to you where you put him indoors with nothing to do. He is not being stubborn; he is weighing his options, which is more rewarding for him.

    You can also use praise and petting as a reward, but know on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the most rewarding) praise is rated a three. Most dogs don’t like to be hugged and kissed. If in doubt look in the mirror while hugging your dog to make sure he is enjoying it. Some dogs hate belly rubs – it makes them feel intimidated while others do enjoy it. Be sure the attention you use as a reward is actually something your dog enjoys, and not what you assume he enjoys. Most dogs hate to be patted on the top of the head, but that’s usually the first place people pet them. Find what your dog likes when it comes to petting, not what most humans would assume dogs like.

    When using reward-based training it is important to pair the right reward for the right conditions. For example when coming to you from across the room, a good scratch on the neck may be all you need, but when coming to you from across a field, the reward will need to have a bigger payoff in order for the dog to be motivated enough to come when called. The reward must have a high enough payoff to give up all those distractions and come to you. You must be the best thing going to win your dog’s attention.

    Reward based training instills in dogs there is always hope for great rewards when performing a cued behavior. When you produce a great reward as a surprise the dog comes to learn, sometimes he gets a fantastic reward and other times he gets a nice scratch on the neck.

    Keep your dog guessing so he continues to try harder and harder for the big win. In the case of coming when called, it means your dog will come, when cued, in hopes of that big incentive!

    Tip of the week: To learn more about reward based training, and finding out the types of rewards your dog may like best, find a positive reinforcement trainer in your area.

    Bark questions to: Canine Companion, 11652 North - 825 West, Huntington, IN 46750 or email  “Copyright 2010 by Susan Sharpe”

    Friday, September 2, 2011

    How To STOP Your Dog From Pulling On Leash

    Canine Companion conducts dog training classes in Fort Wayne, Huntington and surrounding communities and behavior consulting nationwide. Along with their combined 30 years experience and endorsement by national organizations, the trainers are all graduates of Purdue University’s DOGS! Program and have earned the title of Certified Pet Dog Trainer through the Association of Pet Dog Trainers.

    How To STOP Your Dog From Pulling On Leash

    Dogs pull for many reasons. They want to get to something at a faster pace then you do. They see, smell something interesting that you do not. They are excited to greet another dog, person, chase a squirrel, and fight another dog. The possibilities are almost unlimited; however, there is a gentle training method that can work on all the above reasons and more.

    Regardless of why your dog is pulling, what it wants when pulling is forward motion. You are the smarter one of the two, (measuring on a human IQ scale and not a dog’s IQ measuring scale) you really are, do not believe otherwise. Whenever the leash is tight, instantly stop and this prevents reinforcement, which strengthens the very thing you do not want your dog to do… pull. Stand still, do not talk, wait on your dog to problem solve what it takes, to once again, receive forward motion. Stand still until the dog shifts his weight backwards some dogs will move a foot backwards, but often the dog will turn his head back towards you creating slack in the leash. Whatever the reason, once the leash is not tight instantly give forward motion by walking forward. The definition of a tight lead is simple, it’s either extended straight out or its not. Hold your end of the leash at your waist to prevent your arm from being pulled away from your body giving the dog unintended forward motion. The length of the leash needs to be the same while teaching your dog to walk causally.

    The above is simple, but good timing and patience is required. When the dog backs off there is no pressure on the leash, if you fail to instantly give forward motion you are sending mixed signals to the dog.

    Finally you need to know dogs generalize slowly. Once they learn to walk nicely around you home, take them down the street, slowly and gradually adding new environments to teaching the loose lead walk. Regardless of the environments, stick with the program so your dog does not receive mixed signals. He cannot be expected to learn what you want if you are not consistent.

    Success always depends on the student’s teacher and like it or not, you are the teacher of your dog. Failure to have patience and good timing is your success or your failure, not that of your dog. If you remain with this method and are honest with your consistency, timing and patience, you will find your dog walking much nicer within a couple weeks and often within a day or two depending on how long your dog has pulled and the dog’s internal make up or prey drive.

    This method prevents placing the responsibility on the dog; dogs only do what they are born to do. Nothing more, nothing less, you need to accept the responsibility of teaching your dog, not punishing them for something you lack patience to properly train!

    Tip of the week: There is new equipment now available to help lesson opposition reflex (opposition reflex engages when the dog pulls and you pull back). Call us for more information concerning this newer equipment at 260.436.5556 or use a flat buckle collar. Always being mindful if the dog pulls, you instantly stop, stand still and be quiet, when the dog backs off, you instantly move forward!

    Bark questions to: Canine Companion, 11652 North - 825 West, Huntington, IN 46750 or email

     “Copyright 2010 by Susan Sharpe”

    Monday, August 8, 2011

    Anxiety Wrap Charity Foster Program proudly announces two more adoptions!

    SARINA, a 7-mo German Shepherd was relinquished to us because her person no longer could provide for her. While it was a very difficult decision for her previous owner, Sarina was placed with a family and lives the good life on a lake and goes for rides not only to run errands, but also in her new speed boat! Sarina found a forever home in paradise as she loves the water!

    ALI is a 3.5 yr-old English Lab. Sadly, her previous home wasn’t a good one. She lived outside in a pen with her buddy - a St. Bernard. When the St. Bernard passed away, they no longer wanted Ali. She endured this summer’s 100 plus temperatures and suffered the cold winter months of Indiana. Her entire life was spent in a 10’ x 20’ pen. Fortunately the previous owner called and asked if we would take her. She arrived at our Charity Foster Program needing to be spayed, vaccinated and treated for an ear infection. Ali was was placed with a loving family whose goal is to love and take care of her. She has a huge fenced backyard and enjoys daily walks and running errands with her new family. We’ve even heard reports that her new daddy is proudly showing her picture to his patients!

    Wednesday, June 29, 2011

    Make sure you have the Original Anxiety Wrap this storm season!

    Make sure you have the Original Anxiety Wrap® this storm season! We invented the category of pressure wraps in 2001 and are the only product invented by a professional dog trainer and patented.

    How Does The Original Anxiety Wrap® Compare to Other Pressure Wraps?

    We invented the category of Pressure Wraps 10 years ago! We believe The Anxiety Wrap provides the maximum amount of calming effect and comfort to the dog versus any other product on the market.

    Our product is specifically designed with a special blend of fabric to apply Maintained Pressure over an extended amount of a dog’s body and activate key acupressure points in complete comfort. Unlike other products, its continuous flexibility allows Maintained Pressure to move in every direction your dog does.

    The Original Anxiety Wrap is the ONLY pressure wrap that:
    • is patented (#6,820,574).
    • is invented by a professional dog trainer, Susan Sharpe, CPDT-KA.
    • uses two techniques: Maintained Pressure and Acupressure.
    • delivers more Maintained Pressure than any other product.

    The fabric is lightweight, breathable, comfortable and completely non-restrictive. It's so comfortable dogs can run agility and swim while wearing the Anxiety Wrap! We’ve never received negative reports from owners who left The Anxiety Wrap on their dogs unsupervised.

    Unlike other products, the Anxiety Wrap goes on over the dog’s head (like a t-shirt) because after 90 prototypes, we found this design applies more maintained pressure and utilizes more acupressure points which results in a greater calming effect.

    It is the only pressure wrap that comes with two straps that bring awareness to the dog's hindquarters where they often store stress and fear. The straps are detachable and adjustable to meet a dog's individual needs. And, unlike the others, the Anxiety Wrap may be used as a cooling agent in warm weather by wetting it in cool water and keeping it dampened.

    Used and recommended by veterinarians, dog trainers, behaviorists, groomers, shelters, rescue groups and dog kennel personnel in all 50 United States, Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, Spain, South Africa, Australia, and Hong Kong.

    We believe you’ll find The Anxiety Wrap works or we guarantee your money back!

    Ends/lessens: Thunderstorm fear, Separation Anxiety, Fireworks fear, Travel Anxiety, Jumping, Barking & More!
    877-652-1266 (US only) or 260-344-1217
    Animals Plus, LLC
    11652 North - 825 West
    Huntington, IN 46750
    Copyright 2011 Animals Plus, LLC

    Tuesday, June 7, 2011

    Original Anxiety Wrap is Awarded American Pet Association’s Five Star Approval

    The Original Anxiety Wrap® was awarded the American Pet Association’s (APA) Five Star Approval. The APA is one of the most respected approval organizations in the U.S. The Anxiety Wrap relieves storm fear in dogs and other fears/anxieties. It’s the only patented pressure wrap invented by a professional dog trainer and uses the techniques of Maintained Pressure (used with autistic children) and Acupressure to calm dogs. Susan Sharpe, inventor and certified dog trainer, also provides training tips.

    Huntington, IN (PRWEB) June 06, 2011

    The Original Anxiety Wrap® owned by Animals Plus, LLC, was awarded the coveted Five Star Product and Business Approval ratings from the American Pet Association (APA) today. APA provides the most ethical and reliable product, service, and business testing, inspection and feedback-based approvals for the pet industry and consumers. The Anxiety Wrap uses the techniques of Maintained Pressure and Acupressure to calm dogs and it is mainly used to relieve storm fear, separation and travel anxiety in dogs. It is the only patented pressure wrap on the market and was invented by Susan Sharpe, CPDT-KA, APDT, a certified professional dog trainer, in 2001.

    “We are absolutely thrilled to receive Five Star Approval from the American Pet Association,” comments Susan Sharpe, owner of Animals Plus, LLC, and co-owner of Canine Companion by Certified Trainers. “We’ve worked hard these past 10 years to maintain the Anxiety Wrap’s high quality level and deliver excellent customer service while expanding operations to meet increasing consumer demand. It’s rewarding to receive recognition of that accomplishment.”

    The timing of this award is notable as weather experts have recently announced the start of one of the worst summer storm seasons in history which can bring months of distress to thousands of dogs who suffer from storm fear. This is an issue where remedies are limited and consequences can be severe. The Humane Society of the United States said in their May 2010 article, “Fear Busters,” that, “left untreated, storm phobias can have disastrous consequences.” Owners who can’t find a solution may relinquish dogs to shelters or euthanize them. Panicked dogs cause damage to the home, injury to themselves and many bolt from home, ending up lost. Storm fear can be present from birth or can manifest suddenly in older dogs. Dogs can also transfer their fear of thunder and lightning to rain and wind that accompany a storm and can display panic during sunny days when the wind kicks up.

    "We are absolutely thrilled to receive Five Star Approval from the American Pet Association"

    Ms. Sharpe invented The Anxiety Wrap to help her clients' dogs remain calm during training or boarding. She utilized the technique of Maintained Pressure by putting T-shirts on dogs and started wrapping them with duct tape to apply more pressure to produce a greater calming effect. She studied Acupressure and incorporated that into the design. After 90 prototypes, she developed a comfortable, breathable “bodysuit” that a dog wears. The flexibility of the fabric, coupled with a snug fit, continuously reinforces the calming pressure as the animal moves about. While the method of Acupressure has been around for thousands of years, Maintained Pressure was first publicized by Dr. Temple Grandin, an autistic doctor who developed the "Hug Box," to help ease her own autistic symptoms.

    “Storm and fireworks fear are our biggest uses, followed by travel anxiety, separation anxiety, jumping and barking,” explains Ms. Sharpe. "Our 2010 unit sales increased 283% over 2009. While we’re thrilled to see our sales increase so dramatically, it's tremendously gratifying that thousands of dogs are happy and stress-free. That’s why we started our company ten years ago." The Anxiety Wrap, owned by Animals Plus, LLC, gives back through the Anxiety Wrap Charity Foster Program, whose staff rehabilitates, trains and finds loving homes for previously unwanted or un-trainable dogs. The Anxiety Wrap was successfully tested in a clinical trial at a world-renowned veterinary university (name forthcoming when results are published) and is currently involved in several other research trials.

    Susan Sharpe’s Tips to Manage Storm Fear
    The Anxiety Wrap is easy and safe to use. After one brief storm-free introduction, the owner simply applies The Anxiety Wrap whenever the dog indicates a storm is approaching. If the owner is leaving the house/going to sleep, he/she can put The Anxiety Wrap on the dog beforehand. Some dogs respond immediately and sleep through the storm while others may require more wearings or take 30 minutes or longer to take effect. Ms. Sharpe, a 25-year veteran dog trainer, certified by the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and co-owner of Canine Companion by Certified Trainers, offers three simple tips:

    One – Pinpoint the Cause of the Fear: Determine what part of the storm causes a dog to react. I.e., a dog that chases/barks at the lightning or thunder through the house might fare better in a covered crate while a radio or television plays nearby.

    Two – Find a Safe Place: Help a dog find a safe place such as a window-free closet or bathroom. As long as the occupants of the house are okay with the location and the dog remains calm without undergoing further trauma, it’s an acceptable solution.

    Three - Redirect: Redirect a dog's focus to help him let go of his perceived danger. One can walk a dog through the house on leash and ask him to perform learned behaviors or go up and down stairs, etc.

    Lastly – Remain Neutral: It’s very important to remain as neutral as possible. The latest information from top trainers says it’s okay to pet or reassure a dog that’s fearful as long as the owner remains calm and doesn’t raise his/her voice or anxiety level.

    One way to try and prevent thunderstorm fear from ever developing is to make the most out of that critical first year of puppyhood. Along with extensive socialization, Ms. Sharpe recommends playing ball or other fun activities with the puppy whenever a storm/loud noise occurs while the puppy is not showing any signs of fear and to reinforce this over the years. Many dogs have suddenly shown fear of storms at age seven and higher.

    Anxiety Wrap Information:
    The Anxiety Wrap holds U.S. patent no. 6,820,574 and created the category of “Pressure Wraps” in the pet industry when it launched in 2001. It has been featured on Animal Planet’s “It’s Me or The Dog” with trainer Victoria Stillwell, The Today Show with trainer Andrea Arden, The Wall Street Journal, and was noted as a “fear buster” in the Humane Society of the United States’ “All Animals” magazine. It was introduced at the 2002 AVMA Convention as a novel way to work with thunderstorm fear by Dr. Barbara Simpson. The Anxiety Wrap has received acclaim on radio, TV and in major trade magazines and its trademarked brand name is often used as a general term in the pet industry to describe all pressure wraps on the market. It is sold on various online and print pet catalogs as well as stand-alone pet stores across the United States and is used by pet owners, veterinarians, trainers, behaviorists and Tellington Touch Practitioners in all 50 U.S. states, Canada, Australia, U.K., Poland, Spain, South Africa, Mexico, Japan and Hong Kong.

    Bonus: Additional tips from Susan Sharpe to end storm fear.

    1. Turn the lights on to reduce the contrast between the strikes of lightning and the darkening skies.

    2. Gently place cotton ball in each hear to muffle the sound of the thunder.

    3. Turn on TV, radio or noisy fan to also muffle the sound of the thunder.

    4. Dampen the Anxiety Wrap to prevent the dog from feeling a static charge.

    5. If the dog can be crated (some dogs will panic) place a light cover over the crate to help block the lightning from being seen.

    6. Close the curtains to help prevent lightning from being seen.

    7. Make sure the dog can get into a dark closet or other windowless room.

    American Pet Association Information
    The American Pet Association (APA) was founded in 1991 and provides the most ethical and reliable product, service, and business testing, inspection and feedback-based approvals. They do not accept corporate donations or sell advertising on their web sites or newsletters. The approval fee is solely to cover the process of approval, and approval is never guaranteed. Consumers are encouraged to leave feedback for APA approved businesses and products and the APA will mediate any unresolved issues, free of charge.; and

    Friday, May 27, 2011

    Anxiety Wrap Recommended on Kasa TV's Interview With Fido Friendly Magazine

    Here's the Fido Friendly magazine write-up after the TV show mention of Anxiety Wrap:

    The Anxiety Wrap was invented by a professional dog trainer, helps dogs (& cats) overcome their fears and anxieties using the gentle technique of Maintained Pressure. In the $35 range. Put it on your dog and acclimate them before thunderstorms, separation, fireworks. My Dexter got used to this and wore it during non-stress times. Good for training a dog fearful of travel.

    You can watch the TV segment here: 

    If you're time-crunched, the discussion about Anxiety Wrap starts at the 3:28 mark.

    Monday, February 28, 2011

    King Charles Cavaliers in Anxiety Wrap Charity/Foster program

    King Charles Cavaliers Sadie Ann and Ginger Leigh were once puppy mill breeding stock. Today they continue to improve beyond what once was thought possible.  These dogs 5 & 6 yrs of age when released from a puppy mill and went to their first family less than one year ago. Although well intended their first adopters simply did not have the necessary knowledge of how to work through such severe issues and due to this their fears continued to grow. The dogs were than relinquished to the Anxiety Wrap Charity/Foster program. See their story on our video page at

    After spending a few months in our Charily/foster program they were adopted by a couple who continues to meet their needs. We are happy to report both dogs are excelling in their new home, Sadie Ann has become outgoing and never misses treat time. Ginger Leigh also loves her treats and continues to blossom.  She has gained enough confidence to demand her fair share of personal attention time!  Both dogs enjoy the winter's snow in addition to all the other wonderful benefits that comes with a knowledgeable and loving
    forever home.   We continue to wish them the very best!

    Tuesday, January 18, 2011

    WALL STREET JOURNAL "Putting the Squeeze on Doggie Anxiety" features Anxiety Wrap

    WALL STREET JOURNAL "Putting the Squeeze on Doggie Anxiety" article features Anxiety Wrap

    Here are a few excerpts from today's Wall Street Journal article...

    Pressure wraps are like a "therapeutic hug" for the dog, and create a calming effect similar to swaddling a baby, says Susan Sharpe, a dog trainer who invented the Anxiety Wrap, which sells for $36 from Animals Plus LLC, Huntingon, Ind.

    Per the article, Dr. Temple Grandin believes dog garments will likely be helpful sometimes, depending on the individual dog and she thinks pressure wraps are a good strategy to try for thunderstorms and other noise stresses.

    Read the entire Wall Street Journal article here.