"Some clients cannot avoid provoking the dog's undesired behavior because they can never control the stimulus (e.g., thunderstorms) or they cannot always control the stimulus (e.g., leaving the house). However, they do not have to reinforce the dog's anxiety associated with those things. So we ask clients with dogs who are in stressed situations to not say to their dogs, "It's okay" Why not? Because the dog clearly does not think it's okay...and, by using a signal the dog associates with rewards, you may have inadvertently encouraged the anxiety."
- Karen Overall, University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine Behavior Clinic
Jeff Dentler, CPDT-KA, CTDI