Dogs have a completely different language from people, which can contribute to misunderstandings and accidentally reinforce bad behaviour. If you are in a situation where your dog is acting extremely anxious, the instinct is to touch the dog gently and soothingly say "It's all right". This would be completely appropriate with a person. What a dog hears: this situation is not all right, and you are completelycorrect to be anxious."
Dogs look to us for social cues. So, for instance, if you are at the vet, and your dog is whining and staring at you, the best reaction is no eye contact, no words and certainly no touch until they demonstrate calmer behaviour.
We recommend all dog owners attend classes with professional trainers in order to better learn how to communicate with your dog and teach them good manners using positive reinforcement techniques.