Chico is a smart dog but very sensitive. He lacked confidence when I met him and it showed in his self-stimulation.
He had a wide variety of behaviors from whining, and barking to jumping up and believe it or not kicking people. He has learned two very important things though. Firstly he learned that there are other more polite ways to communicate what you want or need, and secondly that the world is not as frightening a place as he believed.
Building self reliance in a dog is one of the most effective way to change multiple annoying behaviors all at once. It can be effective in reducing barking, whining, scratching, chewing, destructive behavior, separation anxiety and a number of other things that are all centered around anxiety and unease. Dogs blossom when they are given the self confidence to be comfortable in their lives.
Having anxiety and fear every day makes it difficult for dogs to think about others or to learn and helping dogs to work through challenging situations builds both self confidence and increases their respect for you.