Dogs can be really crazy, full of energy, running around with toys or each other…and that is all a normal part of being a dog. But there are times at home or out with your dog, that you need your dog to chill and relax so you can do your thing. Maybe you’re meeting for coffee at Starbucks or just trying to straighten the house before guests arrive – you need your dog to hang out, relax, be out of your way, and not have to worry about him or her. How do we get calm dogs? Well, we have to teach them to be calm.
How do we teach our dogs to be calm? It involves some basic obedience and then holding the dogs accountable for those commands.
First, teach your dog the place command. You can use a dog cot, a bath mat, a towel…anything with a boundary that the dog can easily identify. Have your dog do a down on the place bed. Build up the length of time that your dog stays on the place bed. Think of that time that the dog stays on place as a sort of doggy meditiation, where the dog can slow down his mind and relax his body.
Second, hold your dog accountable. This means that any time your dog steps off the place bed prior to being released by you, the dog should be corrected and put back on the place bed. When first learning, that will just be a “No” and guidance back on the place bed, but once the dog truly knows the command, then you can move to “No” and leash corrections. And remember, your dog shows you what level leash correction he or she needs. If you do a light correction, and the dog hops right back off the place bed, you need a stronger correction. But if you do that same light correction and your dog stays on the place bed, you have the correct correction level.
Calm Dogs Are Awesome!
When you show this kind of leadership, the dog learns that staying on the place bed is NON-NEGOTIABLE and that he or she should just relax and not worry about things until released from the place bed. The more consistently you hold your dog accountable, the more your dog will relax, knowing you’ve got things under control.
So back to our situation from the start: you need your dog, who is running around like crazy, to calm down so you can take care of things at home. You send your dog to the place bed. Your dog lies down and relaxes, knowing he or she has to stay there, no choices, until you are ready to release the dog. You can clean up the house, prepare dinner, do whatever needs to be done. With a calmer dog!!! Same thing out at the coffee shop. Put your dog in a down next to your chair, he will relax, you can enjoy coffee with friends while your dog hangs out.
Calm dogs can be included in so much more of your life than crazy dogs! They don’t have to be put in a crate or a back room so you can have peace and quiet! Hopefully you can use these tips in your life to create a calmer dog when you need it!
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