Calmness is a concept that a lot of dog owners struggle with. But I want to assure you that dogs CAN be trained to learn how to be calm. There really is hope for EVERY dog.
In my previous blog ‘Can you teach a dog to be calm?’we talked about some key management steps you could take and the science behind it all. In this blog I’m going to give you my golden tips to supercharge that training!
Ditch the Routine
Dogs anticipating what is happening next creates a certain amount of stress in itself.
Ideally a dog shouldn’t know the exact time it is going for a walk, whether the car trip will result in a walk, whether picking up the lead results in a walk.
ALL of these things are little triggers in themselves that can unintentionally produce intense levels of excitement. A dog that doesn’t have a routine has far less struggles and is way more relaxed and calm.
Ditch the Bowl
It can sound crazy to anyone that has never tried it before, but If you use those 200 pieces of kibble throughout the day, to reward your dog whenever it is making a good choice to be calm, think how much your training is going to suddenly be boosted!
Our theory is that training is 24/7. If you ditch the bowl, you have lots of opportunities throughout the day to train. But in a super easy way!
You could reward your dog for sitting on a bed while you cook tea. Reward for all four feet on the floor. Reward for not barking at the door. Reward for ignoring that bird in the garden.
Your dog makes hundreds of good decisions throughout the day and if you capture as many of those as possible, you will supercharge your dog training.
Put the food into what you want the most of. If that’s calm, then reward ALL of those calm choices. The more you reward them, the more your dog will rehearse that behaviour.
Rehearse the room
If you want the lounge to be a calm place where you kick back and watch TV, then don’t play or train in there.
Rehearse the energy that you want in each room. Dogs are creatures of habit and rehearsal, if all you ever do is practice calm in the lounge with a chew, kong or bone, then that is what your dog will expect.
Calmness is one of the top things that people struggle with but hopefully this has given you some insight and something to start working with.
If you are struggling and want more help with calmness for your dog around the house, or even when out on a walk, then send me a message and lets chat. I can offer one to ones, residential training as well as training classes to get you back on track!