Get a calmer dog in just 7 days!
By Sarah Groves Dog Training - your puppy training specialist covering Neath, Port Talbot and Swansea
Do you sometimes wish that your dog would relax just for a little longer, would listen better or simply make better choices through the day?
Calmness in dogs is one of the first things I teach when working with my dog owners.
We can't get TOO much calm from a dog or puppy - right?
Once we build calm, we are more likely to get a dog who makes better choices simply because they are in much better mind set to be able to think, listen and learn!
Here are a 4 strategies that you can put into place TODAY to get a dog who is calmer within 7 days!
Calming strategy #1 - look at your dog's daily routine and write down events that cause EXCITEMENT or STRESS
Exciting or stressful events create an adrenaline surge in the body, contributing to restless behaviour.
Create diary of your dog's events through the day and notice any patterns to when your dog might be more restless.
Activities and events which generally contribute to this adrenaline surge includes:
- Lots of exercise
- Lots of chasing and chatching a ball
- Scary events - e.g getting spooked at traffic/the postman/people/dogs
- Excitement to see people
- Lots of play with other dogs
.... And the list could go on
Cutting out, changing or reducing the frequency of these events will make a big difference.
Calming strategy #2 - get your dog's brain working!
Providing your dog with mental stimulation and enrichment will do the world of good!
Not only will this keep your dog from getting into trouble and finding their own thing to do, enrichment activities that involve licking, sniffing and using the brain to figure things out will help to promote calm.
Check out my enrichment article HERE to give you some ideas of what you can do to keep your dog's brain ticking.
Training and teaching new behaviours for 10 minutes per day will also pack your dog's mind up with something new and keep them mentally occupied.
Check out my online learning platform 'The Puppy Skill Up Hub' where you can find loads of resources, videos and ebooks to help teach you how to go back to basics with training your puppy or dog.
Calming strategy #3 - see if your dog's food is contributing to hyperactive behaviours
Take a look this website All About Dog Food which will provide you with details of your dog's food.
Not only does this website give you a nutritional rating, but it will also show you the ingredients and the percentage of carbohydrates, meats, oils and fats and anything else in the food.
Ideally we want to see a low percentage of carbohydrates, as it's the carbs which quickly transition into sugars in the body, contributing to hyperactivity.
Calming strategy #4 - teach and reward calm behaviours
One of the behaviours I love teaching is a settle on a mat.
Once you start with teaching a settle on a mat, your dog will start choosing to settle more frequently. Not only that, you can then take that mat whever you go and use it as a settle area.
(coming soon: how to teach settle on a mat)
Keep some of your dog's own food allowance in your pocket through the day, so that if they start naturally calming down and settleing, you can reward those behaviours as and when they happen, further building calm.