How to create a calm dog
Whether you have a 10-week old pup, a working dog or generally a high energy dog. A calm dog can be beneficial in many environments. we must therefore, teach them an “off” switch as its no fun for anyone to constantly have their dog constantly excited, running around the house, full of energy.
Here are top tips for helping you to get that all-important “off switch”
Teaching your dog to go to an object, typically a raised bed/mat is a great tool for teaching a dog how to be calm. Because you’re giving your dog a job, it slows down the brain and conditions the dog to be calm on command.
Start and finish cues
With all dogs, more so for high energy dogs its important that you fulfill their natural instincts, whether that be through tug play, fetch games, etc.
However, I would advise that when you are doing anything high energy with your dog you add a start cue (e.g are you ready) and when you’re finished with your high energy activity you add a finish cue (e.g all done). This makes it clear to your dog this is when you can go crazy, this is when you can be a dog and let their inner beast out!
Your energy levels
Dogs are mirror images of ourselves. So it’s important that if we want our dogs to be calm, then we must be clam ourselves. There is a time and a place to be excited, amping up our dogs (when you playing together/in between the start and finish cues). So be careful of the energy levels that you are bringing to the situation.
Allocate different areas of the house for different things
Dogs associate different areas of the house with different emotions. So, the main living areas of the house (lounge room/bedroom) must be for being calm, so I would avoid doing any high energy activities in these areas. Instead do all your high energy, fun stuff outside or in the garage.
Get your dog using their nose
When a dog is using their nose it helps to calm them. Invest in a few mental stimulation toys, like snuffle mate, kongs interstice toys. When a dog is using their olfactory (nose), it turns on the seeking part of their brain, this helps to relieve stress and keep them calm.