Tips For a Calmer Dog

The first thing you need to do is evaluate your dog’s state of mind. Is your dog calm, excited, stressed, nervous, hyper, fearful, happy go lucky, aggressive, etc. Next we want to look for reasons for this state of mind. Do you act excited toward your dog when you walk in? Do you acknowledge and pet your dog when he is in that state? Do you try tell him, “it’s okaaaayyy” when he is fearful? Chances are you are reinforcing many of the unwanted energy states.

Remember, “you get what you pet” Petting an excited dog, gets more excited behavior. Petting a pushy dog gets rude behavior. For them, the behavior paid off so they will repeat it. Ignoring, blocking and redirecting those behaviors shows him that you disagree with his behavior and he won’t get what he wants. Keep it simple. Reward the good, disagree with the unwanted.

Here’s an easy example…. When you come home, your dog runs up to you and jumps up in a frenzy. Do not make eye contact, do not pet or speak to him. Walk in, take your coat off, use the bathroom, get a drink, or speak with members of your family FIRST. Show him that excited dog does not get attention. If necessary, you can block by using your foot or leg to prevent him from jumping. Claim your space by imagining an invisible bubble around your body. Do not allow him in the bubble until all four feet remain on the floor.

After about 2-5 minutes your dog should be calmer. At this point you can calmly call him to you. I recommend bending at the waist and guiding your dog in front of you so his torso is across your shins. Essentially, he will be leaning against your legs so you can pet him across his shoulder and rib cage.

Pet calmly. It should be a slow massage or a long stroke along his body. Fast , rough petting with high pitched talking will only create excitement. The idea is to be gentle and soothing. Imagine when you get a massage, the therapist rubs slowly with very soft or no conversation. You wouldn’t be very relaxed if she gave vigorous karate chops and excitedly talked non-stop, would you? Help you dog to be calmer by giving off the energy you want him mimic.

Give what you want to receive. Life is simple, don’t make it complicated.

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