Settling and gaining
It is not uncommon for many dogs to have issues with
over-excitement, particularly puppies! Until you are able to calm
your dog and have them focus, not a lot can be learnt by owner or
dog. It is very important that we begin to teach our pups how to be
calm and settle quickly so that they have the ability to settle as
adults. Too often we see our pups as a blur of fur for the first six
months, with little structure in their day to day lives. Then when the pup hits six
to twelve months old we are expecting them to calm down - this is no easy
task if you have been running around like a mad thing for six
months! It is also important to remember every pup is
different, and what is good for one, is not necesarily good for another.
It is important to play with our dogs, and then just as important to
ensure after arousing a dog to play, that we can effectively calm
the dog enough to walk quietly and be under control. Teaching a dog
to settle is helped greatly by your own behaviour - using a quiet, gentle voice,
perhaps sitting down, try slowly rubbing your dog's chest; and using slow, relaxed
movement. From high activity behaviours to slow, quiet, calm ones.
If you are training your dog to do something and he consistently
fails, it may be he is too close to distractions and is simply
unable to co-operate at this time and in this environment. Try
blocking your dog's view, or move a greater distance from the
distraction or even try training at another time.
As in all training exercises, begin by making it easy for your dog
by setting him up for success and moving ahead slowly. Begin by
working in distraction free areas (in the home, in the front and
backyards). When your dog’s ready, move to more demanding situations
(in the street, out for a walk, shopping centres, at dog training,
at the vet). Remember initial work may need to be quite a distance
from these situations at first and only slowly reduced according to
the dog’s reactions and tolerance. Do not move ahead until the dog
is able to exhibit considerable calmness in each situation.
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