Most types of dogs have been selectively bred to be curious and interested about the world around them.
Not surprising then that we need to actually teach them how to switch off, particularly as our pet dogs are unlikely to be carrying out the jobs for which they were originally selected.
Finding the ‘on’ switch for your dog is probably pretty easy – indeed, your dog can probably turn that one on himself without any problems! But finding the off-switch can be a little trickier – and at times, especially surrounding exciting events, may seem impossible.
When we describe a dog who is easy to live with, one of the attributes that has to be close to top of the list is a dog who settles himself, who can calm himself and who can easily swing between the on switch and the off switch.
Because ‘on’ can seem to be a default setting for many dogs, we need to put the effort into teaching the dog how to switch to ‘off’.
Remember, being ‘on’ can become addictive so we this can be a real challenge for some pets – no better time to get started on training than now!
What do I need for Week 2?
- a new mat/towel/blanket – one your dog hasn’t had before
- Training Mix
- your dog’s collar and leash
- Kong toys or similar for pacifying
Week 2 Training Games
- up & down
- settle & matwork
- capturing calmness
- Park Your Pup
What’s my dog learning?
- I am learning to settle myself, even after excitement or activity and when my human is ignoring me.
- I am learning to better tolerate frustration so can wait patiently
- I am learning that I can’t have all the things I want when I want them
- Chewing on my stuff helps me to calm, like a toddler sucking their thumb
- When a human comes near me when I have something yummy, I am learning that good things happen and that I don’t need to guard
- Learning to calm and settle myself can help to prevent serious behavioural and physical disorders
- My human can have lots of peace and quiet while I settle quietly
There’s a lot to this relaxation-business…
You can download a more printer friendly, but abbreviated version of this week’s exercises here.