SETTLE THE DOG DOWN
Here’s a quick tip for training dogs to settle down and lie next to you.
Most dogs are a little anxious at new places, or at least a little curious! One way to settle the dog down is through an exercise of wrapping his leash around your foot and ignoring him until he relaxes.
The leash should be long enough for them to comfortably stand, but not long enough to allow pacing. “Calm/stop the body, calm the mind”.
This teaches your dog to lie peacefully next you when visiting someone’s house, at an outdoor cafe, or when he otherwise might act up, such as wanting to chase a cat or beg from someone eating nearby.
The key to this exercise is ignoring your dog when he is acting up (trying to pace, whining, trying to get your attention, etc.), and then rewarding him when he is calm (lying down and then putting his head down). Remember to only pet or acknowledge your dog when he is being good by lying there quietly. He will soon learn that his job is to lie down and get petted… not to pace, whine or sniff.
Watch how nicely Buster relaxes after a little while with The Pooch Coach.
More Tips for You to Settle the Dog Down
Steps for slowly introducing this to your pup:
- Kindergarten is being able to be tied down at home with no distractions and your dog lies down and relaxes within 2 minutes. Once that is perfect, then you go to…
- Second grade is being able to get tied down at home with a slight distraction like a visitor has been there for a little while, or someone in the household is walking around.
- Fourth grade is being able to get tied down away from home in a very quiet place with no distractions. Like someone else’s house or a deserted park.
- Six grade is being able to get tied down away from home in slightly distracted environments, such as an occasional person walking by.
- By the time you are in middle school, your dog should be able to be tied down with mild distractions, such as a motorcycle or skateboard going by far away. Or, they should be able to do well in a bar or restaurant that isn’t too crowded.
- High school is when the dog can lie down absolutely anywhere with any distraction – even nearby distractions – and be able to stay relaxed.
Also, it helps a great deal if your dog has been walked and is tired before these exercises, especially the higher level ones that are harder. Eventually your dog should be able to do this without exercise first, but that’s also a higher level of accomplishment.
Good luck & happy settling!