When you want a better behaved dog, it all starts with establishing your dog’s calm state of mind. By focusing on training at home with lower distractions you teach your dog how to be calm. A calm dog doesn’t just naturally happen without your instruction.
If your dog is too activated and adrenalized, nothing you say gets through. He’s focused on the squirrel, the mailman, the ball, anything but what you’d like him to do. Starting to train your dog’s mental state helps you connect with him and teach him how to make better choices.
Why Does Having a Calm Dog Matter?
Calm inside means calm outside. If you have high expectations for your dog out on the street (e.g. not lunging and barking at anything) establishing those high expectations starts inside the home. While your dog may not lunge and bark frequently, start to identify when your dog isn’t quite chilling out or meeting your expectations.
Examples of not being relaxed and calm include:
- Getting up and moving from room to room to follow you
- Watching and scanning out the window or door
- Barking at anything that passes by outside
- Whining for attention at seemingly random intervals
- Pawing at you
- Chewing their dog bed
- Excessively itching, chewing, nibbling their body
Many of these behaviors can appear innocuous. Our training job as dog owners is to notice what our dogs are not doing. Dogs learn to listen better from a chilled calm temperament.
Training a Calm Dog
Proper crate training is the easiest and most effective way to train your dog to chill out and stop the above behaviors. Start with crate training and read our tips on how to introduce the dog crate.
In addition to crate training, keeping a leash on your dog even when not crated when you are at home can be a game changer. This can be tough to understand since we tend to feel our dogs don’t need a leash or crate time when we are home. Whether your dog is still a puppy or already full grown, keeping the leash on gives you control to communicate with your dog and remind him not to bark, pace, chew, or wander. The concept is known as tethering and is incredibly helpful for young puppies and new to you dogs.
Everyday Calmness in Dogs
Training doesn’t end with a calm state of mind. Dogs that have learned how to self-settle in their dog crate can learn the duration work of the Place command. With practice, your pup will be able to self-settle around the house by curling up and allowing life in the family to go on without their excessive attention. Consistent leadership in everyday life with your dog will be the biggest factor in how you balance fun and calmness.
If you’re looking for training support to become the calm, confident leader your dog needs, check out our training programs based in Wenham MA and serving the North Shore and Cape Ann MA areas.
Looking for additional training tips and support?
Team Puppy Training
Encourages your leadership and show how you to nurture good behavior.
Covers the basics of good dog behavior as well as some behavior modification.
Remote Collar Training
Foundation Training with e-collar for total off-leash freedom and behavior modification.
What our clients have to say...
Dog Coach listened carefully and observed keenly my interaction and tone of voice with Bella. At nearly 6 months now, she is the best-trained dog I've had. It was a worthwhile experience!
We want to thank Dog Coach for your patience and encouragement! Our dogs are really coming into their own as the perfect family dogs we were looking for!
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