Teaching your dog to calm down is very similar to teaching him self-control skills. Instead of shaping behavior, you are trying to influence your dog’s state of mind.
In this task, you will not be using a clicker or any other signal. Teaching the behavior only takes a couple of minutes but reaching a master level requires regular practice.
Stage 1: reward calm state of mind
- Choose a calm training place and settle comfortably.
- Feed your dog treats calmly without stimulating him.
- Favor positions that are natural to your dog when he is calm. Reward close to ground.
- You can also try to tempt your dog to lie on his side. Don’t make it the main purpose of the task, though.
Stage 2: repeat often in different places and situations
- Continue as in stage 1 in different situations daily
- See if your dog remains calm even when you feed treats less frequently
- You can also see if your dog likes calm stroking or massaging
When your dog clearly calms down quickly during the task at home, in the park or in another easy environment, you have passed the test.