Three Different Ways To Teach A Dog To Relax
Relaxation is something a lot of dogs do not know how to do in many different environments. It is also something most owners do not think they have to teach their dog. Relaxation is important because it helps lower the chance of reactivity when dogs are able to be level-headed in many different environments. Relaxation exercises are also important to help prevent separation anxiety. A dog’s ability to learn is also higher when they are relaxed versus when they are anxious or hyper.
There are many different ways to teach a dog to relax. Here are three techniques to try.
1. Relaxation Protocol
Dr. Karen Overall’s relaxation protocol is a very popular method to teach relaxation. You can find mp3’s of the relaxation protocol here. Below is a video with an explanation of what the relaxation protocol entails. You can also perform the relaxation protocol on your mat so you can relate relaxation with the mat wherever it is taken.
2. Capturing Calmness/Default Settle
Kikopup has an excellent YouTube video on how to capture a dog’s calmness. Rewarding the dog when they are not expecting it when they are calm. This is something the owners can do while watching tv at night. Teaching a default settle is a great behavior for owners who enjoy taking their dogs to outside patios for meals. These behaviors have the dogs working on relaxation because they enjoy the behavior, not just because food is present.
3. The Calm Chin Rest
Another of Kikopup’s videos touches on ‘the calm chin rest’. This is teaching a chin rest, usually without a clicker because they have a tendency to excite dogs, and working towards moving the dog’s neck and feeling for their body being loose and relaxed.
These are just three methods that can be utilized to teach relaxation. It’s important that all dogs learn how to relax in different environments as it is not healthy or fair for a dog to live in an anxious, stressful environment.
What other relaxation methods do you utilize with your clients?
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