As a dog behaviourist, I have had the privilege of working with numerous dogs over the years. During this time, I have developed a three-step framework that I have found to be extremely effective in helping any dog become more calm and more confident.
Step 1: Structured Walk
Start your day by taking your dog for a structured walk. This means that you should walk briskly, and your dog should be on a short leash, walking beside or behind you. The walk should last for 45-60 minutes, and during this time, you should allow your dog to take a 5-minute break every 15 minutes to sniff around. Repeat this process 3-4 times during the walk. Give your dog 2 such walks daily.
A structured walk helps to establish a strong leader-follower dynamic between you and your dog. By taking charge during the walk, you are showing your dog that you are the pack leader and that they can rely on you to provide direction and guidance.
Step 2: Home Entry Stay
After the walk, let your dog wait outside the gate of your house for a minute or two, or until they calm down. This creates an association of calmness with the house. Once your dog has calmed down, bring them inside the house and wait for them to calm down again before unleashing them.
This step is important because it reinforces the idea that calmness is the desired state of being in the house. It also helps to prevent your dog from rushing into the house and potentially causing chaos or destruction.
Step 3: Obedience Play
Playing with your dog is an important part of building a strong bond with them. However, during playtime, it’s important to practice obedience with your dog.
Start by getting your dog excited and then calm them down by calming yourself down first. Once your dog has calmed down, ask them to sit before starting the play again. This helps to teach your dog how to calm down in an excited state and reinforces the idea that you are the pack leader.
By following these three steps, you can help your dog become more calm and confident. However, if you find that you need more guidance or support, we invite you to join our academy. Our team of experienced trainers can work with you and your dog to develop a personalized training plan that meets your specific needs.
Thank you for reading, and we hope to see you in our academy soon!