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Teaching Settle and Relaxation in Hyper Dogs

Teaching Settle and Relaxation in Hyper Dogs

The Power of Triggers

Have you ever noticed how your own body can instantly relax the moment your head hits the pillow? That’s the power of triggers – those little cues that tell our brain and body it’s time to switch into a calm, relaxed state. Well, I’m here to tell you that your dog can have that same superpower.

Imagine if you could simply bring out a special mat or blanket and watch your high-energy pup instantly melt into a puddle of calm. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? But with the right training, it’s absolutely possible. You see, just like us, our canine companions can learn to associate certain objects or cues with a relaxed mindset. And once that connection is made, you hold the key to unlocking your dog’s inner zen, no matter the situation.

According to VCA Hospitals, the key is to teach these relaxation behaviors when your dog is already in a calm state, not while they’re hyper or anxious. It’s all about building that positive association so your pup automatically knows “Ah, there’s my cue to just chill out.” And trust me, the benefits go far beyond just making your living room a peaceful oasis.

A Relaxed Dog is a Happy Dog

Think about it – a dog who can easily settle and self-soothe is going to be a much happier, healthier pup overall. They’re less likely to develop behavioral issues stemming from excess energy or anxiety. And they’ll be far more adaptable to new environments and situations, since they have an innate “off switch” to fall back on.

Not to mention, a relaxed dog is going to be a dream at the vet’s office or the groomer. As Susan Garrett explains, teaching a relaxation protocol lays the groundwork for your dog to remain calm during potentially stressful handling and procedures. No more panicked pacing or attempts to flee – just a nice, laid-back pup who’s totally at ease.

And let’s not forget about those everyday situations where a little chill-out time can make all the difference. Picture this: You’re trying to enjoy a quiet evening at home, but your dog just won’t settle down. They’re pacing, whining, jumping up on the couch – driving you absolutely bonkers. With a reliable relaxation cue, you can quickly and easily flip that switch and restore the peace.

Building the Relaxation Habit

Of course, getting to that point takes some concerted effort on your part. But trust me, it’s time and energy well spent. The process involves a combination of conditioning, capturing, and shaping your dog’s behavior – and the key is to start when they’re already in a relaxed state.

Battersea Cats & Dogs Home recommends starting by simply rewarding your dog whenever they naturally settle on a mat or blanket. This helps build a strong, positive association with that specific spot. From there, you can gradually shape the behavior, rewarding longer durations of calm and eventually adding a specific cue like “settle” or “chill.”

The secret is to go at your dog’s pace and never push them too far, too fast. Regression is common, so be prepared to take a step back if your pup starts getting overly excited. And don’t forget to check in on your own energy and body language – Whole Dog Journal emphasizes the importance of remaining calm and collected during the training process.

Putting Relaxation to Work

Once your dog has mastered the art of “chilling out” on cue, the real magic happens. That special mat or blanket becomes a portable trigger that you can pull out anywhere – the vet’s office, the airport, a chaotic family gathering. Wherever your dog might be prone to getting worked up, that familiar relaxation zone instantly calms them down.

And the benefits extend far beyond just managing anxiety or over-arousal. A relaxed dog is also more receptive to training, making it the perfect foundation for tackling other behavioral goals. Plus, as discussed on Reddit, it’s a great way to reinforce and reward that all-important calm, polite behavior we all strive for in our canine companions.

So why not give it a try? Head to your nearest pet store, grab a nice comfy mat or blanket, and get to work on unlocking your dog’s inner Zen master. With a little time and consistency, you could be well on your way to a calmer, happier, and more adaptable pup – all thanks to the power of a simple trigger. And who knows, you might even pick up a few relaxation tricks for yourself along the way. After all, a little mutual chill-out time never hurt anyone – human or canine.

Remember, for the most up-to-date information and expert advice, be sure to visit the I Have Dogs website. Their team of passionate pet lovers is always here to help you and your furry friend live your best life together.

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