Steps to a Calmer Dog

Here’s a great video someone sent me from the Clicker Training website. Even if you don’t use a clicker, this provides some good lessons. I love how this video demonstrates calm and persistence to achieve a calmer dog.

http://www.youtube.com/user/clickerpuppytrainer#play/uploads/8/oHGG5i0eV-c

I wish there was a little more narration, but it’s worth watching through to the end because as the video progress, you can actually see the dog start to calm down.  At least until the owner shows up at the end (isn’t that always the way!) But even then, you can see how the training has allowed the dog to regain control of himself faster and that the dog is now seeking guidance in how to behave.

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2 responses to “Steps to a Calmer Dog

  1. Help! My puppy’s favorite game is Bite Mom! She’s a 3 1/2 mo. Goldendoodle named Hanna (short for Susquehanna) and is a very sweet, smart dog. But she’s mouthy, and goes from ‘gentle’ nice kisses to biting with increasing energy. Occasionally she’ll take a bone, toy, or chewy stick, but more often it’s just a brief distraction, and I end up having to close a door. Saying ‘off’, ‘gentle’, ‘no bite’ etc or giving a treat for a ‘sit’ are only very brief help. My hands are covered with scabs.
    I’d appreciate some help from more experienced trainers out there!

  2. Hi Kathy,
    I’m not sure this helps, but what you are experiencing is quite common for a puppy that age. The interaction with your hands and the biting is a game for Hanna. It sounds like some of the things you are trying is the right direction, such as giving her something that is acceptable to chew and saying “gentle” or “off”.
    The main thing is not to reward Hanna with interaction with the hands when she is not respecting the hands. So that means if she starts biting, you need to remove your hands. One way to do this is to remain calm, fold your hands flat across your chest and and stop looking at Hanna. Now here’s the hard part, you have to completely ignore her until she backs off. At first she will likely jump at you or pull on a part of your clothing. Try to pretend she doesn’t exist. And here’s the important part, as soon as Hanna backs off say “good!” and then you can stop ignoring her, but continue to be calm and perhaps get up and encourage her in a different kind of activity.

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