Training your dog to settle down

Posted by Edward Cruz on

Learning to get your dog to settle down is one of the most important dog tricks. Dog’s speed and endurance are increasing as they age. It will only become bearable if your puppydog will settle down and behave for at least some of the time and most specially at times of your choosing.

You need to establish the status quo right from the beginning. Put your pup on a leash, several times a day, and have it settle down and be quiet for at least five minutes to half an hour or more. “Settle down” means remaining quiet in a spot and lying down comfortably. You may give your dog the option of stretching out, curling up, lying on its back or side, or adopting sphinx position. Your puppy must learn early that we have to have this ‘little quiet moments’. To get your dog to remember to to this on a regular basis, it is a good idea to coordinate the trick with owner-activities.  You should have the puppy settle down next to you each time you read newspapers, work on the computer, watch the television, make dinner or eat dinner, go to bed. Your dog may be uneasy at first, but within a few weeks, it will soon get the picture.

If you notice that your dog is doing good on settling down next to you, eventually practice with your puppy at a distance or in a different room. A useful trick is to incorporate the settle down request with a “Go to...” command and tell your puppy to go its mat, dog-bed, basket, kennel, crate, etc. and settle down. You can do this by commanding your dog to go to its mat for example and the lead your dog it the mat with a food treat, which the pup will receive once it is lying down. During the dog’s your puppy age is the perfect time to make them learn the place commands as they can get it quickly and easily. If your dog’s spot is always kept in the same position, it will learn the “Go to your (spot)” in no time at all.  While your puppy stays put, periodically praise, pet or offer occasional food treats. If your puppy tries to move, simply repeat the “Go to your (spot)” and “Settle down” request and this time, stay closer to your puppy to control it.

The objective here is not to spoil your dog’s fun and force it to settle down for hours on end but to frequent practice calming your dog when he or she becomes very excited so you can learn to control your dog when necessary.


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