Calm On Command
Why so much focus on creating CALM with our dogs? Aren’t they supposed to have fun and run around like little maniacs? Creating Calm On Command can have a major impact on arousal and anxiety issues. By changing the overall state of mind of the dog, he will be able to make great choices, showing his best behavior.
Most dog owners are all too familiar with pets that are in a constant state of arousal. Arousal in our dogs can oftentimes be confused with excitement and happiness. When there is no on/off button to press, arousal can perpetuate really bad decision making, such as escalation into a dog fight, biting, charging the door, or barking incessantly at the cat passing by the window.
Anxiety, on the other hand, comes in the form of heavy panting, shaking, drooling, whining, barking, or destroying your household items. An anxious dog doesn't have the ability to make good decisions either. Oftentimes, dog owners tend to feel bad for dogs in this mental state, and offer affection to sooth and comfort, Unfortunately, dogs see affection as a reward, and this then creates more of the same unwanted behavior.
So how do we cultivate Calm On Command? The Place Command is great place to start. Place encourages relaxation and impulse control. We trainers like to call it puppy meditation due to its ability to transform the dog's state of mind. It helps condition the dog to be relaxed. Giving your dog a non-negotiable task to perform, allows him to focus. Soon you see all of the arousal and anxiety dissipate, allowing for your best dog to shine through.
All of those dogs you see charging the door, barking at guests, pacing in the crate, or whining, are in a constant unhealthy mental state. It's actually unfair to the dog to allow the behavior to continue. Having that on/off switch is clutch in cultivating that healthy dog we all want to be a part of the family!
So my story on creating Calm began with the inability to take my pack anywhere out in public. Porter would scream as soon as the keys jingled. Pulling the parking brake in my Jeep, forget about it! I had three hairy maniacs going completely bazerk! Porter and Harlow teamed up to let any guest know that they weren't welcome! Barking and growling at the slightest knock at the door was inevitable. If you could have seen how unstable my pack was, you would have laughed, or just not come over! Implementing the Place command on a daily basis when I'm cooking, working, reading, or cleaning has really transformed my house to one that is totally Calm. Reading and training with some of the world's best dog trainers, has inspired me to help others that may be enduring the same, or similar circumstances.
So I'm telling you, Place is where the magic is at!