Tips & Tricks

3 tips on how to calm your nervous dog.

There are various situations in everyday life that make your dog nervous. Especially puppies and young dogs have to learn to wait, to handle different stimuli and to relax. Your job as a dog owner is to give your dog the necessary calmness and train it. With our 3 tips, you will learn how to calm your dog specifically when he is restless and establish enough moments for relaxation and calmness in your everyday life.

1 Stay calm yourself.

When our dog is excited, starts whining or even barking, our own blood pressure also quickly shoots up and we let ourselves get infected by his excitement. How often do we tighten the leash or unintentionally raise our voice? In order to signal to your dog that it is not necessary to be excited in this situation, it is important that you yourself remain calm and relaxed.

This can be done by not pulling on the leash and yelling “No, don’t do that!” when your dog barks at the other human-dog team. It would be better if you give your dog a stop signal if necessary, then increase the distance to the other human-dog team and bring your dog back down a bit with a relaxation signal and calm praise. Deceleration is king here! Slow down, talk slower, and breathe slower!

2 Establish rest periods.

Dogs don’t always need 24/7 activity and action. The more you physically challenge your dog, the more he will demand from you. You can compare this to a marathon runner who has to run every day or he will go crazy. It is similar with dogs that do competitive sports with their owners. In order to find the balance here, it is important to plan enough rest periods despite dog sports, common hobbies and dog friends, which are then also actively implemented. Your job as a dog owner is not to overload your dog, especially as a young dog, and to make sure that he has the chance to rest or sleep at least 18 hours a day.

This also means that after a walk or training together, not so much has to happen at home, but a cuddle together, is the better alternative to a wild romp. You can also use a suitable resting place such as a basket or dog crate to give your dog some time out. In the beginning you may have to motivate your dog with a command like “basket” to take a little lunch break after the walk, but after a while your dog will learn that this time-out is very beneficial for him and he will go to his resting place by himself.

We also recommend that you do the stand-by exercise with your dog several times a week. This will help your dog to relax and can calm him down in stressful situations.

3 Find the right activity for your dog’s personality.

Certain dog personalities have a greater tendency to be restless. For these dogs it is not conducive to activating hobbies such as agility, flyball, frisbee or ball throwing. The reason for this is the neurotransmitter dopamine, it creates a real rush in your dog and can be addictive. If you have a dog that is already very restless, you can support him better with a hobby that counteracts the intoxication. Good hobbies include those that require the use of the nose e.g. Target Object Search (ZOS) and the tea bag search or hobbies that require a high level of concentration such as slow controlled running over cavaletti poles or learning new chains of actions through Do as I do.

If you have a dog prone to nervousness, we recommend the following training videos in the Pupy app:

  • Relaxing together (in “Puppy Training”).
  • Relaxing everywhere (in “Puppy Training”)
  • Using body language (in “Leash training”)
  • Impulse Control (in “Mind your manners!”)
  • Cavaletti run (in “Fun Agility”)
  • Isometric exercise (in “Relaxation”)
  • “Doga” the dog yoga (in “Relaxation”)
  • “Fun break games” (in “Office dog training”)

Have fun relaxing! The Pupy trainer team wishes you a lot of fun!

By Sarah Mertes

Certified dog trainer

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