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Teaching Your Dog to Settle Down

Guest blog from Cariad Dog Training and Behaviour.

Let’s all settle down, to a guest blog from Cariad Dog Training and Behaviour. Settle is an important trick for your pupper to learn, especially when visiting dog friendly venues and events. Jodie shares with how to get your pooch to settle in a few simple steps.

Would you love to take your pupper along to one of Dog Furiendly’s wonderful events? But concerned that they won’t be able to keep still long enough? A super thing to teach your pup is ‘settle’. This is exactly what it sounds like and we’re going to talk you through how to do it!

Get them a special mat

To start with, find an easy-to-take-with-you-everywhere mat/dog bed (we like to use VetBed for so many reasons – not least all the fab colours and patterns!). So, once we’ve got our ‘special place’, we’re going to make it magical for our dogs. Start in an area that’s not too distracting for your dog., like your living room. Place their special mat down and encourage them on to it with yummy treats. Once they’re on their mat, reward them by telling them how good they are and give them some treats. Soon, your pup will associate their special mat with good things and they will want to go on it without your assistance.

Practice makes perfect

When your dog is happy with their mat and choosing to go on it themselves, ask them to lay down and place some treats between their front paws (this will encourage them to stay led down). Practice this a few times. Once your pup has got the hang of staying led down in their special place, ask them to lay down again on their mat but wait a little bit longer before giving them the treats. Very gradually build up the time between the dog laying down and you giving them a treat (I say very gradually because we want our dogs to succeed and by taking baby steps, we can make sure our pup will always win).

Once your dog is happily laying down on their special mat for longer periods of time, start to slowing move away – again, only very small distances to begin with to get your pup used to you moving away. Every time you return to your pup, give them a treat and lots of praise. If your pup moves and tries to follow you, go with them back to their mat and ask them to lay down again before attempting the exercise again.

Magic in the mat

Eventually, after lots of fun practice, your dog will choose to chill out on their special mat whenever they want to relax.

And here is why it’s super important that it’s a mat you can take with you anywhere . . .

Your pup will associate that certain special mat with chill out time. So, if you take that mat along with you to pubs, cafes, restaurants or any of the fabulous Dog Furiendly events, your pup will not only know that it’s time to relax but, because their magic mat is there, they’ll feel safe and comfortable enough to relax!

Has your pooch nailed this trick? Comment below with some of your stories.

Cariad Dog Training and Behaviour offer dog training with love. Classes, one to ones and consultations. Using only the most up to date, positive methods. Covering Newport and surrounding areas.

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