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10 Tips to Help Your Puppy Relax

Updated: Jan 15


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Dog Trainer Laura Donaldson provides this information on puppy relaxation from our podcast episode recorded on February 24, 2021.


TEN WAYS TO HELP YOUR DOG LEARN TO “REALLY” RELAX ON A MAT!

1. Do not use a clicker or other excitatory marker with mat training – if you want to use a marker, use a CALMING one like “Niiiiice,” or “Gooooood,” said in almost a subliminal tone of voice.

2. Do the “Be Still/Reward Nothing” game on the mat. No movement, not even a wagging tail.

3. Every time you place a treat down on the mat (because we’re feeding the mat, not the dog), ask your dog to TAKE A DEEP BREATH. The sequence would be:

Calming Marker -- Ask the dog to TAB -- Place treat on the mat

4. Give your dog a LickiMat spread with baby food, squeeze cheese, xylitol-free yogurt, or even an overripe banana on his/her mat. Science & complex data back up that calm repetitive licking induces both a physical & neurochemical “feel good” sensation that is very soothing.

5. Do some massage with your dog on the mat.

6. Do Tellington TTouch Ear Slides with your dog on the mat.

7. Give your dog a stuffed, frozen Kong on his/her mat.

8. Dogs use social mimicry to interpret their environment, so if the human stands by the mat and practices relaxed, deep breathing, dogs will often imitate what their human is doing.

9. Have your dog on their mat & plug in a pheromone dispenser nearby.

10. BE CALM & RELAXED YOURSELF, AND CHANCES ARE THAT YOUR DOG WILL BE (MORE) CALM & RELAXED!!


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