Teaching a puppy how to be calm is a really important life skill that often gets over looked. Lets face it when we imagine what having a puppy will be like we look forward to the playing and the madness not really the calmness! While playing helps to strengthen our bond and burn off that puppy energy, too much play can create a tired and cranky pup. This is when our cute fluff ball turns into Kujo, shredding our favourite jeans and nipping at our hands and feet…ouch! So in order to avoid this Jekyll and Hyde act we need to teach our puppies how to be calm and allow them to spend time by themselves.
This clip shows Archer, a beautiful 13 week old beagle puppy, starting to learn how to settle on the mat. This is his second time doing this and he is picking it up really well. As you will see I have used this lunchtime meal to do this and it only took 5 minutes. This is a great way to sneak some training time into the day and it can even be done while having a glass of wine and watching TV…it’s that easy! At first it is best to practise this after your dog has had a walk and is already starting to settle down a bit. Once you have finished feeding them their meal and they are settled on the mat you can even finish it off with a chew or a kong.
Another nice wee tip is to put a tiny bit of lavender essential oil on the mat. Lavender is soothing to the central nervous system and if paired enough times with the settle exercise it can become a cue for calmness.
Teaching calmness is one of the essential like skills we will be teaching at our puppy classes starting in January at the Muir Hall, Saint Stephen’s, Stockbridge, Edinburgh.