Teaching a High Energy Pup to Relax in Hancock Park

By: David Codr

Published Date: August 31, 2021

For this Hancock Park dog training session we worked with Lola, a beautiful but high energy 8 month-old Pitbull puppy who gets so excited at times she jumps up on people and has difficulty controlling herself.

Boy does this little wiggle butt puppy have a lot of energy. One of the things we discussed at length in this session was the importance of making sure that she had enough physical exercise and mental stimulation each day. That’s important for any puppy, but especially so when you have a high energy pup like Lola. Sniff walks, games of fetch and tug toy games are great ways to get physical exerecise. Feeding out of a snuffle matt, Omega Paw Treat ball, using a lick matt and adding in scent games like Cookie in the corner are great ways to provide mental stimulation. Alternating between each of these every 2-3 hours or before activities that get Lola excited is a great way to set her up for success.

As I usualy do, I also went over how to teach a puppy manners including how to say please or thank you. A lot of this is accomplished by the humans giving the dog a “do over” just the same way we do with a child who forgets to say please or thank you. I also made sure that the guardians are rewarding Lola‘s actions (Celebrating) when she offers actions and behavior on her own that the humans like. This is one of the easiest ways to train a dog, but sadly also one of the most overlooked.

As a dog behavior expert in Los Angeles, I have found that the relaxation protocol is a great way to help dogs calm down and practice self control. This exercise conditions the dog to stay on a dog bed while things go on around it such as people walking by, eating food, preparing dinner, kids playing, the doorbell rings, guests coming inside, etc.

If you have a dog that gets over excited and has difficulty listening, you should check out the free positive dog training video below.

The key to having success with the relaxation protocol is going at the dog’s pace. Anytime the dog tries to get up when the human practices any of the steps, they need to reset the exercise and practice at an easier level. The Relaxation Protocol is not difficult to do, just about anyone can do it – even if they are not a professional pitbull dog trainer. But you have to be patient, keep close observation on the dog and not go faster than they can perform at.

After the session, I shared a list of 15 days of protocols for the guardians to practice over the next 2 weeks or so. In some situations, dogs need to practice the same of the protocols multiple days in a row. Some steps are more difficult than others. This is very common and nothing to be alarmed about. Based on how energetic Lola is, it would not be surprising for me to learn that her guardians how to spend the first few days repeating the same exercises a few times.

If the guardians have any difficulty with any of the steps in the process, I asked them to reach out to me or shoot a short video so that I could observe their technique and the dogs behavior so that I can provide additional pointers.

We squeezed in a little loose leash walking training towards the end of the session. Because of Lola‘s high energy, I suggested that the guardians focus on the relaxation protocol and the other tips we covered in this session for now. If in a couple weeks they want to start working on loose leash walking, we can set up a one hour follow-up session to focus on that and any residual problems remaining from this initial session.

Tell the guardians remember all of the puppy behavior tips I shared this in-home LA puppy training session, we recorded a roadmap to success video that you can check out below.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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