How to Train a Dog to Stay Calm to Behave Better

By: David Codr

Published Date: August 14, 2017

Margo is a three-year-old Beagle / Basset Hound Mix who lives in Omaha. Her guardians looked for a dog behaviorist to set up a dog behavior training session to teach Margo to stop getting excited, respect boundaries (especially around children) and put a stop to her dog aggression.

When I sat down with Margo’s guardians to discuss the situation, I learned that there was a lack of rules and structure. This confused Margo into thinking she was equals with her humans in terms of status or authority.

I suggested some rules and boundaries and showed the humans how to enforce them using the set of escalating consequences I developed a few years ago. Consistently enforcing these rules and boundaries will help the dog start to see the humans as leaders instead of peers.

I also suggested a few things the family can do to add more structure to their day to day lives. Petting with a purpose and passive training will go a long ways towards creating motivation for the dog to do things the family wants for attention instead of things they dislike. This type of positive dog training works great and helps motivate the dog to do things humans appreciate.

Because Margo became an excited dog when the harness was brought out and she was leashed up, I walked the guardians through a technique that will help her stay calm throughout the process. Training a dog to stay calm is a good strategy in most cases,  but especially important before heading out for a walk. You can get these free dog training tips by watching the video below.

Margo is a really great dog, but due to the relaxed and non structured living environment her guardians had in place, she was confused as to what her position was. Now that they know how to adjust the leader follower dynamic and communicate what they do and don’t want using positive reinforcement and non verbal forms of communication, it shouldn’t take long for everyone to get on the same page.

We wrapped up the session by filming a Roadmap to success video with all the things they humans need to do to put these unwanted dog behavior problems behind them for good.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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