Teaching a Pair of Dogs to Stay Calm Before Walks

By: David Codr

Published Date: December 13, 2019

For this Omaha dog training session we teach 5 year-old Corgi Stanley and his roomie 6 year-old Yorkie Henry to stay calm when getting ready for a walk.

Stanley and Henry’s guardians adopted the dogs before becoming a couple and the dogs had gotten into a couple of infrequent fights over the last year and a half. The guardians said they didnt see any reasons.

I could tell right away that there was still some lingering issues as Henry was keeping is distance from Stanley as they moved about the room. I could also see that both dogs were pretty high energy.

We talked about the importance of exercise and I shared some creative ways to exercise the dogs inside. I also suggested the guardians stop petting the dogs when they started to get excited and refrain from engaging with them when they show excitement.

Many people confuse excitement with happiness in dogs. But excited is an unbalanced state of mind. Just like humans, dogs are more likely to make mistakes when they are too excited. By stopping their interaction with the dogs when they shows signs of being excited, the humans can train the dogs to stay calm.

A great way to teach dogs to calm down is to stop the instant the excitement starts. I showed the guardians how to get dogs to stay calm when they are leashed up in the free dog behavior training video below.

Training dog to stay calm when you attach the leash is a great exercise as it has a profound impact on the dog’s behavior on walks. One of the guardians said he didn’t walk them dogs as much as he would like due to Stanley’s pulling.

I recommended the guardians start walking each other’s dogs and after today, to stop thinking or referring to them as “my” or “his” dog. Id like to see the dogs walked individually this way as well as a group, every day. Building up positive experiences together will help with the dog’s relationship and walking with the other guardians will also help.

Stanley pushed back against one of his guardians when she was attempting to keep him out of the kitchen so I had my apprentice Taylor go over a leave it exercise. This is a great way to help a dog learn to listen to a human instead of challenging. It will also really help when the dogs are interested in something the humans want them to leave alone.

The guardians should also practice the Focus exercise as this is a great way to help condition the dogs to look to the humans on command or for help.

Speaking of training, Id like the guardians to start teaching the dogs a new trick or command each week to help build up the dog’s confidence, respect for the humans as leaders and give the guardians new ways to redirect the dog’s attention away before they get into trouble.

If the guardians see the dogs starting at one another, freezing, displaying stiff body language, they should distract the dogs or move them away from one another.

Im hopeful that the things we covered will help, but did mention we may need to set up a follow up session to work on the dog dog relationship. It’s possible Henry has a resource guarding issue and there are other things we can do to help prevent any additional fights from happening. Ideally, we want to see the dogs become friends instead of keeping distance.

To help the guardians remember all the dog behavior tips we covered in this in home Omaha dog training session, we recorded a roadmap to success summary video.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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