Is your dog just over the top hyper? We’ve all heard that a tired dog is a good dog, but what if the more you exercise your dog, the more energetic he is? Then it’s time to stop increasing the exercise and teach your dog to “DO NOTHING”!
The common thought is that active, high-energy, hyper dogs need more exercise, so they’ll burn off energy and calm down. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Relying on more and more physical exercise to wear your dog out can backfire. Instead, you create an adrenaline junkie! A dog that is so mentally chaotic that he can’t relax. Dogs like this need to be taught how to relax and just do nothing.
Here’s how it works; choose a quiet spot in your house, grab a chair and a blanket or dog bed. With your dog on leash, and the blanket on the floor, sit in the chair. Tuck your hands between your knees and lock your knees together. Ignore the dog and look out into space. Keep the leash short so the dog can’t go anywhere, jump up on you, or chew at your feet. There should be just enough slack in the leash to allow the dog to lie down. Now just wait and ignore.
The SECOND the dog lies down, calmly reach over and pet him using long, slow strokes. If the dog gets up, immediate stop and go back to ignoring and looking into space. Resume petting when he lies back down. You do not want to stroke the dog continuously while he is settled. Try for one second, then discontinue and sit up. If he remains, bend back down and repeat. Gradually, you can ask the dog to settle for longer and longer periods before getting attention from you. Sometimes vary the attention with just verbal praise instead of petting. Make sure to ONLY end the lesson with the dog settled.
While I wholeheartedly agree that exercise, both mental and physical, is important for your dog’s health and well-being, learning to just chill and relax is equally important! What do you think??