Our focus for this week’s terrific tip Tuesday is how to work on the relax command.
Have you ever gotten a new puppy and been so thankful that he has finally fallen asleep on the doggie bed that you don’t dare want to pet him or speak to him and wake him up???? What is he just supposed to know through telepathy that you think its good he is relaxing? Dogs do not know anything about living in the human world, it is our responsibility as their owner to teach them what we do and do not like them to do in our world.
The moment pup finally lays down and starts to relax we want to praise and pair a word with it. I usually use settle or relax as it isn’t generally used in normal conversation and it tends to be spoken in a calm manner which helps reinforce what we are training to teach anyway. Anytime you see the desired behaviour mark it and pair it with your cue or command. Now obviously we want to calmly praise the dog not pull a toy out and go crazy, but you can provide a few high value snack morsels in slow succession for a minute or so keeping the pup in the down position and calmly petting him. This reinforcement will help show him what it is that makes us his owner happy and what behaviors he should repeat in the future.
(let me tell you it was hard to find a picture of any of my dogs relaxing!! I must just take shots of the action times in their lives)