Basic Training

Teaching Your Dog the ‘Relax’ Command

 While tricks are fun to teach your dog, an obedient pup will need to understand commands other than sit, speak, and shake. An important – and highly useful – tool will be the “relax” command.

It’s easier than you might think to quickly calm a hyper dog, immediately putting him into a relaxed state. Here how to do it!

Step one:

With puppy on leash, take one giant step in any direction, ground the leash with your foot and wait until puppy lies down.  Do not ask him to lie down, simply wait.  When he does Say ‘Yes’ and reinforce for position. (Puppy is in the position). Do not reward if puppy gets up.

During this stage you can reinforce with a very small liver tidbit, praising the dog prior to giving him the tidbit.

Reward at first for 10 times, then reward often, most times, sometimes and then occasionally. Always sincerely praising the dog prior to the treat.

It’s important to praise first and then immediately dispense the treat. This makes your praise more valuable.

Sometimes calm praise is the reward and once in a while it’s a tidbit. Repeat until puppy quickly lies down as soon as you stop.If your dog lies down in a sphinx position, gently add gentle pressure to the hip, the dog will roll onto its other hip, or lure the head toward its side so that it rolls over onto one hip. The puppy is more likely to remain in the position when on its side.

Step two:

After you have practiced this exercise in several different locations in the house, yard. Start saying “relax’ as your dog begins to lie down.

Step 3

After your dog has successfully associated “relax” with lying down on his side, continue to reinforce the behavior using treats, praise, or a calm stroke.

 

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