Online dog training videos Feb 2014 - Page 8

8 My Everyday Dog Training Tools by Doggy Dan The Online Dog Trainer I call it the Calm Freeze, but first let me put it into context by describing a scenario that many of you will have experienced where this technique is so useful. You are calmly walking down the road with your dog or puppy when suddenly another dog comes into view and grabs their attention. Immediately they become too excited, overly aggressive or maybe very fearful. It is important to point out that every dog will respond differently yet the calm freeze technique will work whatever their emotional response. On the energy meter your dog is heading rapidly up the scale and is at say, a 7. The adrenalin has not yet kicked in but we need to do something fast to calm them down and avoid a complete melt down. Now usually what happens at this point is that we then mirror our dog and we too become highly energized, with a tug on the lead, quickly correcting our dog with a “leave it” command. To which our dog responds with more energy and barks or pulls even harder resulting in an increased response from ourselves and before we know it their adrenalin has kicked in and we might as well all go home to calm ourselves down. So here is where the calm freeze technique comes into play. At the point at which you detect an increase in your dog’s energy due to the sighting of another dog, calmly walk your dog a couple of yards away. Then with your back to the other dog as a distraction, crouch down and without a word take your hand palm up, under your dogs chin and lightly hold the collar. Here are a couple of other important points to make sure that you are doing it correctly. Firstly, you do it all in silence, no talking. Secondly, you hold as lightly as possible, this is not about causing your dog pain. And thirdly, you look away from your dog, down at the ground with a relaxed expression. Your dog will read you like a book and will very likely be stunned into silence! Once they are calm then you simply loosen your grip and gently let go, stand up and carry on walking, leaving them in that calm state of 2 or 3 on the energy scale. Now if you try this and they take no notice of you then that is because they are the pack leader and not you. So it’s time to get the basics put in place first. So you may be thinking, is that it? And the answer is absolutely Yes! But remember, the beauty of this technique and this whole method lies in its simplicity. You see our thoughts, our words and our actions are all important and when we align all three we become very powerful. If you only shout the words “Calm Down” at your dog but you are still stressed and pulling