Calming Your Dog

Tips for helping a dog to relax

Tips on Calming a Dog

1. Identify a TFI -- think and dwell on the goal, not the problem. (A TFI is a Target for Improvement.)

2. Teach your dog to yawn

3. Play calming music

4. Give your dog a massage

5. Calm yourself! 

Now, let's discuss these topics in detail. 

1. Identify a Target for Improvement.  (TFI) -- don't be forever talking about how your dog has a problem. Instead focus on solutions.  That mindset alone will be huge!  Remember, we get more of what we focus on. If you focus on how anxious your dog is, that is actually hurting your dog.  Think about your TFI and your mind will open  and new ideas and  insight will come to you.
2. Teach Your Dog to Yawn
Dogs actually yawn themselves -- to calm themselves.  A good way to teach a dog a new behavior is to watch for them to exhibit the behavior on their own and then label it for them. For example, when you see your dog yawning, say, sweetly "Yawn for me!"

Another thing you can do is to place your hand gently on your dog's face near the jaw hinge and press gently. Your dog will then open his mouth. Label the behavior and offer a treat to reinforce yawning.  With repeated training your dog will yawn on cue.  Use this technique when you want to help your dog relax. 
Play Calming Music
Your dog may respond to calming music. The tune Song for Daisy was especially composed to help Daisy chill out. And it seems to have worked for her and other dogs as well.  Give it a try. You can click the play button to listen now.  

One user said: "Both of my dogs were anxious-one about a storm, and one tearing up a toilet paper tube. I played this, and both are now peaceful, laying down and sleeping. I am impressed. I'm thinking of a nap myself."  (Remember this tune is for your dog, not you!)
Give Your Dog a Massage

A gentle massage is a great way to help your dog chill out. The video here gives you some great tips.

Watch the video and then try it!  Be sure to do it gently!
Calm Yourself!
Dogs have superpowers when it comes to  YOUR feelings.  If you are uptight, they can tell and will respond in kind. So calm yourself!
  • Learn and practice mental toughness
  • Learn deep relaxation therapy.
  • Learn speed sleeping
  • Meditate
  • Remember to breathe. Do simple breathing exercises.
  • Watch one of the many helpful calming videos on YouTube. 

Relax and Chill

Again, remember that dogs pick up your feelings. So relax and chill out yourself! Learn deep breathing exercises for yourself.  Do it now. It's that important.  Be patient. Magic Momo Superdog was once terrified at Fun Matches, but in time adapted and is now showing amazing skill at the highest levels of AKC Dog Agility. 
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