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That was an interesting article! So glad my girl is laid back and happy to be an couch potato inbetween our strolls!

I have to say that in my observations of different people's way of walking their dogs, I feel sorry for the dog that is urged to walk briskly, without the owner letting it "stroll and sniff" and just enjoy! I guess they are just walking the dog to go potty and it is just a chore! Kinda feel bad for the dog when I see this.......I have always thought that if Molly ever got separated from me, she would know how to get home because she can recognize the scent of our neighborhood!LOL! Does your dog know its way home?
 

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I enjoyed the article as well. With my current dog, I think I'm achieving the right balance, but with one of my former fosters I certainly wondered if my house was a little too exciting for him, leading to restlessness and impulsiveness. There's a lot of good suggestions in here, but I have noticed that some people are reacting to the title and perhaps not reading/understanding the content.
 

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I agree completely and think this goes back to something we have called the mental or thinking walk. It isn't how far or fast you go as much as how you interact with the dogs and whether the walk is relaxing yet an opportunity to do some training vs. a battle to prevent pulling, barking, lunging and other reactive and arousing behaviors.
 

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I think it is a really neat article. My young puppy has a hard time settling in an exciting environment. We have started working on relaxing on a mat, and "capturing calmness".

https://youtu.be/wesm2OpE_2c

He has a great off- switch in our home, but he is excited on our walks, training class, and new people/place. I'm sure 85% of his excitement is due to his age (13 months), but it is an area I'd really like to work on. We go to the park a lot, but we sit on the bench as my kids play. I want to incorporate his walk with my kids playing at the equipments during the summer months.

I'm curious to read the few articles/sites he had recommended.
 

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I just started mat training with Archie, too. He has no problem relaxing at home or in familiar places anymore, but anywhere else and he starts to get really overstimulated, and then he's either pulling in every direction or whining because he can't get to things. I'm hoping if I capture calmness on one particular mat (I found a portable one that folds up into a carrying bag), then I can take that around with me and he'll be able to settle on it when he goes other places. Then he can slowly learn to settle without it. Hopefully.

I'm using pretty much the same technique that's linked in the article, except I haven't been using a leash - he just gets a click/treat for choosing to go to the mat, and nothing if he ignores it. They had really good tips for getting him to actually relax there, though - right now he goes into super-intense "how do I get the treat" mode, so that's the next step in our shaping.

It's interesting that this person says you should STOP going on walks while you work on calm/impulse control, though, instead of doing both.
 

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Good article. Yep...I've worked with crazy dogs that no matter how much their owners walk them, they continued to seem to need more and their owners would walk them more. I told them to break that habit because that energy that never seems to be satisfied is like supply and demand. If they demand and you supply, then they need more. So you rise to the occasion and they meet that level, but then...need more and so you do more. And up, up, up it goes. So, while I heartily think dogs need plenty of physical exercise, just like we all should get to stay fit, they definitely don't need huge amounts. Just think of canines living without food being handed to them. They don't do a whole lot of running and migrating huge distances because they need to conserve, as they're not given food on a stainless steel platter.

I like to take a nice, brisk walk with my dogs, if not for their good I like to do this almost every day but if it's hideous weather, I'll skip a day here and there. But they really do love going off the property for a walk. We stop, they sniff, pee, I ask for some "watch me" and work with distractions where there are some, working on focus etc. We change speed and they are asked to stay fairly near me...so it's always including a little nice, mannerly walking, as well as letting them check things out. And it's really quite important to keep their ligaments and tendons strong to keep their knees where they're suppose to be. So I don't agree with not walking the dogs or giving them plenty of exercise. But do agree with the idea that excessive exercise is not the answer.

At home we do a few training things too. I'm teaching them some fun thing where they wait, but stand, then I keep walking and they catch up for a few steps, then wait, then catch up again etc. I'm teaching the one I'm not working with to chill and not mind waiting his turn.

So anyhow...it's a good article. I'm happy that I don't need to teach my dogs to chill in the house. They like to play and romp together but then they have no trouble just relaxing. But for those who seem to never be satisfied with their activities, physical and/or mental, then actively teaching them to relax is a great idea. Then they find out how nice that can be too, especially with added belly rubs.

Thanks for posting that article. It's super.

Super chill

 

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I just started mat training with Archie, too. He has no problem relaxing at home or in familiar places anymore, but anywhere else and he starts to get really overstimulated, and then he's either pulling in every direction or whining because he can't get to things. I'm hoping if I capture calmness on one particular mat (I found a portable one that folds up into a carrying bag), then I can take that around with me and he'll be able to settle on it when he goes other places. Then he can slowly learn to settle without it. Hopefully.

I'm using pretty much the same technique that's linked in the article, except I haven't been using a leash - he just gets a click/treat for choosing to go to the mat, and nothing if he ignores it. They had really good tips for getting him to actually relax there, though - right now he goes into super-intense "how do I get the treat" mode, so that's the next step in our shaping.

It's interesting that this person says you should STOP going on walks while you work on calm/impulse control, though, instead of doing both.
I like your way better. I like letting them choose which way works best. And personally, I wouldn't advocate stopping walks while teaching the opposite of activity...(calm, impulse control) Teaching opposites by volleying back and forth is VERY effective in showing a dog the difference...that he can play and run and it is also rewarding to be calm and lie down. Take a walk, play, then come home and immediately work on mat training or other calming activities with guidance from the owner. Do that for a few minutes, then have him retrieve a toy...something somewhat active but not crazy wild. Then stop and do the relaxing technique on the mat. Teaching incompatible behaviors next to each other can be very effective in getting the message across I think and to prove to the dog that he can go from one to the other and it's rewarding.
 

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Really good article. Yes, I had to find out myself how important it is, and how to teach your dog to chill out. Wish I had had this article /video 7 years ago:)

I have found that sitting on the leash to make it that length works even better.
 

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Not sure what to think about the article

My pups a working pup, as in he is actively on duty when I am out and about and away from home, in the home he's got his off time but isn't truly fully off duty either (he's a diabetic alert dog).
 

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Great article. One thing I love about Standard Poodles and why they are such great companion and family dogs is that they follow your energy level. If you want to veg and watch movies all day they are game!!! If you want to hit the trails it's a go too!
I have always used a leash indoors for training at a certain point in basic training. I learned it from a trainer at a vets office I worked at years ago. At the end of the training, the dogs would relax the minute she put a leash on them indoors.
Thanks for posting the article.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Super informative, funny title! Make it a sticky!
I agree, make this a sticky. If one follows the various links in the article there is so much valuable information. I have passed this on to several people. The only problem seems to be that quite a few owner/trainers do not have the patience to do this with their dogs.

Awesome info here. If one follows it, it definitely works.
 

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Wow, great info here! I will be making some adjustments to our daily routine and training focus, for sure.

I think watching a lot of Dog Whisperer back in the day really ingrained in my head that daily walks are crucial... (Yes, I realize NOW that show is NOT where people should be picking up training techniques/advice for the general dog public. Just pointing out where my mistake originated. It's been more than a decade since I've even thought of the show!)


Already I've been way too strict with our puppy, especially for a 13 week old. Thankfully it's only been 1 week and I'm confident we can recover. Always learning!!
 

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I have had “relax on a mat” bookmarked for some time — I’ve been meaning to do it with Sage. He is fine at home and my sister’s, my mom’s house etc. At friends’ houses though he still is wanting to play or sniff around while we chat and I want him to want to relax. I just don’t go visiting enough to practice!!
 

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I trained all of my dogs, to lay down on their blanket when at someone's home, out in a outside restaurant, anywhere away from the house. People will say can I pet them and they just sit there, it is wonderful people compliment how well behaved they are, plus I have never had to clean up from them out in public. They know if they want to go byby they got to potty, and will try even if the can't.
 

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The relax on a mat training was INVALUABLE to me and Poppy.

She was a pup/dog who NEVER EVER would settle on her own. NEVER EVER! No naps, no lying down being quiet......on the move from 6 AM until whenever we went to bed. No amount of exercise would tire her out....in fact, exercise was like a a huge adrenaline dump prompting more busy behavior.

It took just a few days of randomly practicing relax on a mat to change things drastically for both of us. We also cut back on the physical exercise and did a lot more brain games.

Poppy and I are both happier and more at ease since learning this exercise.

http://www.dogsandbabieslearning.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Relax_on_a_mat.pdf
 
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