The Puppy Training Podcast

Episode #96 Settling & Calm

March 24, 2022 Baxter & Bella Puppy Training Season 5 Episode 96
The Puppy Training Podcast
Episode #96 Settling & Calm
Show Notes Transcript

Amanda Crosland joins Amy to discuss new puppies and how to help your dog settle in your home. We talk about tips you can use to help your puppy choose calm on their own. 

Support the show
Amy:

This is the puppy training podcast episode number 96, settling and calm. This podcast is designed to help you on your journey of becoming best friends through love and learning as you train your own dog from home, and I'm here to help you every step of the way. This is the puppy training podcast, and I'm your host, Amy Jensen. Hey, everybody, welcome to the puppy training Podcast. I'm so excited that you're here. Thanks for listening. Today I have one of my trainers here at Baxter & Bella Amanda Crossland with us. And she's going to talk to us a little bit about settling and calm. I know that's a topic that you're all interested in. Right. So how do we get our dogs to be calm? So thanks, Amanda, for joining us today.

Amanda:

You're welcome. I'm excited to be here.

Amy:

Before we dive into settling and calm, will you explain a little bit about yourself and how long you've been training dogs.

Amanda:

So I got into trading dogs probably two years ago. So not very long. But two years ago, I bought my first dog and I became a member of the Baxter & Bella program. And I fell in love with training dogs. And so I started doing a little bit of research into how I could develop more skills and more knowledge around how to train dogs. Eventually, it grew into something a lot bigger, and I was able to eventually be hired on with you. And so So yeah, just started with a simple love and a passion for training my own dog.

Amy:

That's awesome. That's how most of us I think start as we just realize these creatures are amazing animals, and it's so fun to work with them. And really honestly, I feel like we have the best job in the world.

Amanda:

It is the best job in the world. I love it.

Amy:

What is your favorite thing that you've learned to train a dog to do?

Amanda:

Today, we're going to be talking a lot about settling and calm behaviors. That is one of my favorite things to train my dogs to do. I use it in so many different areas. It does, it does take a lot of time and a lot of patience and a lot of awareness of your dog. But that's definitely my favorite thing. On top of that, I think your recall is really fun and really important too. I've always enjoyed getting my puppy really excited to come to me. So

Amy:

I agree. I think that makes fun video shots out in your backyard when you you know you call your dog to you. And then I like to pull up my phone and hit record and watch him just charging full speed at you with her tongue out and they're all happy to come work with you.

Amanda:

I love that and then put those videos in slow mo and life's even better.

Amy:

That's true. Okay, so when we talk about settling and calm, will you explain what that is, from our perspective? And then there really what do we mean by that?

Amanda:

Yeah, so when I think of a calm settled dog, I think of a dog who is just comfortable, soothing themselves is okay being, you know, alone and can calm down, when needed, teaching our puppy how to be calm and teaching them how to settle. It requires a lot of patience and a lot of practice on our part.

Amy:

And it also requires a lot for our puppies to you when our puppies first come home. Amanda, it doesn't seem like there's a lot of settling and calm, right. I think we get asked that a lot in our business. When we speak with clients, you know, how do I get a puppy to be like your puppy? How do I get my puppy to look like that? You know, why is it so important for families to know about these little tips and tricks when it comes to settling in common also, to know about what a puppy can handle at a young age?

Unknown:

Yeah, great question. So I get this a lot as well with a client. So they will say hey, my puppy, none of the videos on here match the kind of demeanor my puppy has. And I look at them. And I'm like, You know what it is hard. And I'm with you. We feel that a lot. A lot of us go through the puppy stages, the 6pm at night, when they get the zoomies and they're running around or like our dogs never going to be calm. The beauty of it though, if you think about those moments throughout the day, where your puppies laying down, or where your puppies cuddled up on the couch, or your puppies in the crate and sleeping, those moments throughout the day. Those are the behaviors that we like to call a settle or a calm. And those are the behaviors that we like to reward. So oftentimes, when we see our puppies in most states where they're settled, where they're calm, where they're laying in their bed, where they're just sitting there staring at us, you know, they could just be sitting there doing nothing and staring at us. That's moments like that, where we want to reward them and be seeing a lot of our Yes, yeses instead of a lot of our nose when they get to be unhappy.

Amy:

So for a brand new client, I have a puppy and I just brought them home, what would be my first steps to achieving calm? You know, helping my puppy I guess, be rewarded for this type of behavior? What would you recommend to me? What kind of training plan would you set up for me?

Amanda:

My best advice is to set up something like a playpen so that your puppy has a space where they can learn to be calm. If your puppy is out with you all the time. They could want to follow you in a bit your feet jump on you, and they're not learning a lot of those calming behaviors. So if we take time to set have something like a playpen or a baby gate and separate our puppies from from us. They develop skills to self soothe, to self regulate and to balance their emotions. So what the playpen does is it gives us those opportunities to watch for our puppy give us those calm behaviors such as a down or settle or laying in their crate or laying on their bed and we can go over and drop a tree, just drop a treat in there, we don't have to make a big deal of it. We want them to stay calm, eventually, as we continue to develop a pattern where they lay down, and we'll drop retreat in and teach them that this is the kind of behavior that gets you attention, not the jumping, not the barking, not the whining, this is what gets your attention.

Amy:

Yeah, and I think some people are nervous to let their puppies whine or bark. Have you experienced that?

Unknown:

Yeah, I have, I think that's a good a good thing to touch on in the fact that there's different, there's different types of whining and those different types of barking. I mean, you think about our little puppies coming home at the very beginning, they're nervous, they're, it's a, it's an environment change, everything's different, the people are different, the smells are different. There's all sorts of different things going on in their environment. And change is hard for all of us, let alone a little eight or nine, toliko puppy. So when your puppy comes home, I would encourage you to just build a lot of that bond, and recognize that a lot of their tantrums at the beginning are going to be frustration, they want to be with you. They want, they want that closeness. And when you're away, it's gonna frustrate them a little, I think recognizing the difference between, you know, excessive panting, throwing up, drooling, whatever it is, versus just a puppy that's over there. Or rah rah rah rah, that's a puppy that's probably more just frustrated that they're separated from you. So recognizing the difference and allowing your puppy to learn how to self soothe in those moments, instead of going over and reinforcing that archy or that crime will really help them develop these calm behaviors.

Amy:

Yeah, in our program, I feel like we do a pretty good job in that first week together of teaching, you know, clients, how to build a bond with your dogs and how to help that dog build trust in you that you will come back and you, you know, they are safe in your home, and they're safe with you. And we actually see in that first week, a lot of these puppy stresses melt away, and then the puppy becomes more comfortable. And now, okay, yeah, like you're saying, when the person disappears, they like, wait, I want to go with you. I want to be with you every second and they can't always be with us. And that really is actually a good life lesson for every dog to learn is sometimes I have to be on my own. Sometimes I have to self entertain. And so you've given us some great tips to get that started.

Amanda:

Yeah, yeah, for sure. Definitely keep up the the rewarding the calmness, I think that's something we forget a lot our puppies get happy or hyper or jumpy, or bidi or nippy. And we're just stuck on this knowing Yes, loop that you talked about a no loop multiple times in our program. And in these podcasts. And I see a lot of people get stuck in a no loop. And they forget to look for those common behaviors because they only see the loud ones or the barking ones or the jumping ones. So for looking for those common ones, we can get ourselves stuck in a yes loop instead of a no loop.

Amy:

Yeah. And then we see those puppies, they know their cooperation goes away up their frustration levels go way down. For sure. I know Amanda, and working with some clients, we run into some struggles, right where people might go wrong. Can you elaborate on some of those that you've seen working with others?

Amanda:

Yeah, um, a common one is that we do like we were just talking about get stuck in that know loop. And a lot of the time, it's because we are not setting our puppy up for success. Meaning, the reason we talked about the playpen earlier in this podcast is because that playpen does set them up for success. I like to think about this in terms of like a video game. So if we sort of put our puppies on like a level 10 of this video game, they're, they're gonna have no idea what to do. They don't even know how to do level one level one level 10. And we're giving them this kind of freedom to our house to jump on us to bite us to bark at us to do all these different behaviors. We were like expecting them to know how to do level 10. And they don't even know how to do level one in the playpen. So the idea behind the playpen is that in there. They it's it's controlled enough that they can't do the things that they would do if they were outside of the playpen. So now with the playpen since we have this structure, we're setting them up for success in the idea that we're teaching them what to do instead. So let's take a puppy I had a puppy the other day who came to my house who had some serious problems with separation he had really struggled to settle and calm on his own, whether it was in the playpen, whether it was behind a baby gate or whether it was just on my couch just struggled to calm down. And we developed a routine and some structure with this playpen where I would sit outside of the playpen just to let him know that I wasn't going anywhere and anytime I saw this puppy going into a down or settling or choosing to not bark or cry or one I would just drop a treat it. And this happened maybe like every three or five seconds, I was dropping a treat and and rewarding this puppy for their common behaviors. So the idea here is it's a very structured environment. So I can, I can really kind of control what's going on anytime the puppy whines, I just ignore it, I was right there, the puppy was safe, you know, it was fine. Really what I was doing was teaching them like when you're calm, you get attention. When you bark, you don't get my attention, I know you're fine, I know you're safe, you've gone potty, we're fine. So when you're calm, I'm going to drop a treat him when you're not, I'm not going to drop treat it. And eventually, we worked up to building this puppy up to being able for me to sit on the couch, or sit at my dining table, and be able to drop treats him from there. And then I was able to leave the room, and he was calm. But it took a lot of patience. I think that's one thing that we forget, when we're training our puppies is that we're in a rush, we just want to get things done. We want our puppy to learn quickly. They're just not doing it. And it takes a lot of work to get our puppies to build up this kind of distress tolerance. So if we can take the time, and increase our patience and allow allow that time to set our puppies up for success by teaching them and training them these calm behaviors, you'll see a lot more progress in the future, instead of just making it a rush thing and not waiting for them to do that calm behavior.

Amy:

I love that I love that point on patience and just waiting and giving ourselves time, especially in transitions. I feel like the comings and goings note that we do tend to rush or be in a hurry. And we're not allowing our dog time to make those choices on their own. And they really do learn, I say oh, in the long run more quickly by figuring things out on their own.

Amanda:

Yeah, I would definitely agree with that. And I mean, a lot of what we're doing with the Combi havior is not talking. And that's one of the beauties of it. We don't we're not sitting there talking to our dog at all, a lot of it is just they're watching us do the dishes, they're watching us cook, they're watching us eat. And we're just rewarding them for watching us or for being calm or for sitting there. So a lot of those these calm behaviors, it just takes those patient moments waiting for them to be calm and then rewarding that behavior.

Amy:

Amanda, thank you so much for being here today and talking about that. I know this is something that a lot of new dog families are curious about how do I get this calm and this settling and I think you've given us some great tips today. Now, before we go, can I ask you if you had a day off with just you and your dogs? How would you spend it?

Amanda:

Oh, I'd be outside, we would be up in the mountains we'd be hiking, maybe go swimming, I would take them outside. Just get them exposed to the elements, get them practices or recall. Get a ton of different things in their life. And for me as well. I love being outdoors. And so just getting outside is probably where I would be if I had a full day off with my dogs.

Amy:

All right. Well, you guys thanks for checking in today and listening. I hope you took away a tip or two that can help you improve your life with your dog and like Amanda said, Get outside within this weekend and go find something fun to do together. Talk to you later. If you have a question about anything you heard on this podcast or any other Puppy Training question, visit my site Baxterandbella.com to contact me.