Imagine your dogs emotions are water in a pan. Ideally, this water should be cool and calm, like their emotions. Unfortunately, there are flames under their pan.
Each flame represents something that either worries or excites your dog. These flames will vary in size depending how worrying or exciting they are. If the water gets hot enough, it will boil over. When this happens, your dog will start to react. These reactions can be barking and lunging at other dogs, not listening to you, jumping on guests and pulling on their lead along with many other behaviours.
Here’s the thing, once our dogs pan bubbles over, it takes on average 3 days for the hormone that was released to go back to its normal level. During these 3 days, their water could still be bubbling and on the verge of bubbling over again.
Luckily, there are ways we can not only help them recover faster, but we can also put out those flames to avoid this happening again.
3 Steps to becoming cool
Helping our dog and their bubbling over emotional pan can be done in just 3 simple steps, those are:
Calm Areas: These are zones designated for calmness, such as dog beds, crates, X-pens and certain rooms. These zones are fundamental for calmness and giving them a place of their own to relax when things are getting a bit to much for them.
Calming Activities: These are activities that inspire calmness, such as frozen Kongs, snuffle mats, licking mats, long lasting bones and canine enrichment games.
Rewarding Calmness: We can actually capture the moments that our dogs show calmness, when we see these moments, calmly place or throw a treat to them. There is no need to use a marker word for this as this could add excitement. Don’t worry if they instantly get excited after, they will try to work out what they did to get rewarded and find a calming behaviour again.
Top Tip: Set aside 50 pieces of their dinner aside each day to reward calming behaviours. This may sound a lot at first, but it will become second nature to you in no time.