How to Raise a Calm Dog: It's Possible!

With these tips, you can ensure that your dog feels at ease and calm, any day of the week
How to Raise a Calm Dog: It's Possible!

Last update: 19 February, 2018

If your pet is very nervous and bites, barks, or can’t sit still for even a moment, we recommend that you read the following article. We are going to share some advice for having a calm dog, for when you are with him or for when he is alone.

Tips for having a calm dog

All dog owners wish that their friend was calm at least for most of the day. That way we could enjoy a pleasant coexistence and avoid many problems. If your friend does not stay put for even a second, we have some recommendations for you to calm down your dog:

1. Reinforce good behavior

When the animal is doing something that you would like to encourage, you should reward him. For example, if he is lying down peacefully at your feet or in his bed, pet him slowly and speak to him softly. Don’t yell at him or give him orders with a demanding tone to get him to do what you want. You can give him a treat or a toy every time that he behaves well in front of children, neighbors, or other animals.

2. Work on the “lie down” command

If you get your pet accustomed to being quiet and calm when he’s in the house, you will enjoy a silent home where it doesn’t even seem like you have a dog. You must work on this command very calmly and patiently.

Once he has learned it and obeys it regularly, you can “make things a little more difficult.” Try to get him to stay still and lying down when you have visitors or if you are outside. That way the animal will connect these situations with the action of staying still.

3. Speak to him in a low voice

The words that you use don’t matter as much as the tone. Dogs understand only a few words and phrases, and the rest is based on the inflections of their owners’ voices. You should speak slowly and kindly to your dog so that he acts the way that you want him to. That way, he won’t think that you are giving him a command. Use subtle signs with your hands to differentiate them from the brusque gestures used when he behaves badly. 

4. Don’t encourage excitement

If your dog is nervous, the least you should do is urge him to get more excited. For example, when you come back home after work maybe he jumps and barks too much. Wait a few minutes and then greet or play with him. When he is very flustered, you should wait until he is still. Otherwise it will be very difficult to calm him down.

5. Train or play with him when he is calm

If you start a new training routine and you want to teach him when he’s very nervous, the animal will think that this is the behavior that he must follow. On the contrary, we recommend that you teach him things provided that he stays calm.

6. Understand your dog

A pet is very susceptible to loud noises (like thunder, firecrackers, sirens, shouting, etc.) and that can make him anxious. If this is the case, don’t scold him if the nerves come from something that he cannot control. Instead, you should let him calm down first, and then later spoil him or try to play with him.

7. Give him massages

It may sound strange to you, but many dog owners are putting into practice a relaxation technique similar to those for humans. There are some mechanisms that relax the animal, for example caressing his belly or chin.   

9. Boost confidence

It’s very important that your dog trusts you. More than anyone, this tip is meant for those people that have adopted an animal that was abused in the past from a shelter. Once he understands that you are reliable, it will be easier to teach the dog to stay calm.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.