PLACE! An effective way to deal with a dog that paces and does not relax is to interrupt that undesirable behavior. This is also an effective alternative to constant pestering.
Using The Place Command:
- Use the umbilical leash to stop the pacing
- Step on leash and pick it up
- Hold leash
- Take dog to desired “relax” spot
- Teach dog a word for the desired spot, like “in your bed”, “go to your place”, or just “place”…
- “Relax” spot should be a comfy bed, a throw rug, or an old blanket or towel. “Relax” spots can be placed in several or many areas of the home!
- Take dog to “relax” spot, and enforce “relax” or “settle” with a foot on the leash (which means you need to get comfortable, too, so you can be there with your foot on the leash!).
- Dog should relax for at least 5 to 15 minutes, up to 30 minutes with foot on leash to keep him in place.
- Release ONLY when he is nicely settled (not settled and revving up for another struggle!).
- Praise quietly when he is “relaxed”. Give him a tiny soft-moist treat brought down to his level, firm stroke from head to tail, quiet voice praise.
- Give him a special chew (if you choose rawhide, it should be a more durable type like what is called “pressed” or “compressed” rawhide) or a treat-stuffed toy to keep him busy in his place. Offer this only when he starts relaxing with the enforced down.
- When he starts to understand the command “go to your place”, he won’t need to be reminded as much with you taking him there with the umbilical leash, and eventually should be able to have it removed.
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