Up next in How to Take Care of a Puppy (44 videos)
Got a new puppy? If your dog whisperer skills leave something to be desired, check out these videos. Certified professional dog trainer and canine behavior counselor Robert Haussmann, founder of Dogboy, Inc., teaches you everything from how to prepare your home for a puppy to how to get your new pup to settle down. It's the next best thing to having a dog trainer on speed dial.
So most puppies are very excitable, exuberant, happy animals, and that's something we shouldn't necessarily discourage. What we can do is teach them a fun way to settle down when it's time to settle down. One way we could do this is to purposely encourage the dogs to be kind of wild and crazy, jump around, try and get them a little bit overly excited so that we can then teach them to settle down. Now the first thing you need to do is teach your dog how to lie down on command, and you can do that by following a lure to the floor. Once a dog knows how to lie down, you can purposely get the dog excited, running around, jumping, barking, etc., etc. and then see how fast you can get it to lie down on the floor and calm down. You can use the command "settle down" while you do it. So the dog is just getting used to going from, you know, 60 miles an hour to zero, 60 miles an hour to zero. It's something that the dog is getting used to doing and enjoying doing, and you can start asking for it in real, applied situations. When the dog is really excited around guests, really excited around food, or any other particular situation, you can ask the dog to settle down. Now be realistic about this. If you have a high-octane dog and you're keeping him crated all day, or he's in a pen all day, and you come home and you're tired from the end of your day, remember that you're coming home is the first exciting thing that he's had all day. So for him to be over-exuberant and excited, it shouldn't be a surprise to you. Make sure that you're giving the dog plenty of outlets to get out some of that energy, and then train the dog that when we ask him to settle down, to lie on the ground and be still. And that's a great exercise for him to start understanding what it is you expect, and it's a great way to communicate with your dog what you expect from him when guests come or when there are other exciting things going on in his life. Give that a try, and that would be my suggestion for how you train your dog to settle down.