In order for the dog to be receptive to information they need to be in a calm state. Once their state heightens their focus will not be on you and the task in hand making their behaviour problematic. In order to successfully communicate we need to be able to reduce the dogs state in any moment to get them looking to us for information about their environment.
Here are actions you can do to reduce your dogs state.
Not making eye contact with or speaking to the dog
Not making eye contact is a non-confrontational and clear way to say, “I don’t want to interact yet or you are not getting it right”. Most dogs will observe this language and realise they are not getting anywhere and calm down and respond appropriately of their own free will.
Not moving forward
If your dog state is rising you may be able to stop what you are doing. That could be picking up the lead, throwing a ball and many other things. By not moving forward and waiting, you are discouraging heightened behaviours.
Acknowledge the potential problem/ calling them
By acknowledging the potential problem you and your dog will be in communication. This in many cases (especially when you are in charge) will be enough for the dog to feel confident that you are fine with the situation and as a result relax. If not further action will be needed.
Moving the dog away
Gently moving the dog away from a situation, by taking them by the collar without making eye contact, acts as a clear message to say that it is not needed. In many circumstances this will enough for the dog to get the message, if repeated a few times and gradually moving them further away each time, but in other scenarios the dog may be in too much of a heightened state which will require the next step of further action.
Isolating the dog
Isolating involves gently taking the dog by the collar, without speaking or looking at it and putting it in another room, so they cannot see you, giving it time to calm down. Once it is calm it can rejoin the pack. In isolation, the dog thinks to itself, “Where did that behaviour get me?” Eventually the interruptions of their behaviour will ensure the dog cannot maintain the heightened state. In turn the dog will learn the consequence of its action by associating being calm and well behaved with being let out and the undesirable behaviour with being isolated.
Choosing flight is the safest defence response, demonstrating that you are calmly going to walk away from what is making the dogs state rise. If done in time, the dogs state will not become heightened and will learn that you will react before they do.
If there is nowhere to walk away to, the next option is to take the dog by the collar and gently pull it tightly into your body and put your body slightly in front of the dogs. Once the dog relaxes, you can release the tension of your hold.
Each of the above techniques demonstrates that you are making the decisions and works with the dogs’ nature and needs.
Dog Training in London will come to your home for a consultation to help you address any undesirable behaviour. Top dog training solutions, with dog psychology in London. https://dogtraininginlondon.co.uk/