Be mindful of your dog’s state
Excitement can be a sign of stress
Healthy excitement (from play) is a positive state, and a way for your dog to release energy. However, unhealthy excitement, often created by busy environments, is a sign of stress and can impact your dog’s quality of lie, and result in “bad behaviours” such as barking, pulling, biting or jumping, etc.
Physical Exercise (5-10 minutes)
Just before your appointment, take 5-10 minutes to walk, run or play with your dog. Using physical exercise to release your dog’s energy will help to create calmness and relaxation during their appointment.
Mental Exercise (3-5 minutes)
Before leaving home, grab a couple of treats. When you arrive for your appointment, do this waiting exercise. Hold the treat in front of your dog’s nose, and wait for 3-5 minutes until your dog settles and becomes calm. Then, reward them with the treat! Waiting is a highly effective psychological exercise that helps dogs to release mental stress.
Reward your dog for calmness
Reacting to “bad behaviours” can create more stress because what we give attention to, grows. Instead, encourage calmness by waiting for your dog to be calm (ignore the bad behaviour) and, after a few minutes, give your dog praise! The more you reward your dog for calmness, the happier your dog will be.
Remember - it’s a marathon, not a sprint
Learning new behaviours takes time and repetition
Creating new behaviour patterns can be challenging. Have patience, and keep going! The more consistent you are, the easier it will get for both you and your dog.
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