Does your Dog Never Seem to Settle??
I met a lovely lady who she asked what she could do with her very lively 1 year old Cockapoo. She said they couldn’t tire her out. I asked if her puppy was getting enough rest - did they play ball with her, what diet she was on? She said she sleeps through the night, but is on the go all day.
Not getting enough rest and sleep.
A puppy needs 19-20 hours of sleep a day to be at their best
A puppy should actually only be awake for 4-5 hours a day.
An adult dog stills needs 14-17 hours sleep a day.
How do we make sure they get enough rest and sleep?
Give your puppy or dog lots of downtime and teach a good settle to mat, this is invaluable to them.
Only play games for very short periods
Always calm them down after, by calm stroking
Give them something like a Snufflemat so they can forage and sniff - this will help to calm them down.
Give them a Licki Mat with something tasty spread on it ,so they are encouraged to lick
Give them something to chew on, such as a stuffed Kong or a healthy chew like a Yakers.
Always supervise your dog with anything like this so they don’t chew off anything they shouldn’t.
I have lots of healthy treats and food ideas on my Facebook page.
By teaching them a really good settle to mat, they will find it much easier to settle - imagine going into a room full of people and told to relax, it’s not always that easy is it.
Ball playing -
They were doing this on a regular basis thinking it would tire their dog out, but unfortunately this can have the opposite effect.
When playing ball with your dog, for example throwing it into the distance, with your dog then frantically running after it, raises their adrenaline levels, which can take up to 72 hours to leave the body and makes it difficult for them to calm down and relax.
If you played ball with your dog everyday their adrenaline levels would never come down, that’s on top of your dog barking at the post arriving, getting excited by visitors who make a fuss of them.
Sniffing, licking and chewing are all calming activities as they release endorphins.
By all means, do play ball with your dog, but there are other ways of playing with a ball which are far more beneficial to them.
Play hide and seek with the ball - your dog will love the team game between you. At the same time get some training in by asking for a sit/stay whilst you hide the ball and ask them to go find it.
They will love using their nose to find the ball and of course get lots of praise from you when they’ve found it.
Make it nice and easy to start with so your dog doesn’t get frustrated.
Teach them to bring the ball back to you after you’ve rolled it away from them and swapping for a second ball, again great team work and so much fun for the two of you.
Playing games like this will help you to have a better relationship with your dog and help with your dog’s recall as all the fun happens around you rather than you throwing that ball (of value) away from you.
Make sure your dog is on the best food possible with no artificial flavours or colourings and the highest percentage of meat.
Did you know that legally a pet food company only has to use 4% meat for it to be classed at a meat dish! Most are made up mainly of wheat and cereal as a filler!
We use Butternut Box dinners for our dog Frankie, which have 60% meat in all of their dinners, the rest is made up of vegetables and pulses.
Also look at the treats that you are giving your dog, could there be hidden artificial additives in there?
For a non biased opinion of what is in your dog’s food go to this website:
We spoke about ditching the food bowl and routine, so feed your dog their daily food with some fun training games, food searches, whilst out on a walk - sprinkle food in grass, always making sure there are no other dogs around. Take the fun teamwork games outside, again your dog will want to stay with you more than running off to make their own entertainment.
Sprinkle their food around your garden so that they get to use their brain and their nose to find the food rather than barking at the neighbours cat.
There are many more ways to calm down a busy dog, for more advice and tips please feel free to contact me.
I offer 1-2-1 puppy and dog training sessions, enrichment sessions and group puppy classes