Cockapoo Calm for Christmas

Today is thanksgiving in USA and today I am so thankful that I get to work with dogs!

Specifically, that I have had the privilege of raising several litters of cockapoos! I am painfully aware that my puppies are so popular but that there can never be enough “faithful friends” cockapoos for everybody who wants one... However I am busy working on some useful tools for those of you still searching for a puppy... and for those of you who already have your dog... the tips keep coming. 

Here is my tip for November:

Teach your dog to be calm inside

Before the Christmas tree goes up and whilst the weather is a bit rubbish (cold, wet -brrr)... It’s a great time to invest in some indoor training breakthroughs. 

Remember that picture you had in your head of owning a dog, snuggling in front of the fire / TV... drinking hot chocolate on cold winters night with your best fur friend?

That picture can still be your reality, with some simple training tips.

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But First: save some of your dog food daily allowance and use it for training – we don’t want fat dogs!!

My two tips for calm winters evenings are: Establish and Rehearse the behaviour you desire.

Establish: where you want your dog curled up and cosy and calm... is it a dog bed? A mat? A particular area of the sofa? A chair? – YOU CHOOSE.

Then you need to make the area you have chosen the most desirable place in the room for your dog. So that THEY CHOOSE to be there J

You do this by “adding value” to the area. Using a portion of their daily allowance of dog food, first lure to the area and feed feed feed the area. Keep putting food on the area so that it is rewarding to stay in place. Don’t be tempted to rush the process. For the first few days just ask that the dog get on the area and treat that, multiple times in quick succession. Then start to look for calm behaviour on the area. So treat going on it a few times then pause and leave longer spaces between treats... but look especially for a relax type behaviour (lying down). Reward that – even if it makes dog sit up. Because it is what you want long term. 

 

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Rehearse: Notice when dog goes to the area you have chosen and give some food. Even if you haven’t asked them to go there. Notice when they are relaxed in the specified area by themselves (without even being asked) and reward it. At first you feel like you are waking them to treat them and it disrupts the calmness- but long term you have added value to the area and soon the dog will just think of that area of the room as the most rewarding part of the room and you will find them choosing it for themselves... And they will be happy to spend long period of times there (with only occasional treats and eventually without treats). Rehearse the behaviour you want by rewarding it every time you can!

Remember working on training – even this sort of calm training excercises your dogs mind and can wear them out. If you have a young puppy start with just 3 minutes of training... You can establish fab behaviours with frequent 3 minute moments.

It is the season of gifts and I absolutely LOVE these hand finished bronze sculptures by Frith. The sculptors have modelled these on their own cockapoos, this is why they are so lifelike and capture the cockapoo so perfectly!!

I can’t think of a better Christmas gift for a cockapoo lover... Go on treat yourself!!! (Order by Nov 30thto guarantee Christmas delivery.)

Lydia Faithfull