A dog who is calm will actually hear instruction and will have clarity of mind to act appropriately even in challenging situations. Teaching self control and encouraging calmness is easy when you pay attention to your own behavior first.
Here are few simple every day things anyone can do to help their little dogs have good self control. If your dog can maintain his composure at a high state of excitement with you in your home he is more likely to be able to do this outside of your home and with others. He is practicing a valuable skill.
- Greet your dogs when they are calm and keep it calm and brief. When I walk into a room or come home from work I do not greet my dogs until they are calm. Once they catch on to this I come home to quiet little dogs who watch me with tails wagging waiting for me to get to them. I come in and set my stuff done, talk to my family, or just piddle for a few minutes. Once everyone is calm, I go to each one and give them a little TLC.
This is a daily practice in self control for them because they are excited that I am home and they all want my attention. Having learned that they will not get me until they are calm demands that they make the effort to remain calm.
- Give treats when your dog is calm and has all four paws on the floor. When I give treats out I expect everyone to remain calm. And I say the name of the dog the treat I have is for. (helps with swiping) I don't mind if they jump up to get their treat as long as they not out of control or all over me.
Also, don't forget to reward calmness if one doesn't get up for a treat! Sometimes one of mine will be in their bed and will stay there watching the others get treats. I always take them one too. They get the last one but they are not left out because I like to reward calmness and patience at my house. You will always get more of whatever you reward!!
If you are just starting out with this one a good place to begin is when they all over place just take one hand and set them a little away from you with the feet on the floor and give the treat. Be consistent and will start to learn that this is what is required to get that treat.
Again we have a regular practice of using self control during a high excitement event. And trust me, getting out the treat bag with 5 chihuahuas in the house is an excitement overload!
- Randomly notice your Chihuahua and give love when they are being good and calm. Anyone who has a Chihuahua can tell you what little affection hungry attention hounds these dogs are. You can use this to your advantage however and give affection whenever you see your Chihuahua sleeping or just chilling out. It's just a nice way to reward your dog for behaving.
You just want to take time to notice when your little dog is being calm and give attention then. If you do this your Chihuahuas need for affection will be getting filled without him having to be pushy and he won't feel like he has to pull out all the stops to get your attention.
Self Control is easier for some dogs than it is for others but it will come to them if you are consistent and patient. Age and temperament play a large part in gaining self control.
These really are simple little things to incorporate into your day and your dog will be learning to control his impulses in an easy pain free way. I like that these are all very positive experiences for my dogs. You do these things whether you have an older or a puppy and regardless of your dogs temperament.