Tommy Pickles Displaying Relaxed Behavior in Car

Cultivate Calming Dog Energy

By joshyoung | joshuayoung | 30 Jan 2020

Cultivate Calming Dog Energy


I use, 'We are relaxing.'  This prompts Tommy Pickles, 1.5 year old bully breed, to lower his energy by a notch or two.

A notch or two does not mean going from aggressively pulling on the leash for a squirrel to submissively lying on the ground. 

This could look like going from the following to:

  • Having the zoomies - stopping and deep breathing.
  • Jumping for a toy - chewing the toy on the ground.
  • Barking in the house - being quiet on his place. 

I am amazed on how powerful this command is. 

The training starts by bringing the dog into a room with low distractions. Keep them on leash if the room makes the dog too amped up. 

After they have check out the room, say 'We are relaxing'. Say 'good' as a mark and treat for behavior that brings the dog into a relaxed state. Examples are sitting, staying in a down, relaxing a tensed faced, deep breathing, lip licking.

For yourself breathe rhythmically, look around the room with soft eyes, relax tension in face and back. As we all know the person yelling for calm seldom gets calm, mostly fear. 

After about 1 -2 sessions you can increase distractions. This could be a calming toy like a bone not a squeaky toy, or a movie. 

training the command and having this energy on cue can give you more success in moments when the doorbell rings, engaging others in a dog park, or sipping a beverage on a cafe patio. 

Happy relaxing.


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Dog trainer. Previous caterer. Focused on happiness.


Dog trainer in training, focused on positive reinforcement training principles. Long term travel partner, co business owner and wife, Scotti, works in applied behavior analysts with autistic children 4 and under. In January 2020 we adopted 1.5 year old Tommy Pickles, a white and brown bully breed, mostly pit.

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