Can a Universal "Chill out" Command be Taught? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-22-2016, 09:40 PM Thread Starter
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Coeur d' Alene
Posts: 4,418
Can a Universal "Chill out" Command be Taught?

I have come to believe that much of my young dog's behavior problems in public are just from sheer excitement /interest levels rising out of control.

Rather than insist that she goes to a "sit stay" or a "lay down stay" position and hold - it would be so much better if I could just tell her to "chill" or "settle down". It would apply to many different situations and would allow her to sit or stand or lay down as she wants and I won't have her "frozen" in a certain position or spot. I'd like her to be able to relax too. She just gets so ramped up. She's full of life and curiosity. I've tried to wear her out with 2 ball etc, then wait 1/2 hour for the walk but she's still crazy "on" all the time. Can I teach her to mellow out for all general public situations?? Or, should this just come in time?

Thanks!
Stonevintage is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-22-2016, 10:40 PM
Crowned Member
 
SuperG's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Great White North
Posts: 3,999
I'd be a liar to suggest I taught my current dog a chill out command ( as you describe) as a pup BUT.....my 3 year old now has finally learned a "relax" command and it has truly tested my patience during the process. Yes, I could command my dog into a controllable down or any other stay put position but still she was wrapped up tight as could be.....hardly a "chill out" mentality on behalf of the dog. Recently, I changed my "tone" with the dog and guided the dog into a "relax mode" utilizing my voice and posturing along with the dog's anticipation of the ensuing event. Essentially, I stall the dog and the process if the dog is all amped up ( only when the situation dictates)...the process takes longer if the dog refuses to "chill out"...the sooner the dog relaxes, the sooner the dog gets to enjoy the ensuing engagement. Example: it's cold here now and when I go to put my boots/jacket/hat/gloves on to go outside the dog knows it's go time and the dog used to to loose her crap as soon as this process would begin. I consistently would start the process all over again if she didn't calm a bit during the process....the sooner the dog "chills" the sooner we get to the games/training. These dogs are smart and can connect the dots...but in the process, test our patience ( mine anyway). The "chill" exhibited may very well be a masked version of the same hyper anticipation but it seems to be genuine enough to sell me. A valuable lesson I have learned from a person or two in this forum is to harness a dog's anticipation and use it toward the overall benefit of handler and dog. It is easier for me to get a dog amped up versus mellow a dog out but now I appreciate how both sides of this fence can be accomplished using the dog's anticipation.

SuperG
SuperG is offline  
post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-22-2016, 10:41 PM
Master Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 931
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonevintage View Post
Can I teach her to mellow out for all general public situations??
I guess that depends on what you'd expect her to do in a 'mellow' state.

When people get excited, our heart rate goes up, adrenaline may kick in, a whole bunch of changes take place. Something similar likely occurs in animals, and I highly doubt it's possible to teach a dog to calm itself down. Best case is self-control and restraint in a (still) excited state. And for this, I do like the down-stay.

If my girl gets overly excited when meeting strangers, I put her in a down 5-6 metres away from the people/dogs we just met, and I go over there to talk with the owners and play with the dogs. She stays put and is generally calm. However once I release her, then it's game on (unless I release into heel). This works for me, but it's more along the lines of management than a true mellow state.

If I'm not planning to walk over to the distraction, then I just put her in either sit or down and demand eye contact until the distraction goes away.

The best solution would be to not let the dog get into an overly-excited state to begin with. Teach her to ignore the world and focus on you.
yuriy is offline  
post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-22-2016, 10:49 PM
Crowned Member
 
dogma13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: michigan
Posts: 3,574
Don't know if this will help or not...I used to take Samson into town where we are fortunate to have benches here and there provided by the city.I would sit and he could do whatever while we watched the traffic and people.After he had settled and relaxed for a time we'd walk some more,find another bench and repeat.He sort of taught himself to chill.If I take him in a store and bs with the cashier for a few minutes or stop on a sidewalk and talk to an acquaintance,he just automatically flops down and makes himself comfortable and chills.It's like the 'sit on the dog' thing that Chip posts all of the timeThe dog figures out how to relax him/herself.
It was really an accidental side effect of when we were working on his reactivity to people.I can take him anywhere and if I stand in one spot for very long or sit he just lays down and watches the world go by.
We took a class last fall with lots of noise and distractions and he was the only dog that showed zero reaction to anything the trainers could come up with.Ok,with one exception.They wheeled out a vacuum cleaner that he backed away from

Terri

Samson Blk/Slvr GSD. RN
Misty Husky Mix
Devo Yorkie Mix
Dakota Wht GSD at the bridge
dogma13 is offline  
post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-22-2016, 10:51 PM
Crowned Member
 
Chip18's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Dayton NV
Posts: 5,978
You do understand the "foundation work" for doing just that is "The Place Command" and "Sit on the Dog??"
Chip18 is offline  
post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-22-2016, 10:54 PM
Crowned Member
 
Chip18's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Dayton NV
Posts: 5,978
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogma13 View Post
Don't know if this will help or not...I used to take Samson into town where we are fortunate to have benches here and there provided by the city.I would sit and he could do whatever while we watched the traffic and people.After he had settled and relaxed for a time we'd walk some more,find another bench and repeat.He sort of taught himself to chill.If I take him in a store and bs with the cashier for a few minutes or stop on a sidewalk and talk to an acquaintance,he just automatically flops down and makes himself comfortable and chills.It's like the 'sit on the dog' thing that Chip posts all of the timeThe dog figures out how to relax him/herself.
It was really an accidental side effect of when we were working on his reactivity to people.I can take him anywhere and if I stand in one spot for very long or sit he just lays down and watches the world go by.
We took a class last fall with lots of noise and distractions and he was the only dog that showed zero reaction to anything the trainers could come up with.Ok,with one exception.They wheeled out a vacuum cleaner that he backed away from
LOL, I don't have to say it and it's what I learned from "Baillif" and"David Trainer" on here.
Chip18 is offline  
post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-22-2016, 10:59 PM
Crowned Member
 
dogma13's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: michigan
Posts: 3,574
Lol,Chip!I'm stealing your material

Terri

Samson Blk/Slvr GSD. RN
Misty Husky Mix
Devo Yorkie Mix
Dakota Wht GSD at the bridge
dogma13 is offline  
post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-22-2016, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Coeur d' Alene
Posts: 4,418
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperG View Post
I'd be a liar to suggest I taught my current dog a chill out command ( as you describe) as a pup BUT.....my 3 year old now has finally learned a "relax" command and it has truly tested my patience during the process. Yes, I could command my dog into a controllable down or any other stay put position but still she was wrapped up tight as could be.....hardly a "chill out" mentality on behalf of the dog. Recently, I changed my "tone" with the dog and guided the dog into a "relax mode" utilizing my voice and posturing along with the dog's anticipation of the ensuing event. Essentially, I stall the dog and the process if the dog is all amped up ( only when the situation dictates)...the process takes longer if the dog refuses to "chill out"...the sooner the dog relaxes, the sooner the dog gets to enjoy the ensuing engagement. Example: it's cold here now and when I go to put my boots/jacket/hat/gloves on to go outside the dog knows it's go time and the dog used to to loose her crap as soon as this process would begin. I consistently would start the process all over again if she didn't calm a bit during the process....the sooner the dog "chills" the sooner we get to the games/training. These dogs are smart and can connect the dots...but in the process, test our patience ( mine anyway). The "chill" exhibited may very well be a masked version of the same hyper anticipation but it seems to be genuine enough to sell me. A valuable lesson I have learned from a person or two in this forum is to harness a dog's anticipation and use it toward the overall benefit of handler and dog. It is easier for me to get a dog amped up versus mellow a dog out but now I appreciate how both sides of this fence can be accomplished using the dog's anticipation.

SuperG
Thanks SuperG - This is what I was looking for. I know it starts in the home and then extends out. The "voice" & demeanor comes into play again. I've been too busy giving commands "here, sit,down,stay" and then sat down myself without speaking to her in a "relaxed voice" to let her know well, here we are", not much is going to happen - we'll be here a while and I have a handle on it, I'm relaxed and it's ok for you to relax.". I think it would work to have a keyword to communicate this to her? - "it's ok, nothing exciting or unanticipated is going to happen, you've been here before - this is it.
Stonevintage is offline  
post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-22-2016, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
Banned
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Coeur d' Alene
Posts: 4,418
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip18 View Post
You do understand the "foundation work" for doing just that is "The Place Command" and "Sit on the Dog??"
Yes I do. She sits and stays or lays down just find but she is doing no more than obedience to the command.... she does not relax and waits for release with huge anticipation.....
Stonevintage is offline  
post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 01-22-2016, 11:39 PM
Crowned Member
 
Chip18's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Dayton NV
Posts: 5,978
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonevintage View Post
Yes I do. She sits and stays or lays down just find but she is doing no more than obedience to the command.... she does not relax and waits for release with huge anticipation.....
No you think you understand but you don't. Otherwise, you would not be saying "Sit or Stay" or "waits for release with huge anticipation"

A dog "can't" wait with anticipation once they "understand" that they will be in "Place" for up to hours. Stay be and large means "5 minutes are less" and most can easily wait that out. Thirty minutes or longer ... not so much.

Sometimes less is more.
Chip18 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the German Shepherd Dog Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome