Every dog has "a bucket."
Yes, you heard us right. They have a stress bucket that they carry around with them their entire life. This bucket gets filled by exciting events, scary events and even internal events influenced by their general health.
The thing is - as this bucket fills - their BARKING increases. BUT - not just barking. Here are just some of the behaviours we might expect an overflowing bucket to lead to!
Now chances are if you are reading this, then you likely have a dog with a very full bucket. They may bark at other dogs, people or the postman!
The good news!
You can impact how FULL your dog's bucket is, and we are going to show you how.
Step 1: How Your Dog Spends Their Time Influences How Full Their Bucket Is!
Remember, exciting things AND scary things pay into your dog's bucket. The good news is that we have total influence over how our dog's spend their time. If we constantly do exciting things with and continually rev them up, you can bet their bucket will be more full and, in turn, they'll bark more!
Step 2: Create Calm Zones for Your Dog!
Dogs are creatures of habit. They predict exciting things. Take the example of picking up your dog's lead - we can bet it leads to some bucket filling, right? With this in mind, we can use this doggy skill of prediction to our advantage. The spaces where you want your dog to be quieter, make sure you make those spaces where they only practice calmness.
This means no exciting things should be practised there. What they rehearse, they become! Secondly, you can then inspire calmness! This is where the calmness wheel comes that makes all of that easy!
Step 3: Implement the Calmness Wheel!
You can teach your dog to be calm by implementing the calmness wheel! Think of the calmness wheel as a clock of how your dog spends their day. If you are wanting to grow calmness, you rotate your dog around three areas:
Area 1! Passive Calming Activities
Passive calming activities are activities we can get our dogs to do that naturally grow calmness by them performing them - a little bit like us running a bath and putting on the spa music. These activities for your dog might include kongs, lickable K9 calm mats, long-lasting chews and even sniffing!
Area 2! Calmness Protocol
This involves you keep some of your dog's daily food allowance to one side and using it to reward them for spontaneous moments of calm settling as they happen. What gets rewarded, they rehearse. What they rehearse, they become.
Area 3! Active Rest
This is a crucial area for success. A tired dog is naughty dog. A well rested dog is a well behaved dog. The challenge is that often our dogs don't truly rest unless we encourage them to do so. A little bit like us taking a trip to a spa, where choice is limited and excitement minimal, our dogs need to have periods of the day where they aren't constantly making choices.
Choice is tiring! How does this spa look for your dog? A puppy pen, a crate, a chill out zone of the house, whatever will limit their choices, they are comfortable in and allow them to switch off.
Step 4: Ensuring their Brain and Gut is Ready for Calmness!
The training methods above are crucial to success; however, your dog's brain's neurotransmitters and their gut massively impact how full their bucket is too. In fact, many dogs enter a vicious cycle of increasing reactivity and barking and decreasing calmness because, while your training is telling them to be calm, their brain and their gut (closely linked!) are telling them otherwise!
We have the training taken care of but how do we enter the black box that is their brain and gut? Well, this actually comes from the world of nutrition. Through a combination of brain-supporting L-tryptophan, lemon balm and passiflora and gut-supporting pre and probiotics, owners are seeing transformational results across the world! That's why we created Calm-K9 that incorporates all of this into a simple tasty scoop of superfoods you add to your dog's food every day!
You can check out the results others are seeing below for yourself and it might just be the missing link to your behaviour success AND unlock real-life results like reduction in barking, walking nicely and reducing reactivity just like it did for 1000s of other dog-owners across the world.
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