What is a 'settle' - relax on command cue

Close your eyes, relax your muscles and take a deep breath.

For the majority of us, if we take a moment to relax our bodies our mind will relax too.

I talk a lot about making sure you are rewarding calm behaviour. A settle cue is a shaped behaviour that imitates a dogs relaxed body language (lay down, head down, tucked under legs or on a blanket).

Sometimes waiting for your dog to be relaxed is not an option. Their stress levels may be too high and taking no action leads them to become more distressed or stimulated. They may also be young and struggling to manage their arousal levels.

If we can shape this body language we can shape a ‘mindset’ to the cue. Your dogs heart rate will slow, their eyes may relax after a few minutes and you get a great window to reward this mindset.

You can manage how your dog approaches situations e.g. if I was about to work on dog excitement with Summer and we were about to meet up with another dog. Id be sitting for a few minutes and practicing settle to make sure she has the best experience greeting dogs as possible.

Have a read of the blog post ‘how to train your dog to be calm around rewards’ and send me a message to learn how to train the settle cue.

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