How to Teach Your Dog to Relax at Café (No more headaches, fuss or worrying whilst you eat your cake
How many times have you said to yourself, ‘it would be SO nice to visit a café with Fido …BUT” The big but. (Just as a pre-warning, there will be no singing as we continue – apologies to all my fellow Donkey Shrek Fans 😉 )
The biggest but I hear is ‘but, it’s just too stressful’
“but they will bark at other dogs to go say hi”
“but they doesn’t sit still and jumps up at people” “but they gets so tangled in his lead, it’s a nightmare to sit and enjoy a coffee’ “but they just don’t understand how to be relaxed”
But look – there is a WAY. The truth is dogs are incredible creatures that can literally learn ANYTHING, even how to detect cancer!
But, they need to know how, and that’s what I am inviting you to come learn with me today SO for the first time… Get ready to put your BUT to the side and discover how to teach your dog to relax at a café in 4 easy steps. Excited? Me too. Now, listen. The training I am going to share with you is not only going make visiting a café a piece of cake, it will also teach your dog to physically relax – a bit like Yoga for us humans, which you can take and use anywhere, so no more headaches when you need to visit places with your, like your friend’s house or the vet waiting room. Fancy watching videos instead? Go HERE and use the follow-along videos! Step Number One The first part to teaching any dog to do anything is to make sure that they know they are doing the right things. If a dog doesn’t know then they will keep doing the things you don’t want (i.e. your buts) or try new things! Start by teaching your dog a ‘marker word’, this is a word that your dog will learn that means a reward (a treat) is coming. Your dog’s learn that whenever the marker word is used, means they will get a reward so what happens is they start repeating things to get ‘YES’s and that’s how dog start to understand what we want.
For example, if you want your dog to sit, you can ask them to sit and when their bum hits the floor, say your marker word such as ‘yes’ and the dog gets a reward, such as food. The dog soon learns, that when he sits, he gets food and will sit more and more! BOOM. Dog understands human words! To see a video step by step tutorial of this check our my Step by Step Marker Training HERE. Step Two Okay so before you move onto step two, you need to have taught your dog a marker word, otherwise these steps will fall part. Here’s why… For dogs to learn to lie down, relaxed next to you at a coffee table, they need to know and understand what to do. They need to understand what you are asking, and marker words are your bridge to making that happen. Marker word complete? Super. Now find a portable mat, this could be a bathmat or a vet bed. It needs to be comfortable and portable, this is to make sure your dog like lying on it AND you can take to a café. This mat is going to be your best friend that you can take anywhere where you want your dog to relax on. WARNING: Don’t take the mat to the café until your dog can lie on the mat in at least every room in your house, it’s important your dog understands why this mat is awesome before adding in anything that may excite them. 1. Place your dog in a different room to where you are going to be training in (so he gets super surprised when he sees the mat), and place the mat on the floor with a handful of treats spread across the mat. 2. Bring the dog in! Place yourself next to the mat and let your dog gobble the treats. When there are only 2-3 treats left, start placing more treats onto the mat, ideally in the first top quarter of the metre, between your dogs paws. 3. Place treats in that same position every 2-3 seconds for 1 minute. If your dog lies down, say YES and give them 3-5 treats all in one go, this will show your dogs how more rewarding it is to lie or sit down. 4. After the 60 seconds, throw a treat away from the mat and say ‘off’ this is just letting your dog know to leave the mat. This is the cool bit… Wait patiently by the mat, watch your dog. If they come straight back to the mat, say YES and feed immediately on the mat
If they stand and stare, don’t panic! They just need some more time, every dog learns this at different stages and speeds and there is no right or wrong time. Roll up the mat and go back to step 1. Steps 1-4 can be completed in one training session; I would suggest you repeat these session twice a day for a maximum of 5 minutes for the next 5 days. Fun Fact, dogs learn more effectively in shorter burst with frequent sessions it keeps them focused, and keeps their excitement up for the next session! To see all these videos step-by-step, join the academy here for free and dive see what this looks like in real life. Check out there videos. Step Three: Once your dog is lying on the mat then you have just taught your dog that relaxing is rewarding! If you haven’t got there yet, that’s okay, if you are feeling stuck and seeking support then come join my free Facebook and I’ll help you get back on track (join group). In this step you want to add distractions to your training, think about the things that would get your dog excited or distracted at cafes: People, Food, Smells, People Walking Past. Continue your mat training whilst asking someone to walk past with smelly food, or a friend to visit whilst you have a coffee on your own table. Step Four: Getting Prepped for the Cafe. Now your dog knows how to relax on a mat, listen AND respond to marks, stay on mat with distraction now its time get prepped for the café! Start by visiting a café during its quiet time of the day, this will allow your dog to continue learning without LOTS of distractions, feed your every 2-3 seconds for staying relaxed, better yet, take a stuffed kong or chew toy your dog loves! Stay for 10-15 minutes and leave. Repeating this twice a week can make a huge difference to your dogs learning! If your gets up, then head back to step three and practice more distraction, it maybe too soon and that is also normal, as I said, every dog progresses through this differently and some may also require some personalisation. There you have it my friend! Your No-But-Hassle-Free Café Step by Step Blueprint, remember, it can take 8 weeks for dogs to learn a new behaviour, so if you dog does not get it in 2 days, that is normal! If you want to find out to learn this faster with some extra personalisation, then send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set up a time to chat about to personalise this training specifically for you and your dog. P.S. If you’ve LOVED what you’ve learnt today, can you do me a favour and share with a friend or anyone you think would benefit from this skill? Plus… it means you get to have coffee dog dates together, who doesn’t want that?! Much love! Kayleigh xxx