Training Q&A with Virginia - Dogs Play Rough - How to Make Them Settle

  • By Kathy McRoberts
  • 09 Mar, 2012

Original "Ask The Trainer" with Virginia Simpson, Unleashed Canine Obedience

I have a 3 year old female 1/2 lab 1/2 boxer and a 7 month old male lab. They play very rough indoors and run around like they are crazy. Sometimes this goes on 3 0r 4 times a day for 15 to 20 minutes. How can I get them to stop when I want them to?     ~ Jen

Hi Jen,

Thank you for your inquiry on Cincinnati Dog Pages!

Short term fix - A quick and easy way to stop the play before it gets too escalated would be to have a couple water bottles around set to direct stream, not mist. Put one in each room they play in. (Home Depot has the best ones and only 99 cents) When they start to get escalated, but before they’ve gone crazy, give them each a little squirt somewhere on their bodies and quietly and calmly tell them to settle down. Present the frame of mind or state of being you are looking for. If we raise our voices or try and grab at them, it only adds to stimulation. A lot of people have had success with shaking some pennies in the can, but I personally feel that adds to the stimulation as well. Definitely adds to my stimulation! When you spray them and they stop and look at you, cheerfully but calmly tell them “good settle” and then direct them outside to play or better yet, take them for a walk to release the excess energy they are feeling.

Long term fix - Dogs that are not able to keep themselves calm inside the house are displaying a need for two things: a proper amount of daily exercise and obedience training to teach self-control. Self-control, or impulse-control, is what is required to behave appropriately in any given situation. Teach your dogs to hold long stays, down-stays, sit-stays or place commands. Long stays are 20 minutes or longer. Or a few quick 5 minute stays to hit the reset button to bring back positive behaviors. However, think how difficult it is to sit still when you have a ton of energy! The proper amount of daily exercise is a an important component in the quest for happy, healthy and balanced dogs.

If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you for contacting Unleashed Canine Obedience through the Cincinnati Dog Pages!

For more information, please feel free to contact:

Virginia L. Simpson, CDT
Unleashed Canine Obedience, LLC
4955 Creek Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45242

Cincinnati Dog Knowledge Center

By Pets in Need 08 Jan, 2018

Education is the first step  in pet poison prevention

Pet owners should take the time to educate themselves on the various, sometimes unexpected, pet poisons in their environments. The  Pet Poison Helpline  provides an extensive list of poisonous items for pet owners to be aware of, but here are a few of the most common items seen by veterinarians:

By Pets in Need 11 Dec, 2017

Outdoor Animals:

Many people believe certain dog breed, such as huskies and malamutes, are capable of living outside all of the time because of their thick coats. However, no dog breed should be consistently left unprotected outside. According to the City of Cincinnati, when the temperature is below 20 degrees Fahrenheit or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, a pet owner should not leave their dog outside for longer than sixty minutes without adequate shelter. For outside dogs, owners should provide a warm, dry, draft free shelter with fresh, unfrozen water. Heated water bowls are a great option to ensure consistent access to unfrozen water. Owners should also feed their outdoor dogs more during the winter because their bodies use more energy trying to keep warm. In 2016, the City of Cincinnati passed an ordinance with further restrictions and shelter guidelines for dog tethering and weather conditions, which can be found by  clicking here

A common winter hazard that vets encounter consistently with cats is engine belt injuries. Cats will climb into cars to keep warm, and without knowing they’re there, people will start their cars and harm the cats. Before starting your car in the winter, it’s advised to give the car hood a few raps to make sure there are no cats cozied up inside.

By Pets in Need 27 Nov, 2017

Pets start an estimated 1,000 fires per year. While this isn’t a huge number, it’s easily preventable. Pet owners should identify the risks in their home and make sure they’re contained from pets. Risks to consider include, open flames such as candles, space heaters, stovetops, fireplaces, and frayed wires chewed by puppies.

Even if all fire hazards are contained from pets, there’s still always a chance of a house fire. According to the   National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) , there’s a home fire reported every 86 seconds in the United States. So while the hope is that you and your pets never have to face a fire, it’s important to have a plan.

In case of a fire, pet owners should hang window clings that let firefighters know there’s a pet in the home. The   ASPCA offers a free Pet Fire Safety Pack   that includes a window decal. When leaving home, pet owners should know where their pets are and keep them close to exits if possible. Pet owners should also consider investing in monitored smoke detectors that alert homeowners of a fire when they’re not home and automatically dispatch firefighters.

By Pets in Need 14 Nov, 2017
First, let’s learn a bit of information about pet diabetes. Just like in humans, there are 2 types or diabetes in pets, which veterinarians typically refer to as insulin dependent and non-insulin dependent. One is caused when the body doesn’t make enough insulin, which is a hormone created by the pancreas that allows glucose (or sugars) to move from the blood stream into cells to create energy. With non-insulin dependent diabetes, the body is making enough insulin, but it can’t utilize the insulin efficiently. This can be caused by high body fat content, chronic cortisone administration, and/or certain hormones such as progesterone (produced during a pet’s heat period).
By Pets in Need 30 Oct, 2017

Getting your dog microchipped is an easy and relatively inexpensive procedure that drastically increases the odds that your pet will find its way home if it’s ever lost. A microchip is a tiny chip that’s about the size of a grain of rice and contains a unique identification number. It’s injected into a pet’s skin between the shoulder blades on their back. When scanned with an electric scanner, the chip will show the unique identification number and manufacturer of the microchip. This unique identification number will be linked to the pet owner’s contact information in the microchip manufacturer’s database.

If a stranger ever finds your dog, a shelter or veterinarian can scan your pet for a microchip. Once they have the identification number and manufacturer from the chip reading, they will call the manufacturer in search of the pet owner’s contact information.  Therefore, if a dog owner moves or changes their contact information, it’s extremely important for them to update the contact information associated with their pet’s microchip identification number.

More Posts
Share by: