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Your Dog Needs to Chill

Everyone needs to have an "off day". Even here at RDK9, we let our dogs have rest days. Why? Because it's good for them!

Just like us, dogs need to be able to relax and unwind. Teaching your dog the art of doing nothing is such a valuable resource that will make both of your lives better. We teach a "place" command where your dog is supposed to go to the designated area that you have assigned as "place". This could be your place cot, dog bed, or even a blanket with enough practice. Nothing bad ever happens on Place. Place is a good area. Place is for relaxing and decompressing. When we teach the "place" command, not only do we teach the dog that that is the designated area it needs to be on, we're teaching them to do nothing.

When your dog is on Place, it's like playing a game of "the floor is lava", all four feet must be on that designated area, and do not get up until you are instructed to do so. What this does is essentially teach the dog how to exist without having constant stimuli. Your dog is more than welcome to have a bone on place, or do an activity that lets them be still and quiet while on Place. Place is a wonderful tool for when you're sitting in an office working (or writing a blog post in this case), and you want your dog to be involved, but not under your feet.

Your young pup might put up a fuss about having to stay on Place for a few minutes, but like human children, give them time to settle down, maybe even a pacifier (like a chew toy), and they'll learn that there is no use fighting it, they have to settle down. Settling down is something that definitely isn't mastered in a day, and it can be challenging for young dogs, but teaching your dog to settle down is so beneficial, you'll never want another dog to go without learning it!

Dogs greatly benefit from rest, and even when they're in training, they still get off days! If you never give your dog any off days, you run the risk of creating a dog that doesn't know how to settle down, and that can eventually, like with humans, lead to burn out. When we schedule day classes or private lessons for only a couple days a week for a few weeks, it's to ensure that the dog has adequate amounts of time to rest and process what they've learned in class here. A dog's brain is about the age equivalent of a three-year-old. You can't ask a toddler to do the same job a teenager can do, same with dogs. You can't expect your dog to go to training every day, 9 hours a day, and not have any break time, you will run into problems down the road that will be harder to deal with than when you first started.

Do your dog a favor, let them chill out every once in awhile. You're not "losing" any training by giving them time off, in fact, you're building that knowledge and memory, and more importantly, you're building the relationship between the two of you. That's the ultimate goal we want you to reach here with us.

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