Take a Breath




Breathing deeply helps us to calm down and control our respiration and heart rate and it is the same for your dog. And the good news is that you can teach your dog to Take a Breath!

You are going to mark and treat when your dog inhales. The hardest part of this is spotting the inhalation: after all you don’t need to teach your dog to breathe!

You are looking for the moment when your dog breathes in – there is usually a flare of the nostrils or a wrinkle above the nose – and your dog will probably close their mouth. If you find it hard to see, try videoing your dog then slow down the replay so you can spot it more easily. Once you have seen it once, it will become easier to see.

Once you know what you are looking for, hold a treat so that your dog can air scent but not reach it. Hold it out of reach or in a closed hand if they are a snatcher. Watch for the signs of the inhale.

Give the treat calmly.

Use low value treats if your dog gets excited. Remember the aim is to help your dog relax! If they find sniffing any treat too exciting, try breathing deeply yourself instead. Your dog will often inhale in response to your inhale.

Once your dog is offering this consistently you can add a cue and then you can ask for a breath in lots of situations. When your dog recalls, ask for a breath, then treat, When they are settling on their mat, ask for a breath, then treat them. It will soon be a regular part of your dog’s routine!

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