What is Settle Down?
Settle down is a tool we use at Puppy Club to help keep control of the puppies. To do a settle down, we place the puppy into a laying position, either in a normal chest down position or on their side. We then hold them in this position, even if they are fighting to get up. This is where we often go wrong as our adorable little puppies begin to squirm and whine and give us the cutest puppy eyes you have ever seen! Do not let them up. This position, if done properly, will not injure your puppy. Most puppies are just not used to being restrained. If we let them up or let them “win”, they learn to fight things they do not like. If we hold our ground, they will learn that we are in charge and that when we want them to “settle down” they need to listen. This position serves many purposes, but the main point of it at Puppy Club is so we can keep a calm and quiet environment while giving the talk. This tool is also useful at home when your puppy is getting over excited/out of control, in public when you are greeting people or puppies, when you need to examine your puppy, and when they visit the vet or groomer.
Puppy Club Guidelines:
- Leave the puppies on the floor during playtime. This hour is for our puppies to socialize together. They learn best from each other and we will allow them to do that to a certain degree. Also, picking up a puppy can accidentally reinforce a negative behaviour. If you are feeling your puppy needs to be picked up, speak to a leader for advice.
- All people will remain standing during playtime. If needed, we can get a chair for you to sit in, but we do not want anyone on the floor at puppy level during playtime. Again, this hour is for the puppies to socialize, we want to try and stay out of it as much as possible.
- If your puppy is shy and hiding behind you, just quietly walk away from them. We do not want to push any puppy out of their comfort zone too quickly. They will come out and explore/play at their own pace. Quietly walking away will, at the very least, force them to follow you, integrating them into the class. Your leaders will help you if this problem arises, as each puppy is unique in how they handle this situation.
- We do not recommend bringing treats to Puppy Club. If you feel you need to have treats with you, please only feed them to your puppy, as many puppies have allergies and sensitivities to different foods. We also ask that you move away from the group to give the treats to avoid any scraps over food. We do not want to make the class about treats so we ask that you save this for the very end or for at home if possible.
- During the talk, everyone is to keep their puppy in “settle down”. If you are having trouble, ask your leaders and they will help you! This is important so we can keep things calm and quiet enough for everyone to hear the talk.
- If your puppy needs to go outside, please let a leader know. We will get all puppies into a settle down and then have a leader unlock the door. Please do not unlock the door on your own, we do not want anyone escaping!
- Feel free to ask any questions you may have, that is why we are there. If the issue in question cannot be addressed at that time, we are more than happy to book a behaviour consult with one of our technicians!