Practice these three trainer-approved habits to help your dog calm down

A red-haired Chihuahua dog is sleeping blissfully, cuddling up to his toy
(Image credit: Getty Images)

As pet parents, most of us can relate all too well to having a hyped up hound on our hands. Even if you spend ample time each day walking your dog and playing with them using the best puppy toys, chances are your canine companion still has bucket loads of energy to burn.

While you probably don't mind your dog doing zoomies and tearing about outside, you likely don't want them engaging in that behavior inside your home - and thanks to these great tips from expert dog trainer Amelia Steele, you don't have to.

In a video shared to Instagram, which you can view below, Steele shares three habits you can use each day to help your dog stay calm when they're at home. While she speaks about these habits in terms of getting your dog to settle down post-walk, we feel they're helpful for promoting calmness in general. Here's what she recommends:

1. Have a post-walk routine

"A lot of the time, dogs come home from walks really full of adrenaline and this can be mistaken for energy," Steele explains. "Instead of letting your dog come home and sprint about, it's a really good habit to get into to put down a Kong or a chew toy for them as soon as you come home from a walk. This really helps to encourage calm behavior."

Giving your dog a toy to help keep them calm works beautifully in other situations too, such as when you have guests visiting or when you need to leave your pup home alone. Check out our guide to how to use Kong toys for more information on the benefits of this type of toy and what you can put in it.  

2. Do less but longer walks

"Try and give your dog plenty of time on a walk to explore and just be a dog," Steele advises. "If your dog normally needs one hour's worth of walking a day, I find that doing one one-hour walk is much better than doing three 20-minute walks."

3. Add training into your day

"Even if it's just for 10-15 minutes, training is a really great way to get your dog tired without hyping them up," Steele explains. "Mental stimulation is just as important for dogs as physical exercise and you get a calm dog at the end of it rather than a super hyped up dog."

Looking for more great tips and tricks? Our guide to how to tire out a puppy will ensure your little one gets the rest they need. 

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.