The Calm Freeze – Dog Listening Training
The Dog Listener training system is based on providing leadership to your dog. If the dog sees you as the leader, then he will be relieved of those duties. In the dog’s eyes, someone has to be the leader of the pack, the dog or you.
The quiet freeze is a way of taking control of a situation and telling your dog that you are in control, that you are happy with the situation, and that the dog does not have to worry.
Here are a couple of examples.
I like to take my chocolate lab, Maisie, for walks in the country. Living in Guildford there are many wooded areas. Most of the nearby roads are quiet. Occasionally a car will travel to or from nearby fields. At this point I silently call out to Maisie, hold her neck by her neck, and pat her on the shoulder. I look at the car, not at Maisie. When the car has passed, Maisie continues on her way.
In this way I have created the icy calm. I have told Maisie that I am in control, that I am monitoring the situation and that I am happy and in control, so she doesn’t have to worry.
The second scenario where I use a quiet freeze is with horses. The problem with horses is twofold: 1) they can get scared, although many horses are comfortable with dogs around them, 2) they can kick the dog, in which case I want to protect Maisie.
So with horses, I use quiet freezing. When I see the horse in the distance, I attract Maisie’s attention, move away if necessary, and have Maaisie come towards me. Once again I grab her neck, pat her on the shoulder, and watch the horses go by, telling her that I’m in control, that I’m happy, and that she doesn’t have to worry.
Calm Freeze is a great tool and you should use it when your dog is excited. The Dog Listener technique has 4 pillars that you must learn: the hunt, the food, the state and the danger. The quiet freeze is a tool to cope with the danger perceived by the dog. When you understand why a dog does what it does, you can influence its behavior.
The dog listening approach helps people understand how dogs behave.