Protocol for Relaxation

By Dr. Karen L. Overall

Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Small Animals, 1997.

This program is the foundation for all other behavior modification
programs. Its purpose is to teach the dog to sit and stay while relaxing
in a variety of circumstances. The circumstances change from very
reassuring ones with you present to potentially more stressful ones
when you are absent. The purpose of the program is not to teach the
dog to sit; sit­ting (or lying down, if the dog is more comfortable) is only
a tool. The goals of the program are to teach the dog to relax, to defer
to you, to enjoy earning a salary for an appropriate, desirable behavior,
and to develop, as a foundation, a pattern of behaviors that allow the
dog to cooperate with future behavior modification (generally
desensitization and counter­ conditioning). This protocol acts as a
foundation for teaching the dog context-specific appropriate behavior.
The focus is to teach the dog to rely on you for all the cues as to the
appropriateness of its behavior so that it can then learn not to re­act
inappropriately.

About Food Treats

This program uses food treats. Please read the logic behind this
approach in the “Protocol for Deference: Basic Pro­gram." Remember, the
treats are used as a salary or re­ward-not as a bribe. If you bribe a
problem dog, you are defeated before you start. It is often difficult to
work with a problem dog that has learned to manipulate bribes, but
there are creative ways - often involving the use of head collars -to
correct this situation. First, find a food that the dog likes and that it does
not usually experience. Suggestions include boiled, slivered chicken or
tiny pieces of cheese. Boiled, shredded chicken can be frozen in small
portions and de­frosted as needed. Individually wrapped slices of
cheese can be divided into tiny pieces suitable for behavior modification
while still wrapped in plastic, minimizing waste and mess. Consider the
following guidelines in choosing a food reward:

1. Foods that are high in protein may help induce changes in brain
chemistry that help the dog relax

2.    Dogs should not have chocolate because it can be toxic to them

3.    Some dogs do not do well with treats that contain artificial colors or
preservatives

4. Dogs with food allergies or those taking monoamine oxidase inhibitor
(MAOI) drugs may have food restrictions (cheese, for dogs taking MAOIs
[deprenyl])

5. Dog biscuits generally are not sufficient motivation, but some foods
are so desirable that the dog is too stimulated by them to relax -
something between these two extremes is preferred

6. Treats should be tiny (less than half the size of a thumb­nail) so that
the dog does not get full, fat, or bored

7. If the dog stops responding for one kind of treat, try an­other

8. Do not let treats make up the bulk of the dog's diet; the dog needs its
normal, well-balanced ration

The Reward Process

Rewarding dogs with food treats is an art. Learning to do so correctly
helps the dog focus on the exercises and keeps everyone safe. To
prevent the dog from lunging for the food, keep the already prepared
treats in a little cup or plastic bag behind your back and keep one treat
in the hand used to re­ward the dog. That hand can then either be kept
behind your back so that the dog does not stare at the food or can be
moved to your eye so that you can teach the dog to look happy and
make eye contact with you. The food treat must be small so that the
focus of the dog's attention is not a slab of food but rather your cues. A
treat of the correct size can be closed in the palm of the hand by folding
the fingers and will not be apparent when held between the thumb and
fore­fingers. When presenting the dog with the treat, bring the hand,
with a lightly closed fist, up quickly to the dog (do not startle the dog)
and turn your wrist to open your hand.

When starting the program, let the dog smell and taste the reward so
that it knows the anticipated reward for the work. If the dog is too
terrified to approach, you can place a small amount of the treat on the
floor. Then ask the dog to "sit"; if the dog sits instantly, say "Good girl
(boy)!" and instantly open your hand to give the dog the treat instantly
while saying "stay."

Getting the Dog's Attention

If the dog does not sit instantly, call its name again. As soon as the dog
looks at or attends to you, say "Sit." If the dog will not look at you and
pay attention, do not continue to say "Sit." If you continue to give a
command that you can­not reinforce, the dog learns to ignore that
command. If nec­essary, use a whistle or make an unusual sound with
your lips to get the dog's attention. As soon as the dog looks at you, say
"Sit." Use a cheerful voice. Some people may have to soften or lower
their voice almost to a whisper to get the dog to pay attention to them.
Often this is because they have given all their previous commands to the
dog by yelling. The dog has very successfully learned to ignore this.

If the dog is looking at you but not sitting, approach the dog to close the
distance, raise the treat gently to your eyes, and request "sit." Often
just moving toward a dog helps the dog sit. Not only have you
decreased the distance, but you appear taller and to be over the dog;
such behaviors are used in canine communication to get the lower (in
relative elevation) dog to obey the desires of the higher one. You can
use these innate dog behaviors as long as you are careful. Never back
up a dog that is growling. Never corner a fearful dog. Never continue to
approach a dog that acts more aggressively the closer you come.
Remember, the point of the pro­gram is to teach the dog to relax and
look to you for the cues about the appropriateness of its behavior. The
dog cannot do this if upset.

If the dog still will not sit, consider using a head collar. By using a long-
distance lead you can request that the dog "sit" and gently enforce this
from a distance by pulling on the lead. Reward with a treat as soon as
the dog sits.

Cautionary Note:

If your dog is aggressive or if you are concerned about approaching it,
do not do any of these exercises off-lead until the dog is perfect on-lead.
Fit the dog with a head collar and work with the dog only on a lead at
the outset. The halter al­lows you to close the dog's mouth if the dog
begins to be aggressive. This is an ideal correction because it meets the
rule that psychologists have established for ideal "punishment": you
have interrupted the dog's inappropriate behavior within the first few
seconds of the beginning of the behavior so that the dog can learn from
the experience. Be gentle but consistent. Taking your anger or fear out
on the dog will only worsen the behavior. As soon as the dog responds
to the halter and calmly sits, reward the dog and continue. Never re­
ward a dog that is growling, lunging, barking, shaking, or urinating.

After the dog sits for the first time you are ready to begin the program.
Remember the following guidelines:

·       Use the dog's name to get the dog to orient toward you and to pay
attention. If this does not work, use a whistle or a sound to which the
dog is not accustomed.

·       Once the dog is attending to you (paying attention) say "sit" and
give the dog 3 to 5 seconds to respond. If the dog does sit, reward it
instantly; if not, repeat the "sit" command in the same calm, cheerful
voice. You may want to experiment with voices to see the tonal qualities
to which your dog best responds.

·       Do not worry about using the dog's name frequently or about
repeating the commands if the dog responds. This is not obedience
class, but if you later wish to take the dog to obedience class, the dog
will do well if it did well on these programs. Making the adjustment will
not be a problem.

·       Do not chase the dog around the room to try to get it to comply
with you. If necessary, choose a small room with minimal distractions
and use a leash. A head collar provides even more instantaneous
response. Use head halters and other collars kindly.

A sample sequence could look like this: "Bonnie - sit - (3-second pause) -
sit - (3-second pause) -Bonnie, sit - (move closer to the dog and move
the treat to your eye) - sit - (Bonnie sits) - good girl! (treat) - stay - good
girl - stay (take a step backward while saying "stay" - then stop) stay
Bonnie - good girl - stay (return while saying "stay" - then stop) - stay
Bonnie - good girl! (treat) - okay (the releaser and Bonnie can get up)!" -
(Bonnie happily gets up and watches calmly for your next signal.)

Note that you talk nonstop to the dog during these pro­grams. This type
of talking is not allowed in obedience classes but is desperately needed
with inexperienced puppies and problem dogs. These dogs need all the
cues that they can get. They need the constant guidance and
reassurance of hearing your voice with clear instructions. These
instructions and reassurances should occur in the context of shaping or
gradually guiding their behavior toward more appropriate behaviors. You
will have to learn to read subtle cues that your dog is giving and use
these to your advantage. You will find it easier than you believe. The one
thing that you absolutely cannot do is to talk a continuous stream to the
dog without receiving the context-appropriate responses to your
requests. If you rush through everything, you will only stress the dog
and teach it to ignore everything you say. This is not good. A corollary of
this admonition is that it is necessary to use consistent terminology and
brief phrases and to do so in an environment when no one else is
carrying on long, loud, distracting conversations.

Do not push or pull on your dog or tug on its collar to get the dog to sit.
These types of behaviors can be viewed as challenges by some dogs
and may make them potentially dangerous. Use the methods discussed
previously. If you really believe that the dog needs some physical help in
sitting, use a head collar.

Do not wave your hands or the treat around in front of the dog. This acts
as a distraction and confuses the dog. Part of the point of this program
is to make the dog calmer and less confused. Excitable behavior on your
part or unclear signals can make your dog more anxious. This does not
help.

It is important to be calm. Your dog will make mistakes. This does not
reflect on you. Problem dogs and new puppies require a lot of patience.
The people who have had the most success with these protocols have
been those who work the hardest and most consistently.

Do not let your dog be a jack-in-the-box. You must control the situation,
and you must achieve that control by convincing the dog to defer to you.
If the dog gets up to get the treat every time it is offered, the dog just
controlled the situation. If the dog does this, consider whether you were
too far away from the dog when you offered the treat. If so, move
closer. Ideally, the dog should be able to get the treat just by stretching
its neck. The dog should not need to get up. If you have a small dog, this
may mean that you need to squat down to offer the reward. Be careful if
the dog is aggressive because your face is now close to the dog. If you
are close enough for the dog to do the exercise properly and the dog
still gets up, close your hand over the treat and say "No." One
advantage of holding the treat in this manner is that you can safely deny
the dog the treat as the last second if the dog acts inappropriately. Then
ask the dog to sit again. After the dog sits, say "Stay," wait 3 to 5
seconds, say "Stay" again, and then give the treat. The two "stays" with
the period between them will reinforce the dog that it cannot get up
when it wants to-the dog must be released. By asking the dog to stay
twice, you are telling it that whenever it makes a mistake, it must do two
things to recover from it. A sample sequence follows:

"Susie - sit - (3 to 5-second pause) -sit- (Susie sits) -good girl! - stay
(start to give treat and dog gets up) - no! - (close hand over treat) -sit-
(Susie sits) - stay - (3 to 5-second pause) - stay - good girl! - stay - (give
treat) - okay!" (Dog is now allowed to get up and does so.

Do not tell the dog that it is good if it is not. Do not re­ward shaking,
growling, whining, or any other behavior that may be a component of
the behavior you are trying to correct. If the dog gets impatient and
barks for attention, say "No! Quiet! - stay - good girl - stay - good girl -
(treat) -stay. . . ." If a vocal command is not sufficient to quiet the dog,
remember that a head collar (especially the Gentle Leader/Promise) can
be pulled forward to close the mouth and abort the bark before it starts,
so that your correction is the most appropriate possible.

Finally, if you accidentally drop a food treat and the dog gets up to get it,
do not correct the dog (the dog did not make the mistake and you did
not deliberately drop the treat). Just start at the last point.

The Protocol

The protocol is a program that was designed so that your dog could
learn from it without becoming stressed and without learning to ignore
the tasks because they were too predictable. The protocol intersperses
long activities with short ones. You may have to adjust some activities to
your particular needs. The pattern is actually spelled out in the pro­gram.
It is preferable to reward the dog only for performing each task perfectly.
If this is not possible for your dog, you can use a "shaping" procedure in
which you first reward the dog for a behavior that approaches that
indicated in the task. The next time you do the task, the behavior must
be closer to perfect to be rewarded. If the program is done correctly,
your dog will perform the task perfectly within a short time.

The protocol is a foundation for desensitizing and counterconditioning
your dog to situations in which it reacts in­appropriately. The pages can
be used as one day's tasks, or you may proceed at the dog's pace
(which may be faster or slower). Some exercises are weird (asking you
to run in circles or talk to people who do not exist), but these can be
very helpful in getting dogs to learn to relax in a variety of
circumstances. Before you start the actual exercises, you must practice
with the dog so that it can sit perfectly for 15 seconds without moving.
Do this with food treats as described previously. Once your dog can sit
this way and look happy and as if it worshipped the ground you walk on,
you are ready for the more challenging stuff.

Theoretically the tasks are grouped in 15- to 20-minute units. Your dog
may have to go more slowly or may be able to go quickly. Ms is not a
race, and people who push their dogs too quickly create additional
anxiety problems! Watch your dog's cues. Once the animal can sit for 15
seconds perfectly, reward it only when it approaches perfect behavior or
perfection on the other exercises. Use the shaping behaviors discussed
previously if needed. If the dog really cannot per­form an exercise or
task, return to one that the dog knows flawlessly, reward the perfect
performance, and stop. Every member of the family is to work 15 to 20
minutes per day with the dog, but it may be less anxiety provoking and
more stimulating for the dog if this is done in three or four 5 ­minute
segments.

If everyone in the family cannot or will not work with the dog, the people
who are not participating must not sabotage the program. They
minimally must comply with "The Protocol for Deference." If they cannot
or will not do this, they should not be interacting with the dog at all. If
there is a problem with non-cooperation in the household, the dog will
not behave as well as it can.

Remember that the keys to success are consistency and appropriate
rewards. This means that, although we want you to work 15 to 20
minutes once or twice per day, you should work only for as long as both
you and the dog are enjoying and benefiting from the program. If this
means that you use six 5-minute intervals to accomplish three or four of
the tasks, that is fine. Please do not end on a bad note. If the dog's
behavior is deteriorating or its attention is dissipating, do one final, fun,
easy exercise and stop. By pushing the dog past its limits, you induce
anxiety, and the dog back­slides.

When the dog is able to perform all of the tasks and exercises both on-
and off-lead in one location (the living room), repeat them all in other
rooms and circumstances (the back­yard or the park-use a lead here).
When the dog performs all the tasks perfectly in all places with all
household members, you are ready for Tier 2 of the protocols, which
focuses on your dog's specific problems.

If at any point you cannot get past one task, try breaking that task into
two or three component parts. If this still does not help, call the
veterinarian who recommended the pro­gram and who is working with
the dog's behavior problems. He or she will be able to help you
determine the root of the problem. Please do not just continue accepting
suboptimal responses. The goal is to improve your dog's behavior. Video­
taping while you work with the dog can help. Not only can you show the
veterinarian what you are doing, but also you can be a more objective
critic of your approach if you are not also an active participant.

Finally, remember that the dog will give you lots of cues about how it
feels. We are rewarding the physical changes associated with relaxation
and happiness and so will also reward the underlying physiological
states associated with this (parasympathetic part of the autonomic
nervous system). This means that if the dog is relaxed, its body is not
stiff, the jaws hang relaxed and are not tense, the ears are alert or
cocked but not rigid, its head is held gently at an angle, and the eyes
are calm and adoring, you will be rewarding the nervous system
responses that help your dog learn. If you mistakenly reward fear,
tension, aggression, or avoidance, you will not make as much progress.
If it is easier for you and the dog to be relaxed if the dog is lying down,
do that.

Good luck, and do not get discouraged. Many dogs go through a period
of 3 to 7 days when their behavior gets worse before it improves. For
the first time in their life the dogs have a rule structure they must follow,
and they get frustrated while learning it. As they discover they are re­
warded for being relaxed and happy, their behavior will im­prove. These
programs are more difficult for the people, in many ways, than they are
for the dogs. Stick with it.

PROTOCOL TASK SHEETS

The task is listed on the left. To the right is a space for your comments
about the degree of difficulty of the task for the dog, how many times it
had to be repeated, or other questionable behaviors that appeared
during the task. You should discuss these with your veterinarian at the
reexamination appointment.

Remember after each task to verbally praise the dog and reward it with
a treat for perfect performance before going on to the next task. Each
set of exercises is designed for a day or a block of time. Warm-up and
cool-down periods are provided.

At the first sign of any anxiety /lips retracted, pupils di­lated, head
lowered, ears pulled down and back, trembling, scanning/, return to an
exercise with which the dog is more comfortable or break down the
exercise that produced these behaviors into smaller steps.

Day 1: Dog's Task

Sit for 5 seconds

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit while you take 1 step back and return

Sit while you take 2 steps back and return

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit while you take 1 step to the right and return

Sit while you take 1 step to the left and return

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit while you take 2 steps back and return

Sit while you take 2 steps to the right and return

Sit for 15 seconds

Sit while you take 2 steps to the left and return

Sit while you clap your hands softly once

Sit while you take 3 steps back and return

Sit while you count out loud to 10

Sit while you clap your hands softly once

Sit while you count out loud to 20

Sit while you take 3 steps to the right and return

Sit while you clap your hands softly twice

Sit for 3 seconds

Sit for 5 seconds

Sit while you take 1 step back and return

Sit for 3 seconds

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit for 5 seconds

Sit for 3 seconds



Day 2: Dog's Task

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit while you take 1 step back and return

Sit while you take 3 steps back and return

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit while you take 3 steps to the right and return

Sit while you take 3 steps to the left and return

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit while you take 3 steps to the right and clap your hands

Sit while you take 3 steps to the left and clap your hands

Sit for 5 seconds

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit while you walk one fourth of the way around the dog to the right

Sit while you take 4 steps back

Sit while you walk one fourth of the way around the dog to the left

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit while you take 5 steps back from the dog, clapping your hands, and
return

Sit while you walk halfway around the dog to the right and return

Sit while you walk halfway around the dog to the left and return

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit while you jog quietly in place for 3 seconds

Sit while you jog quietly in place for 5 seconds

Sit while you jog quietly in place for 10 seconds

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit while you jog one fourth of the way around the dog to the right and
return

Sit while you jog one fourth of the way around the dog to the left and re­
turn

Sit for 5 seconds

Sit for 10 seconds



Day 3: Dog's Task                                                                             

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit for 15 seconds

Sit while you take 2 steps backward and return

Sit while you jog 5 steps backward from the dog and return

Sit while you walk halfway around the dog to the right and return

Sit while you walk halfway around the dog to the left and return

Sit while you take 10 steps backward and return

Sit for 15 seconds

Sit while you take 10 steps to the left and return

Sit while you take 10 steps to the right and return           

Sit for 20 seconds

Sit while you walk halfway around the dog to the right, clapping your
hands, and return

Sit for 20 seconds

Sit while you walk halfway around the dog to the left, clapping your
hands, and return

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit while you jog 10 steps to the right and return

Sit while you job 10 steps to the left and return

Sit while you jog in place for 10 seconds

Sit for 15 seconds

Sit while you jog in place for 20 seconds

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit while you jog backward 5 steps and return

Sit while you jog to the right 5 steps and return

Sit while you jog to the left 5 steps and return

Sit for 5 seconds while you clap your hands

Sit for 10 seconds while you clap your hands

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit for 5 seconds



Day 4: Dog's Task



Sit for 10 seconds

Sit while you jog backward 5 steps and return

Sit for 20 seconds

Sit while you jog halfway around the dog to the right and return

Sit while you jog halfway around the dog to the left and return

Sit while you move three fourths of the way around the dog to the right
and return

Sit while you move three fourths of the way around the dog to the left
and return

Sit while you jog backward 5 steps, clapping your hands, and return

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit while you clap your hands for 20 seconds

Sit while you move quickly backward 10 steps and return

Sit while you move quickly 15 steps backward and return

Sit for 20 seconds

Sit while you jog halfway around the dog to the right and return

Sit while you jog halfway around the dog to the left and return     '

Sit while you walk quickly 15 steps to the left and return

Sit while you walk quickly 15 steps to the right and return

Sit for 20 seconds

Sit while you move three fourths of the way around the dog to the right
and return

Sit while you move three fourths of the way around the dog to the left
and return

Sit while you walk all the way around the dog

Sit while you walk approximately 20 steps to an entrance and return

Sit while you walk approximately 20 steps to an entrance, clapping your
hands, and return

Sit while you walk around the dog, quietly clapping your hands, and then
return

Sit for 20 seconds

Sit while you jog quickly around the dog

Sit for 20 seconds

Sit for 10 seconds while you clap your hands

                                                                                                 





Day 5: Dog's Task                                                                                    

                                                                                               

Sit for 5 seconds

Sit for 15 seconds

Sit while you walk quickly 15 steps to the right and return

Sit while you walk quickly 15 steps to the left and return

Sit while you walk approximately 20 steps to an entrance and return

Sit while you walk approximately 20 steps to an entrance, clapping your
hands, and return

Sit for 20 seconds

Sit while you walk around the dog, clapping your hands

Sit for 20 seconds

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit while you walk quickly backward, clapping your hands, and return

Sit while you walk approximately 20 steps to an entrance and return

Sit while you walk approximately 20 steps to an entrance, clapping your
hands, and return

Sit while you go to an entrance and just touch the doorknob or wall and
return

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit while you walk quickly backward, clapping your hands, and return

Sit while you walk approximately 20 steps to an entrance and return

Sit while you walk approximately 20 steps to an entrance, clapping your
hands, and return

Sit while you go to an entrance and just touch the doorknob or wall and
return

Sit for 20 seconds

Sit while you walk approximately 20 steps to an entrance, clapping your
hands, and return

Sit while you go to an entrance and just touch the doorknob or wall and
return

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit while the doorknob is touched or you move into entryway and return

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit for 15 seconds while you clap your hands

Sit for 10 seconds while you jog in place

Sit for 5 seconds



Day 6: Dog's Task                                                                             

                                                                                        

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit for 20 seconds while you jog back and forth in front of the dog

Sit for 15 seconds

Sit while you walk approximately 20 steps to an entrance and return

Sit while you walk quickly backward, clapping your hands, and return

Sit while you go to an entrance and just touch the doorknob or wall and
return

Sit for 20 seconds while jogging

Sit while you walk around the dog

Sit while you walk around the dog, clapping your hands

Sit for 15 seconds

Sit for 20 seconds

Sit for 30 seconds

Sit while you walk quickly backward, clapping your hands, and return

Sit while you go to an entrance and just touch the doorknob or wall and
return

Sit while you open the door or go into the entranceway for 5 seconds
and return

Sit while you open the door or go into the entranceway for 10 seconds
and return

Sit for 30 seconds

Sit while you walk quickly backward, clapping your hands, and return

Sit while you go to an entrance and just touch the doorknob or wall and
return

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit while you go through the door or the entranceway and return

Sit while you go through the door or the entranceway, clapping your
hands, and return

Sit while you open the door or go though the entranceway for 10
seconds and return

Sit for 30 seconds

Sit while you disappear from view for 5 seconds and return

Sit for 20 seconds

Sit for 10 seconds while you clap your hands

Sit for 5 seconds



Day 7: Dog's Task



Sit for 10 seconds

Sit for 20 seconds while you clap your hands

Sit while you take 10 steps backward and return

Sit while you walk around the dog

Sit while you go through the door or the entranceway and then return

Sit while you go through the door or the entranceway, clapping your
hands, and return

Sit while you open the door or go through the entranceway for 10      
seconds and return

Sit for 30 seconds

Sit while you disappear from view for 5 seconds and return

Sit while you go through the door or the entranceway and return

Sit while you go through the door or the entranceway, clapping your
hands, and return

Sit while you open the door or go through the entranceway for 10       
seconds and return

Sit for 30 seconds

Sit while you disappear from view for 10 seconds and return

Sit while you disappear from view for 15 seconds and return

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit for 15 seconds

Sit for 5 seconds while you clap your hands

Sit while you jog in place for 10 seconds

Sit while you jog three fourths of the way to the right and return

Sit while you jog three fourths of the way to the left and return

Sit while you go through the door or the entranceway, clapping your
hands, and return

Sit while you open the door or go through the entranceway for 10       
seconds and return

Sit for 30 seconds

Sit while you disappear from view for 15 seconds and return

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit for 5 seconds



Day 8: Dog's Task



Sit for 10 seconds

Sit for 15 seconds while you jog and clap your hands

Sit while you back up 15 steps and return

Sit while you circle the dog and return

Sit while you disappear from view for 20 seconds and return

Sit while you disappear from view for 25 seconds and return

Sit for 5 seconds

Sit for 5 seconds while you sit in a chair (placed 5 feet from the dog)

Sit for 5 seconds

Sit for 15 seconds while you jog and clap your hands

Sit while you back up 15 steps and return

Sit while you circle the dog and return

Sit while you disappear from view for 20 seconds and return

Sit while you disappear from view for 30 seconds and return

Sit for 5 seconds

Sit while you circle the dog and return

Sit while you disappear from view for 20 seconds and return

Sit while you disappear from view for 25 seconds and return

Sit for 5 seconds while you sit in a chair near the dog

Sit while you disappear from view for 10 seconds, sit in a chair for 5     
seconds, and return

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit for 20 seconds while you jog and clap your hands

Sit for 15 seconds while you run around the dog

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit for 5 seconds while you turn around

Sit for 5 seconds while you sit in a chair near the dog

Sit while you disappear from view for 10 seconds, sit in a chair for 5     
seconds, and return

Sit for 10 seconds



Day 9: Dog's Task



Sit for 5 seconds

Sit for 10 seconds while you turn around

Sit for 5 seconds while you jog

Sit while you walk around the dog

Sit while you jog around the dog

Sit while you jog around the dog, clapping your hands

Sit while you jog twice around the dog

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit for 15 seconds while you clap your hands

Sit for 20 seconds

Sit while you move three fourths of the way around the dog to the right
and return

Sit while you move three fourths of the way around the dog to the left
and return

Sit while you disappear from view for 10 seconds and return

Sit while you circle the dog and return

Sit while you disappear from view for 20 seconds and return

Sit while you disappear from view for 25 seconds and return

Sit for 5 seconds while you sit in a chair near the dog

Sit while you disappear from view for 10 seconds, sit in a chair for 5     
seconds, and return

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit while you bend down and touch your toes

Sit while you stretch your arms

Sit while you stretch your arms and jump once

Sit while you touch your toes 5 times

Sit while you stretch your arms and jump 3 times

Sit for 15 seconds

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit for 5 seconds



Day 10: Dog's Task      

Sit for 5 seconds while you clap

Sit for 10 seconds while you touch your toes

Sit for 15 seconds while you sit in a chair

Sit while you walk quickly 15 steps to the right and return

Sit while you walk quickly 15 steps to the left and return

Sit while you walk approximately 20 steps to an entrance and return

Sit while you disappear from view for 5 seconds and return

Sit while you disappear from view for 10 seconds and return

Sit while you disappear from view for 15 seconds and return

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit for 5 seconds

Sit while you walk quickly 15 steps to the right and return

Sit while you walk quickly 15 steps to the left and return

Sit while you approximately 20 steps to an entrance and return

Sit while you disappear from view for 5 seconds and return

Sit while you disappear from view for 10 seconds and return

Sit while you disappear from view for 15 seconds and return

Sit while you disappear from view for 5 seconds, knock softly on the wall,
and return

Sit for 5 seconds

Sit while you disappear from view for 5 seconds and return

Sit while you disappear from view for 10 seconds and return

Sit while you disappear from view for 15 seconds and return

Sit while you disappear from view for 5 seconds, knock softly on the wall,
and return      

Sit while you disappear from view, knock quickly but softly on the wall,
and return

Sit for 5 seconds

Sit while you disappear from view for 10 seconds, knock softly on the
wall, and return

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit for 5 seconds



Day 11: Dog's Task      



Sit for 5 seconds

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit while you disappear from view, knock quickly but softly on the wall,
and return

Sit for 5 seconds

Sit while you disappear from view for 10 seconds, knock softly on the
wall, and return

Sit for 30 seconds

Sit while you disappear from view, ring the doorbell, and immediately re­
turn

Sit while you disappear from view, ring the doorbell, wait 2 seconds, and
return

Sit for 30 seconds

Sit while you disappear from view, ring the doorbell, and immediately re­
turn

Sit while you disappear from view, ring the doorbell, wait 5 seconds, and
return

Sit for 30 seconds

Sit while you disappear from view, ring the doorbell, and immediately re­
turn

Sit while you disappear from view, ring the doorbell, wait 10 seconds,
and return

Sit for 5 seconds while you jog around the dog

Sit while you walk around the dog

Sit while you jog around the dog

Sit while you jog around the dog, clapping your hands

Sit while you jog twice around the dog

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit for 15 seconds while you clap your hands

Sit for 20 seconds

Sit while you move three fourths of the way around the dog to the right
and return

Sit while you move three fourths of the way around the dog to the left
and return

Sit while you disappear from view for 10 seconds and return

Sit while you circle the dog and return   

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit for 5 seconds



Day 12: Dog's Task                                                                           



Sit for 10 seconds

Sit for 5 seconds while you clap your hands

Sit for 15 seconds

Sit for 20 seconds while you hum

Sit while you disappear from view for 20 seconds and return

Sit while you disappear from view for 25 seconds and return

Sit for 5 seconds while you sit in a chair near the dog

Sit while you disappear from view for 10 seconds, sit in a chair for 5    
seconds, and return

Sit for 15 seconds

Sit for 20 seconds while you hum

Sit while you disappear from view for 20 seconds and return

Sit while you disappear from view for 25 seconds and return

Sit while you move three fourths of the way around the dog to the right
and return

Sit while you move three fourths of the way around the dog to the left
and return



Sit while you disappear from view for 10 seconds and return

Sit while you circle the dog and return

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit while you disappear from view, knock quickly but softly on the wall,
and return

Sit for 5 seconds

Sit while you disappear from view for 10 seconds, knock softly on the
wall, and return

Sit for 30 seconds

Sit while you disappear from view, ring the doorbell, and immediately re­
turn

Sit while you disappear from view, ring the doorbell, wait 2 seconds, and
return

Sit for 30 seconds

Sit while you disappear from view, say "hello," and return

Sit while you disappear from view, say "hello," wait 3 seconds, turn

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit for 5 seconds and re­turn



Day 13: Dog's Task

                                                                                        

Sit for 5 seconds

Sit for 15 seconds while you hum

Sit for 15 seconds while you clap your hands and hum

Sit while you disappear from view for 20 seconds and return

Sit while you disappear from view for 25 seconds and return

Sit for 5 seconds while you sit in a chair near the dog

Sit while you disappear from view for 10 seconds, sit in a chair for 5    
seconds, and return

Sit for 5 seconds

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit while you disappear from view, knock quickly but softly on the wall,
and return

Sit for 5 seconds

Sit while you disappear from view for 10 seconds, knock softly on the
wall, and return

Sit for 30 seconds

Sit while you disappear from view, ring the doorbell, and immediately re­
turn

Sit while you disappear from view, ring the doorbell, wait 2 seconds, and
return

Sit for 30 seconds

Sit while you disappear from view, say "hello," wait 5 seconds, and re­
turn

Sit while you disappear from view, knock or ring the doorbell, say "hello,"
wait 5 seconds, and return

Sit for 30 seconds

Sit while you disappear from view, say "hello," wait 5 seconds, and re­
turn

Sit while you disappear from view, knock or ring the doorbell, say "hello,"
wait 5 seconds, and return

Sit for 20 seconds while you hum

Sit for 15 seconds while you clap your hands

Sit for 5 seconds

Sit while you jog around the dog

Sit for 10 seconds while you clap your hands and hum

Sit for 5 seconds while you jog in place

Sit while you jog around the dog, humming



Day 14: Dog's Task

                                                                                        

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit for 5 seconds while you clap your hands and hum

Sit while you run around the dog

Sit while you walk back and forth to the door

Sit while you leave the room, quickly knock or ring the doorbell, and re­
turn

Sit for 5 seconds

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit for 5 seconds while you clap your hands and hum

Sit while you run around the dog

Sit while you walk back and forth to the door

Sit while you leave the room, quickly knock or ring the doorbell, and re­
turn

Sit for 5 seconds

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit while you disappear from view for 10 seconds, knock softly on the
wall, and return

Sit for 30 seconds

Sit while you disappear from view, ring the doorbell, and immediately
return

Sit while you disappear from view, ring the doorbell, wait 2 seconds, and
return

Sit for 30 seconds

Sit while you disappear from view, say "hello," wait 5 seconds, and re­
turn

Sit while you disappear from view, knock or ring the doorbell, say "hello,"
wait 10 seconds, and return

Sit for 30 seconds

Sit while you disappear from view, say "hello," wait 10 seconds, and
return

Sit while you disappear from view, knock or ring the doorbell, say "hello,"
wait 10 seconds, and return

Sit for 20 seconds while you hum

Sit for 20 seconds

Sit for 5 seconds



Day 15: Dog's Task

                                                                                          

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit for 5 seconds

Sit for 15 seconds while you clap your hands and hum

Sit while you disappear from view, knock or ring the doorbell, say "hello,"
talk for 10 seconds, and return

Sit for 20 seconds while you hum

Sit while you disappear from view, say "hello," invite the imaginary
person in, wait 5 seconds, and return

Sit for 10 seconds

Sit for 5 seconds         

Sit while you disappear from view, say "hello," invite the imaginary
person in, wait 10 seconds, and return

Sit while you disappear from view, say "hello," talk (as if to someone) for
5 seconds, and return

Sit for 5 seconds while you clap your hands and hum

Sit while you run around the dog

Sit while you walk back and forth to the door

Sit while you leave the room, quickly knock or ring the doorbell, and re­
turn

Sit for 5 seconds

Sit while you leave the room, knock or ring the doorbell for 3 seconds,
and re­turn­

Sit while you leave the room and knock or ring the doorbell for 5 seconds

Sit while you leave the room and talk for 3 seconds to people who are
not there

Sit while you leave the room and talk for 5 seconds to people who are
not there

Sit while you leave the room and talk for 10 seconds to people who are
not there

Sit while you run around the dog

Sit for 10 seconds while you sit in a chair

Sit for 30 seconds while you sit in a chair

Sit for 15 seconds while you clap your hands and jog

Sit for 5 seconds



For Future Repetitions

* Repeat all tasks in different locations

* Repeat all tasks with all family members

* Repeat all tasks with only every second or third task being rewarded
with a treat (Remember praise!)

Repeat with only intermittent treat reinforcement. (Remember praise
Relaxation Protocol
This protocol is perfect for dogs who have trouble calming down under
various circumstances, are very nervous, reactive or aggressive.  This
protocol lays the foundation for further training and behavior modification.