Tag Archive for: Calming signals

Welcome to the puppy

A new puppy in the family is a joy. Puppies are cute and adorable, but it takes some effort from the whole family if the puppy should thrive and grow into an integrated part of the home.

Being together with the puppy is enriching and filled with great adventures, so look forward to beginning a new chapter in your life – life with a dog!

This note is meant as a help to a great start. There’re many different “suggestions” regarding “dog training”.

Pick what you like, we are all different and there is more than one way of raising a puppy. Find your own way of doing what that fits you, your family and your dog. It will pay off in the long run.

The puppy usually arrives in its new home when it’s 9-12 weeks old. It comes into a busy home, since most of us have a busy life. It can be overwhelming to fit a new puppy into our program, even if we believed, we had thought it over and planned it all.

It can be a big change of daily life for the family.

Rest and sleep!

You got to take into consideration that the puppy has been taken from its mother and siblings. It will have an enormous need for sleeping and resting, more than many believe. You can compare the puppy with a baby. If the puppy doesn’t get enough rest, then it might get stressed and not thrive.

In many families the family life is at high speed. We are busy being busy, which is a bad combination with the puppy and its needs going in the opposite direction with the need of plenty of time and rest.

Plan your  time and set time off for the puppy. No matter the breed, it will always be a unique individual, which takes time to get to know – just like it takes time for the puppy to get to know its new owner(s). The puppy just lost its safe contact with its mommy and its siblings. You can risk the puppy gets depressed if it doesn’t get enough contact and positive attention.

The first three months exercise is limited. The puppy just needs a walk to sniff and explore its new world. It can get hurt from too much exercise even it doesn’t look worn out.

Read more about puppies and exercise here!


Learn the language of the dog!

Its body and bones are not fully developed yet to handle too much exercise. So, don’t take the puppy for a regular walk yet. Spend the time getting to know the little new family member and the many signals it sends to us when it “speaks”.

Dogs communicate with a developed and varied dog language. Unfortunately, it’s only in the Disney movies the dog speaks English. Dogs can’t learn how to speak the human language (they can over time learn many verbal commands, but never our language as we speak it). Fortunately, we humans can learn to speak and understand the language of the dog and practice makes perfect!

It’s a very sad fact that many healthy dogs each year are put down due to “problematic behavior”. Many of these situations could had been avoided if only the owner had tried to understand the natural behavior of the dog.

It takes so little to learn to communicate with each other, and it’s so important for a co-existence in harmony between dog and human. Of course, there could had been a medical reason for the problematic behavior, and then of course we see the vet for help, but mostly the challenges come from lack of understanding between human and dog.

When we start reading about the  language of the dog, behavior, attend puppy classes etc. then we will find out we did some mistakes. Fortunately, dogs are forgiving, so we can make mistakes and get wiser all the time. Our dogs have an amazing ability to try and understand us, and make themselves understood. We must never abuse their trust in us by being hard on them.

Read about the signals of the dog here!

Join a puppy night!

At ” puppy night” at Artemis you will get introduced to basic training based on positive intensification. We reward the behavior we like to see; we want to see more of and ignore the behavior we don’t wanna see again.

The dog will quickly learn what it takes to become a success. If it makes a correct guess, then it’s being rewarded with a treat, a friendly word or a gentle touch. If it makes an incorrect guess, then nothing happens. Naturally, the dog will try hard to be correct each time. If you are not hard on it for being incorrect, then it will still want to try its very best to try again and be correct.

Puppy license!

From the puppy is born and until it is about 4-6 months old, then it has a “puppy license” that does,  it will try the big world out there – both with its own and others without to expect too big consequences. To start with it doesn’t understand what is allowed and not allowed to do in your home. You must give it a chance to learn, and the puppy will learn best and fastest, if the rules are the same every single day. Later, we can, with giving it a sign, let it know, it is for an exception have been invited up on the sofa for snuggling.

Forget the old myths!

Forget old myths about “leadership and dominance”; the myth that the dog will try to take over the power in case the owner does this and that. Dominance is only between its own – never between dog and man. The dog prefers to pass the control over to the human in case he seems in his right mind according to the dog.

Good habits!

To achieve the good puppyhood needs:

  • Have made clear, that it is under all circumstances a 180-degree turnaround to become a dog owner.
  • Have the needed time to get to know the puppy and just spend time with it.
  • Have made clear that it’s time for learning a new language – “Doggish”
  • Have a huge patience with the puppy and its developing. It gets so much easier later – especially if we made sure it got the right stimulus and we created a close bond.

Written by Lise Rovsing and Hanne Truelsen from Snudekompagniet!



Quick guide to understanding your dog.

Learn the language of your dog 

A dog communicates through body language. The most important signals are the calming signals They tell us, if a dog feels pressed, stressed, or uncomfortable. These signals include:

  • licking their mouths
  • a smacking sound
  • winking their eyes
  • turning the head to one side
  • pulling the ears back
  • wagging with the tail lowered

If you observe your dog giving any of these signals, consider what is going on in that moment and act accordingly.

For many dogs there is too much going on in their daily lives. A grown dog should sleep around 14 hours a day. A puppy needs about 16-18 hours of daily sleep!

Read more about puppies and exercise here!

Stimulating the body and mind

The stimulation of a dog will to be different according to its  race and age. It can therefore be hard to observe general rules here. Certain activities are, however, more stressful than beneficial.

When you throw something to fetch, it increases the pulse and stresses the dog.

Do not:

  • throw a stick
  • throw a ball
  • play any kind of wild tug of war games

Certain kinds of toys also stress the dog. Dogs have a hearing ability thats is up to 4,5 times what humans do; so a little “squeak” can be really loud for them.

Watch a movie about why fetching should be avoided!

Stop playing with squeaky toys or remove the part of the toy that makes the sound.

The sniffing walk

Always use a harness and a loose leash.

Collars apply unnecessary discomfort and can lead to damage in the neck and throat. The harness should allow the dog free movement in the shoulders and front leg.

This harness is sitting in a correct maner.

If your dog pulls on the leash the constant pressure from the collar will stress the dog even more, which worsens the situation. If you need to have a tight connection with your dog, a harness provides you with a safer grip.

The dog needs a loose leash for it to choose where it wants to sniff. Flex lines are not allowed. By using a flex line your dog feels a constant pressure from a tight leash and it feels restricted throughout the whole walk. Flex lines feel like steel wire and often cause damage to both dogs and humans.

The daily exercise has to be on the dog’s terms. We humans tend to rush and let the dog follow us. Slow down, walk slowly. Give your dog choices. Let it decide, where it wants to sniffle and for how long.

Some dogs are highly sensitive. Even smaller inputs can feel very disturbing. That’s why not all dogs thrive in an environment of much activity and noise.

Not all dogs are happy greeting other dogs.

Read more about meeting other dogs here!

Calm and relaxing activities

Relaxing activities are important for the well-being of your dog.

Intensive sniffling reduces the level of stress. The dog uses its nose; let it feel free to do that as much as possible.

Let your dog search for treats during the walk: throw a fistful of treats over a large area and let your dog calmly search for them. It lowers the pulse and feels good. Searching for treats can also be done at home and is a meaningful and calming way to end the walk.

Calm chewing on a bone or a “kong” is another relaxing and joyous activity for everyone!

Watch a movie about good activities to enjoy with your dog!

The dog’s space 

Give the dog the opportunity to withdraw when you are at home. When it rests, leave it alone and do not disturb it. Family and guests should respect that the dog is not up for endless cuddling and talking to, just because WE want to pet our dog. We also need to teach our children to respect the dog’s withdrawal and its need to be free from social contact.

Little tools for communicating

Our body language says more than a thousand words. If the dog does something you disapprove of, ignore the action and keep QUIET.

The behaviour we want we reward, the behaviour we disapprove of, we ignore.

Obtain a good connection with your dog with a simple tool: use a smacking sound. When the dog looks in your direction, reward it with a treat within three seconds. Right then you give the dog a treat, you reward the correct behaviour.

Learn the hand signal: turn the palm of your hand towards the dog. That is the signal for “it’s okay”. This signal can be used in many situations, when you wish to tell your dog not to worry:

  • When you pass people, dogs and things, that seem to upset it.
  • When the doorbell rings and the dog runs towards the door.
  • When the dog begs or tries to jump up and down.

“Get in the way”: If e.g. a situation of conflict is about to occur, physically move in between your dog and the challenge. Lead your dog away from the situation.


Walking in a curve / curving:   When dogs meet in nature, they walk in a curve toward each other.

If meeting other dogs is a challenge for your dog, practice to walk in a curve. You can also cross to the other side of the street.

If contact with other dogs should be practiced, walk in parallels. I.e. you and your dog walk in a parallel with another dog and human. Keep a good distance and practice moving closer gradually.

If you learn to implement these practices/habits in your daily lives, you are offering optimal conditions for your dog’s well-being.

Read the Danish version here!

How much exercise shall my puppy have?

By veterinarian Lise Rovsing & Hanne Truelsen from Snudekompagniet!

Are you the happy owner of a new puppy, there are a lot of things to look forward too.

One of the greatest pleasures of owning a dog is the walks that you will experience together. However, it will take a while before this becomes a part of everyday life.

The puppy takes over the house with its energy which will test your patience. This might lead you to think that the puppy needs to be worn out physically and what better way to do this than to take the puppy for a nice long walk?

STOP – a puppy should NOT be taken on long walks or be worn out.

A puppy needs a lot less exercise than you might think. The puppy only needs to go out for short walk to relieve itself.

When the puppy arrives at its new home it is usually between 8-10 weeks old. However the most optimal time to move the puppy from its familiar surroundings is actually when the puppy is between 9-11/12 weeks old!

How much exercise does a puppy need?

During the first month of bringing the puppy home, it only needs to go out for 10-15 minutes a day.

As part of the housebreaking it is natural that the puppy needs to go out many times during the day, which is fine, but it shouldn’t be taken out for walks. The puppy only needs to go out to relief itself and the sniff around in its new surroundings.

A puppy will relieve itself where it feels safe, which is why puppies often relieve themselves inside the house or in the garden. This is also one of the reasons why the puppy shouldn’t be taken for long walks, as it will not relieve itself if you just walk around in different places.

When the puppy is approximately 4 months old you can increase the walks with 5 minutes, which will add up to 20 minutes a day. At 5 months you can increase the walks with another 5 minutes and so on, until you reach 30 minutes a day. A puppy should not walk more than 30 minutes a day until it is fully grown. When a puppy is fully grown depends on the breed.

Let your puppy sniff!

When you take your pup out for a walk it should be on its terms. It’s very important that the dog gets to sniff around as much as needed. This means that you should make as many stops as the dog requires and wait for the dog to finish sniffing.

A puppy shouldn’t be worn out by too much exercise. Too much exercise can make a puppy stressed.

Stress has a lot of consequences for the puppy and can show itself in many disguises.

Typically the puppy will be unfocussed and have trouble relaxing and resting, it will pee excessively, it will hump object, which has nothing to do with its sexuality and it will drink a lot. The puppy will also take longer to learn to be alone at home as well as it will take longer to be housebroken.

If you have a garden, it is easy to let the puppy out several times during the day. Have in mind that even a small trip to the garden, is a major input for the puppy’s brain to process.

Small experiences make a BIG impression!

From a puppy’s point of view, a small experience makes a huge impression, a lot more than you might think!

A puppy should only be exposed to new experiences every three to six days, which ensures the most optimal development of the puppy’s psyche.

Slow down!

Making an effort and giving the puppy time to a just, will give you the best result for a harmonious healthy dog.

We as humans can also benefit from slowing down. If you want to do what’s best for the new family member it’s important to calm household and give the puppy time to a just.