Catahoulas are hyper dogs especially the little puppies below the age of 6 months. This is basically because of their herding and hunting nature. However, Catahoulas calm down as they grow, you only need to be a little more patient with them. Also, training them at an early age is an added advantage for fast results.
Catahoulas calm down from the age of 9-12months. However, you may start to notice improvement earlier if you start engaging them in agility and obedience training as early as 12 weeks when they are still exploring everything.
It’s important to know the temperaments of the dog you want to own before purchasing. For instance, Catahoula being an energetic dog wouldn’t be the best choice for a first-time owner and someone living in an apartment. In this article, you will learn how to calm down your Catahoula and the things that make him hyper and restless.
Do Catahoula dogs calm down?
Catahoulas calm down as they age but mostly with proper and consistent training and exercise. This breed is intelligent and energetic since it was bred to herd and hunt. It can therefore be hyper, aggressive, and stubborn, especially when neglected or in limited space.
Catahoulas are attention seeking and love to be shown affection failure to which they can become destructive. Petting your Catahoula frequently and doing fun games together creates a happy and peaceful environment for them. They also love spacious spaces where they can roam and play around freely.
However, that alone is not enough to make them calm down, exercising frequently helps get rid of the pent-up energy making them relax and calm down.
Are Catahoula dogs easy to train?
It is challenging to train a Catahoula dog. Although he is an intelligent breed, he also portrays his independent qualities strongly. Catahoulas always want to be the leader and not to be commanded around which makes it hard for any owner to train them.
However, they are fast learners as long as you are consistent and patient with them. You can start by establishing yourself as the leader for him to obey you easily.
If you find it hard to train your Catahoula but still want to keep him, you can hire a professional to keep your pet on track.
How to train Catahoula dog to calm down
While training your Catahoula, you have to keep in mind that he’s a sensitive dog that easily gets depressed by negative energy. Shouting and hitting your Catahoula while training may increase their behavioral issues and lead to fear and anxiety.
Here are ways on how you can effectively train your Catahoula dog to calm down:
1. Respect and leadership awareness
You can start by showing your Catahoula that you are in control “the leader” that way, he will pay attention to you.
Simple tricks like;
- Walking through the door first. Doing this often makes your Catahoula understand that you should always lead while he follows behind. That way he will not be rushing and pulling you while taking a walk together instead he will walk calmly beside or behind you and not in front.
- Showing him affection when you want to and not when he demands. This trains him to respect your space. He will rarely follow you to the door while going out or go jumping over family members or you when you are back from job.
- Be firm while correcting your Catahoula dog. Disapprove of his bad behaviors firmly but calmly as shouting will only build in fear instead of respect.
Besides training, your Catahoula will mostly show respect depending on the way you interact with him. How you talk to him(your intonation), your body language and your facial expression give him ideas of whether or not to obey you.
2. Yes & no training
Affirm your dog’s good behavior and disapprove of the bad behavior immediately while at it. When your doing is barking uncontrollably, comes jumping all over you or does something that you don’t like, give him a firm NO and push him away calmly without making eye contact.
Dogs understand eye contact as a measure of goodwill. For instance, when you give him a treat, relax together, or hug him you definitely make eye contact. Therefore, making eye contact while correcting your Catahoula makes him think you are okay with his behavior and will not take your NO seriously.
To affirm your Catahoula’s good behavior, give him a treat of something he likes this time around with eye contact. This way your dog will know you are pleased and will definitely repeat the same behavior again as he will be looking forward to a treat and it will become a “good” habit.
3. Socialize your Catahoula
Anti-social Catahoula will most likely be restless and anxious around strangers, other canines, and new environments. Therefore, it’s best to start socializing him at puppyhood as they are still exploring and getting to understand everything around them. However, it’s not too late for your adult Catahoula to start socializing although it can be challenging.
Here’s how to socialize your adult Catahoula:
- Ensure he is in a controlled area and obeys your NO, COME, and STOP. This is basically to avoid any accident in case he gets out of control.
- Start going for walks with him to familiarize him with a new environment. This way, he also gets to see people and other canines even though they don’t get to interact.
- Introduce him to a stranger by letting them feed him or reward him with his favorite treat.
- Introduce your Catahoula to another canine by putting the two dogs in different wire-mesh cages and letting them observe each other.
- Visit a dog park and allow your Catahoula to observe from a distance until you are confident he is relaxed around other canines then you can go in.
Reward your Catahoula with his favorite treat when he remains calm around strangers and other canines. A social dog is a happy and relaxed dog.
4. Create a peaceful environment for your dog
Here are tips on how to create a peaceful environment for your dog.
- Remain calm
Dogs read and copy our behaviors. A positive attitude towards your dog makes him feel safe. By just remaining calm even when correcting him sends a positive message to your pet.
Exercising your dog regularly, especially an energetic Catahoula, helps them relax and calm down. If your Catahoula is always hyperactive and restless, try exercising and playing engaging games with him to get rid of the pent-up energy.
- Play calming music
Soft music is not only therapeutic to humans but to dogs as well. It helps calm down anxious dogs especially those with separation anxiety. If your dog gets anxious when you leave him for work, you can try playing soft music in the background to calm him through the day.
- Create a safe space for your Catahoula
Give your dog his own bed or a crate with soft bedding that he can access at any time. The sense of ownership gives them peace of mind and the desire to want to relax on their bed.