The Dog Listener training system is based on providing leadership to your dog. If the dog sees you as the leader, then he is relieved of those duties. In the dog’s eyes, someone has to be the pack leader, the dog or you.

The calm 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 need to worry.

Here are a couple of examples.

I like to take my chocolate lab, Maisie, for walks in the countryside. Living in Guildford there are many wooded areas. Most of the nearby roads are quiet. Occasionally a car will travel to or from the nearby fields. At this point, I call Maisie silently, grab her neck from her side, and pat her shoulder. I look at the car, not Maisie. When the car has passed, Maisie follows her path.

In this way I have created the quiet freeze. I’ve told Maisie that I’m in control, that I’m monitoring the situation and that I’m happy and in control, so she doesn’t need to worry.

The second scenario where I use a calm freeze is with horses. The problem with horses is twofold: 1) they can freak out, 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 the quiet freeze. When I see the horse in the distance, I get Maisie’s attention, move away if necessary, and make Maaisie come to me. Once again I hold her by her collar, pat her shoulder, and watch the horses go by, telling her I’m in control of her, I’m happy, and she doesn’t need to worry.

The Calm Freeze is a great tool and you should use it when your dog gets excited. The Dog Listener technique has 4 pillars that you must learn, hunting, food, status and danger. The calm freeze is a tool for coping with perceived danger to the dog. When you understand why a dog does what it does, then you can influence the dog’s behavior.

The Dog Listener approach helps people understand how dogs behave.