The rest zone is a shelter that the dog can visit and leave independently.
Nothing unpleasant happens to him in this area and he can actively decide about contact or not.
A dog should find peace in it, protection against excessive demands, deep sleep and privacy without feeling excluded.
He can sleep, watch and retreat there. The dog decides there who can enter the place, whether he wants to be alone or not. He won’t be petted if he doesn’t indicate it.
Visitors leave him in peace, children and other animal roommates too.
Everything smells familiar, the place helps you to sleep soundly, to deal with fear, or to calm yourself down under stress. It is a nest, a cave, a room of its own. A place where many scary or stressful situations can be endured better. A place to recharge your batteries. A separate room.
Who is a quiet zone suitable for?
- For restless dogs
- For dogs in busy households
- For dogs in multi-dog households (please build up individually depending on the relationship of the dogs)
- For dogs that cannot stay alone well
- For unsafe / anxious dogs
- For freshly fed dogs
- For dogs with difficulty visiting
- For dogs in the office or at work
- For dogs with handicaps
- For dogs with a high individual distance
For every dog
What do I need for it?
- 2 identical pillows, blankets, mats – just surfaces
- 1 fixed place / a box
- Blankets to hang a box for more cave feeling
If basket or box: the right size:
The berth should be large enough so that the dog can fully extend in all directions:
→ That means: measure length (snout to croup + 10cm)
→ The dog should stand with its legs straight in a box and it should be able to sit
→ Doors or boundaries are not necessary
Box: which is the most suitable?
Basically, security locations are never closed! But cave character is great! They will be visited voluntarily if they are properly conditioned.
Please don’t force it to endure!
Stable boxes that are well ventilated have proven their worth. Accordingly, aluminum mesh boxes or mesh boxes are particularly suitable.
Pure baskets or blankets take longer to set up because they are permeable to many stimuli.
- Fabric folding boxes often do not offer enough stability for quick assembly, since their walls are not suitable for leaning against
- Fully plastic transport boxes / flight boxes are poorly ventilated, quickly get too warm and tip over when thrown in
- Lattice boxes should be prepared with padding u or adhesive tape so that they do not rattle when you enter them
- Aluminum boxes cannot withstand moisture due to excessive salivation or a few drops of urine every now and then
Nevertheless, the set-up in boxes is often significantly faster than in simple lying cushions because the external influences are minimized.
How is it done?
The right place
It should be a place in the house / apartment where the dog can see you in the vicinity. It doesn’t have to be visual contact, but it should smell like you and the dog should be able to hear you.
This simplifies assembly and shortens the conditioning time.
Basically, however, any place that does not constantly trigger vigilance works. That means a corner of the room, under the desk, behind the couch … Everything is possible as long as there is no constant running around and an all-round view is possible. A basket with a view of the garden or under a frequently used staircase or directly at the front door is therefore rather inconvenient.
The external influences should be as small as possible. However, it is important that the space is either already used for relaxation or brand new, i.e. without negative occupancy.
Definitely no dog sentry should be used for this!
No huge drama or massive training is necessary at all. We dog owners only have to discipline ourselves with regard to our daily routine and be patient.
Basically you can not say exactly how long it takes until the quiet zone is accepted, it depends on the dog. The fact is, it ALWAYS works if no mistakes are made.
Dogs with a sleep deficit or newcomers and young dogs usually take up places very quickly. It takes about 1 – 4 weeks on average.
Dogs with direct fears usually only show the acceptance and safety of the place when necessary. It can be the case with a reactive dog that it seems to have no interest for months and suddenly New Year’s Eve is only in the box. Or a self-confident street dog can be found there spontaneously after weeks of thunderstorms.
Do the following:
Meals / food are only available in or directly at the entrance to the resting place, always!
All treats that are given daily, the dog can only find in the box. Please at different times.
Chews, Kong, dog ice cream…. First everything in the rest zone.
Attention: lugging out is ok. But the dog has to learn that the beginning of everything pleasant is in the quiet zone
All games and activities start in the quiet zone
Your dog attaches toys? Great, the first litter goes into the zone! Also here, drag out ok, start there. But: Toys should not always be in the box. The game should only start there, not take place there.
If the dog is in its rest zone, it is not touched or stroked.
He should be allowed to decide when he wants to make contact.
That means: if the paw or the head is outside the zone, it is released for gentle stroking.
Cleaning is only done when the dog sees it.
It is HIS area, he can control who is there and does something.
If you take out a blanket or a pillow, it will be replaced immediately.
Things are washed only with water. The smell of the dog must remain in the documents
Keep children, visitors and other pets away from the rest area.
Even if the dog is not in it! He decides who is allowed in his “room”.
The dog is not sent to the rest zone just because we think he needs a break. This would be a punishment and would destroy the security character of the place
The dog is not locked up immediately after entering the place.
Making doors or closing protective grids is completely ok, but please only when the body is seated and the dog is relaxed in it!
Of course you can praise the dog when he visits the zone! Quiet and friendly. You can also point out if you put something great in there.
The most common mistakes
Documents are not replaced when cleaning.
Since dogs can clearly perceive colors and smells and corresponding changes, and fear dogs and HSH in particular react strongly to changes, this makes them suspicious. In addition, it would be fatal if the dog went to the box in need and suddenly there was nothing familiar…
Treats are always deposited at the same time.
Dogs can smell intervals. In this case, the rest zone is only examined regularly as a feeding place.
Surfaces are washed with additives.
The dog recognizes a strange smell that unsettles. Dogs also shed urine, serotonin and dopamine through their skin marks and tiny droplets. Both hormones have a calming and happy effect. If they are whitewashed or washed out, handicap, anxiety, or new dogs start all over again.
Caress in the rest area
How is the dog supposed to feel safe when he is being pushed in there too?
Clean the box without a dog
He knows there was someone there. He can smell it. Often leads to significantly longer construction times and can throw back in acceptance.
False expectations of dog owners.
They are not just there permanently, but they go to the place when it is necessary
It is not general, there are other approaches. But this has proven itself!
Give yourself time! Ask if you don’t understand something!
Good luck and lots of quiet moments.