Magic 50

Magic 50 is an awesome “game” for promoting calmness in your dog, or increasing any behaviors that you want to see more of!

We’re going to keep this super simple.

First, prepare 50 treats and put them in a special container. Depending on your dog, they can be super awesome like cheese or real meat, or they can be regular kibble, or anything in between. You can prepare many batches at once, just be sure and store them safely so they don’t spoil.


Each day, your job is to give out all 50 treats for anything your dog does that is cute, or wonderful or, my favorite, calm and relaxing. Note: it is especially important that these are things your dog does *by himself*, not things you ask for.

One of my favorite ways of doing this is to set a mental timer for 5 to 15 minutes, and if I can’t hear my dog when that mental timer goes off, I go find him and give him a treat or 3 (using calm treat delivery so I don’t get him too excited!).

I also do this if I get up and walk past my resource -guarding dog when he has a toy or bone. It’s nothing elaborate. Just a simple toss as I walk by.

It is VERY important that we don’t use all our treats for the dog coming up and pawing us or jumping on us, or otherwise ASKING for the treats. If he chooses to sit or lay down and give us some personal space when asking, you can give your pup a treat for this. However, I want most of the treats to be used for the pup just being a good calm dog throughout the day.

That’s it! You’ve got this!

Oh, and remember, I said you can prepare extra containers? Yep—one container each day!!! Just take one out in the morning and remember to keep giving out all the treats.

This exercise can be practiced for 3-4 days, or a whole week. You do NOT need to do this every day for the rest of your life. I probably would only do for 1-2 weeks out of any given month when you are actively trying to improve default behaviors around the home.

(Many thanks to Kathy Sdao for the ideas behind this game, and Jamie Thorpe for the great photo!)