Impulse Control for Dogs | Pupford
March 30th, 2021
Filed under Podcasts
Impulse control affects all parts of your dog's behavior. It's something you should be practicing and working on every single day!
In this episode, we will cover 3 aspects of impulse control training.
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PART 1: WHAT IS IMPULSE CONTROL? HOW SHOULD WE BE VIEWING OUR DOG’S ABILITY TO CONTROL THEIR IMPULSES?
WHAT IS IMPULSE CONTROL?
- Your dog’s ability or inability to not act on things they want right away
- Most things our dogs have impulses for are for food or objects
HOW SHOULD WE BE VIEWING OUR DOG’S ABILITY TO CONTROL THEIR IMPULSES?
- Dogs' impulses are natural! So instead of viewing something like your dog bolting through a door or chasing after a squirrel as them trying to be the alpha, it should be viewed as a natural thing that is ingrained in dogs
- You aren’t trying to eliminate their impulses, instead you want to be able to manage it
PART 2: WHY IS IMPULSE CONTROL IMPORTANT? WHAT PARTS OF YOUR DOG’S BEHAVIOR DOES IMPULSE CONTROL AFFECT?
WHY IS IMPULSE CONTROL IMPORTANT?
- With impulse control training you can retrain your dog's brain to focus, calm themselves down, and listen when you need them to
- Whatever you are struggling with, with your dog, most of those behaviors can be helped with impulse control training ( in addition to specific training for problem behaviors )
WHAT PARTS OF YOUR DOG’S BEHAVIOR DOES IMPULSE CONTROL AFFECT?
- Almost all of it!
- Impulse control can be tied into 90% of your dog’s problem behaviors, like potty training, barking, leash pulling, etc.
- Any impulse control training you do with your dog will affect all aspects of your dog’s life
PART 3: HOW CAN YOU IMPROVE YOUR DOG’S IMPULSE CONTROL? HERE ARE 2 QUICK IDEAS YOU CAN DO EVERY DAY TO HELP IMPROVE YOUR DOG’S ABILITY TO CONTROL HIS OR HER IMPULSES!
HOW CAN YOU IMPROVE YOUR DOG’S IMPULSE CONTROL?
- Work on little things on a daily basis to try to improve your dog’s impulse control
- Practice different games, like games in our
1. TEACH YOUR DOG TO WAIT FOR THEIR FOOD
- Start with your bowl of food and put your dog in a sit
- Start lowering the food, and if they lunge towards it bring the food bowl back up
- Then have them sit again
- And repeat until you are able to put the food all the way down without them going for it
- Then you can work on increasing distance, duration, or distractions
2. HAVE YOUR DOG WAIT BEFORE GOING OUT A DOOR
Steps taken from our blog post on
- Start with your pup on leash
- Place an elevated platform near your door, an ottoman works great!
- Have your dog jump onto the platform and reward them for being up there.
- Practice this a few times.
- Open your door 1-2” and close it. Reward your dog for staying. If your dog jumps down, reset and try again
- Once they stay for that, increase the amount you open your door. Again, your dog should stay sitting, if they get up or jump off simply reset them, be patient, and try again
- Eventually, you should be able to have the door all the way open and your dog staying - this will take multiple sessions and that’s okay
- Next, give your dog a release word to tell your dog he or she can get up and go through the door with you, this could be ‘Okay!” Or 'Release.' whatever feels natural to you.
If you want a deep dive into impulse control, check out our 21 Impulse Control games part of Pupford Academy! Get access .