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Impulse Control: Why You Need to Practice This With Your Dog


May 13, 2019

Written by Janine Allen

This video shows me working on impulse control and decision making with a puppy. As a foundation skill, it helps teach the puppy to resist impulse to grab things on the ground, the table, or from someone’s hand. The owner learns to have patience in setting up a scenario where the dog makes the right choice instead of constantly telling the dog “no.”

Here’s how to do it:

Step One

Place bowl of food or tasty treats—I like using FirstMate Free Range Grass Fed Lamb & Blueberries Treats—on the ground in front of the dog. Each time he/she moves toward it, cover it with your hand.

When the dog pulls away from the bowl, uncover it. IF the dog stays away from the bowl say “yes” and give a treat. Sometimes the dog will give you a bonus sit like the pup in the video. Yahoo!

Step Two

Start placing food outside the bowl. When the dog moves toward the food, cover it with your hand. When the dog pulls away from the food, uncover it. IF the dog stays away from the food say “yes” and give a treat.

Step Three

Place the food closer to the dog as you continue practicing. You could even advance this to placing food on your dog’s paws as a cute trick.

Step Four

Now drop a dirty tissue, sock, chicken bone (or whatever item your dog likes to grab) on the ground. If the dog moves toward the item, cover it. If the dog moves away from the item, uncover it. IF the dog stays away from the item say “yes” and give a treat.

Video Star: Walt, an Aussiedoodle puppy.

Janine Allen is a Certified Professional Dog Trainer and Behaviour Specialist. Check out her website here!  For more training related posts from FirstMate, click here!

Did you find these tips helpful for your and your FirstMate? Have any training skills you’re dying to learn? Let us know in the comments below!

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