Dog Training Today with Will Bangura for Pet Parents, Kids & Family, Pets and Animals, and Dog Training Professionals. This is a Education & How To Dog Training Podcast.

Dog Training Today with Will Bangura: #145 Mastering Your Dog's Impulse Control Part 2

January 09, 2024 Will Bangura, M.S., CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, FFCP is a World Renowned Dog Behaviorist, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, Certified Professional Dog Trainer, and a Fear Free Certified Professional with over 36 years of experience with the most difficult of
Dog Training Today with Will Bangura: #145 Mastering Your Dog's Impulse Control Part 2
Dog Training Today with Will Bangura for Pet Parents, Kids & Family, Pets and Animals, and Dog Training Professionals. This is a Education & How To Dog Training Podcast.
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Dog Training Today with Will Bangura for Pet Parents, Kids & Family, Pets and Animals, and Dog Training Professionals. This is a Education & How To Dog Training Podcast.
Dog Training Today with Will Bangura: #145 Mastering Your Dog's Impulse Control Part 2
Jan 09, 2024
Will Bangura, M.S., CBCC-KA, CPDT-KA, FFCP is a World Renowned Dog Behaviorist, Certified Dog Behavior Consultant, Certified Professional Dog Trainer, and a Fear Free Certified Professional with over 36 years of experience with the most difficult of

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Ever feel like you're at the end of your leash with your dog's impulsive antics? Buckle up, because this podcast is your ticket to transforming that frisky pup into a paragon of patience. Join me, Will Bangura, as we step beyond the basics and venture into the world of advanced impulse control for your canine companion. From mastering the heel position during walks to ensuring mealtime doesn't resemble a wild food frenzy, we're covering it all. Our discussion is a treasure trove of techniques that will help you guide your furry friend to remain calm in the face of distractions that would have once sent them into a tailspin.

This episode isn't just a walk in the park—we're steering away from the well-trodden path and into the nuanced navigation of loose leash training. Together, we'll fine-tune your furry friend's focus and align their pace with yours, ensuring walks are a joy rather than a juggling act of jerks and tugs. And for those moments when the doorbell rings and chaos ensues, I'm sharing my signature doorbell desensitization drill that's sure to turn your dog's reaction from frantic to indifferent. Plus, get ready to seize those rare quiet moments; we're teaching your dog the fine art of silence on cue, ensuring peace prevails.

Wrapping up our journey into canine self-restraint, we dive into the world of positive reinforcement. Remember, every well-executed 'sit' or ignored squirrel is worthy of a reward. Think of it as your pup's paycheck for their hard work and dedication to self-control. Stick with me, and you'll not only have a dog that's a paragon of virtue amidst a world of temptations but a loyal walking buddy who won't leave you tangled in a web of leash. Share the journey with other dog devotees, and don't forget to catch our monthly live Q&A sessions on Facebook where your most pressing dog training dilemmas will be untangled.

Support the Show.

If you need professional help please visit my Dog Behaviorist website.
Go here for Free Dog Training Articles

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Ever feel like you're at the end of your leash with your dog's impulsive antics? Buckle up, because this podcast is your ticket to transforming that frisky pup into a paragon of patience. Join me, Will Bangura, as we step beyond the basics and venture into the world of advanced impulse control for your canine companion. From mastering the heel position during walks to ensuring mealtime doesn't resemble a wild food frenzy, we're covering it all. Our discussion is a treasure trove of techniques that will help you guide your furry friend to remain calm in the face of distractions that would have once sent them into a tailspin.

This episode isn't just a walk in the park—we're steering away from the well-trodden path and into the nuanced navigation of loose leash training. Together, we'll fine-tune your furry friend's focus and align their pace with yours, ensuring walks are a joy rather than a juggling act of jerks and tugs. And for those moments when the doorbell rings and chaos ensues, I'm sharing my signature doorbell desensitization drill that's sure to turn your dog's reaction from frantic to indifferent. Plus, get ready to seize those rare quiet moments; we're teaching your dog the fine art of silence on cue, ensuring peace prevails.

Wrapping up our journey into canine self-restraint, we dive into the world of positive reinforcement. Remember, every well-executed 'sit' or ignored squirrel is worthy of a reward. Think of it as your pup's paycheck for their hard work and dedication to self-control. Stick with me, and you'll not only have a dog that's a paragon of virtue amidst a world of temptations but a loyal walking buddy who won't leave you tangled in a web of leash. Share the journey with other dog devotees, and don't forget to catch our monthly live Q&A sessions on Facebook where your most pressing dog training dilemmas will be untangled.

Support the Show.

If you need professional help please visit my Dog Behaviorist website.
Go here for Free Dog Training Articles

Speaker 1:

One of the best skills that you can work on with your dog is impulse control. Whether you have a dog that is reactive or aggressive, well, they definitely need better impulse control. Impulse control is crucial when we're talking about those behavioral issues. But maybe you've got a dog that likes to jump, is excitable, has a lot of energy and just can't settle down. Maybe you've got a dog that goes crazy whenever the doorbell rings or the door knocks, or maybe when you go to get in the car and your dog gets very excitable. Maybe you go to lots of different places with your dog and you'd like to enjoy things, but your dog just gets too excited about everything that's going on in the environment. Well, we're going to talk more about impulse control. This is going to be part two of teaching your dog impulse control. Don't go anywhere. We'll be back in 60 seconds to unpack this.

Speaker 2:

Raised by wolves with canine DNA and his blood. Having trained more than 24,000 vets helping you and your fur babies thrive, live in studio with Will Bangura answering your pet behavior and training questions. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome your host and favorite pet behavior expert, Will Bangura.

Speaker 1:

Would you like to go on Wookiees? Good day dog lovers. I'm Will Bangura. Thanks for joining me for another episode of dog training today. As I said in the opener, we're going to be talking more about teaching your dog impulse control, and that is something that every dog that is reactive, aggressive, excitable, hyper can't calm down. Those are all dogs and issues that definitely can benefit from impulse control. Now, this is part two of impulse control. If you have not listened to part one, you want to make sure that you go to the dog training today audio podcast and look for season five, episode 142. Again, that's season five, episode 142. That is part one of teaching your dog impulse control. In that particular podcast we went over various things to teach your dog to help with impulse control. We talked about how to work with sit and stay, waiting at doors and gates, teaching your dog to leave it, teaching drop it, teaching a strong stay for your dog, teaching your dog to go to its place or bed and stay, and the last thing that we covered in part one of teaching your dog impulse control, episode 42, season five. The last thing we covered there was teaching eye contact and teaching focus.

Speaker 1:

If you are not subscribed to the dog training today audio podcast. Please make sure that you subscribe so that you never miss one of our podcasts on our podcast and all the great information that we're providing to you. I do a podcast on the dog training today audio podcast at least once a week, sometimes even more, and then also I do my monthly Facebook live show on the dog training today Facebook page where, for an entire hour the first Saturday of every month at 11 o'clock Eastern time, eight o'clock Pacific time, I've got an hour long where I take your questions and your challenges and your problems with your dogs and I help provide you with answers and positive solutions to your dog's training. Do me a favor also if you love what we do here at dog training today, if you love this podcast, please give us a five star review wherever you're listening to the podcast. If you listen to Apple podcast, itunes, iheartradio, spotify, stitcher wherever you listen, please give us a five star review and share this with your friends and family. Let them all know about it.

Speaker 1:

Okay, so let's get into the meat of what we want to talk about here in part two of teaching your dog impulse control. Again, as I mentioned, it's probably one of the most important things that you can work with your dog on, especially if you don't have a couch potato Now, those of you that have a couch potato you might not need to deal with this, but if you've got dogs that again, are aggressive or reactive or very high energy hyperactive, just can't settle down, if you've got a dog that gets overstimulated and just loses its mind, this is going to be a great podcast for you and also, like I said, make sure you check out part one, that's season five, episode 142, teaching your dog impulse control. Part one. All right, let's get into part two. The last thing we left off with was teaching eye contact and focus. So the next thing we want to talk about and that was in part one the next thing we want to talk about is teaching your dog If you've got a dog that needs impulse control how to walk on a loose leash, teaching that controlled walk.

Speaker 1:

Teaching your dog how to heal Now, some people don't know where the heal position is, so the way I like to teach it, I like the heal position and how I identify it when the dog is walking next to me and its front paws hit the ground as it's in its stride, in its gait. I want to see those front paws landing on the ground lined up with my heel. All right, one of the things that I don't want when I'm teaching controlled walking, when I'm teaching the heel position, when I'm teaching a dog to walk on a loose leash, I personally teach it where I don't want the dog's eyes to be in front of your leg, so your dog's eyes can be lined up with your leg, and that's where I like it to be. You know, if you're walking and your dog's eyeballs are a foot behind your leg, your dog's probably lagging behind, maybe getting distracted, maybe sniffing somewhere, but not paying attention to you, not staying with you. So I like to keep the dog's eyes right in line with my leg and I don't want those eyes getting in front of my leg, because if the eyes get in front of my leg, the dog, in my opinion, is leading this walk and we're taking away a huge cue for the dog and that's the visual cue of us and where we're going.

Speaker 1:

And when it comes to teaching your dog how to walk on a loose leash, how to heal controlled walking, one of the most important things that you need to understand this is about teaching your dog to follow you, to follow you and to pay attention and to stay in a specific position and to walk at a particular pace. So we've identified the position where we want the dog, we want those eyes at our leg. Now what do we do and how do we teach this? What do we do if the dog starts to pull? What do we do if the dog's eyes get in front of our legs? Well, one of the first things we need to do is make sure that we begin the process of teaching this where there are little to no distractions. You need to be able to keep your dog's focus, you need to be able to keep your dog's attention and if the distractions are too much, you're not going to be able to create that foundation for your dog. We're going to add distractions once your dog understands the concept of following you, paying attention to you, walking at a specific pace in a specific position next to you.

Speaker 1:

I like the process to start, oftentimes in the home, inside, where there's less distractions, and actually in a hallway, if we've got a decent hallway. What do I mean by decent Well, long enough hallway and what's long enough? Oh, I don't know. Six, eight, nine, 10 steps and what I like to do is go to the end of the hallway and face the dog, turn the dog around. So imagine we've got this hallway and you're at the beginning of the hallway, and let's just say that we've got a hallway that's about 10 steps long. All right, at the beginning of the hallway, turn your dog around, have your dogs back, facing the lengthily part of the hallway. So you're at the beginning of the hallway but you've got the dog turned around as if you're walking out of the hallway. The dog's back is to the majority of the hallway. Hopefully that makes sense.

Speaker 1:

What I want you to begin to do is have your dog sit next to you and we're going to start walking. But rather than walk forward with your dog sitting next to you, I want you to make a 180 degree turn away from your dog, take a step backwards and turn away from your dog 180 degrees. Now, when you do that, it's going to put the dog slightly behind you. Now most dogs are going to want to catch up to you. Now, when you do this again, dog sitting next to you, you're going to make a 180 degree, turn away from the dog and start walking. Now, when you do this, make sure that your eyes are on your dog's face. Make sure that your eyes are looking at your dog's head. Specifically, make sure that you are looking at your dog's eye position. When you make that turn away from the dog 180 degrees, as you start to walk and you're looking at your dog, your dog should be slightly behind you and your dog should then typically most dogs they're going to start moving a little quicker and catch up to you. Your job is to watch where are their eyes, in conjunction with your legs, as soon as your dog catches up and as soon as their eyeballs get lined up with your leg. I want you to again turn away from the dog 180 degrees and start walking again, but turn your head back to look at your dog's face and head. You need to know where is your dog's position at all times, so you need to be looking over your shoulder at your dog.

Speaker 1:

Now I like to have the dog on my left side when I do this, but you can do it on the right side or the left side. It really doesn't matter. Tradition dogs are on the left side. That's why I do it that way. Can you do it the other way? Of course you can. Is there anything wrong with having them on your right side? No, there's nothing wrong with that. So it's just a personal preference. Tradition says left, but you don't have to go with that. All right, don't worry about the distance, don't worry about how far you go. I don't care if you're only taking three, four, five, six, eight steps.

Speaker 1:

We want to make sure that when we're teaching this controlled walk, when we're teaching the dog to walk on a loose leash, when we're teaching the dog to heal, that it's all about position, paying attention, walking at our pace, and the first thing we need to do is teach position. And as we do that, we're going to weave into teaching the dog to pay attention. We're going to be making a lot of turns. We're going to be making a lot of turns away from the dog, a lot of you turns turning 180 degrees away from the dog. We're going to do that a lot. The more turns you make, the more you keep changing direction on the dog, the more the dog has to give up whatever else it might be focused on and refocus on where you're going. So I want you to think about this If you're just walking one direction for a long period of time.

Speaker 1:

It's very easy, especially for a dog that has no training in this, to get distracted. But imagine if you're the dog and I'm the handler and I start having you walk with me, but three steps into the walk I make a U-turn. Now we're heading in opposite direction. I go only three, four, five, maybe even two steps and I make a U-turn away from you. And now we're going another direction and I take a couple steps. Here we go, making another U-turn. You don't have a lot of time. You don't have a lot of time to focus on other things and get distracted, because I keep changing direction on you very fast, in quick duration, and that is going to teach your dog to focus on you. And again, if you're just walking in a straight line, you're going to struggle with this Anytime.

Speaker 1:

When you're teaching this, anytime your dog gets distracted, I want you to turn away from your dog 180 degrees, okay, change direction and then turn away from your dog and go right back towards that distraction, only to turn away from it again. We're teaching your dog while we're doing this to give up those distractions. Don't focus on those. Focus on mom, focus on dad, focus on where you're going. Okay, now remember we're starting this in a hallway and remember, anytime those eyes get to the middle of your leg, you need to make a 180 degree U-turn away from your dog Now, when we start this process, we should have high value food rewards that we can reinforce the right behavior we're looking for.

Speaker 1:

Those high value food rewards should always be in a treat pouch, and you want to have that treat pouch attached to you Now. I like to have my treat pouch on the left side. I have my dogs walk on the left side. When I reward for my treat pouch, I reach in with my left hand and I reward. Now, it's really important that you don't do this exercise with food in your hand. In most instances, that's not what we want. We don't want to bribe the dog. We can begin the process of reinforcing and teaching your dog to pay attention to you when walking by making that 180 degree U-turn away from the dog and as your dog turns to follow, you can mark that behavior and reward right then and there, and then you can repeat that process. The dog catches up to you. You can therefore sit if your dog can sit. Now make that 180 degree U-turn away from the dog and, as the dog follows, you go ahead and mark that behavior and reward.

Speaker 1:

Now, if you don't know what I mean when I say mark that behavior, I'm talking about using markers and training. I'm talking about a marker training system. One type of marker that some people use is a clicker. Some people use a verbal marker like yes or nice. Using markers and training is going to dramatically speed up the process and also help to make the communication more clear for your dog and that means that your dog learns quicker. So I highly, highly, highly recommend, if you don't know about markers and you learn about markers and marker training, you can go to my website to learn all about markers and using a marker training system by going to dogbehavioristcom. Again, that's dogbehavioristcom. Go to the menu and look for articles. When you get to articles, click on that and then scroll through the articles, find the article on clicker training. Remember, I said a clicker is one kind of marker. There's a full article there on marker training using clickers, how to use markers and training, and then at the bottom of that article I've got about an hour-long audio podcast and I believe it's Episode 80 that I did a full hour on marker training. So you can check that out as well, because, again, that's something that is critical.

Speaker 1:

When you're thinking about this process of teaching your dog to walk on a loose leash, having a controlled walk, teaching your dog to heal, I want you to think about. We're teaching the dog to follow you. I want you to think about we're teaching the dog to follow you and pay attention, and we're teaching the dog to follow you, pay attention, stay in a specific position and walk at a specific pace. One of the things that I teach as we're doing this is change of pace. So sometimes when I'm going through this process, I'm walking at a normal pace, which is pretty brisk, and then I'll start doing it, making little tiny shuffle steps like an old person. Now the rules remain the same If those eyeballs get to the middle of my leg, but before they get in front of my leg, I'm going to make a 180-degree U-turn away from the dog. It doesn't matter if I'm going fast, slow or normal, and I want to work this at different paces. Working at different paces also helps the dog pay attention and, depending upon who might be walking the dog, not everybody walks at the same pace. I want you to begin the process of teaching your dog that it needs to adjust the pace to the person that's walking, not that we adjust our pace to the dog. Who's training who? Right? Okay, we're still in the hallway. We haven't gone out of the hallway because we don't need a lot of room.

Speaker 1:

Don't worry about how far you go. Worry about what are we doing. We're making a lot of turns. Why? Because we're teaching the dog to give up distractions and stay focused on us, and as the more turns that we make away from the dog, your dog's gonna start looking up at you. Where are we going? Oh, are we turning? Where are we going when you notice your dog starting to do that because of all the frequent turns, when you start noticing your dog looking up at you, mark that behavior and reward that. Now we're starting to get more of a focused heel. Okay, again, don't worry about how far you're going.

Speaker 1:

Worry about teaching your dog position. Pay attention, all right, and then work that at different paces. Now, if your dog's eyes ever get in front of your leg, that means you're late. You're late in what you need to be doing. You should have turned 180 degrees away from your dog when the eyes were at your leg. Now, what happens if your dog's eyes are way behind your leg. Well, that means your dog's going too slow and it's lagging. If that happens, just pick up your pace into excuse me, into a jog for about two steps and that'll speed up the dog because the dog's gonna follow the pace that you're going and that'll bring the dog further forward. But again, continue to watch those eyes. Anytime those eyes get to the middle of the leg, turn 180 degrees away from your dog. That by doing that, what does that do? It teaches the dog that there's no point in ever trying to get ahead of you. It teaches the dog not to forge ahead, which then leads to that pull on the leash. Okay, so teaching the dog not to pull on the leash isn't about shocking the dog with an electronic collar. It's not about punishing pop corrections with a prong collar. None of that is needed.

Speaker 1:

When you know how to use positive reinforcement, when you truly know how to train, you don't need to use punishment. You don't need to use fear, pain or intimidation to get the dog to learn. Matter of fact learning is done best when the learner is having fun. How well do you learn when you're experiencing pain? How well do you learn when you're experiencing discomfort. How well do you learn if there's fear going through you? How well do you learn if you're intimidated? But then how well do you learn when you're really having fun? So this is all about using positive reinforcement.

Speaker 1:

Modern dog trainers today do not use punishment. Modern dog trainers today do not use correction collars. They don't need to. And if another trainer has told you that it's necessary doesn't mean that they're a bad person. It just means that they don't have highly honed skills as a positive reinforcement trainer Doesn't mean positive reinforcement can't make it happen. It happens all the time. There's thousands of trainers all over the world that are making this happen every day. You don't need to punish your dog to have a well-behaved dog, all right. So we've done this in our hallway.

Speaker 1:

Now the next step is I want you to begin the process of doing this outside, but if you have a backyard or if you can go somewhere where there's not a lot of distractions, go through the same process. Now I need you to work on and walk on a straight line. Imagine that you had a paint roller and you painted a straight line about 15 feet long. Stay on that line, okay, go to the middle of the line, have your dog sit next to you. Start by making a 180 degree U-turn away from your dog. Notice, that's how I have you start. I don't tell you to start and start walking forward. The first thing I want you to do is turn away from your dog. That's gonna put the dog behind you. And again, keep your head. Keep your eyes looking at your dog's head, at your dog's face. Where are your dog's eyes? If you don't have your head turned, if you're not looking over your shoulder at your dog, you don't know where your dog's eyes are, you're gonna be late when it comes to executing your steps in what you need to do, cause you're looking at the dog's eyes. Where are they? In conjunction with your body. As you turn away from your dog, your dog's behind you. Most dogs are gonna try to catch up, speed up a little bit and when their eyes get to the middle of your leg, you're gonna make a 180 degree U-turn away from the dog.

Speaker 1:

Now we're gonna add one more thing. Up to this point, I've not had you give any commands or cues. Why is that? Well, I want you to create this behavior first. Then we'll start labeling the behavior. It does us no good to use a cue or command for a behavior if we don't have the behavior Cause, what are we associating? What are we labeling Garbage? Right, if the dog can't walk? Worth a darn? If the dog's not healing, why are we gonna call it heal? So you can say walk, you can say let's go, you can say heal, whatever you want. Just be consistent with whatever the cue is.

Speaker 1:

I like to say let's go. So as soon as I start remember the dog's sitting next to me I'm gonna make a 180 degree U-turn away from the dog as I'm doing that. Now I'm going, let's go, and I'm slapping my leg, making a little sound on my leg that's closest to the dog. All right. So I'm going, let's go, and I start walking. But remember I'm turning away from the dog 180 degrees, letting the dog catch up. When the eyes get to the middle of my leg, I'm gonna go again. Let's go, slap my leg, make that U-turn away from the dog as the dog complies. When the dog responds to that and begins to turn to follow you.

Speaker 1:

Remember mark and reward, use your markers. Reward your dog with your high value food reward. It's really important that we're motivating your dog. You've gotta be more interesting. You need to have high value food rewards to keep your dog's focus. As we start getting into more and more distracting environments, you're definitely gonna wanna make sure that you have your dog's attention and that engagement Again be more interesting than anything in the environment.

Speaker 1:

Okay, now, as you start having success, maybe in your backyard, now move into the front of the house. Try to get. If you live in a community where there are sidewalks, try to do this on a sidewalk. Why? Because it's a nice straight line. You can again make these U-turns. Listen, we're not going for a walk right now and we're not gonna go for a walk until we can get your dog to walk. We're gonna be doing this eight steps, 10 steps, 15 steps. Little by little we'll add more distance to this, but right now, even if your dog is walking in the correct position, I don't want you to take more than about six to eight steps without making a U-turn away from your dog, because again, we're teaching the dog pay attention. And remember I said earlier, if we just keep walking in a straight line, so easy for your dog to get distracted, by making lots of turns you can interrupt your dog from getting distracted and redirect your dog to focus on you and walking next to you. So anytime you happen to also notice your dog even slightly getting distracted, how about you then give the cue? Let's go, slap that leg and turn 180 degrees away from your dog. When your dog follows, mark and reward that behavior. Little by little, you're gonna add more distance to this.

Speaker 1:

Little by little, you are going to go in more and more distracting environments. Now, if you find yourself in an environment and your dog is distracted to the point where you can't get your dog's focus, it doesn't mean that you're failing. It doesn't mean that your dog can't do this. It doesn't mean that the training doesn't work. All that means is that you're working too quickly. You need to take a step back into a less distracting environment and work more on getting your dog to focus and pay attention to this process. Okay, Make sure you're rewarding focus and attention. Like I said, anytime your dog looks up at you, I want you to also mark and reward that. All right, and again, little by little, go into more and more distracting environments. But this is a journey. The biggest assets that you can have patience and understanding and it's so important that you realize that this is a journey, the way that dogs get good is through practice, practice, practice. Practice makes no, not perfect. No animal is going to be perfect.

Speaker 1:

I want you to think about a new saying Practice makes permanence. The more we practice, the more permanent the behavior is, the more reliable the behavior is. But that's how you start to teach a dog to walk on a loose leash. It's not about popping the leash. All right, by the time you're popping the leash, the dog's not doing what you want. Why not teach the dog what you want from the beginning, instead of punishing the dog? So that's the first thing. That is a good impulse control exercise. When we're talking here in part two of teaching your dog impulse control. Part one was in episode 142, if you haven't listened to episode 142, please make sure that you check that out. Okay, we need to take a quick second to hear from our sponsor.

Speaker 1:

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Speaker 1:

All right, very good, let's get back into teaching your dog impulse control. All right, what's our next thing that we can do to begin to teach? What's another exercise to teach impulse control? Well, how about food bowl control? Right, training your dog to wake calmly while their food bowl is being prepared and then waiting to eat until you've been given a release command. Now, how do you begin the process of doing that? All right, so teaching your dog to wake calmly sometimes is about waiting them out, all right.

Speaker 1:

So when you're preparing your dog's meal, start doing this, maybe on a day off, if you feed right before you go to work. This is not the time to practice this, but let's say that you've got time. Maybe it's your day off and you get ready to put food in the dog's bowl and maybe it's just a matter of you take a step towards the pantry or wherever you keep the food and your dog starts getting excited. When that happens, freeze like a tree until your dog is calm. Then start moving towards your dog's food again. At any time your dog starts to get excitable and animated, freeze like a tree until your dog calms down. Then go back into the process. So you're going to go through the process you normally go through to get your dog's food ready and to feed your dog. But from the start of that process to the end, anytime your dog gets excitable, freeze like a tree, wait for your dog to calm down and if you start back up again, your dog immediately gets excitable. Freeze again, freeze again. This works. You've got to be patient. You've got to be consistent with this.

Speaker 1:

Now, one of the things you can also begin to do most people have taught their dog to sit. You can teach them to sit and anytime they come out of the sit, re-command the sit and slowly begin the process of putting the food bowl down. As you put the food bowl down, as you're making that movement, if your dog begins to get up in anticipation, re-ask for sit again. All right, now, don't reward this other than praise. The big reward is going to be the food bowl. So if you're asking your dog to do certain things to control its excitability, just use verbal praise when your dog complies. All right.

Speaker 1:

Little by little, get your dog to maintain that sit as you put the food bowl down. Now you might need to have a leash to help guide your dog, so you might start this with your dog's harness on. Attach the leash to the harness. Make sure that your dog can't get to the food bowl. Okay, and begin by labeling the behavior that we're trying to teach here as weight, weight and then, like I said, teach a release command when your dog has waited for a couple seconds while the food bowl is down. Now give your dog a release command. Click free at ease. Okay, whatever that release command is for you, but be consistent. Don't let your dog beat you. Don't give in.

Speaker 1:

Teaching your dog to wait for its food is a great impulse control exercise, all right Now keeping with food. Another great impulse control exercise is teaching your dog to take treats gently, all right. Do you have a dog that just goes crazy when you got to treat and just about bites your hand off. Yeah, a lot of people do, especially if we've got these dogs that are high energy, excitable dogs that don't have good impulse control right. So a lot of. If you've got a dog with good impulse control, chances are it takes treats slowly. But a lot of dogs that don't have any impulse control, bam, they just grab that treat, all right.

Speaker 1:

So how do I teach a dog gentle in terms of taking treats? I will have treats in both hands and I'm gonna close my hands. So I've got treats in both hands. Hands are closed. Put both hands behind my back, all right. I bring out one hand. I very slowly open it up. As the dog goes for the treat, I close my hand. I go gentle, I pull it back a little bit. Then I bring out my other hand and I slowly open my hand up just a little bit. If the dog starts going for it, you know, in a non-gentle way, I'm gonna close my hand, say, gentle, pull that hand back behind my back. I got both hands behind my back. Take one hand out slowly, begin to open it. If the dog's moving towards that hand and trying to get the treat fast, I close that hand. I go, gentle, and I put that hand behind my back and then I take my other hand out.

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When the dog will go for it slowly, then I will open up the hand completely and I'll let the dog have that. And again, this is one where you've gotta be patient. If your dog might learn this in one or two repetitions, then again it might take your dog days to learn this. It all depends on the dog. You can only work as fast as your dog's pace, so have patience when doing this. That's your impulse control. Okay, all right. Another, the next thing. What's another thing that we can work on in terms of teaching impulse control? How about doorbell training? Okay, anything really.

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With the door, all right. Training your dog not to rush the door or bark excessively when the doorbell rings or somebody knocks on the door. Part of that is beginning to desensitize your dog to the sound of the doorbell and the sound of knocking. And one of the ways that you can do that, let's start with knocking. You can have a helper begin knocking at extremely low volume. So just the lightest knock possible, just once, and feed the dog when you do that and then go knock, knock, feed feed. Knock, knock, knock, feed feed feed. Knock, knock, knock, knock, feed, feed feed. So the whole time knocking is happening. You're feeding. But you've gotta start super quiet or your dog's gonna just bark through that and be more concerned about barking than taking food. All right, then you can do little by little. You're gonna, with the knocking, have your helper knock a little louder. Now, this can take days, it can take weeks. Some dogs will get it in a day, some dogs it's gonna take longer Can only work as fast as your dog's pace.

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Next you can work on the doorbell. How do you do that? Well, how about you start with recorded sounds of doorbells? You know you get on YouTube and you can find just about any sound For that doorbell sound that's recorded. Turn it all the way down to its lowest volume and you press play, ding, dong. Feed the dog. Make sure you press stop. We just want one doorbell and it's at low volume. If your dog's going crazy, the volume's too loud, bring it down even more. And you want to pair high value food rewards when the sound happens. So, as soon as the sound starts, feed, feed, feed, feed constantly and continuously the whole time the sound is happening. But when the sound stops, stop feeding. Okay, that'll help desensitize your dog to those sounds.

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Now, when it comes to rushing the door a great impulse control exercise. You know. In part one, episode 142, of teaching impulse control, we talked about teaching your dog to go to its better its place and that is a great exercise to use to begin the process of teaching your dog to stay when the door opens and I talked about that and talked about opening the door as a distraction, keeping your dog on its bed or keeping your dog on its place. We don't want the dog rushing the door. Another thing we can do at the door it's not just the doorbell and the door knock, it's say people coming in right, teaching and working with our sit stay, which we talked about teaching that sit stay in part one of teaching impulse control, episode 142. And we talked about, when it comes to teaching impulse control, also about teaching sit and having the dog sit and maintain that sit when the door opens. Now, when you begin this process, you don't just have a stranger come in right away. You begin the process by going over the door and rattling the handle and seeing if your dog comes out of the sit. If it does, you ask for sit again.

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Remember when you have to reinforce a behavior, when you have to recommand that behavior, when you have to give another cue for that behavior. Please just use praise, love, praise, affection when your dog does the right thing. You don't have to give the cue again. Use high value food awards. Make that difference there. Differentiate between the two behaviors. One gets a higher paycheck than the other. All right, all right.

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Another thing what's another thing that you can do to teach impulse control to your dog? How about waiting for play, bringing your dog's favorite toy out and make them sit and be calm before you begin to play and then interrupt play and ask for a sit again and Make them be calm. Just wait them out. Just wait out the calm. When the calm happens, go back into play. Then stop playing. Wait it out. When calm happens, go back into play.

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Little by little, your dog's going to learn when you stop playing to calm down faster. When you're able to do that enough times repetitiously that you've created that behavior again, what are we creating? We stop playing. The dog calms down. When that happens, you can begin the process of when you stop playing. You can say calm, relax or wait, whatever you want. You can now add a cue to that. But create the behavior Now for all of these things.

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Dogs learn best when you do lots of repetition but short training sessions. So your training session might be five minutes long, seven minutes long, but if you can do that multiple times throughout the day, that's going to be a whole lot better than trying to do this for an hour on Saturday. That's going to take forever Doing short little sessions, but lots of them will get you to where you need to go much faster. So that's one of the things that I recommend. All right, we talked about waiting for play.

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What is the next thing? Okay, how about teaching your dog, as an impulse control exercise, to pause on walks, implementing random stops during a walk where your dog must sit or or just stand still briefly before continuing, and it's like the other things that I've talked about. It's about waiting out calm. Now, if you're in an environment and your dog cannot settle down, cannot calm down, you need to dial back a little bit. You're moving faster than your dog's pace. Okay, slow down. Go into an environment that doesn't have that level of distraction. Spend more time Working there. Spend more time reinforcing the right behaviors in that level of distraction, get that more solidified and then go into More distracting environments. But do this very gradually, very systematically and remember anytime you're not having success with your dog, go back to the step that you were having success. Spend more time working there before you again step forward.

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Alright, calm greetings that is One of the best things that you can teach your dog right, and it's an impulse control exercise Teaching your dog to greet people and other animals calmly, without jumping or Without excessive excitement. Now let's say your dog is crazy, crazy excited, wants to just meet every person, wants to meet every dog. The first thing you need to do is make sure that You're stopping that behavior. And what do I mean by that? I don't mean punishing your dog. I don't mean correcting your dog.

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Listen, what is the distance that your dog needs to be away from a strange person or a strange animal Before it gets excited? See, there's a distance where your dog, when it's far enough away from a strange person or dog, can tell that there's a strange person or dog there, but they're far enough away where your dog doesn't get crazy excited. It's at that distance where you want to start this. You know, if you try to do this with your dog a calm greeting when you're two feet in front of somebody, your dog's just losing its mind and you just keep trying to do that over and over and over, you're setting your dog up for failure and You're setting yourself up for a lot of frustration. And when that happens, what do we want? To fall back on punishment, right, and it's not the dog's fault. We don't need to punish it all. We got to teach the dog what we want. We've got to teach success. So start at a distance when your dog can see the strange person appear or see the strange dog appear other animal. And when your dogs calm, reward the dog and Start working on some of the other training exercises that you know, even if you know tricks at that distance from the Strange person or dog.

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If you know, if your dog knows how to sit, start working on sit. If your dog knows how to lay down, work on sit and lay down. If your dog knows how to sit, lay down and watch, work on all three of those things. If your dog can roll over Shake, do high five. Any other tricks, work on those as well. Keep your dog focused and engaged on you and make sure that you're rewarding with high value food awards. Don't bribe the dog. Don't have food in your hand. Wait for your dog to do the right behavior, then mark, then reach in your treat pouch and reward your dog.

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Okay, little by little, you are gonna close that distance Between you and the strange person. You're gonna, little by little, you're gonna close that distance between you and that strange animal. But again, if your dog can't focus, you've gone too close too soon. You're working faster than your dog's pace. You need to slow down a little bit and then take a step back. It'll happen. It'll happen, but you got to do it step by step. You can't skip steps and expect that to happen and there's no such thing as a quick fix. All right, anything good takes work.

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Okay, we talked about pausing on walks. We talked about calm greetings. What's next? Well, handling and grooming. Tolerance. How many of your dogs think about it that have impulse control problems, that struggle to be groomed? Yeah, a lot of them. Okay, gradually, getting your dog used to being handled, gradually, getting your dog used to being brushed or groomed without fussing or moving away, is a great skill. But again, how are you going to do this? You're gonna begin this very Slowly.

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If your dog doesn't like to be brushed, maybe the first thing you need to do is show the brush and give a food reward. Put the brush away. Show the brush, food reward. Brush behind your back. Show the brush, food reward. Brush behind your back until your dog's like, hey, I love that brush. Bring it out. Then change your criteria. Show the brush, touch it on your dog. Don't brush, just touch it and give a reward. Do that a bunch of times Now your dog wants that brush to touch it. Then change the criteria. Show the brush, touch the brush on the dog's back. Do one stroke and reward and Do that over and over till the dog loves that. Then add two brush strokes and then add three. You get the idea. Slowly, gradually, as your dog handles that calmly. Reward your dog for that. All right, all right. What's our next Impulse control exercise? We can teach.

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How about teaching your dog to be quiet on cue, teaching your dog to stop barking or making noise Upon given the cue of quiet? How do you do that? Well, let's talk about a principle and training called capturing. In capturing, initially, we are not asking for the behavior. We are looking for the behavior. We might create a situation or an opportunity to create the behavior so that we can label that behavior, making an association between the behavior of quiet and a cue that we're gonna want to associate and eventually ask Used to ask for quiet. All right. So it's really simple to do this. You get your dog barked and when your dog stops barking for about three seconds, you're gonna capture that three seconds of quiet and you're gonna say quiet and then mark and reward. Do what you can to get your dog barking again. When your dog settles down, don't ask for it. When your dog settles down, in is offering quiet behavior for three seconds. Label that quiet, mark and reward. Do that as often as possible. Eventually you'll be able to ask for quiet. But right now you're just capturing the behavior your dog offers, the quiet behavior. Say quiet, mark and reward. Eventually you're going to be able to ask for quiet. Your dog will know what you mean.

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All right, let's go to our next impulse control exercise. How about no chasing, teaching your dog to resist the impulse to chase after moving objects like toys being thrown, animals running around, people running around? In part one of impulse control in episode 142, I talked about teaching your dog to go to its better place. It's very difficult, if your dog is committed to one behavior, to do an alternative behavior. That would be incompatible. If your dog is committed to staying on its bed or its place or its mat or spot, if it's committed to that, it cannot be chasing after moving objects, animals or people and stay on its place. At the same time, it would have to give up one behavior for the other.

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Now, when we have a good, solid, reliable place and, by the way, if you don't know how to teach place, you can go to my website at dogbehavioristcom. Again, it's dogbehavioristcom Go to the articles, go to the menu, click on articles, scroll down till you find the article on teaching place. That article talks about how to teach place. I also have a training video that's embedded in that article as well. Now, once we've got that, we can use that. We can use that to teach the dog not to chase. If we've got a dog that likes to chase, we can use that. But here's the kicker. Remember when I talked about teaching the dog the calm greetings. Remember I talked about that.

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You started a distance that's far enough away where your dog is relaxed and calm. Same thing when, let's say, your dog likes to chase after cars or kids on bikes or scooters or skateboards, well, you're going to want to go somewhere where that stuff exists, or you're going to want to elicit the help of somebody who can create that Right. They can drive their car by, or a kid can go by on a bicycle or a scooter or something like that. You want to help her because here's the thing you want to start at a distance that's far enough away where your dog doesn't lose it and begin to chase and you want that moving object to go slow. So let's say your dog likes to chase after cars. Well, I'm going to have your dog a good distance away from a car that's moving slowly and have the dog stay on place and I'm going to reward and reinforce the behavior of staying on place and the dog not chasing. Little by little I'm going to close the distance between the moving object and the dog and little by little I'm going to increase the speed of that moving object and when the dog doesn't take the bait and chase, I'm rewarding the dog for staying on place.

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And again, this is a gradual, systematic exercise that can take days, weeks, in some cases maybe longer than a few weeks. You can only work as fast as the dog's pace. You got to have patience. It's all about repetition. It's all about doing a little bit of work every single day and it starts to add up and add up and add up.

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Now, most people don't train their dogs to the level of having muscle memory. If you truly want good impulse control, you've got to do a ton of repetition where your dog, in excitable situations, doesn't even have to think about what it is you're asking for. It just becomes an automatic response because it's happened so many times. If you ever learn to play an instrument well, or if you ever struggle to drive a stick shift and then began to be and have become successful driving a stick shift, you understand how repetition after so many repetitions you get to the point where it becomes an unconscious process. When you first learned to drive a stick shift, it was brutal, but then, as you continue to practice, you got to the point where you could drive all over the place shifting your shifter, never even once thinking about what you're doing. When you started it, it seemed like that there were all these different steps involved and you were making all kinds of mistakes. But practice, practice, practice makes for permanence and reliability, not permanent, all right.

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What is our next impulse control exercise that we can talk about? Well, I call it the toy switch game teaching your dog to switch from one toy to another on cue, which can also help in managing possessiveness. The way that you're going to do this remember we talked about how to teach the dog to take treats gently that same process where you've got treats in your hands. Instead of that, you're going to have toys in your hands. You're going to have two toys. You're going to bring out one toy and you're going to play with the dog. Then what I want you to do is bring out the second toy from behind your back and your other hand. Typically, when you do that, the dog will give up the toy you're currently playing with. As your dog gives it up again.

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Here's a little bit more of capturing. You're not asking for it, you're creating the behavior. You say leave it All right. Let's paint this picture again. Let's say I've got a rope toy, I got a ball and a rope toy. The ball's in my left hand, rope toy's in my right hand, both hands behind my back. I'm going to take the rope toy from behind my back, bring it in front of me, play with the dog. Then, as we're playing, I'm going to go ahead and take the ball that I have behind my back out. As the dog sees the ball, I'm going to get the dog interested. As the dog releases the rope to now engage with the ball, I'm going to say leave it and take that rope toy and put it behind my back. I'm going to repeat that process back and forth. Practice, practice, practice, right, repetition, repetition.

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Start teaching your dog to switch out toys. The best thing is, when we're taking something from your dog, always give your dog an alternative, all right. Otherwise you're going to possibly start making the dog think resources are scarce and the dog might start to protect resources and be a little protective or start engaging in resource guarding. We don't want that, all right. The last thing that I want to talk about here in part two of teaching your dog impulse control remember, if you didn't listen to part one, make sure you go to season five, episode 142, and listen to part one of teaching your dog impulse control. But the last thing that we can teach is patience in your dog's crate. All right, if your dog's crate trained.

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Teaching your dog to wait calmly in the crate until it's released is a great impulse control exercise. And so let's say you get home, your dog's created, your dog's all excited. Stand by the crate, freeze like a tree when your dog settles down. Begin the process. You hear what I'm saying now? I didn't say open the. I did not say open the door. I said begin the process of opening the crate door as you move your hand towards the crate door. If your dog starts getting excited, again freeze like a tree, pull your hand away. When your dog settles down, again try it again. Slowly. Reach your hand to the crate door. If your dog gets excited, slowly move your hand away and freeze Gradually, slowly, systematically. Only open the door when your dog is relaxed. If your dog starts to get excited and you start opening the door, make sure you're opening it slowly, just freeze. Don't open it up all the way. Slowly close it again Very slowly, very gradually. Open that door as your dog is maintaining a relaxed, calm demeanor in the crate.

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Make sure that you're marking that behavior and that you are rewarding that behavior.

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Really critical. We're asking the dog you know when we're doing impulse control exercises. We're asking the dog to give up something it really wants and when it does that. Please, please, please, make sure the dog's getting a paycheck for that hard, hard work and your dog's paycheck in most cases is going to be some kind of very high value food reward. These food rewards should be tiny, about the size of a pea. The goal here is not to, you know, fill the dog up, but it's to reward, to reinforce the right behavior. Eventually down the road, as your dog gets more reliable with these behaviors, as these behaviors become more and more permanent, as your dog starts to develop better impulse control, little by little you're going to be able to feed out or to fade out some of these food rewards. All right, hopefully you got a lot out of this. Please subscribe to the dog training today podcast. Make sure you tell your friends and families check out all of our podcasts on Apple podcast, google podcast or wherever you get your podcast. Have a great day, everybody. I'm outta here.

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