Impulse Control - How do you Teach it?

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Hands up if you’ve ever wanted your dog to not lunge for stuff. We’ve been there!

Impulse control helps you succeed in curbing behaviors that might sometimes make your dog feel difficult to manage. You want to prevent your dog from grabbing food off counters, lunging to consume things on the street or chasing after pigeons or plastic bags. Regardless of how much training you’ve done, getting into a groove with impulse control exercises can provide an awesome refresh for your dog.

Quick note before we get started: as you teach your dog to control their impulses, you want to think about the three factors that make this challenging: Duration, Distance, and Distraction. When working on impulse control, try to only alter one of these factors at a time. At the beginning, if you’re asking your dog to stay for a very long time, you’re not going to also put a piece of steak right in front of them! You’ll want to challenge them, but make sure they’re set up to succeed so that they actually want to continue playing the training game. 

So, how do we cultivate impulse control? Here’s an exercise that will help: 

  1. Hold a treat about four inches above your dog’s head. If your dog jumps, move the treat swiftly to the top of your shoulder.  

  2. Once your dog has four paws back on the ground, show the treat again.

  3. If your dog sits or keeps all of their paws on the ground for a few seconds, say "yes" & then reward with the small treat.

  4. Keep repeating while moving the treat closer & closer to your dog’s head.

Try to practice this exercise 4 times/day for the next week.

Give your pup a belly rub from us & have a Goldn day! 🌟

- Goldn HQ

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.
— Roger Caras

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