Does your dog get excessively excited by movements or noise? Is he easily distracted during training by other people or dogs? Does he run straight out whenever you open the door and jumps on visitors? If you answered yes, then your beloved pet lacks impulse control. Impulse control refers to your dog’s capability to resist desires and impulses that occur suddenly.
But the good news is that you can help him improve his impulse control through training. When he learns to have impulse control and great focus, it makes all other training sessions easier. You’ll also be able to keep him under control easily, which is very important for his own comfort and safety. Here are some tips to get you started:
Set Realistic Goals
Though you may love for your dog to learn to control his impulses sooner, don’t expect it to happen overnight. For instance, hoping that you can teach him all he needs to know about impulse control within one weekend in unrealistic.
It’s better to set small but realistic goals which you’re sure you and your dog can achieve over a period of time. Do things one step at a time and be consistent with your training, and you’ll definitely see positive results. It’s not going to be easy, but with lots of hard work, consistency, positive reinforcement and patience, it’s very possible.
Teach Him To Look At You
Teaching him to sit calmly and look at you is the first step in improving his impulse control and focus. So, how do you do this? Simple. Just make some noise to attract his attention while holding yummy treats and a clicker in your hand. Immediately he looks at you, click once and drop him his treat.
After eating the treat, he’ll either decide to explore the things surrounding him or look back at you again. If he does the latter, repeat the same process above – click and reward him with a treat. Be sure to also praise verbally to make sure he knows that you’re very proud of him.
Repeat the same process with different treats while slowly increasing the time he looks at you before he gets his reward. Should he become impatient, jumpy or pushy, ignore him. Wait until he calmly sits down and looks at you then click and reward him.
Be sure to keep the sessions short (i.e. below 5 minutes) to keep him interested. In the end, if he’s able to sit calmly for between 5 to 10 seconds looking at you, that would be great.
Reward Him When He’s Patient
Have you ever wondered how some people make their dogs wait while they eat or sit calmly when visitors are around? It’s through impulse control training. I’m sure you’ll be proud of yours when he’s finally able to do such things and more.
With consistency and positive reinforcement, it will be natural for him to remain calm and focused in different situations. Just make sure that when he looks at you, praise and reward him for his good behavior.
With this tips, you can help your dog improve his impulse control. Once you achieve that, you’ll be amazed at just how easier everything else will be with him – be it potty training, crate training, taking a walk to the park or teaching him on good manners.