If you can teach your dog good impulse control, then the sky’s the limit for pretty much anything else you want them to learn. Having good impulse control spills over into so many other areas of a dog’s life that it would be crazy not to have that as a training goal. Fortunately, there are lots of games to do with your dog that teaches them that impulse control can be fun!

I took an online Julie Daniels’ class that had games for impulse control. One of my dogs’ favorite games was one that helped with staying until released. This builds value for waiting calmly to be released. In this game, Jones stays on the mat until I release him. While he is waiting to go, I’m saying, “Nice” to him and treating him for being on the mat. Not only does he get a treat for staying on his mat, he knows that eventually he will be cued to jump off the mat to get a treat (when I say, “Get it!”). Jones knows this game so he’s pretty calm on the mat and offers a down for me. If I was starting out with Jones, I would treat him in a down, sit or stand on the mat because I just want him to like the mat.

Here’s Dawson doing an advanced impulse control game. The goal is the same as the mat game above. Can you wait patiently until told to go? Here Dawson has to wait as the ball gets kicked around him. Sitting quietly will get Dawson his cue to “get it!” I think you can tell that Dawson thinks it was worth the wait.
Remember to keep your training sessions very short. I either set a time for a minute or count out 10 treats or so. You want to end your training sessions with your dog wanting to continue. That way, when you have your next training session, your partner is eager to work.

Have fun training!

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ARF! Training

Be Dog Happy training tips are ARF! - Always Relationship Focused. For more ARF! Training tips, check out our ARF! Training archives.

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