Teaching Your Dog Self Control
It is important to teach our dog some self control to our dogs. Whether you have a puppy or a newly rescued dog, or maybe your adolescent, we want our dog to make good choices. A dog usually works out very quickly that if I do something, I get something. I want that "thing" to be the right thing. It is a fun exercise and can be done anywhere you need control. Although you may start in a quiet place, you will be able to quickly move it to other places in the home, garden and if need be out and about. A park bench is a great place to do it, if you want your dog to be listening to you.
This is an exercise that I teach at home to begin with. Usually in the kitchen as I want my dog to make choices and this is done off lead.
Get yourself a couple of bowls, or boxes and put at least 10 pieces of food in one of them. Just make sure you cant drop them all over the floor. If you do, you may have to wait to another time to do this exercise. If you are doing this in the kitchen, keep the boxes out of reach to begin with.
Say nothing and just shake the box. Your dog should come over to you and offer you a sit - don't say anything, wait for them to do it. You may have to shake the box to begin with. As soon as they sit, reach for a piece of food and providing they stay in the sit, reward them. If they move - show them what they have lost and put it into the other box. They never get this piece! Save it for tomorrow. Now repeat with the other nine pieces in the box. If they move they don't get it, if they stay still, they get a reward. It is their choice.
Important - Never tell your dog what you want, they should offer the behaviour to get the reward.
This task is designed to help your dog gain some inner self control. Instead of you asking the dog to sit every time. Allow him to work it out that if he does, he will get a reward.
How to Progress:
Repeat until you can leave your dog in the sit and walk across the floor to reach for a treat, and return to your dog without him moving.
If your dog moves, just remind him what he lost out and replace the treat into the container again. Ask him to sit and repeat the exercise.
Gradually ask the dog to increase the length of time he sits and waits for the treat.
Every now and then reward for a quick and correct sit to keep him on his toes.
DO NOT TELL YOUR DOG OFF –
JUST SHOW HIM WHAT HE MISSED AND REPEAT THE EXERCISE.
ALWAYS END THE SESSION ON A GOOD NOTE.
IF YOUR DOG IS CONFUSED, GO BACK TO THE BEGINNING AND START AGAIN.