We all have seen excited dogs jumping on their owners or getting impatient for their treat. However, if your pooch exhibits these kinds of behaviors or bursts of energy all too often, you need to help your dog learn some impulse control. Here are some of the effective ways to do that:
1. Teach Your Dog Default Behaviors
Default behaviors are the basic actions, like sit, stay, lie down, and wait that are acceptable in all situations. This involves using the basic commands in situations where your pet displays impulsive behavior and then rewarding them for following them.
2. Teach Them That Relaxing Is Rewarding
Many dogs, especially the hyperactive ones, need to be taught that being relaxed and calm is also an option. Inculcate the clam behavior with rewards. Here’s a technique you can use to help your dog learn that their calm and relaxed state is the good behavior and not their hyperactive, impulsive state:
Wait for your dog to sit or lie down, on their own. When they do, praise them with a gentle, loving touch along with some appreciating words, like good dog or that’s like a good body/girl. Immediately follow the praise with a treat. Drop the treat near your dog’s paws, so they do not have to get up to grab it.
It might take some time for the dog to learn what exactly they’re being rewarded for, but they will understand it. An important thing to remember when practicing this technique is to never use a cue to make your dog sit or lie down. Wait for them to assume the relaxed positions on their own.
3. Teach the Dog to Be Calm and Patient to Get Treat
Teaching your dog to remain patient and calm even after seeing food or treat can be challenging. But, the open hand game is a great, fun way to do it. Here’s how to go about using this technique to teach your dog some self-control:
Have some of your dog’s favorite food or a treat in your hand and show it to the dog. As soon as the dog gets excited and tries to grab the treat, close your hand and do not open it again until your dog calms down and return to their previous position. You are likely to have to repeat it several times until your dog stops trying to get the treat. Reward only when it does or when the dog overlooks the treat and looks at you for the cue.
This trick will help your dog to stay calm and control their impulses even when they have their favorite food or treat in front on them. It will also help them learn to look at your for the cue.
These are some of the simple, but useful tips and techniques to help your dog learn and improve emotional self-control. Use them to teach your dog to remain calm and relaxed and not get super excited or display hyperactive/aggressive behavior in any situation. Do not hesitate to get professional help from a dog trainer if things get out of control.