Impulse Control


Training theory teaches us that dogs will do what they are rewarded or reniforced for doing. Many of us inadvertently teach our dogs bad habits while not reinforcing what we want them to do.

Jumping, rushing through doors, grabbing at food are all examples of impulse control problems. You'll want to teach your dog how to properly control his impulses. To do this using positive reward methods, you use whatever it is he wants as the reward.

  • For example, we have encountered many people who have problems with their dogs jumping on them, and are surprised to find out that they actually trained their dogs to do that!

  • Often a dog will jump on a person when they want attention, and the person will automatically pet it or give it some other kind of attention. What has just happened in that situation is that the dog performed a task (jumping) and was rewarded/reinforced for it by having someone pet or pay attention to them. Each time that happens, the behavior is reinficed and the dog becomes more likely to repeat that behavior.

  • To avoid this, you should never pet your dog when it jumps on you. You can either correct it off of you, direct it off of you with a treat or a command, or wait for it to get off of you on its own and then immediately reward it with a treat or a pet. We recommend waiting for the dog to sit (or, if he needs help understanding, giving him the sit command as a cue), the rewarding him with lots of praise and petting.

Sometimes the hardest thing is to recognize when a dog should be rewarded for good behavior, which we often overlook.

We train all of our dogs to sit quietly in front of us when they want attention. It is our responsibility to recognize when they are asking politely for attention and immediately give it to them, and not provide them with the reason or opportunity to escalate their behavior to something like poking or jumping to get the attention they are asking for.

#Training #Impulsecontrol #Jumping #Behavior