You will never realize how attentive is your dog until he sees a squirrel runs in front of him. So, it is not easy to try to keep his attention when a squirrel runs but luckily, it can work on his focus. In fact, it is possible to improve his focus. We call it improving the impulse control. It is the crucial part of teaching your dog good manners.
Why should you train your dog about the impulse control? Once your dog trained for this thing, believe us that everything is a little easier to handle. It is the basic that will make you able to teach your dog new tricks easily even for the daily walk. If you want to have a well-behaved dog, of course, you have to teach him the impulse control first. Here are the five ways on how to increase his impulse control.
All About Impulse Control In Dogs
Anyway, what is impulse control? In dogs, this is about the ability to resist sudden impulses and urges. If you have ever seen a dog doing agility and you wondered how they are able to concentrate and even run through any obstacles while there are other dogs barking on the sidelines, it happens because he has perfect impulse control.
Teach Your Dog To Look At You
This is the first step to increase his impulse control. Ask him to focus on you. With your clicker or yummy treats in your hands, it makes some your dog gets your attention. Once he looks at your click, drop the treat for him.
At this point, he has had his first treat. Here, he has learned about the choice whether he looks back up at you or explores everything around him. Once he decides to look at you, give the reward again. Praise him is good to encourage him so he understands he can complete your expectation.
Here, he has learned how to do impulse control. Now, you can increase the amount of time gradually to make your dog looks at you so he can get his reward. Ignore him if he jumps up to get more treats. Only click when he was looked up at you. It does not a big deal if your dog then sits calmly as long as he looks up at you for five to ten seconds. Make the training sessions are short and sweet that is about three to five minutes for each session.
Wait for a Highly Prized Treat
You can give him a big piece of ham. Other than that, some best treats or toys and then repeat the first step. You want your dog to look up at you calmly.
Try For the Open Hand Game
You can sit down and offer some treats in your hands. Keep your hands open so your dog can see that. If he grabs the treats, you can close your hand. You will only open it again once he sits or backs off.
Keep your hands closed and wait if your dog scratches your hand. Open it again if he is calm and passively trying to get the treats. Give him a reward if he looks at you, not the treats. This way makes him learns to respect your space and look at you for the next cue.
The “Settle Down” Command
In fact, not all dogs are calm. Some needs process to learn how to relax. You can start this command with your dog by starting on his dinner time. Teach your dog only to wait for you to drop something.
You can use a mat or dog bed to start the “settle down” command, as well. It is your house and you want your dog knows your rules. To start, teach him where to go and give him a reward when they follow your rule.
Reward Patient Behaviors
At this point, you may have completed a few impulse control sessions and you can apply it to other experiences or routines. You can train your dog to sit and wait before eating. Also, it is possible for you to ask your dog to sit calmly before allowing any visitors inside.
You should let your dog knows about the right behavior in any situations and give him the chance to learn at it. Some situations also can be tougher than others but your consistency is the main key to keep him calm. Once everything becomes so natural, you can let your dogs do anything based on his understanding. It is not necessary to ask your dog to do certain behaviors. Your dog will appreciate you if you can praise what he has done for its consistency.
Leaving your dog guessing is the thing you must avoid. Let him know when you think he does something desirable. This is a positive reinforcement that can motivate him to repeat this behavior. If you want to increase his focus and impulse control, it makes him able to learn new lessons much easier than before. Once your dog starts looking to you for the next cue, you will be his main focus. Do not allow any mixed messages. The rule of the thumb is to show them so they can learn everything easier.
It is useless if you want to teach advanced skills but your dog has no proper foundation. If you have a hyper adolescent dog and you expect him to understand what you were saying without showing him how to do so, it will make your dog stress. Therefore, it is better to step back and then start everything from the basic. You should start increasing his focus by something fun, something easier, and do positive reinforcement to support him.
So, if you want to have a good relationship with your dog, it is more than just about the food, the love, and the good shelter to provide. It is all about how to maintain good communication. What do you love to do to increase your dog’s impulse control?