An Easy Way to Help a Dog Learn to Practice Self Control

By: David Codr

Published Date: March 5, 2020

For this Omaha dog training session we teach 1 year-old Chow mix Buboy to stay out of the room to help him practice self control and listening to his guardian.

Buboy had taken our puppy classes last year so I was already familiar with him and his awesome guardians. Buboy had developed some reactivity issues around new people. It sounded like they were both a case of him being in challenging situations that didnt set him up to succeed.

I initiated a greeting protocol that I have had great success with in the past and it worked beautifully. Within seconds Buboy was calm, happy and positively engaging with myself and my apprentice Kayla. I recommend that the guardians practice having a few new people come by each week for a few weeks so they can repeat this positive dog training exercise and help him practice positive human greetings.

One thing I thought could help was to show Buboy’s guardians how to help a dog develop self control and respect for them as his leaders. As a dog behaviorist I have found an easy way to help dogs be less reactive is to teach a dog to stay behind invisible boundaries. I started off by showing the humans how to train a dog to leave a room on command.

By creating situations where the dog has to restrain itself due to a rule the humans have introduced, the dog gets to practice some self control. When a dog learns to stay out of a room, and there is nothing blocking the dog, all the work is voluntary. This is a key part of canine rehabilitation; creating a situation where the dog does the work.

Once the dog learns to stay out of the room, the humans will need to practice it alot while progressively increasing the duration. By going slowly, Buboy will be practicing self control and listening to his human without even knowing it.

Because Buboy is sometimes a little protective of this guardian, this is a great positive dog training exercise that should help create a healthy leader follower dynamic. This should help him see her as not needing his protection.

Because Buboy is such a strong leash puller, I recommended his guardians get involved in our Loose Leash Walking program. This is another thing that should help with his self control and assist the guardian on walks which she sometimes struggles with now.

We covered a number of other tips in this in home Omaha dog training session. To help them remember them all, we recorded a roadmap to success video.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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