Developing Impulse Control at Meal Time to Stop Two Dogs From Barking at the Door

By: David Codr

Published Date: May 11, 2021

Macy Ozzy scaled - Developing Impulse Control at Meal Time to Stop Two Dogs From Barking at the Door

For this Omaha dog training session helped worked with 2 Labradors, 1 year-old Chocolate Macy (left) and 4 year-old Yellow Lab Ozzy; sharing tips to help them develop impulse control at meals and stop guarding barking the door.

The dogs were both very excited when I arrived for the session. I used some Dog Behaviorist tricks to help them warm up to me, although it took a little bit longer for Macy who had a stressful puppyhood and was not properly socialized.

Fortunately, Macy’s previous guardians rehomed her into Ozzy and his family’s home and that has helped tremendously. Fortunately, a dog‘s true personality does not set until it’s close to three years old if it is large breed so there is some time.

That said, the more that Macy practices her insecure behavior and greetings, the more likely they are to repeat.

I’d like to see the guardians arrange to have a few guest come over each week to help Macy learn that new people are nothing to be afraid of.

Her guardians can set her up for success by exercising her first and giving her 10 minutes to recover before the guests arrive. The guest should have a ton of high-value training treats but ignore Macy unless she comes over to them.

If possible, it would be great for the guardians to bring Macy out front to meet the guest outside of the home and then go for a short walk before going inside. This gives the dog and opportunity to meet the dog in an environment where there are some distractions and plenty of space to help her feel comfortable. Combined with some really high-value treats and a lot of introductions, Macy can learn that meeting new people is a fun thing to do.

But Macy also is a very excitable dog which is not a usual being a chocolate lab puppy. She had jumped up and snatched food from the families kids multiple times so I decided to show her guardians how to use the bucket game to teach the dog to stay calm at meal time. if your dog gets over excited when you feed it, you may want to check out the free positive dog training video below on how to condition a dog to stay calm when you feed it.

Stopping a dog from getting over excited for food is pretty easy with this technique. It just takes time, practice and patience. But anyone can do it, even if you were not a professional chocolate lab dog trainer.

I’d like to see the guardians practicing this calm feeding exercise for both dogs at least once a day if not more. If they are consistent and stay at the same level until the dog is able to sit for five movements before moving down, it shouldn’t take long before the dogs are calm and relaxed during meal time.

Another issue the guardians wanted help with was Ozzy’s protective behavior at the door. Earlier in the session we discussed reasons that the dog may feel I need to be protective. The guardians demonstrating that they have the situation under control by enforcing rules will go along way towards helping with this dog behavior problem. Same thing with providing more exercise and mental stimulation.

But because this had become a established behavior for Ozzy, I wanted to show his guardians how to stop the dog from barking at people outside the door. I handed my camera to another one of the guardians so I could demonstrate how to use a little counterconditioning to stop a dog from feeling the need to protect or bark at the door.

Exercising Ozzie before they practice this exercise consult him up for success. They also should pick and choose the times that they practice. At first they like to practice with a family member or friend that Ozzy doesn’t know. This way they can control the other persons movements more precisely.

After Ozzy becomes more practiced at this exercise, they can start practicing at busier times of the day such as when children come home from school or people are out walking their dogs after work.

I also recommended that we have one of our level one trainers stop by and show the guardians how to use the relaxation protocol to help the dogs practice being calm as well as develop more impulse control which will help with their behavior problems.

Because we covered so much in this appointment, I recorded a roadmap to success to make it easy for the guardians remember all of the dog training tips I shared in this in-home Omaha dog training session

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This post was written by: David Codr