Teaching a Pair of Excited Dogs to Leave it to Develop Some Impulse Control

By: David Codr

Published Date: December 16, 2019

For this Omaha dog training session we teach 8 year-old Shepherd mix Maya a leave it exercise to help her and her roomie 6 year-old Red Heeler mix Lyla develop some dog impulse control.

One of the concerns the guardians had was how Lyla had gone after Maya when frustrated with another dog she couldn’t reach. We refer to this as Redirected Aggression and its something no dog guardian wants to see out of their dog.

Many dogs get into trouble due to being too worked up. This is often due to humans confusing excitement for happiness. But excited is an unbalanced state of mind and unbalanced states is where most mistakes happen.

These dogs also had poor impulse control, wriggling, pushing and jumping where they pleased. When you combine poor impulse control with an over excited dog, the likelihood of issues coming up go up dramatically.

To help the dogs develop some impulse control and learn to settle down on their own, my dog behavior apprentice Taylor Francis went over a leave it exercise with Maya. Lyla was the dog who needs this the most, but this canine self control exercise will be helpful for both of them.

In the above video, I was filming from behind with Maya’s back to the camera. In the periods of time where the dog appears to be just sitting there staring, she was lightly licking Taylor’s hand which is why she didn’t give the treat. When you first start teaching a dog to leave it, you need to wait for the second the dog disengages. Taylor explains this in the video, but we wanted to point it out just to be clear why she waited.

Teaching a dog the leave it command is a great way to develop self control in dogs. As you can see in Taylor’s positive dog training video, training a dog to leave it is pretty easy; you don’t have to be a professional German Shepherd mix dog trainer to do it.

We shared other tips that will help the dogs learn to stay calm and how the humans can help by stopping their petting or interaction when the dogs get too excited or engage in behavior they do not like. This is a form of Operant Conditioning and its a powerful way to teach dogs to calm down.

To help the guardian’s remember all the positive dog behavior tips we shared in this in home Omaha dog training session, we filmed a roadmap to success summary video.

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This post was written by: David Codr

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