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Impulse Control

Your Dog’s Behavior: When to Manage, When to Train

How do I stop my dog from stealing food? How do I get my dog to stop drinking toilet water? Why does my dog run off all the time? These are just a few of the countless things dogs do that make their guardians run to professional trainers for help. The reality of dog behavior modification is that often the solution to a dog's bad habit is not through training the dog, but through carefully managing every opportunity the dog has to practice unwanted behaviors.

Put A Stop to Door-Darting Dogs

Door darting is an impulse-control problem. It's also incredibly self-rewarding. Remedying the issue requires teaching the dog to exhibit self-control around an open door, while employing diligent management to prevent the rehearsal of unwanted behavior. The following tips can help.

Nose Work is Great Exercise for Dogs!

When your dog has learned how to search, this makes a great rainy day indoor exercise activity. You can also routinely scatter her meals around the yard so she has to search through the grass to find them; put her on a long line if you don't have a fence. You can also name her favorite toys and have her find them. You can even have family members and friends hide and have her find them.

Rules for Playing Tug

A couple of decades ago, when positive reinforcement-based training was in its infancy, we were quite sensitive to criticism from the dog training community about this new permissive" style of dog training. When we began encouraging people to play tug with their dogs

Why (and How) Dogs Escape Fences

The risks for a free-roaming dog are legion, including, but not limited to: getting hit by a car, shot by an irate neighbor or a police officer protecting public safety, attacking or being attacked by other animals, being picked up by animal control, or simply vanishing, never to be seen again. Yet some dogs seem hell-bent on escaping – doing everything they can think of to get over, under, around, or through their humans' containment strategies. What do you do when you have a dog who is dedicated to escaping his yard?

Got a Sneaky Dog Stealing Food?

Like many other expert food thieves, Chip is quite careful in his pilfering decisions. He will steal only when we are not in the room or when we are being inattentive. The parsimonious (simplest) explanation of this is a behavioristic one: Chip learned early in life that he was more likely to be successful at taking forbidden tidbits when a human was not in the room, and more likely to be unsuccessful if someone was present and attentive to him. In other words, like many dogs who excel at food thievery, Chip learned what works!

Help With Door-Crazy Dogs

you risk "flooding" the dogs

Teach Your Dog To Settle Down

position a mat or bed near you, and invite your dog to lie down there. You can use a food lure to encourage her to rock onto one hip and mark this posture (with the click of a clicker or a verbal marker such as the word Yes!") and a reward.üReward her with small bits of tasty treats for initially short

Beauty for Ashes

Competing with our Sheltie Asta at her first agility trial was an answer to our prayers. After her diagnosis, we lived with months of uncertainty about what type of life she might have. Following her lovely debut, a friend aware of Asta's condition commented on how normal" it all looked. But our path to that first agility competition was anything but "normal" because Asta has a mental illness."

Acknowledging Inappropriate Dog Behavior in Public

Responsible service-dog handlers aim to keep their dogs as inconspicuous as possible, and are quick to take corrective action if the dog's behavior becomes problematic. When they don't, businesses are legally allowed to ask the handler to remove the dog. While many business owners are afraid to exercise this right, not doing so has created significant problems for the disability community.

Five Things to do When Your Dog Grabs the Leash and Doesn’t Want to...

The game of leash-tug is encouraged by some agility competitors, as a reinforcer for their dogs at the end of an agility run. However, many dog owners (myself included), find it an annoying and sometimes even dangerous behavior. Here are five things you can do if you're in the latter group and would like to get your dog to stop playing leash tug:

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