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How to teach your dog impulse control (with games)

We get a lot of requests for tips on charging up a dog’s impulse control, and we’re delighted to say that YES - play is a great way to do it! 

Whether your dog runs off chasing after other dogs, other people’s balls, or scents that are simply too irresistible to ignore, using play to work on your dog’s self control is fun AND effective.

How to do it using fetch

Ask your dog to stay and wait for a release cue before they run off to retrieve their ball or tuggy - and you’ll be getting plenty of self control training in while you play.

While we often think of treats as a reward - being released to run and retrieve your dog’s favourite toy can be waaaay more rewarding. 

Just take a look at Willow here having a whale of a time showing off her willpower before fetching her pocket powerball magnet tuggy.

How to do it using tug

Engage your dog in a game of tug, then stop moving the toy and ask your dog to ‘drop’. When your dog releases the toy, mark and reward by re-engaging in the game.

If your dog struggles to let go of the tuggy (and who can blame them?!), you can try switching for another toy or switching for a treat.

The important thing is, the game restarts once your dog exercises self control and stops on cue!


How to teach your dog the leave cue

Why your dog has high prey drive (and what you can do about it)

How to play fetch safely


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