Message Us

Working on Impulse Control With Your Dogs

By JaneBowers. | Dog Health

Impulse control in dogs: Working on impulse control and arousal levels helps a dog become calm and self- controlled.

  Working on Impulse Control With Your Dogs Impulsive individuals are usually characterized by rapid responses to stimulation, accelerated action and difficulties with inhibiting their responses (Miklosi, 2015). Arousal levels can look different in different dogs. Some dogs respond more quickly and intensely to a certain stimulus than other dogs (Overall, 2005). Individual variation is seen in the reaction to a positive stimulation (food for example) or in aggressive behavior. In aggressive behavior, a more impulsive dog may bite sooner and more forcefully and escalate a fight faster than a less impulsive dog (Miklosi, 2015). Some of the signals determining the level of arousal an individual dog has can include the alertness they show (sometimes referred to as hyper-vigilance), their vocalizations, their degree of restlessness and displaying of displacement behaviors (Overall, Clinical Behavioral Medicine for Small Animals, 1997). Displacement behaviors are behaviors the dog shows in an effort to resolve a conflict within them or to deal with stress. Sometimes over-arousal and impulsiveness are inadvertently encouraged by people. The greeting behavior of the 8-week-old puppy may be seen as cute and reinforced by people but that same behaviour when the dog reaches adult size and cannot control himself when visitors arrive can become a problem. Other examples are the agility dog who has trouble maintaining a stay at the start line of a course or the very mouthy puppy both of whom may have difficulty with arousal levels.

So, how do we help dogs become less impulsive and more self-controlled?

  • One way is to use food.

With a handful of treats in my closed fist, I allow the dog to sniff the hand. Some dogs will paw or mouth but will eventually move their head away from the hand. When they do, give the dog one treat from the other hand. Repeat this until the dog understands that the reward comes when he moves his head away and waits calmly. Then withhold the treat for a bit longer and then reward for a longer time away (some dogs back up which is great too and worth rewarding). Once the dog understands that staying back quietly from the hand gets him or her the reward, then open your hand and reward if the dog stays away, close your hand if the dog approaches. After that, put your closed hand on the ground or floor and repeat the exercise. Dogs do not generalize well so they often repeat the pawing behaviour when the hand is in a different position. This exercise can be done in a variety of situations to address counter surfing and other issues.
  • Another useful tool for teaching self-control is tug toy games with people.

This game, when played correctly, helps with bite inhibition, self-control, releasing objects and is a great reward for dogs. Keep the game gentle. For dogs who are over-aroused and anxious when left on their own, there is good news. Studies show that they respond well to systematic desensitization. Dogs who participated in desensitization exercises had significant reductions in the frequency and intensity of the separation-related behaviors and, three months after the treatment ended, most of the dogs showed almost complete elimination of the problem behaviour (Butler, Sargisson and Elliffe 2011). Air Travel Tips and Dog Seat Covers: Cargo, Dog Bed Liner, Bed Cover: 30% Off Premium Seat Covers

Jane BowersJane Bowers, B.A., CABC, CPDT-KA

Jane Bowers has been training dogs for over two decades. She teaches people to train their dogs in group and private training courses and has a keen interest in assisting dogs with behavioral issues. Her company is Dogs of Distinction Canine Training Inc. Jane has a monthly newspaper column on dog related topics and is a former host of a live call in TV show on animals. She is a strong advocate for force free and humane training methods for all animals. Jane has a degree in psychology and is certified as a dog trainer through the Certification Council of Professional Pet Dog Trainers and as a behaviour consultant through the International Association of Behavior Consultants and through the Association of Animal Behavior Professionals. These organizations require a minimum number of continuing education units be obtained to retain certification. She is also a professional member of The Pet Professional Guild, an organization committed to force free training of animals and the Association of Professional Dog Trainers. a professional organization of individual trainers who are committed to being better trainers through education. Jane is the content creator of the online course Assessing and Interpreting Dog Behaviour, which is a course for law enforcement personnel who meet unfamiliar dogs in the course of their duties. She is the author of Perfect Puppy Parenting, a guide to raising a happy, confident, well-behaved dog. Jane spent 17 years working for Customs Border Services and in joint teams with US Homeland Security and the RCMP. She spent a further 8 years working as an Animal Control Officer and Bylaw Enforcement Officer. Jane lives on a small farm with dogs, sheep, donkeys, and chickens. The dogs each came from situations that prevented them from living in their original homes. The dogs range in size and age and with the dog training and behavioral work, whether it's participating in the development of an online training course, working with a client's dog or tracking a lost pet or animal.

Comments

Signup/Login to post a reply

 

Reviews From 4Knines Customers VIEW MORE »

The best evaluations of our products come from the people who’ve bought them.

EXCELLENT SEAT COVER

We liked the first cover so much that a few days later we purchased a second one. The cover installs very, very easily, fits and covers the rear seat and the back of the front seats of our Subaru Tribeca perfectly, has flaps that cover the door-side edges of the rear seat, and stays perfectly in place. Spilled or tracked water beads up on the material and can be easily wiped off. At first our dog did tend to slide just a little on the new cover, but he soon learned to stand, sit, and lay just as well as he did before on the uncovered seat. The hammock portion seems like it might provide some little bit of protection in a sudden stop (our guy will chew apart any "doggie seat belt" type of restraint in very short order - so that option is out of the question for us). As to keeping him out of the car front-area - well, our long-legged Standard Poodle has no problem in still looking closely out the front windshield by putting his front feet on the center console - straddling the hammock - with no problem whatsoever. But we did discover that having the hammock in place does allow us to safely keep his water bottle and dish, his leash, and an old towel on the floor under the hammock - where he can no longer get at them (especially the leash and towel) to chew on them. All in all, an excellent seat cover.

READ MORE »
KENNETH MONSEY

My furbabies don't like leather seats!!!! But they love this seat cover!!!

Very hard to find a split bench seat cover at a reasonable price, this one fit the bill. Easy to install, very durable and looks to be easy to clean. Wanted something that would protect the leather seats and was pet friendly (hate it when the material of regular seat covers snags toenails and collars). I don't think I will have to buy another for many years!!!

READ MORE »
Jackie Carter

My Doodle approves!

Received on time, fits great and easy to install. Color is a great match. So far, so good. Durability? Time will tell. It appears to be well constructed.

READ MORE »
Donald Fish

Fits my 2018 VW Tiguan perfectly

Very happy with our purchase. Fits perfectly, was easy to install and keeps the leather seats in our brand new vehicle perfectly clean.

READ MORE »
Chris Campbell

great cover

This is actually a replacement for my original 4 knines cover which was 4 years old. I used it daily (bringing my pup to work with me) and washed it weekly, so the backing finally started to flake apart and come off. This newer version is easier to put over the headrests, great improvement in the strap and closures. Also the best improvement is the side flaps, the old cover didn't have these. These flaps help to catch the dirt from dogs feet when they are jumping up into the car, instead of it going on the side of the seat.

READ MORE »
Diane Breland

Fantastic

This is my 2nd seat cover from 4knines and love them both. The product and service were both fantastic.

READ MORE »
GREG BATEMAN

Repeat customer VERY satisfied.

We have made several purchases from 4Knines and are VERY satisfied with products (cargo liner, back seat cover, bucket front seat cover...). I volunteer at a shelter and take dogs offsite daily. Always a Pleasure doing business with 4Knines. Highly recommend.

READ MORE »
Cristina Jones

Split Rear Dog Seat Cover - Fitted - No Hammock

I had ordered this item from an on-line site and was extremely disappointed when I received the wrong item. I was impressed with the quality of the seat cover and decided to contact 4Knines directly. I placed my order with Maggie and received the Split Rear Dog Seat Cover within three days. The seat cover fits nicely in my new Honda CR-V and as stated by 4Knines, is very easy to install and remove. My 8-month old labradoodle Brodie likes the comfort, and friends agree with him. Great quality item, reasonably priced, and outstanding customer service. Thanks 4Knines.

READ MORE »
Sally LIEDHOLM

4Knines.com

For all general inquiries, please call or email us
Phone: 888.602.2509
Email: support@4Knines.com

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Nothing but the best for your best friend!
© 4Knines. 2017. All rights reserved | Terms | Privacy