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Impulse Control Games are a Time Well Spent Playing with your Dog!

by Robin MacFarlane

You just never know when you may need this quick control over your dog.

Gaining control over a dog's impulse to chase is training time well spent. Whether the dog's object of desire is a tennis ball, a squirrel or a bicycle, the intent is the same. There is an innate drive in many dogs to chase what moves. And that desire can get a dog into trouble or danger if we don't have any control over it.

There are several ways to approach teaching this skill. A dog can be taught to recall off of a chase, or can be taught to drop into a Sit or Down position while in pursuit. Either skill can be effective in saving the dog's life if the dog happens to be chasing something and moving into a dangerous situation. I've heard plenty of stories of dog's injured or killed when a bad bounce of a ball or errant flight of a Frisbee lead Fido rushing into a busy street.

This is one skill that is important to practice. You just never know when you may need this quick control over your dog.

On a recent visit to my friends at Gun Dog Supply, I had opportunity to work with a fun, ball crazy Pitty, named Gabby. Her owner has done a really nice job with her training, and I was pretty impressed when I got to work with her on this little impulse control game.

Take a look as I play some fetch with her and mix the game up a bit, so that she is staying sharp on her skills of returning, and holding steady in the face of one of her big distractions.

Notice that I'm keeping a long line on her. This is a necessity when you are getting started, so you can insure the game is played on your terms. You want the dog to come to the understanding they will get what they want (the chase) when they listen and follow the rules. You use the line to interrupt and stop the game any time the dog is disregarding what you tell them.

In a future video I'll show you how to add some e-collar training to this play session, so you can gain even greater reliability when the leash comes off.

-- Robin

Robin MacFarlane is a professional dog trainer and owner of Thatís My Dog in Dubuque, Iowa. Her best-selling dog training DVDs, JUST RIGHT and JUST RIGHT 2 have helped thousands of dog owners teach their dogs basic obedience and fix problem behaviors through a system of training that you can easily work into your daily routine.
  • Robin writes for Gun Dog Supply on our E-collars Dog Training blog
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  • Pull-Quote= You just never know when you may need this quick control over your dog.

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