Impulse control (or lack thereof) is a huge barrier to progress in reactive dog training. If your dog cannot control their impulses, they are going to be explosive and impulsive.
The same goes for people! Think about those who struggle with addictions. There is a lack of impulse control at the root of this challenge and if the patient (or learner) can learn healthy coping mechanisms and replacement behaviours, they will see great changes in their patterns.
Let's look at teaching our dogs to control their impulses, learn to take a breath, check in with us, and wait. These are not going to be behaviours that are useful IN a reactive moment, but practicing these behaviours in various environments and before/after reactive incidents can reduce the overall anxiety level and hyper vigilance.
We're going to work on a few impulse control related behaviours now:
- Elevator game
- Say "please"
- Wait at doorways