Impulse control games are a great way to start building duration into our stays. We will teach the dogs that in order to get the treat, the dog needs to wait for the treat to come to them.
My fist is closed with one treat in it and I have several treats in my opposite hand. When my puppy accidentally backs away from my closed fist, I say my reward word and deliver the treat from the opposite hand. The key to this game is to that your arm with the treat in it is like a tree. It doesn’t move. The more it moves the more dogs typically think bumping it will work. Repeat this step until the dog isn’t touching your fist with their nose between reward deliveries.
Once the dog is eager to ignore the treat in the closed fist because the dog knows the rewards will be coming from the opposite hand, go ahead and open your hand. When the dog dives for the cookie, close your fist. When the dog waits for a moment, reward with the opposite hand. Repeat this step until the dog isn’t trying to dive for the treats between reward deliveries.
Check out my online class “Should I Stay or Should I Go” at the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy. It starts tomorrow and we will be going over teaching stays with distractions, with distance, with exciting activities such as another dog playing or running agility, and out of sight stays. The class is only $65 to follow all of the class material, videos, games and to read the feedback for the working students (those spots are now sold-out). I hope you’ll join us on learning how to teach your dog to have great stays built upon impulse control exercises!
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