Teaching Your Dog Impulse Control

By Michael Albee

Teaching You Dog Impulse Control

“Teaching Your Dog To Have Self-Control in Any Situation”

Dogs do not think about or rationalize the consequences of their actions before the do them.  Dogs simply react to what is going on in their world at that moment in time. Because of this, it is important to spend the time to teach your dog impulse control. It is actually the foundation of my dog training method.

Teaching your dog impulse control (self-control) is extremely useful in many everyday situations! First, it teaches your dog to look to you before it reacts to any situation. It also teaches your dog that it needs to wait patiently for your input. After learning this valuable skill the dog will realize that it gets something good in exchange for exhibiting self-control.

Teaching your dog impulse control has many common applications. It comes in very handy when you are teaching your dog to STAY, or when you ask it NO, or to leave something alone. It also helps them learn to stay calm when exciting things happen around them. Impulse Control also teaches them that they get a reward if they don’t jump up on people or run through an open door, chase things or lunge on a walk or when someone walks near.

Teaching Your Dog Impulse Control - Self Control

Depending on your dog’s personality, how strong it’s pray drive is or what its attention span is, teaching your dog impulse control is a reasonably simple behavior to teach. It can however take some time and patience on your part.


An example of the training would be teaching your dog not to run through an open door.

To begin this training put a leash on the dog (for safety). Have it sit or lay down about 5 feet from the closed door.

Reach for the door handle. If the dog moves toward the door say “NO” or “WAIT” or another word of your choice in a firm tone. Then replace the dog to the original starting place and begin again. Each time the dog moves repeat this. If the dog holds the position without moving, reward it. Next, open the door slightly. If the dog holds the position, reward it again. Open the door more, and so on until the dog remains in the SIT or DOWN position without moving until you tell it to move.

Finally, to “proof” this behavior your dog should be able to hold the original place and position indefinitely while being off leash.

This same process can be used for a myriad of training and actions.


Keep your training sessions short. Your training sessions should be kept under 10 minutes in length. Finish each session with your dog correctly doing a behaivor.

Always do something that your dog likes to do when the session ends. Playing with the dog’s favorite toy or going for a walk will keep your dog interested in training. Because there is a “fun time” following the training, it will make the dog more willing to train well.


There are several variations of this training that will get you the same results. If you need help with this or any other training you can contact us and we can give personal instruction. Contact Us.

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“Teaching Your Dog Impluse Control – Teaching You Dog To Wait”