In our first ever Training Bites video episode, Hannah from Free Spirit Dogs is teaching us how to play “It’s Your Choice” with our dogs. This is a game os impulse control designed to help your dog learn to self regulate their impulses and become more patient.
How to Play the Game
- Get a handful of “medium value” treats
- Tip: If your dog is very food motivated, start with low value treats and work your way up
- Show your dog the handful of treats and let them sniff at, lick, and/or paw your closed hand (do not let them get any treats while doing this)
- The second your dog shows slightly LESS interest in the treats (by stepping back, looking away, etc) open you hand
- If they come back towards the treats, close your hand quickly
- Repeat until your dog understands the treats are only visible when they are not trying to get them
- Once your dog has started to stay respectfully back from the treats or does not try to get them from your open hand you can mark with a verbal cue like “yes” or “good” and give your dog a treat from the pile using your other hand (the one not opening and closing).
- After this concept is solidified you can begin placing treats on the ground instead of holding them in your hand.
Have you tried this game out with your dog? Let us know how it went in the comment section below!