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How to:

Train a Dog or Puppy

for Self Control

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Teaching your Dog Self Control

No one likes it when their dog misbehaves. One of the key
tools to mitigate bad behavior in your dog is to help it
learn self-control. Lack of self-control can cause jumping
on people and other animals, demanding attention at
inopportune times, running away and even aggression.

The good news is that, as with most bad dog behaviors, you
can train your dog to have better self-control. Self-control
for a dog is similar to the self-control of a small child
and it is something every well trained dog must learn to

Self-control in dogs is achieved through proper training.
One of the key points is to use commands, not simply
reactions. For example, if your dog lunges at someone or
something, do not pull tight on the leash to get it to stop,
instead simply tell it in a firm voice what to do instead.

Self-control is also about respect. Instead of always
correcting the dog after a bad behavior, you should be
letting the dog know what you want it to do before the
temptation arises. Also, always speak in a low but firm
voice when instructing a dog. When you raise your voice or
speak sharply the dog hears the tone as excited and it does
not realize that you are trying to correct or instruct it.

Teaching your dog to use its own natural self-control also
requires realizing that sometimes you will have to
compromise. For example, try not to ask your dog to lie down
if it is truly excited about something, it may just not be
possible for it to do at that time, so the command may
result in disobedience. Instead simply control the dog
physically while quietly giving a sit command.

Another thing that can be helpful in self-control training
is to make your dog work for its dinner. Most dogs get very
excited at mealtimes. If your dog doesn't have self-control
it may practically maul you until its food is on the floor.
This is not acceptable behavior. So instead, from puppy hood
if possible, make your dog "sit" or "get down" before you
will place the bowl on the floor. This gives your dog an
expectation that its behavior has to be good before it will
be fed.

No matter what you want to train your dog to do, whether it
is show tricks or just to have better behavior at the dog
park, teaching it self-control first will go a long way
toward making the journey much easier for both you and your

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