It All Boils Down to Impulse Control


How many times have you gotten that candy bar while waiting to check out at the grocery store? Impulse control is tough for people, let alone dogs!

Living with two dogs who have to be separate can be hectic. Fortunately, it’s because they won’t stop playing rather than because they are fighting. Check them out:

Since I’m starting to get tired of it because we’ve been doing this for over 6 months, I’m implementing some more training exercises.

Loker, my 4 yr old husky/shepherd mix, has horrible impulse control and has trouble controlling his arousal levels. To help him with this, I will be playing with him and then asking him to relax over several repetitions. Being able to control his arousal level will help him control himself both with his leash reactivity and with the puppy.


Clark, when asked, has great impulse control. He waits before exiting the crate or going through a door. He will drop toys on cue. He will even leave a treat alone on the ground when I ask him to. When it comes to other dogs though, his arousal level shoots up through the roof. He can’t help but be in the other dog’s face and play, play, play! (Especially, Loker because Loker is so passive and doesn’t tell him off.)

The next few days I’ll be focusing a lot more on a very basic exercise that both of them are already very familiar with. I’ll work on it individually and then together. This exercise is called Relax on a Mat. (See explanatory video below.)

I will start them on leash on their individual mats. Both are already progressing quickly by themselves so it won’t be long before they will be practicing together. Stay tuned for videos!