Does your dog have self control?
One of the things we often love about dogs is their endless enthusiasm for life. Unfortunately though I am sure we all recognise that too much enthusiasm with a lack of self control can actually turn a dog into what is sometimes then labelled a 'problem' or 'difficult' dog. So here is a quick and easy test to see how much self control your dog has.
- When opening the door to go outside does your dog barge past you to go first?
- Does your dog bark or run around when you are getting his meals ready?
- Does your dog constantly pull on the lead rather than walk calmly by your side?
- Does your dog jump up at people?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions there are areas in your dog's life where excitement is more important to them than anything else. If you answered yes to all of them then read on!
The four questions asked are just an example in everyday life where a lack of self control can show up. You may think these areas are unimportant but in reality if the dog barges past you out of the door and gets onto the road he may be hit by a car or put in a dangerous situation. Allowing over excitement around food can lead to problems when trying to use treats for training. Pulling on the lead as well as putting strain on the dog's neck can also damage your arm and shoulder and make walking less pleasant. If your dog jumps up at people when uninvited he may knock someone over, or hurt someone.
Although you may say that in your circumstance none of these issues are relevant they can also have a knock on effect into other areas of life. If your dog lacks self control they will probably have a weak recall, or only recall when they wish. This can lead you to think that your recall is quite good but if it is only on their terms then when it really matters it will more than likely let you down.
A dog that lacks boundaries can bark a lot and therefore cause problems with the neighbours. It can also be wearing for yourself.
If you want to work your dog or train them for a sport such as agility it can make the whole training so much more difficult. Their behaviour ring side may be difficult to manage, they may become much more focussed on the equipment than on you, the handler, or may run off choosing which pieces of equipment give them the most buzz.
A lack of self control may also not be good for your dog's stress levels and therefore, general health. Dogs need to be able to relax and switch off just like us so living on adrenaline is not healthy.
Look out for our next blog on simple exercises to help your dog gain self-control and get a grip on life or click here