The Patience Game
The goal of this game is to help your dog understand impulse control.
a. In class we used cones but at home I want you to use a doorway.
b. Walk up to the door and automatically wait for your dog to sit. Reward them 5 times and repeat 5 times.
c. Now repeat again and once your dog is sitting ask your dog to ‘wait’ or ‘stay’ by saying it only once verbally and with a flat palm signal. Now advance towards the doorway and try and cross it while your dog remains on the other side still in the ‘sit’ position. Bridge and reward your dog for waiting. Mix up between you returning to them to reward them with the treat and asking them through the doorway with a release command like ‘dogs name okay *two claps*’ to reward them with the treat.
d. Remember to start small and set your dog up to succeed. Build up to getting through the doorway. Meaning that to begin with you may need to reward your dog for every step you take towards the doorway and it holds the sit position.
e. As your dog gets better at this game increase the criteria of adding in opening a door or you going out of site. Opening door instructions below:
a. Walk up to the doorway or gate with it shut and your dog on a loose lead. Wait for your dog to automatically sit.
b. Now advance forward to touch the door handle.
c. If your dog moves towards it or gets up from the sit take your hand off the door or gate.
d. Wait till they back up slightly or sit/drop before touching it again. If they stay there, open it 1cm, bridge and reward. Now continue to open if your dog stays still. If at any point they get up and move towards you or the door shut it again.
e. Continue to do this till you can get the door or gate the whole way open.
f. You can start to try taking a step through the opening, but if they move or even lean forward ensure you shut it again.
g. When they are confident in staying still and not coming forward and you are ready for them to come through say “OK” and encourage them through.