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Dog ownership is sometimes like walking a tight-line. We allow our dogs to run around the house, the yard, and crate them when it’s time to be quiet.

While you feel you’re meeting the needs of that said dog, it seems that you have made little progress on wearing your dog out.

Matter of fact it seems as if they are getting more strung out the more you follow the routine. Bouncing off furniture, the walls, barking non-stop, etc.

You sometimes find yourself at your wits end and just end up crating them longer than they should be.

Thus the cycle repeats with a strong force.

You are aware that you need to have boundaries, you are aware that you need consistent rules with appropriate reinforcers. However you’re stuck on what to do with this manic energy.

If you have followed us at all, you know we use different games to teach dogs about when to stop and when to go.

Playing with your dog teaches them about impulse control, reinforces good behaviors, and teaches our dog how to be a decent teammate (not demanding and how to be reprimand).

Certain games also help meet your dog’s desires, but that’s for another day. The big takeaway right now is that it shows your dog when to stop and when to go. Something that needs to be applied to their daily life.

So here are some quick tips for you to start teaching your dog when to stop and when to go through play (this is of course after you both have come to conclusion what game your dog enjoys):

  • Have a start cue. I typically ask my dogs if they’re “ready”
  • Have an end cue. I use “all done.”
  • Be clear on the rules. Some of the rules I have are no nipping, must dropped when asked, etc.
  • Show your dog how to win.
  • Show your dog how to take a repercussion if they mess up (no one likes a sore loser).
  • Take breaks and start the game again.
  • Most importantly have fun.

These rules can be applied to fetch, tug, or whatever game you and your dog comes up with. For us personally at Wild Child, we follow some form of the Possession Games and Chase and Catch by Ivan Balabanov. You can purchase both videos with step by step instructions at his website, Training Without Conflict.

Whatever route you decide to take. Remember this is imperative in teaching your dog to turn on and to turn off. Because if you’re always just managing through a crate and half-ass exercises then your dog will eventually be strung out.

Show them the way.
Guide them.
And watch them blossom.


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irish terrier playing

playing with your dog