Guest Post by Susan Garrett, World Champion Dog Trainer & Owner of Say Yes Dog Training
Many years ago I introduced a game that has changed the lives of many thousands of people and their dogs the world over. It’s the key building block to everything I teach in dog training.
That game is ItsYerChoice (IYC).
This is the game that will really shift your dog’s thought processes. Once you introduce this key game into your daily routine, your dog’s relationship between “what he wants” and YOU, will forever be changed.
Learning how your dog thinks and makes decisions is the “KEY” to getting your dog to do what you want – when you want, without the need for yelling, intimidation or constant supervision.
Because, doing what YOU want, is going to be your dog’s idea!
Why has ItsYerChoice been so successful for so many thousands of different dogs and people?
This game is about controlling the consequences of your dog’s choice — rather than trying to control your dog.
We start small (with easy decisions) that teach your dog he ALWAYS has a choice.
If he chooses correctly when working with you, good consequences will follow (and your dog gets “the chance” for whatever HE wants).
If your dog makes an inappropriate choice, the consequences will be “crystal clear” to him… without the need for you to try and stop, coach, intimate or control him in any way.
Your dog learns to make the right decision on his own. This is the first step to him making good choices, even when you are not around… how cool is THAT!
Self Control rather than Imposed Control
You are now teaching your dog “self-control” rather than “imposed control”. A dog with self-control has learned to have “impulse control” when in stimulating environments.
Rather than leaving you: to chase a squirrel, steal a toy, or investigate every crumb that may be on the ground, your dog will play your game knowing rewards may be earned – contingent upon him following your rules.
All games have rules… but they are still games that we all love to play and ItsYerChoice is no different for your dog. Eventually, your dog’s impulse control becomes so brilliant, you can trust him more and more… even unsupervised with a roast on the kitchen counter within reach… for real! This is the core foundation element that will eliminate 90% of your dog training frustrations… it’s a concept I use EVERY DAY, layering one (very small) good decision on top of another… leading to more complex behaviours.
Teaching you this KEY game is probably the greatest gift I could ever give you.
ItsYerChoice is for all dogs and all people, no matter if you are just starting out with your first puppy or rescue dog, or have been teaching this game in your dog training classes for many years.
After making ItsYerChoice a routine part of your interactions with your dog you will notice he will begin looking for permission from you to attain what he wants. You may see him choose to sit when you reach for the cookie jar rather than try to jump on the counter or paw at your clothing. He will learn to OFFER self-control behaviours without you telling him what to do… it will be HIS choice!
He will learn to get what he wants, he must first offer what you want (without being TOLD).
Regardless if it is just your attention, or maybe treats, toys, his dinner, going out the door, being taken off leash at the park, or whatever he wants most of all! From this point forward the theme of your relationship with your dog is:
GOOD CHOICES = GOOD CONSEQUENCES!
It only takes a few minutes to start the transformation for your dog… the magic begins the moment you commit to playing a simple game!
Today I am grateful for everyone who has played and shared my “ItsYerChoice” game to improve the lives of dogs everywhere.