Teaching a Positive Interrupter

09/02/2022

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POSITIVE INTERRUPTER

There will be times when your dog gets into activities that you don’t want them doing. This might be digging in the garden, barking at the neighbours or many other things. These are natural behaviours but that doesn’t mean you can’t give your dog alternative outlets.

To interrupt unwanted behaviour you can use a positive interrupter. This could be an upbeat sound or word that you pair with something your dog loves so that they start to build a strong positive association with it.

Start in a quiet area of your home. Make the sound and then give your dog something they love. You will need to repeat many times over.

When your dog starts to show recognition, you are ready to practice at random times throughout the day. Every time you make the sound, reach for your dog’s favourite reward and celebrate enthusiastically.

In time you will find your dog rushing to you as soon as they hear the sound. Eventually you will be able to get your dog’s attention by saying your interrupter no matter what they are doing.

This will give you the chance to direct them to a better activity and prevent them from returning to what they were doing before.

Remember to teach your dog an interrupter well before you need to use it. Train away from distractions at first and build up in stages as your dog’s skill level increases.

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