Permission based training and why it works

Posted on April 22nd, by Sean O'Shea in Training Tips. Comments Off on Permission based training and why it works

One of our primary goals when training and rehabbing dogs is to get them out of auto-pilot behavior and into a listening, processing, responding mode. What is auto-pilot behavior? It’s where the dog sees, hears, smells something and instantly reacts to it. Or where the dog wants to do something, or to access something, and simply does it. It’s an impulse control issue. Feel – do!

And this is where permission based training comes in. Permission based training isn’t anything fancy, but it is highly effective. Basically, we start teaching the dog that he needs to look to us before making decisions. Not every decision mind you, but most. This new way of living/behaving creates many positive changes. It creates handler respect, it teaches tons of impulse control, and gets the dog to think before acting. All major pieces of the training/rehab puzzle.

Once a dog begins to look to you for permission you’ll see much of the manic, hyped-up, tuned-out, crazy, disrespectful, and disobedient behavior disappear.

Here’s a few examples of where we work on this and where permission is needed:

  • Crate (going in or out)
  • Thresholds (going in or out)
  • Place command (not leaving unless given permission)
  • Eating (waiting for release)
  • Peeing/sniffing on walks (waiting for release)
  • Any command that the dog has been asked to be in (must wait for release)
  • Furniture (wait for permission)
  • Personal space (must wait for permission to access)
  • Getting in our out of the car (wait for permission)
  • And any other contexts where you see a lot of excitement/pushiness etc.

Teaching your dog to look to you, to ask you for permission before simply reacting is the true secret sauce to transforming both behavior and attitude.

Use it!!




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