Training Study Guides

Use the Training Study Guides as a review of the skills you have learned in your training lessons.

I created these Guides for my private dog training clients.  After a lesson, it’s very helpful to have a review of the information we covered in the lesson.  Although every dog is unique and private lessons are customized for each client, the fundamentals remain the same.

Training your dog is a “use-it-or-lose-it” process.  The Study Guides are designed to be a refresher for skills you have already trained.  The Guides are summaries of the main ideas.  They are not a substitute for the face-to-face lesson.

You’ll find the complete content for one Study Guide only on this page.

To view the other Guides, enroll in the free online course. You will be able to download Guides and leave comments or questions if you need help.

Enroll for free and get access to all the guides:

Training Study Guides Enrollment

Each Study Guide contains these sections:

  • Key Concept
  • Target Behavior
  • Mechanics
  • Application
  • Checklist

The Impulse Control Game is frequently the first lesson we cover together because it helps your dog understand that he can use self-control to get what he wants.  The Study Guide for that lesson is below.  However, you will find the other Study Guides in a free course on the Teachable site.  You can download the guides and ask questions in the Comments section that follows each Study Guide.

By enrolling for free in the Dog Wisdom Workshop Training Study Guides course, you will have lifetime access and the option to review any lesson you wish at any time.

Study Guide One: Teach Your Dog Impulse Control

Key Concept:

Correct timing of “reward” and “no-reward” markers teaches your dog to control his impulses and to use the give-and-take principle to get what he wants.

Target Behavior:

The dog displays impulse control when a highly desirable food treat is visible and accessible.  So the dog chooses to control his impulse to take the food. Therefore, he waits for the handler to deliver the treat to him.

  1. Hold a few tiny, high value treats in your closed hand.  Ignore the dog while he attempts (licking, nuzzling, etc.) to take the treats.
  2. When the dog moves away from your hand, immediately open your hand in order to display the food. At the same time, quietly praise the dog.
  3. If the dog moves toward the treats again, close your hand quickly.
  4. Deliver the treats one at a time when the dog chooses to wait.
  5. Remember to reward the dog’s position (distance from the resource).
  6. Vary the exercise by placing the treats on a surface (floor, chair, etc.) and covering them with your hand.
  7. Reward marker is an open hand, visible treats, and eating the treats.
  8. No-reward marker is a closed hand.
  9. You don’t have to use any verbal cues.  Let the dog choose.

What the dog learns –

  1. The dog discovers how to use self-control to get what he wants instead of following his impulses.
  2. The dog learns that making certain choices will earn rewards and therefore he is more likely to make those choices again.
  3. The dog learns how to use the principle of give-and-take so that he becomes your cooperative partner.
  4. The dog learns how to get what he wants by first giving you what you want.
  5. The dog learns how to “work first, then get paid” so that you deliver rewards and not bribes.

What you learn – 

  1. Training a dog is a process, not an event. Learning anything takes time.
  2. Be patient as the dog tries out different options to see what works because he’s figuring out how to solve a problem.
  3. Be precise about timing rewards so that it’s clear to the dog what he is being rewarded for.
  4. Impulse control is necessary in order to teach your dog more advanced skills.



__Use high-value rewards to motivate and get your dog interested.

__Praise first, then reward.

__Praising and rewarding with a treat are two separate actions so always reward after you praise.

__Reward the dog’s position so that he learns the place to be in order to get his reward.

__You don’t need any verbal cues or corrections because we want the dog to learn how to make good choices on his own.