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Why You Should Consider Teaching A Positive Interrupter

A positive interrupter is used to stop your dog from doing something. The idea is for your dog to have a super positive association with the cue so that they’ll stop what they’re doing and come running to you.

One of my favorite ways to use this is during dog play. Periodically during play, I’ll call the dogs over to me, give them a food reward and release them back to play. When doing so, the vast majority of the time the play will continue and stays a bit more mellow instead of continuing to intensify. It works because the dogs start to have a little bit of “food brain” so while they’re playing, the thought of being called over for food is floating around in their brains.

To teach this you’ll want to start off when no distractions are present. Pick your cue, say it loud and happily and then give out high value treats. Do this just a few times per day. After a few days you’ll notice your dog(s) become very excited when the cue is said. At that point you’ll likely be able to start using it as a positive interrupter.

Can you think of some other times where this would come in handy?

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