With dogs who are "over the top" or still on their way to better self-control, you may need to make some compromises...if he finds a way to blow off steam or redirect his attention that is better than having a temper tantrum, but still not ideal...you might have to go with it, at least initially. <g> One of mine used to tear paper into little strips when he was frustrated or angry. Once I caught on to his style of redirecting his temper (I'm sure he pretended it was *me* he was ripping up, sometimes ;-) I kept newspapers lying around for him to use. (That particular animal had some issues, and could be pretty nasty back then when things weren't going his way.) The same boy, as a pup, wanted to snatch chicken out of my hands with a snarl & run off with it...I wanted him to take it nice, and sit there & eat it. At the time, we compromised with him sitting, taking the chicken like a semi-civilized being, and slinking off somewhere to not be bothered--and me respecting his privacy. Sometimes you've got to meet them partway if they're trying...and then slowly work towards your final goal.

Lots of
basic-training stuff helps to build self-control...heeling on lead (when they want to pull and lunge), waiting patiently at the door (when they want to shoot out ahead of you), sitting to be put on lead (when they're excited, and want to bounce around like a piece of popcorn, ohboy-we-are-going-for-a-WALK!!). Even going for a walk itself helps...you can use it to teach them to follow your lead, look to you for direction. If they care what you think, they will be more likely to try to please you (i.e. control their "bad" behaviours).
There are also lots of things you can do when out on lead to build self-control. You can "walk the square", or teach other attention-building exercises...check out some of the dog training sites. :-)
Generally, the more you *do* with your dog & *expect* of him, the more he'll learn to handle his actions.

Other dogs are a huge plus in teaching a dog to control himself, especially if they are bigger/higher ranking than he is, or if they are older & he is a pup. Nobody speaks dog like another dog, and dogs are also much less likely to baby him or make excuses for his behaviour than you are. <vbg> They expect him to have manners and act his age, and they'll see to it that he does...or else. ;-)

Dogs in the house have an advantage, they more practice at inhibiting their behaviours than outside dogs. House babies are expected to not chew the furniture, stay off the dining room table, leave the cat food & litterbox alone, not chase the cats, don't muddy up the bed and couch, don't counter-surf...and they get to lie there patiently, watching you eat your dinner in front of them, hoping you save them some. THAT takes self-control! ;-)

If you don't eat in front of your dog, because you "feel bad for him", don't like watching him drool, think it's too much trouble to train him not to grab your dinner the first few times...you might want to re-think your position! This is a *terrific* tool for teaching self control...he'll never learn not to grab food if you don't *practice*, and years of having a dog who is well behaved at dinnertime is worth the price of a few disturbed meals. Besides, the leftover scraps are a handy positive reinforcement, the reward he gets for being patient during your meal!  :-)

I remember one cat we had, who was horrible as a kitten...he would launch himself onto your plate & eat your dinner right in front of you. Needless to say, he was crated during dinner for awhile. We'd set the crate near us (ohh yes, close enough to see & smell the food), and he'd be yeowling and rattling the crate door...and we'd ignore him. It wasn't long before he'd sit quietly in the crate, and we said "are you going to be good now, Dylan?" and let him out. He soon learned that if he didn't stay off our plates till we were done, it was "In the Box"for him! So, he would lie beside us and wait till we had finished, and actually *offered* him the food.

Teaching "no bite" is a tremendous exercise in self-control also...that's one that many dog parents know well. <vbg> The important thing isn't so much the *specific* things we do to teach them to control themselves and respect us...but that we focus on teaching it to them, period. <g>
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