Many years ago I introduced a game that has changed the lives of many thousands of people and their dogs the world over. It’s the key building block to everything I teach in dog training.
That game is ItsYerChoice (IYC).
This is the game that will really shift your dog’s thought processes. Once you introduce this key game into your daily routine, your dog’s relationship between “what he wants” and YOU, will forever be changed.
Learning how your dog thinks and makes decisions is the “KEY” to getting your dog to do what you want – when you want, without the need for yelling, intimidation or constant supervision.
Because, doing what YOU want, is going to be your dog’s idea!
Why has ItsYerChoice been so successful for so many thousands of different dogs and people?
- This game is about controlling the consequences of your dog’s choice — rather than trying to control your dog.
- We start small (with easy decisions) that teach your dog he ALWAYS has a choice.
- If he chooses correctly when working with you, good consequences will follow (and your dog gets “the chance” for whatever HE wants).
- If your dog makes an inappropriate choice, the consequences will be “crystal clear” to him… without the need for you to try and stop, coach, intimidate or control him in any way.
- Your dog learns to make the right decision on his own. This is the first step to him making good choices, even when you are not around… how cool is THAT!
Self Control rather than Imposed Control
You are now teaching your dog “self-control” rather than “imposed control”. A dog with self-control has learned to have “impulse control” when in stimulating environments.
Rather than leaving you: to chase a squirrel, steal a toy, or investigate every crumb that may be on the ground, your dog will play your game knowing rewards may be earned – contingent upon him following your rules.
All games have rules… but they are still games that we all love to play and ItsYerChoice is no different for your dog. Eventually, your dog’s impulse control becomes so brilliant, you can trust him more and more… even unsupervised with a roast on the kitchen counter within reach… for real! This is the core foundation element that will eliminate 90% of your dog training frustrations… it’s a concept I use EVERY DAY, layering one (very small) good decision on top of another… leading to more complex behaviours.
Teaching you this KEY game is probably the greatest gift I could ever give you.
ItsYerChoice is for all dogs and all people, no matter if you are just starting out with your first puppy or rescue dog, or have been teaching this game in your dog training classes for many years.
Click this link for the ItsYerChoice Game.
After making ItsYerChoice a routine part of your interactions with your dog you will notice he will begin looking for permission from you to attain what he wants. You may see him choose to sit when you reach for the cookie jar rather than try to jump on the counter or paw at your clothing. He will learn to OFFER self-control behaviours without you telling him what to do… it will be HIS choice!
He will learn to get what he wants, he must first offer what you want (without being TOLD).
Regardless if it is just your attention, or maybe treats, toys, his dinner, going out the door, being taken off leash at the park, or whatever he wants most of all! From this point forward the theme of your relationship with your dog is:
GOOD CHOICES = GOOD CONSEQUENCES!
It only takes a few minutes to start the transformation for your dog… the magic begins the moment you commit to playing a simple game!
Today I am grateful for everyone who has played and shared my “ItsYerChoice” game to improve the lives of dogs everywhere.
Thank you for sharing this game with us. I am looking forward to figuring out how to apply this to other areas. My challenge is that I have an 8 month old GSD with a severe heart defect which is not repairable so he is not able to play with other dogs or be too active for too long or he becomes symptomatic which is kinda scary for all of us. We walk him most days but are still trying to figure out his tolerance for heat and cold stress so we have been looking for a good source of brain games to keep him active and engaged with us. I look forward to exploring all the educational materials that you have made available. Thanks again
Hi Diane, wishing you a wonderful holiday season. You’re doing the best you can for your pup and will figure things out ❤️. If you haven’t yet, join us at the ItsYerChoice Summit Happy training!
Hi Susan, my husband and I rescued a golden retriever mixed from a rescue facility. I am a Spanish-speaking person learning from you since this last October. Thank you for posting some videos since is a lot easier for me to get the ideas. This is our first dog. In the facility where we got her, they told us that she was 4 years old. But at the veterinarian, we found out that her age is almost 2 years old. We are glad to be here. I was looking all over the internet to learn how to take good care of our “Honey” because we want her to be happy. She has been abused and living on the streets. We were thinking very hard about taking her from the shelter. They were about to put her to sleep, (24 Hrs). She is the best that happened to us. Our house is like a mad hose. But we want to make her happy since she suffered so much at a young age. Thank you again, Susan.
Hola Marlene, thank you for this beautiful comment and for adopting and taking good care of Honey. Have you seen Susan has a podcast with lots of videos to help? Here’s the link if you want to take a look: https://shapedbydog.com/. If there’s a topic you’re looking for, there’s a search tool on the page so that you can locate the best episodes for you. Happy training!
Honestly, I didn’t believe Susan when she said this game is the greatest gift she could give me. IT’S THE GREATEST GIFT SHE COULD GIVE ME! My 5 month old impulsive-to-the-core Kelpie jumps on my head to wake me up in the mornings… this morning I found him sitting at the entrance to my bedroom waiting patiently.
My Jack Russell terrier did very well in her first session of It’s yer choice, but the next time I tried it she bit my hand right away without warning. A frustration bite, but nonetheless a bite. What can I do in this situation?
THANK YOU! one session of it’s your choice and I’m finally having success at getting her to stay in a down at my feet w/o trying to leave every time I turn away to work at the computer.!
Do you have a recommendation for a position to sit in when the dog is a short-legged puppy? My basset fauve jumps to get to my hand when I open it from the seated in a chair position and that kind of wrecks the manners and restraint aspect.
Hi! We’ve started playing IYC with food and I’m keen to add more layers and see if I can use this concept working on my dog’s reactivity towards other male dogs and his responses when someone is at the door. His current choice is bark like a maniak 🙁
Can anyone point me towards video’s 3 and 4? I cannot acces them through the link I received when I joined iycsummit and I can’t find it in the facebook group. Thank you!
I have recently joined your Recallers group. My file on all your great training tips is growing faster than Covid 19. Maybe bad taste joke. But oh, my mind is being blown by what I’m learning. I watch your videos over and over to help to get my mechanics right. My 18m0nth old Golden is really starting to put it together like I am too. His recall is soooo much better. Our walks are much more fun. Our training is much more fun. our days are much more fun! My dog is awesome, amazing and we are growing our partnership. No longer transactional! YAY
Hi Susan my name is Mike Burgio I received your from website from Will at mocking your territory. I have a five year old Ridgeback his name is Mario I like to train him so that I can take him to the VA. He’s a good size Ridgeback and I think he’s exactly the type of warrior dog that is injured soldiers would enjoy. Please let me know if you have a method of training Mario for this.
Hi I have a 4 1/2 month old yellow lab/Husky mix and she will not stop eating the Acorns from my Oak tree which my Vet says are toxic and dangerous. If I police her she will spit some of them out but is over focused on finding and eating them as fast as she can. I bought her a mesh muzzle but she still can scoop the acorns up and eat some. I want her to make the right decisions since one day she will be able to play unsupervised but not with things the way they are. Can you please help us?
I have a 4 month weimreiner/lab mix who is obsessed with mulch and wood. I need help stopping her current choice PLEASE before she has medical challenges 😩
So should I not work on eye contact whith my dog?
Hi CK, Susan has a blog post on that very topic, here’s the link for you:
I have a 5 1/2 month old beagle pup that I’ve done the IYC with. Now when I drop the treats she backs away from them when they fall close to her(doesn’t try to get them-giving me 100% success at this point). Just wanting your comments.
I come back here every day and hope to see something new. I tried everything but this helped me the most. I am also so grateful, it helped me fast train my OLD DOG , I hope it helps some others!
Moved IYC up to my dog’s favorite thing: used tissues! She was brilliant of course, during the game then as soon as we were done and I had to walk away suddenly without picking up the target tissue, she got it and ran off to play “come get me”. She KNEW she wasn’t supposed to have the tissue! What went wrong? Me? The training? The length of the session? Leaving the tissue? I’m confused!
Marla Bonner and Sable
I am on blood thinners and my dogs paw at and slap my hands to pieces, so I have been using leather gloves –is this ok?
Leather can be an attractive scent for many dogs. My thoughts, play “It’s yer choice” and redirect your dog(s) to an appropriate toy rather than playing with your hands.
My 18 mo old golden is an exuberant greeter. Jumps on people when she meets them. How would the ItsYerChoice game work in this scenario? We’ve started working on greetings from a distance and rewarding when we get a sit. Then moving closer as we have success. In a set up session, we eventually get success. But the next session we’re back to square one. If she decides to pull to get to them, she is strong as an ox.
My GR is same age and loves people. I am using IYC to build value for staying on his bed. Also value for sitting in front of people and waiting for a pat. working on my recall too. It’s all helping.I see it as a process, and I’m looking for progress not perfection. It stops me from getting dismayed. He is getting better. Doesn’t jump on people any more. Still bounces around them until he finally sits. If we give the cue to sit and reward, according to what I read in reinforcement we are reinforcing the bouncing and jumping so if he doesn’t sit we need to grab him by the collar and ask for sit but no treat for doing so. Its lots of learning for us. Feels like a crash course in Trigonometry at times but I think that’s because we want it all to happen quickly. Love to hear about your progress and what’s working for you.
Hi Margarita..can you tell me how you are using IYC for your recall training? I have a border collie who is pretty good u til a deer or other “running thing” gets in her field of interest (vision or scent), really need to work on this impulse control
I really love this game and teach it to everyone who will listen. Strangely that’s not all that many they just shout “leave it” and well I don’t know what happens then.
However I am struggling with my 2 yr old BC who has suddenly started barking madly at some strangers, people working at my house, odd cyclists we meet out walking, the time keepers on a course (elimination material) and people she knows my son, my domestic, the groundsmen at the training grounds for example. Any ideas on how to stop this please
Check out the Barkenstein Chronicles Susan has made available
Best training game ever invented that teaches both dogs and dog parents!
Love all the games we have worked on. My leash reactive springer has made great improvements and plays games with me when passing other dogs on walks we still have a long way to go.
I also have a leash reactive dog. I’ve wanted to use other rewards for looking at me when he sees his trigger – other dogs. Is that what you’re doing with playing games? He looks at the trigger, and you offer a game? Could you explain how you do this please?
Looking forward to new method training..
I recently took on an adolescent (9 months old) rescue Labrador. He had been loved and indulged but his previous owners sadly split up – when I started to take him out it became apparent that he had received no training or socialisation with other dogs or people at all. A lady in my village told me about your website and said it was brilliant for her as she is definitely not a forceful imposing lady and had been battling to control a rescue collie.
Her collie is fabulously well behaved now and I decided to give It’s Yer Choice a go – I’m absolutely delighted that I did. What a difference a few weeks make.
Thank you so much
What a fabulous note, Sara! Thank you for sharing, and for taking in a dog in need.
Keep the session short and fun. Try to cut down the amount of repetitions in the session and stop when the energy still is great 🙂
Loving IYC! My 7 year old was reasonably behaved but now she is really sharpening up. She is more attentive and really enjoying the games and rewards. We are both loving life together. Looking forward to more games and more fun!😀
I just have to say that my children have grown but I used Choices and consequences and it worked wonderful and was rather easy and fun on my part for sure! I am sure this will be as great a success for my pup.
We’ve played this game before, but not a lot, tonite I started with Charlie Bears then graduated to cheese, higher value, my female Doberman did awesomely after the first few whines, pawing, barking once or twice, then she sat, and looked at me, got treats. Love this!!!! She’s a super dog, this will make her even better!
My dog is a rescue,but we did lots obidience training,even do he was trained,but a cat or a bike still gets him.He is 10 now but your game has made a big differents to him and me and he made choises already bevor that but i did not see it.Thanks for opening my eyes.Thanks Susan!🐾👍
Susan, I love IYC! Watching the wheels turn as a dog discovers how to make things work for them is priceless. It’s the single most fun thing I teach in my foundation classes and the most difficult because allowing the dog the freedom to make choices is a challenging concept for most people. I like to see the light go on for both the student and their dog!
I love it’s ‘Yer Choice” and have used it with my dog’s for impulse control. I’m a dog trainer and for dog’s that aren’t motivated by food, there aren’t very many, what do you suggest you do?
It look forward to start training my dog according to your games.
My dog Meya is a very happy and playful dog. I would like her to stay with me and be calm when we meet people and dogs. I also would like her to stop chasing our cat.
Great game, great program.
I went through it last year, enjoyed it and learned heaps.
Thank you Susan!
I’d like our rescue, Jack, to have a more solid recall and (this seems the more difficult point to me) reduce his anxiety related behaviours like running laps around the garden.
Start with this foundation game Karl, it is a great game for mental enrichment all while teaching Jack what earns his rewards and building value for game playing for you. This foundational layer although it will seem like a big leap will be the start to more games going forward.
My Aussie, Ide is great at agility, frisbee and swimming, but her recall is inconsistent. I really hope this program works for us. I did the first two lessons and she made good decisions. yea!
As with all of my children, 2 or 4 legged, not all choices make me a happy camper.
I’m still learning how to “roll with the flow” my dog chooses. This is more to teach me (I think) to work with him, not just dominate.
Thank you, Susan, for the help!!