I like your way better. I like letting them choose which way works best. And personally, I wouldn't advocate stopping walks while teaching the opposite of activity...(calm, impulse control) Teaching opposites by volleying back and forth is VERY effective in showing a dog the difference...that he can play and run and it is also rewarding to be calm and lie down. Take a walk, play, then come home and immediately work on mat training or other calming activities with guidance from the owner. Do that for a few minutes, then have him retrieve a toy...something somewhat active but not crazy wild. Then stop and do the relaxing technique on the mat. Teaching incompatible behaviors next to each other can be very effective in getting the message across I think and to prove to the dog that he can go from one to the other and it's rewarding.I just started mat training with Archie, too. He has no problem relaxing at home or in familiar places anymore, but anywhere else and he starts to get really overstimulated, and then he's either pulling in every direction or whining because he can't get to things. I'm hoping if I capture calmness on one particular mat (I found a portable one that folds up into a carrying bag), then I can take that around with me and he'll be able to settle on it when he goes other places. Then he can slowly learn to settle without it. Hopefully.
I'm using pretty much the same technique that's linked in the article, except I haven't been using a leash - he just gets a click/treat for choosing to go to the mat, and nothing if he ignores it. They had really good tips for getting him to actually relax there, though - right now he goes into super-intense "how do I get the treat" mode, so that's the next step in our shaping.
It's interesting that this person says you should STOP going on walks while you work on calm/impulse control, though, instead of doing both.
I agree, make this a sticky. If one follows the various links in the article there is so much valuable information. I have passed this on to several people. The only problem seems to be that quite a few owner/trainers do not have the patience to do this with their dogs.Super informative, funny title! Make it a sticky!