Does your dog get distracted when you out and about?
A common complaint among those who request dog training is that their dog will have a high level of engagement when inside their own house. However, as soon as they go somewhere a bit more distracting their obedience falls apart and they struggle with a distracted dog which will often not even respond to its own name.
Whilst commonplace, this problem indicates the need for a stronger relationship between you and your dog, as a dog’s obedience to its owner is built on the premise of a sold relationship between the two. A distracted dog can easily become engaged when the right engagement methods are used.
To establish a concrete relationship with your dog, I have come up with the below four tips to try:
1. Play with your dog – It sounds simple, but as with many of life’s enjoyments – you would be surprised at how many of us take the time to do this. Some popular choices for play with your dog include; tug of war, food chasing and fetch games.
Tip: Remember The more fun your having, the more your dog values you, hence, the more likely they are to focus on you in highly distracting environments such as the beach.
2. Temporarily feed your dog their meals from your hand – whilst this practice may seem odd at first, it will ensure your dog associates you as the provider of food, similar to their mum in the litter.
3. Stop taking your dog to the dog park – Unfortunately, if your dog struggles to concentrate on you when around other dogs – the dog park is probably not the place you should be taking them! At dog parks, dogs are encouraged to view other dogs as being more ‘fun’ than their owner. In order to shift their focus, we need to teach our dogs that we are the most rewarding thing to them.
4. Have a clear communication system – Clarity is very important in dog training. In order for any relationship to be successful, you have to communicate properly. Make sure you are clear in your communication with your dog, for example, if you are using one command such as ‘drop’ to signal to your dog you want them to either drop to the floor or drop their toy from their mouth, you are likely creating reinforcing a messy system of communication between you and your dog.
Taking the time to introduce the following relationship strengthening methods between you and your dog will ensure they value you above all else and engage with you in even the most distracted dog.
To assist in further strengthening the relationship between you and your dog, check out our training packages