Training your dog around distractions is one of the most important things you can do to ensure a well-behaved and obedient pup!
Dogs are naturally curious creatures, and they can easily become distracted by new sights, sounds, and smells. Without regular training in NEW environments, your dog will likely struggle to focus on your commands and may even become anxious or reactive in new environments – which ultimately causes YOU frustration (and your dog too).
When your dog is comfortable and relaxed around new sights and sounds, they are more likely to be friendly and outgoing with other dogs and people.
If you want to ensure that your dog is well-behaved and confident in any situation, you MUST train around distractions. This is especially important for social dogs who who accompany their owners to public places like parks, restaurants, or shopping centers and even the beach.
Here’s our 5 top tips for training your dog around distractions:
- Start with low-level distractions and gradually increase difficulty: Begin training in a quiet and familiar environment (like inside your house!) and gradually add more distractions as your dog becomes more comfortable and confident.
- Use positive reinforcement: Reward your dog for good behavior with treats, praise, and playtime. This will help them associate positive experiences with training and encourage them to stay focused. If you find that you’re having to tell your dog NO or feel tempted to use punishment, that’s a pretty good indicator that you’re rushing the process and haven’t properly set up your dog for sucess.
- Be patient and consistent: Training your dog to complete reliability around distractions can take months. Consistency is key, so make sure to practice regularly.
- Use the right tools for the job: When training in public places, you MUST use a leash or long-line to keep your dog safe and under control. This will also ensure you can redirect their attention back to you they become distracted. We recommend the use of a head collar for dogs that get super distracted by things on the ground or pull super-hard to get to other dogs.
- Practice in different environments: To help your dog generalize their training, practice in different environments with varying levels of distractions. This will help them learn to focus on you no matter where they are!
But what if you don’t have the time, or skill, required to train your dog around distractions? That’s where we come in! Although we can help you through any/all of our programs, our day school program teaches dogs to stay focused on you no matter what is going on around them. Day school combines learning with lots of off-leash play time with other social and well behaved dogs.
: Tarzan, a Border Collie Mix who is enrolled in our day school program.
*Reducing barking when others suddenly appear from a doorway
Need help with your dog or puppy in Miami, Fort Lauderdale or the Florida Keys? We train dogs and puppies all ages, all breeds, all behavior problems. We have certified professional dog trainers as well as credentialed behavior professionals on our staff to help you and your dog. We are AKC evaluators and active dog sport enthusiasts with our own dogs! Call us today 786-529-7833, find us on facebook or message us on Instagram @ApplauseYourPaws @AYPBroward.