Angel Dogs BBB Business Review

Working with Dogs that Become Distracted

Imagine walking in your neighborhood and it is a beautiful day the wind is blowing slightly. A car goes by the noise distracts you. You walk a little farther, you smell beef barbecuing and it makes your mouth water. You hear children in the distance laughing and calling to one another. All of these noises, smells, sights and touches are distractions. The same is true for our dogs or puppies. They are distracted by smells, sights, sounds or the touch sensations. The reactions are not much different then ours. Dogs may sniff at the different smells. Bark at something they may want to warn you about, or turn to look at something. The only time this may seem to bother us is if they pull us by the leash, bark too loudly, or cause us to become impatient. How do you work with a distraction that may be causing your dog to over react? One of the rules is to go the opposite direction of the distraction but this can ruin your walk if you are constantly going the opposite direction. Here is a list of dog training suggestions we at “Angel Dogs” put together to help you learn how to work with distractions.

How to Diminish Puppy or Dog Distractions:

  • Decide which distraction you will want to work on, for example; bouncing balls, children playing in the yards, a dog approaching in the distance, etc
  •  Let say you want to work on a dog approaching. You need a partner who will have a neutral dog on leash sitting in the distance
  •  First you need to see how close you can come to the neutral dog before your dog starts to react this is referred to as the safety zone, the distance between the dog and the distraction where you have control
  •  Then you begin to work your dog in that safety zone with basic obedience
  •  When you feel comfortable in that safety zone then you may decide to go closer
  •  Continue with the basic obedience heel, sit, stay, down and come
  •  Keep working your dog until you can get closer and closer to the neutral dog this may take a few days do not rush or overwhelm the dog
  •  When your dog can behave at all distances around the neutral dog have that dog start walking with its handler if needed begin in the distance
  •  Your goal is to pass each others while the dog is in a calm state
  •  As your dog becomes proficient with this skill add a second dog than a third keep repeating the training schedule as needed

Different dog training aides you may use to keep your dog’s attention on you:

  • Your voice is a great tool to keep your dog’s attention
  •  A squeaking noise you can make with a dog toy
  •  dog treats, clicker or a lure
  •  a slight collar corrections with the verbal command “leave it”
  •  basic obedience commands
  •  Remember to work on distractions daily in order to keep your skills at hand and to condition your dog
  •  Treat your dog or reward your dog is some fashion when he or she is demonstrating good behavior or manners
  •  Have fun during your dog training session and make it fun for your dog they will learn faster and look forward to training sessions

About Eileen Tonick

Angel Dogs, provides dog training, puppy training, dog agility training, dog obedience training and therapy dog training throughout the Phoenix, Arizona Metro Area.
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