There is one thing we’ve found when taking Logan for walks, and at obedience school there are always other dog owners saying similar things.
“My dog sits and drops perfectly at home but when I come to school he won’t do it.”
“My dog ignores other dogs at school, but when on the street she goes crazy whenever another dog comes close.”
It sounds like a great excuse doesn’t it But it is a big problem when trying to train a dog. One reason for this could be the level of distractions in the area. Training your dog to heel in your backyard can be completely different than at school, and different again for walking on the street. A good way to help this is to progressively expose the dog to more and more distractions during training.
In the home
Work in your own backyard, with minimal distractions.
Work in your front yard, or driveway. This will expose the dog to some small distractions, such as cars or people walking past, but should leave enough distance for your dog to be able to focus.
On the street
Work on the side of a street, somewhere the dog has been before. Perhaps take the dog for a walk and stop every now and then to do some training. This will expose your dog to more distractions, at a slightly closer distance.
A field or oval
Work on an oval or in a park, preferably with people and maybe some other dogs in the area.
A dog park
Work in a dog park. This is clearly going to be one of the highest level of distraction possible for your dog.
We’re on the third step at the moment, working on the street during walks. Seems to be working pretty well. Tayla will be starting training soon, which means starting right back at step 1 😛