May 18th, 2022
Effective dog training is often said to incorporate three Ds - distance, duration, and distraction. Distance and duration are more easily managed at home by leaving your dog in commands for longer periods of time and asking for commands from across the room or across the yard.
Distraction can be somewhat harder, especially if your dog is an only dog. Once you have mastered distraction on your normal walks and in your backyard, it will become routine and probably a little boring for both you and your dog. This is a great time to move training to a new location and incorporate distraction training in one of these settings.
Best Places for Dog Training Out of the House
Getting your dog out of the house to train offers many benefits. It teaches your dog that training and commands apply everywhere, not just at home. The distractions make your dog more in tune with you and resistant to wandering attention. It also offers a great chance for socialization by being around people, other animals, and new settings, not to play but to get more comfortable and build confidence.
All of this will set your dog up for excursions in the future. When picking out your locations for distraction training, different environments are key. You do not need there to be a lot of dogs or a lot of people, necessarily but you do need new sights and smells. Some of the top locations for this include:
- Outdoor Malls - Walking your dog around an outdoor mall offers training in a busy environment filled with people and cars where you can teach the right behavior on sidewalks. If you feel comfortable and stores allow it, you can also go into some stores.
- Home Improvement Stores - Host home improvement stores allowed dogs in. This is a great place to train around people and also offers enough space if you need more room for a training session on a hot or rainy day.
- Farmers Market - Dogs, people, and all the food smells at a farmers market offer the ultimate distraction training for your dog.
- Breweries - Many breweries will allow dogs indoors and almost every brewery lets dogs on the patio if there is one, giving you a great place to teach your dog to remain calm and still for longer periods of time while you also get to enjoy a drink.
When training in any of these places, be sure to check with business or organization that dogs are allowed and keep your dog on leash at all times. While you are distraction training, plan on visiting these places for training only rather than shopping yourself so that you can stay focused on your dog and help her work through training. Eventually she will feel comfortable and confident even in the most distracting environments and you will be able to trust she will be well behaved wherever you want to go.