Why is it important to add distraction into your dogs training?
Distractions are a part of real life, so if you want your dog to listen with distraction you must practice with it. We use simple math and the three D’s of doggy impulse control to make sure we have BOMB PROOF cues that your dog will really understand!
What are the 3 D’S of impulse control you ask?
1. Distance: How far can you get away from your dog and have him still stay? If you’re working on teaching come you can ask your dog how far away can you be and still successful perform come?
2.Duration: How long can your ask your dog to stay? One second? One minute? Ten minutes…. yes its possible….
If you’re working on eye contact such as the focus cue you can ask your dog how long can you hold eye contact.
3.Distraction: Can my dog stay if I accidently drop a treat? What if a dog walks bye? What if a person walks up?
What does impulse control have to do with distraction proofing?
Everything! If your dog doesn’t have self control he definitely won’t be able to perform with distractions present. When a dog chooses to stay when a ball is being thrown that is because he has learned the art of self discipline or doggie impulse control.
Introduction to the concept of distractions
Let’s think of distractions as a ladder with each rung being a different distraction.
The harder the distraction the higher the rung is on the ladder. It wouldn’t be fair to expect somebody to be able to LEAP to 10th rung, right?
Unfortunately, that is the expectation that many pet owners have for their dogs.
Strategically adding distractions
Having a plan in training goes a great way and making sure it’s a smooth successful process.
Try this exercise:
With a pen and a paper make a list of everything that distracts your dog.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Person riding a bike
Dog barking far away
Dog walking by
Food laying on the floor
Leaf blowing bye
Person asking to pet your dog
Once your list is complete write a 1, 2 or 3 next to the distraction based on how difficult of a distraction you think it is for your dog.
One being the least distracting and 3 being the most
Using your list
Spend several training sessions practicing your training with distraction level 1’s present. Try to do lots of repetitions with lots of different level 1 distractions. Then move on to level 2 and level 3.
Doing the math
If you are practicing with a level one destruction present and a level three distraction pops up then you’re actually practicing with a level 4. It’s a good idea to move on to level 4 or even higher once your dog has mastered level 3.
If you find yourself getting frustrated or you feel that your dog is tracking out or ignoring you go back to the previous level of distraction until your dog can be successful again.