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 By Pete Eromenok

Have you ever wondered why your well-behaved dog is not so well behaved when you take him places, or when someone comes over to visit? It’s because he is distracted and hasn’t been trained in that type of situation.

Dogs are place conscious animals.  For instance, if you were to teach your dog to only sit in the house, he might not sit on the first try if you were at the park. Or if you only trained your dog at a particular park it might not do so well if you went to a new park, unless you did a little training there first so that the dog understands what you want. Dogs require training at different sites with a variety of distractions before they become proficient with a command. These new sights and sounds excite a dog and cause the dog to focus on their new environment instead of you.

A key element when training a dog is to teach it to focus on the handler. When a dog is focused on the handler it becomes much more responsive. Treats are a good way to help a young dog learn and cause them to focus on you, however treats can turn into bribery or a business deal and is not very effective when the dog starts to mature.

There are certain exercises designed to teach a dog to keep an eye on the handler. These excercises are simple, yet too complex to write in a small article.   If you have a training routine it is a good idea to take the dog to different locations to further educate him.

ROAD TRIP!!!  Pet stores often welcome pets.   And if you’re going to get something for him anyway you might as well train him a little while you’re there.  You can walk him nicely through the isles at heel and make him sit every time you stop to look at something.

When you go to the vet, don’t let him storm the place.  Make him walk in like a gentleman and be calm until it’s his turn.

If you walk your dog regularly you might as well teach him how to walk on a loose leash. This will prevent rotor cup surgery down the road.

These are a few ways that you can make a big impact on the advancement of your dog’s training.  Take advantage of all the training situations you and your dog share.

If your dog doesn’t have much training and is unruly at home, you might want to get control of him in his own environment first. Remember; always start a new command or concept without distractions. Then you can take him to a youth soccer or baseball game, and let him watch while maintaining a down-stay. There are many things you can do that your dog will love, and these activities will further his obedience.

So practice first in his own environment then gradually move your training away from home as your dog improves. In the process your dog will become a better companion as he shares in more parts of your life.