Good Dog Blog

5 Simple Tips for Getting Your Dog to Behave in Public

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Getting your dog to behave in public can be frustrating especially if you have a high energy dog or if he/she is a young dog or puppy.

Many places we may want to take our dogs are so much more exciting from the dog’s perspective. Take Petsmart for example. Petsmart is pretty exciting from a dog’s point of view (the smell of food, treats, other dogs, happy, friendly people that say hello in a high pitched excited voice while offering treats etc). Get the picture?

To help your dog learn how to remain calm and attentive in these types of environments here are some simple tips to help you create a calmer more focused dog, which is the beginning of getting your dog to behave in public.

  1. Burn off extra energy by taking him for a good walk just prior to an outing likePetsmart. He’ll be calmer to start which is setting him and you up for success.  Also make sure to have your dog go potty just before taking them in the store.
  2. When going to new exciting places, plan to only stay for 10-15 minutes (it’s all about your dog). Think of it as a training session. Don’t plan on doing things where you have to take your focus off your dog (shop, sign papers etc), that comes later once your dog knows how to behave in stimulating environments. If you have to do those things leave him home for now.
  3. All the same rules apply on outings as they do at home-When you get him out of the car in the parking lot take a few minutes to “get his mind right”.  Walk him around the parking lot just as if you were in your neighborhood, don’t allow leash pulling, turn and go in the opposite direction if he starts to move ahead of you etc.  It may take you a few minutes to even make it into the store. Be patient as your dog learns the rules apply here.

Food is a great initial motivator for most dogs. It can help jump start your training and you can phase it out as your dog becomes better trained.

4. Bring some tasty treats with you to help get and keep his focus on you! You might need to bring something like little bits of hot dog (really) or chicken. These have a higher value than regular treats and work well where the environment is on a higher level of stimulation or distraction. Whatever treat you have  has to be MORE interesting/exciting than the distraction or environment he is currently in. Keep your dog close and avoid over stimulation.

5. Lastly, don’t bring your other dog(s) with you on these training sessions. Even if you have a friend or spouse with you, leave your other dog(s) at home so you can focus on the dog/puppy you are training. It’s one less distraction for both of you in the process of getting your dog to behave in public.

Using these 5 simple tips you will be setting your dog (and yourself) up for success which will speed up the learning process.

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