Nothing beats a long walk with your four-legged friend on sun bath, sandy beach. Or seeing the joy on their faces as they pick up the ball and they know it is play time in the local park. Even hanging out on the couch at home feels great on each other company. It is true that a dog is a man’s best friend -they are loyal, intelligent, devoted and affectionate- and are known to improve our physical and mental health. But then you look at your dog and recall the memory you had with your dog, you were at the park chasing him all day long and you came back home look like a mess and your mud-covered dog giving you the smile of joy. You ask yourself if there is still hope to play with him outside without all the fuss or maybe you forget how to take care of dog at home. Here, we will focus on ho to make a dog listen and obey to you outside.
There are 3 main factors to make your dog listen and obey you, when you take him outside the house.
Every pet owner dreams about their dogs whose listen and obey to all commands. A kind of dog that -loyal, devoted, lively and less trouble maker- kind of dog. But when it comes to taking your dog outside the house, a house-trained dog shows a completely different behavior. Chasing the squirrels, flirting with another dogs, get into fight with your friend`s dog, and they are not listening to you at all. This because house environments is less distracting than outside world. To deal with distractions, we train him to get used to it, not to get rid of it. Here is how to deal with distraction :
- Start small. t train your dog to respond reliably to your commands despite distractions, start small. Make a list of potential distraction for your dog and rank them on 1-10 scale. Let 1 be an easy distraction and 10 a very serious distraction. If your dog is unable to respond in easy distraction, then lower the distraction level. This procedure is called desensitization.
- Gradually increase the presence of distraction as dogs grow comfortable at each successive level of exposure. For example, when your dog comfortable with distraction around the house, start to bring him to the park on-leash at off-peak time but with higher level exposure of distractions.
- Once he get use to ignore distraction at the park, try to train him off-leash and repeat the same steps as before. There will be 80% chance that he would listen and obey to your command outside the house.
- As your dog start exploring the park off-leash. Train to call him when he is near a distraction source. Increase the distance from the distraction source, if he just partially listening to you. And decrease the distance over time as he comfortable with current level. If your dog have problems about aggression towards people, learn how to deal with it first before someone get hurt.
- Playing your way past distraction is a good thing to try. A lot of dog finds play to be higher value than food rewards. Playing your way past distraction make your training much easier. This situation makes your dog feel better ignoring distractions and be comfortable with it.
Focus on me
When someone you like is around, usually you do anything to get their attention in so many ways. Same goes with getting attention from your dog to make him listen to you and focusing his mind just to listen on your cue. To do his, you need to :
- Have a positive reinforcement. Research shows that a dog learns more quickly and effectively when they are rewarded for good behaviors and not punished for bad ones. There are misconceptions about positive reinforcement that some say it is just treat-training. Food is not the only way to reward your dog for good behaviors. Rewards could be anything that a dog enjoys, include toys, going to the dog park, riding in the car etc and you can learn more on how to keep your dog happy playing indoors. Once the dog catching a new behavior, start randomizing your reward because this will encourage him to continue desirable behavior and not knowing what kinds of reward to come.
- Do not call your dog to come for a punishment of their bad behavior. Dogs would think twice if you ever call him and spank him before. This apply when you train him outside, because dogs will thinks that there will be something unpleasant when it get there. If you are in the situation where you need to correct your dog behavior, come and get her. Do not make him come to you, come command should mean joy, love, hugs, and treats, never punishment.
- Whenever you feed them, make sure he learns that the food comes from you and it is not magical refilling bowl. This will assure him that you are the food source and you are the one worth listening to.
Your dog is part of your family and a family is where your hearts stay and feel safe. How could you assume that your dog is a part of family when he feels so alienated and broken inside unless he is a stray dog that you just found and you don`t know how to foster a stray adult dog. Being together with you should be fun, joy, laughter and happy memories. Your dog is not a circus member that lives to entertain you. Treat them like a family would take care of each other, protect each other. Love him unconditionally and when you get his trusts, he would do anything for you. Even if it means leaving his favorite toys, not to say you need to make him learn commands first. Read also How to Make a Puppy to Listen When They Won`t
Trained dog is no a robot that 100% listen and obey like they programmed to. Dogs need privacy time, some me time. He needs to learn how to be a dog too, and there are biological needs that they demand. I can say that if you can follow the guide, there is high chance for you to have your dog listen and obey your command outside the house.