Please Read These are VERY IMPORTANT points about the chart above and helpful points about your training.
If you want your dog to do ANY of the behaviors we learn in class, even pay attention to you, you MUST train it in EVERY environment you want that to occur in. And you must do that very hard very often but not so hard that you or your dog gets sick of it. If your dog stops responding, you have trained too long. There is no shortcut to good training and if you don’t put the time in training will not work like you want it to. If you only train the behaviors we learn in class (sit, down, stand, stay, come, watch me, leave it, etc.) at class or in your living room, they will not be likely to do it well in other environments (outside on the walk for example). You have to train each behavior HARDCORE in each environment in sequential levels of difficulty for your dog. Always set your dogs up for success- make it easy! Don’t go ahead too fast or you and your dog will be frustrated. Be sure the dog can do each behavior correctly in each environment before going on to the next- or at least do not expect good performance at any harder level. The key is you MUST train and master the behaviors in a low distraction area FIRST. Then you must move to areas of slightly higher and higher distraction GRADUALLY, allowing for greater and greater levels of distraction. Also each dog varies on what is more distracting. For example some dogs find people more distracting while others find cars going by more distracting. My dogs would be distracted more by cars than when walking with me alone, and would be even more distracted by chipmunks, and equally to chipmunks or sometimes more distracting, is other dogs. But that does vary a little. My dog Zia would be more distracted by people and other dogs, and my dog Stitch might be more distracted by chipmunks. WRITE DOWN A LIST OF THINGS YOUR DOG IS DISTRACTED BY, IN ORDER. Imagine each of these scenarios as a different “level” of distraction. USE THAT TO TRAIN each level of distraction, in order. Here are a typical dog’s distractions levels in order of difficulty. If you really don’t know where your dog is on distraction levels, you can use this chart to help you train. Use your dog’s level of distraction to train each behavior in order. Look over each of these behaviors and what is written closely (especially “come” and “stay.” It is important for you to make your own chart, depending on your own dog. It will only take a few minutes but will be critical to training and last for the rest of the life of your dog! You can adjust it as time goes on.