It’s fairly common to hear dog owners complain that their pup listens at home but not when they’re away from home or they might claim that their dog is stubborn, strong-willed or just plain dumb because he doesn’t always listen or follow commands. They say their dog has selective hearing.
Can you relate to any of these scenarios?
Yep, just when you’re feeling proud and confident with your dog’s training or obedience skills, one of these things happens and you feel like you have an out-of-control dog that won’t listen at all. It can be both embarrassing and frustrating. With Haley being a somewhat excitable dog, I can relate to all three of these scenarios, and maybe a few more.
You may think your dog has selective hearing but here’s what’s really happening. You’ve probably done a great job of training your pup when you’re at home and your dog listens well in most cases but then you stopped instead of moving on to the next phase which is training for the three D’s: distance, duration and distractions.
Once your dog listens and follows commands well at home in a calm and quiet environment, most of us ease up on the training and assume most of the work is done. But dogs also need to be trained for those same commands when you’re not standing right beside them or when there’s something interesting competing for their attention. If you make the effort to work on the three D’s, you’ll have a fully trained dog that will listen well in all types of circumstances and environments and that makes life with your dog a heck of a lot easier. Here’s how you can work on the three D’s of dog training.
DistanceSlowly work to increase the physical distance between you and your dog when giving a command. Here are some examples:
DurationGradually increase how long your dog should stay in a command or position. Try these exercises:
DistractionsWork with your dog around low-level distractions, then slowly increase the level of distractions as your pup learns to listen and follow commands even though something interesting or exciting is nearby. Start with these examples:
These are just a few examples of how you can train for the three D’s but you’ll want to customize your training for whatever issues your pup might need to work on. Training for distance, duration and distractions isn’t hard, it’s just that most of us don’t really think about it until we’re in one of those situations I mentioned earlier. Here are some helpful tips as you get started on the three D’s.
10 Tips for Training the Three D’s
It’s wonderful if your dog listens to you while at home, but it’s even better if you can take him anywhere and know that he’ll listen and be well behaved in any environment. If you think your dog has selective hearing, maybe a little work on the three D’s is all he needs. Haley’s pretty good at distance and duration, but she needs some work with distractions. Yes, it seems there’s always something to be worked on when it comes to dog training.
Have you trained your dog for distance, duration and distractions? Share your tips with us!