It happens so often that parents are baffled by inconsistency in their dog's behaviour.
"They NEVER do this at home!"
"But they know what I'm asking them to do!"
"They do it perfectly for me when..." The truth is, just because your dog can do something perfectly at home with you with treats on hand to lure into position, does not mean that this behaviour translates instantly to every scenario and environment thenceforth. As soon as an environment changes, someone new enters, a dog appears and so on, the behaviour must be practiced from the ground up.
We aren't simply learning to "heel" or "recall", we are learning to heel past cars, along the pavement, through the field, around other dogs, and to recall in the garden, down the stairs, across the park, for dinner, to go back on lead, away from play time...
Generalising the Behaviour A behaviour must be generalised in this way in order for it to be reliable in every circumstance. We mustn't get complacent following a good performance at home without distraction, as this will rarely translate to high stimulation environments without consistent practice and repetition.
Practicing behaviours in different scenarios takes time and often a lot of patience. You want to work in stages, increasing distraction (or decreasing distance to distraction) slowly and in small increments. Jumping ahead too soon (ie from the living room to the park on a Saturday afternoon) will make progress very difficult and training very trying!
Set yourself and your pup up for success by breaking their training into smaller stages, to cover much more ground in the long run.
Contact K9 Anytime's Head Trainer Claire Corley today for advice and training on working around, with, not against, distractions.