Colorado is incredibly dog friendly. We have the luxury of having hundreds of dog friendly patios, hiking spaces, and parks at our disposal. Dogs can be seen basically everywhere we go, and that is part of what makes Denver such a cool place to visit. However, if your dog isn’t properly prepared for that level of distraction, things can get challenging quickly.
When your dog encounters a distraction – another dog, a human, an animal, or a novelty, what is their visceral reaction?
If your dog checks in with you, even a momentary glance, as if to say, “do you see THAT?” Congratulations. You have a good relationship with your dog. Your dog has regard for your opinion, and your leadership. At Dog Dynamix, our goal is to create dogs that are happy and obedient; they can see a distraction (like another dog) and check it out casually, but move on with their day. THIS type of dog is very easy to take with us on our Colorado dog adventures, because they have learned to be neutral under distraction. Dogs don’t have to necessarily enjoy interacting with other dogs or people to be neutral. We can teach it to them strategically through solid obedience training and avoiding things like on-leash greetings so they learn that those distractions are just that… distractions.
If your dog immediately tries to engage, or barks, lunges, whines or in any way tries to leave you….. You need to work on your relationship with your dog. Your dog may find more value in other dogs or people than they do you when out in public, or they don’t have any obedience training. Perhaps they do not trust your leadership; or maybe they don’t trust your ability to read a threat. They may not believe you will protect them. They don’t know how to regulate their impulses, because maybe, you have actually rewarded that behavior unknowingly by allowing them to run up to those distractions in the past, have allowed too much freedom without teaching solid training skills, or you just haven’t had the right guidance in dog ownership. Some form of respect and regard is missing.
You can fix it! You are always training your dog, whether you are making a conscious effort to do so, or not. By teaching our dogs what we expect of them both in the house and out in public where the world can be less predictable, we set them up for success in the “real world”. Training your dog properly isn’t just about having skills to show off, it’s about being able to help your dog navigate a truly unnatural world. If your dog cannot walk on a loose leash, come when called (even when something interesting is happening), wait at the door to go outside, or go to their bed and stay there, your dog would really benefit from training.
Dog Dynamix offers doggie day school for dogs that need fine-tuning and proper socialization in the Denver area. Just three days a week in “Camp” can really make a huge difference in your dogs ability to cope around distractions, and give them the skills needed to get your relationship back on track. Let us help you reach that untapped potential in your dog!