Distraction Duration and Distance




Once you have taught your dog a behaviour you will want to make sure that you continue to scale up the difficulty over time if you want your dog to be able to reliably offer behaviour or respond to cues in any situation.

There are 3 areas you can focus on – distraction, duration and distance.

To set your dog up for success it is important to only increase the difficulty in one of these areas at a time.

Practice getting your dog to do behaviours they know well as people or dogs walk by, vehicles drive past or other distractions are present in the environment. Keep an eye on your dog’s body language and if you notice them getting worried or excited, increase your distance from the distractions.

You can also work on building up your dog’s ability to remain in a chosen position for a longer duration. Initially this might be a few seconds but you can gradually increase the duration so that your dog is able to settle on a blanket throughout family mealtime, or sit at a busy crossroads until it is safe to cross.

Distance is the final parameter and can relate to how far away you move from your dog while they remain in position, or how far away you are from your dog when you cue them. In both cases build up in small increments so that your dog is successful.

As always take things at your dogs pace, keep sessions short and have fun.

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