When training your dog there are three important components that you need to keep in mind when practicing to ensure your dog can still perform the task regardless of it’s surroundings. Those components are called the 3 D’s of training.
So what are the 3 D’s?
1. Duration dog training tips
2. Distance dog training tips
3. Distraction dog training tips
Duration – We always start with duration as the first of the D’s to practice. For example, this means that your dog should be able to hold a sit with you right beside him for a good amount of time before you add distance or distractions. A good test to gage whether your dog is ready to move on to the next D is asking for a sit or down, and he needs to be able to hold the sit or down for 2 minutes without needing to be corrected while you stand right beside him. If he can handle that, then you can move on to the next D!
Distance – Once duration has been established, you can move on to practicing distance. This is where you would ask your dog to sit or down, and then walk away from him. Start slow with only a few feet between you and your dog, while working your way back up to 2 minutes like you did with duration. You will gradually increase the distance and duration as you practice more.
Distraction – Having a dog who sits when you ask him to in your house with little to no distractions is great, but what happens when you go outside and there are sights and smells that interest him? This is where you want to continue to practice the above two D’s while gradually increasing the distractions. Start with low level distractions, so as not to set the bar too high and out of reach. As your dog begins to be able to handle low level distractions you can increase the level of distraction to something that would normally really excite him.
If you practice all of your commands keeping the 3 D’s in mind, you will have a dog who listens no matter where he is and not matter what is going on around him! Remember to be patient and if he makes a mistake fix it and learn from it.