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Teaching dogs to cooperate with us on leash in distractions takes time, patience, and small steps. Walking down a city street or a quiet street comfortably with your dog takes a few steps.
In Week 1 with Luna, we started this process inside in our our dog room. The environment (outside in this case) makes it a lot more distracting. Of course her friends playing inside and outside start the distractions. When we were starting heel training with Luna, her daycare friends were mainly asleep or in a down. So the other distraction in this video, is her friends playing of course.
The video to the left is week 2. We also took Luna down the dirt roads on week 2 as well. Flags and people with phones talking in their own yards were enough of a distraction on week 2.
Equipment: 15' long line
Tennis ball (easier for puppies) OR other favorite toy
STEP 1: Have your puppy near you on the long line. You can have the line short at this point to keep them near you.
STEP 2: Throw the ball as you say "get it".
STEP 3: (Super important for the bringing back) Wait until your puppy latches onto the ball before saying "let's go". DO NOT say "good boy" or "let's go" until they have a grip on the ball.
NOTE: If they don't go after the ball, first make sure you have not picked out a time the puppy is tired or has already trained enough. Remember you want to do this when the puppy is fresh and ready to go. If they are, but something has just distracted them or inhibited them, go towards the ball yourself with the puppy. They will normally go and grip it after this.
Author, Robin Rubin
Owner and Head Dog Trainer in Maine, Robin Katherine Rubin, started her Maine dog training business in September 2004. Our dog training facility is located in Southern Maine in York Beach and we help families enjoy their dogs more, making sure they listen reliably and resolving unwanted behaviors.