How does your garden grow?
What is your dog getting up to when they are in the garden? Do they casually sniff, go to the toilet and calmly mooch around or do they cause chaos and go bananas, digging up the flower beds, barking etc?
All dogs are different, but was is common for all is; dogs will always do what they have always done. So, if you don’t think a particular behaviour that your dog is doing in the garden is appropriate the first port of call is to manage the situation. Supervise them, pop them on a long line, limit their time out in the garden and this might be to the extent that for now the garden is only for toilet breaks.
Training is part of solving the struggle, absolutely, but managing your dog’s choices also plays a massive part in turning struggles around.
Take the Game Outside
If you would like more calmness from your dog out in the garden, rehearse the room! Rehearse the room means actively thinking about what choices you would like your dog to make in that space and coming up with a training plan so those choices become something your dog offers automatically….it becomes something they just do!
If your dog goes gaga outside, take your calmness games and apply them to the garden. We very much understand that we need to train and play games appropriate to inside the house and we understand the importance of growing calmness inside the house, but all too often the garden is forgotten! Think of your garden as just another room. Some examples of calmness games and activities you can apply to your garden are:
- Scatter Feeding
- Boundary Games
- Calm Massage
- Enjoying a long lasting chew or Kong
- Slow Feeding
Picture this scenario; you are in a bit of a rush, you are just about to head off to work, and before you do, you let your dog out to the garden to go to the toilet. However, your dog has other ideas, and finds everything in the garden too amusing and too distracting to think about relieving themselves! Sounds like a struggle you sometimes have? Frustrating, right?! Dogs have got to be calm and in the right headspace to think about going to the toilet….but there is one thing that will help. Putting going to the toilet on cue. Here’s how…
Catch your dog in the act
As they are going say a verbal cue – we use “hurry, hurry.” Then mark and reward once they are done.
Over time your dog will pair your verbal cue with the act of going to the toilet, the ultimate result being that they will react to your verbal cue and go to the toilet when you say it. This is called capturing in dog training terms.
This will not only help with those times where you are in a bit of a rush, but it’ll also help if your dog is rather fussy about bathroom location or going to the toilet on lead.
Do you need help with a training struggle?
Visit our website for more info on ways we can help: www.devondogs.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions. If you’d like to combine a holiday with dog training, check out our training packages HERE. Check out more of our Thursday training tips HERE.