Due to COVID restrictions, training will mainly be outside. Thank you for your understanding.
out and about strategies

Photo credit: Devon dogs

Out and About Strategies for Naughty But Nice Dogs 

Knowledge gives you confidence. We all know that, right?! When out and about with your dog, do you have the confidence to know what to do when a tricky situation presents itself? Do you know what to do to help your dog? We want to share our 4 top tips with you.

Tip 1: A-B

  • When presented with a situation that you know will either worry or over-excite your dog, keep moving!!! It is very common, when presented with such a situation for us to freeze! Keeping the motion is key.
  • The motion could be to turn around, arch around, make space by crossing the street, etc. 
  • Calmness is key, so your motion needs to emulate that, don’t rush, walk calmly.
  • On our Naughty But Nice Days one of the many skills we cover is A-B. We highly recommend that you practice sliding your hand down your dog’s lead and performing your A-B strategy so that it becomes a trained skill and when its needed in real life, your dog isn’t surprised or freaked out. 

Tip 2: Scatter Feed

One of our favourite strategies! Scatter feeding helps to grow calm. We certainly utilise this as part of ditching the bowl and our dogs enjoy foraging for their dinner!

We also use scatter feeding as a strategy when out and about, where appropriate. In the right environment, take yourself and your dog away from a situation and build some distance, this will likely mean taking yourself off the path. 

Calmly scattering some food on the ground gives your dog another focus, they are calmly foraging for the food, while whatever it is that worries them or over-excites them goes passed. Your dog doesn’t always have to be aware of things that are going by.

Tip 3: Teach MIDDLE!

  1. Middle is a phenomenal, universal skill to teach your dog. It builds value in proximity, focus, recall and it can be a useful tool to use when your dog is in a situation that is overwhelming for them 
  2. By calling your dog into middle, you have given your dog the opportunity to get out of a situation and come into a safe zone.
  3. To learn how to teach middle, click this link for the free Games-Changer eBook from Absolute Dogs.  http://nbn.absolute-dogs.com/gamechangerebook

Tip 4: Figure of 8 walking

If you’re finding that your dog’s arousal levels are increasing when out on a walk, one strategy you can employ to help is figure of 8 walking. It’s most definitely a key strategy, but just why is it so useful and why do we love it so much:

  • It helps to reduce that arousal
  • You can do it anywhere and anytime that it is needed
  • Its calming for YOU and your dog

Keys to success:

  • Is your dog wearing the right gear? We love to use a double ended lead attached to either a head collar and harness or clipped onto the front and back of an Xtra Dog Harness.
  • Decide which side your dog is on, don’t let him swap, chop or change sides.
  • Keep the lead loose but short enough that your dog doesn’t get away from you. Try to use your body to manoeuvre your dog around in your figure of 8 pattern, rather than relying on the lead.
  • Slow down! Walk as slow as you can possibly go….and then slow down some more!

Own a Naughty But Nice dog? We can help! Call the Devon Dogs Office on 07717 696623 or email contact@devondogs.co.uk For more information and expert help from our trainers, check out our dog training packages HERE. Or you can also head over to the Devon Dogs EVENTS page.

Read more of our handy Thursday training blogs HERE.

Do you have a training issue you want to tackle? Come and stay with us in our cottage style apartments, right in the heart of Dartmoor, and make the most of our fantastic training facilities onsite.


Spread the word. Share this post!