Does your dog have a split personality?

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Does your dog have a split personality?  Perfect indoor manners and they all go out the door when he goes out the door?  This is very common, but can be helped with training, consistency, and patience.  Since your dog has great indoor manners, use that to your advantage and practice those things all over the house until they are totally without fail.  Pay the most attention to training exercises that bring and keep your dogs’ focus on you.  There will naturally be more distractions outside than inside – and that’s where your practice will pay off.  Try going in the back yard, or a quiet part off the street to start your outside training.  Do the same training outside that you were doing inside – note that if you are using treats, you may need to up the ante to a more desirable treat at first.  If there are too many distractions outside and you can’t get or keep your dogs attention, take it back indoors and up the distractions indoors.  You can use radio, TV, people walking by, storms, have friends or family stop by.  When your dog can obey commands with these distractions indoors, try outdoors again.  Remember that it is important to have clear and concise communication with your dog to make sure he really does know what you are asking him to do.  For example if you tell him in the house to get “down” from the couch (which should really be “off”), he will be confused when you are outside and ask him to “down”).Try using verbal and hand signals.  Together they will help you be more clear about what you want, and your dog will get the idea much quicker.

Terry Meeks is a dog trainer, APDT Member an CGC Evaluator in Pinellas County, Florida.  Find Four on the Floor Dog Training at and on Facebook.

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