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Ask the Trainer with Casey Ray

QuestionMy dog will listen to almost any other command I give, save for one: “Come.” She’s great in the backyard, but if she gets out in front, where it is more dangerous, she pretty much ignores me. I am a firm believer in positive reinforcement, so what would be the best techniques to fix this?

AnswerFirst off, I would reinforce that discipline can be anywhere at anytime by doing some obedience training in the front yard. A training workout where your dog is having issues can work wonders. I always tell clients to train in as many different places as possible. Going to the vet? Go 10 minutes early, and run through your commands in the parking lot. Why? Because you’re reinforcing that obedience is a way of life. Secondly, if she’s bolting out the front door, this could be the result of a lack of exercise. A dog will find an outlet for his or her energy if we do not, and it can come in many forms, i.e. digging, chewing, bolting, and aggression. And lastly, this could be a simple case of not taking a dog far enough in training to reach a proofing stage. The front yard represents more distractions and more temptations. Dogs need to be taught to listen under those circumstances. Be sure to distraction-proof your dog!

About the Trainer:

Casey RayA National K9 School for Dog Trainers grad, Casey Ray prides himself and his staff on being able to use a variety of training approaches and always staying current on the latest theories and techniques. He and his dogs have been seen everywhere, from pet demonstrations to television shows to the Jumbotron at Busch Stadium. Ray has saved numerous dogs from euthanasia, rehabilitated them, and placed them in their forever homes, and acts as an industry expert to many local rescue groups. Ray’s training programs have been recommended by St. Charles County Circuit and Judicial Court judges, he’s testified under oath on canine psychology, and has been voted a St. Louis favorite trainer for three years running.

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