Training Tips and Tricks: The Three D’s – Duration, Distance and Distractions
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar to you? Your dog can sit and stay forever, but the second you move, they get up? Or, your pup can respond to “come” perfectly in your backyard but not at the dog park? These behaviors are common occurrences in dog training and it can be addressed by considering the 3 D’s.
When it comes to training, we rely on the “3 D’s”: Duration, Distance, and Distractions. If your dog is not able to do what you ask, it is most likely due to you asking them to do the behavior for too long, you’re standing too far away from them or the environment is too distracting.
On that same note, when you are looking to build reliability with your cues, you will use the 3 D’s to help your dog master those behaviors while gradually adding them into your practice routine. For example, when teaching recall, you will start calling them to you at a very short distance, then gradually start increasing the distance between you and your dog.
Keep in mind, if there are a lot of distractions where you are practicing, be sure to decrease distance! Remember – add the three D’s gradually to set your dog up for success! If at any point your dog is not able to perform the behaviors you’re asking for, that means that it is too hard and you need to reduce whichever of the three D’s you’re working on.