“Every time I take my dogs for a walk, they spend the entire time with their noses sniffing and dragging on the ground!”
Scent Marking is serious business.
Your sniffing Dog(s) inherited a very keen sense of smell from wolves. Dogs have since developed a complex social structure over the 30,000 years since separating from the Wolf. These instincts are always present when you are leash training a dog, so it’s best to be prepared for them.
Through sniffing, dogs can ascertain lots of information about the other dogs who left their “mark” in this environment or territory. When you walk while leash training a dog, the information your dog smells reveals a lot about the animals in other territories as well. You can see why they are so intent on sniffing up a storm.
Believe it or not…Marking may be done to perhaps actually make some sort of statement or even Graffitti! Dogs who come upon the scent can discern a lot about their fellow canines or of their foes, by simply sniffing it’s way through the Neighbor “Hood”.
“These messages can tell your dog how many other dogs are in the immediate area. Things like whether a female is in heat or what he or she had for lunch, and when they were last in the area,” says Carlo Siracusa, director of the Small Animal Behavior Service at the veterinary hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
When you think about it…That’s a LOT of distractions when leash training a dog..isn’t it? And those are just the ones Dogs can Smell on the ground and in the air! Now you must also see how Sounds may effect you while you’re leash training a dog.
My Dog Reacts to Every Sound Distraction out There
When leash training a dog on walks, how many Sounds can you think of that your dog has reacted to before?
- Neighborhood Cat Fight
- Dog Fight
- Postman arriving by foot or truck
- Another Dog Barking
- A person Talking a few houses down
- Another Dog being Walked
- A Squirrel Chattering around in a tree
- A person Mowing their Lawn across the street
- Someone arriving Home in their Car
- A person arriving home on their Motorcycle
- Person arriving home or just passing by on their Bike
- Kids on Skateboards
- A woman Pushing a baby carriage on the sidewalk
Sounds carried by the wind are filled with a Lot of distractions, when leash training a dog on walks!
“My Dog Reacts to Everything He Sees”
Dog Owners “Deal with” All the Visual Distractions
Consider most of the items in the previous list Again. There are clearly similar things that dogs can see to then also overreact to, like Sights!
It means, you can learn to react and even pre-empt your dog from reacting to all the usual suspects.
Dogs Mostly Overreact to the World Around Them
When leash training a dog, the dog owner and even a dog trainer, must find a way or many ways to stand out long enough in the dogs ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) type of interest span. The owner must stand out in order to teach their dog anything of any substance. When dogs are always distracted with all the usual Sounds and Sights they encounter during leash training a dog, they probably don’t have time to contemplate why they actually react that way! Dog’s aren’t generally interested in or have the inclination to do anything their owners want them to do (unless maybe it was their idea first ).
Encourage Better Behavior When Leash Training a Dog
Besides using the leash…the trick is to keep Dogs Interested enough and Rewarded with lots of encouragement (and treats in extreme cases ) to always help the dog be motivated into learning new information. That is the art of teaching a dog How to learn to listen to you! This is what I call my STOP SIT & WAIT Method! Dogs may eventually get what they want, but first they must do something for me…like Stop Sit & Wait.
Joe Ozier Teaches Behavior Training for Dogs and Their People
When leash training a dog, dogs must learn to first do something like following a command for their owner. they should then get what they may have wanted to do. You know already that they want to sniff the bush super intensely for an hour…as if it were a CSI investigator on a murder investigation. Dogs feel the intense instinctual drive to sniff everything in their path, but the owner needs some control over If and When and for How Long they allow it to happen. It is your walk…you choose whether your dog drags you to where he wants to go or goes where you guide and lead him. Be who your dog looks up to! It’s the Way of a Dog!