How to Train Your Dog to Stop Sniffing

Medium
3-6 Weeks
Behavior

Introduction

No one enjoys when a dog is sniffing inappropriately. It can be not only annoying but also embarrassing and sometimes messy if your dog greets you in business attire or nice clothing the same way he welcomes other dogs. This simple greeting from your dog can leave slobber on your clothes. Sniffing while walking can also become distracting and drag out walks, leaving you pulling your dog along rather than enjoying a nice casual walk or a walk which increases your heart rate for exercise. Teaching your dog to stop sniffing, whether it's inappropriate sniffing on people or distracted sniffing everything in his path, is something you're going to want to teach your dog early on so that you can enjoy your time with your dog and have guests over without him putting them in embarrassing situations!

Defining Tasks

Training your dog to stop sniffing will depend on the situation your dog sniffs most often. If your dog is sniffing anything and everything he comes across while you are walking, you are going to want to do this training on walks. If your dog is sniffing you or other people he greets inappropriately, you're going to need to set up some of these situations to train your dog during an occasion where he sniffs typically. You will also want to teach your dog some basic commands such as ‘sit’ and ‘leave it.’ The ‘leave it’ command can be used for any sniffing to get your dog's attention and tell him to leave whatever it is he has interest in alone.

Getting Started

Training your dog to stop sniffing will require a bit of patience. You can teach any dog to stop sniffing at any age. But you will need some patience and consistency. Be sure to have a leash if you're taking your dog on walks--and some tasty treats to provide your dog to celebrate a job well done. Train basic commands so you can use them during this training.

The Off-Leash Leave It Method

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Step
1
Hidden treat
Hold a treat in your hand and let your dog sniff it.
Step
2
Command
As soon as your dog sniffs the treat say the command ‘leave it.’ Once he draws his attention away from sniffing your hand, offer him a treat from your other hand.
Step
3
Repeat
Repeat these steps until you can hold your hand up without a treat hidden inside, use the command, and have your dog withdraw his attention from your hand.
Step
4
Hide treat
Place a treat on the floor and cover it with your hand. When your dog goes to sniff your hand, use the command ‘leave it’ as you did above.
Step
5
Reward
When your dog diverts his attention away from your hand, offer him the treat.
Step
6
Continue practice
Continue to practice these steps above until you are using the command to ‘leave it’ with anything you show your dog from hidden treats to toys you have in your hand. Any time you use the command ‘leave it,’ your dog should divert his attention from the object and earn a treat.
Step
7
While sniffing
When you are out and about and your dog is sniffing inappropriately, use the command ‘leave it.’ Be sure to offer your dog a reward each time he obeys.
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The Appropriate Sniffing Method

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Step
1
Nose sense
Take your dog on walks where you know other animals visit quite often. Allow him, while on the walk, to satiate his senses and sniff everything he likes to sniff. This may mean a very slow walk for you, as he may pause every few seconds to stop and sniff.
Step
2
Hidden treats
Hide treats in puzzle toys around your yard and allow your dog to sniff until he finds them. As soon as he finds these hidden treats, let him have them.
Step
3
Commands
Teach your dog commands such as ‘sit’ and ‘leave it.’ When you are on walks, allow your dog to sniff things that are appropriate, however, when it is inappropriate, use the command to have your dog sit in place and stop what he's doing. You can also teach your dog to 'leave it' so he doesn't sniff something he shouldn't.
Step
4
Stand firm
Once your dog's nose has been filled with all of the scents his body can handle, when he comes to you and sniffs you inappropriately stand firm. Do not take a step back as your dog will follow you and continue if you are submissive to your dog. Stand firm and use a command to get your dog to 'sit' or to 'leave it'.
Step
5
Rewards
As your dog is getting used to new commands as well as learning not to sniff inappropriately, be sure to reward him along his training path. Don't reward him when he sniffs inappropriately, however, do reward him when he obeys the commands such as ‘sit’ while you are trying to redirect him to another activity outside of inappropriate sniffing.
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The On-Leash Leave It Method

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1 Vote
Step
1
Leash
Leash your dog and have a friend visit you.
Step
2
Greeting
When your friend walks in the door, greet the friend with your dog on a leash. Allow your dog’s leash to be somewhat loose, giving him free reign to greet your friend as well.
Step
3
Sit
As he walks over towards your friend, ask your dog to sit. Give him a treat once he obeys.
Step
4
Tug leash
If your dog greets your friend by sniffing his or her crotch, gently tug on the leash and take a step backward, encouraging your dog to step back with you. Use the command ‘leave it.’
Step
5
Sit again
As soon as your dog leaves your guest alone and stops sniffing, ask your dog to ‘sit.’ Be sure to reward him for a job well done.
Step
6
Practice
Practice these steps with your dog on a leash around various people. You can take your dog for a walk around the neighborhood or invite more friends over.
Recommend training method?
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Written by Stephanie Plummer

Published: 11/15/2017, edited: 01/08/2021

Success Stories and Training Questions

Training Questions and Answers

Question
Zac
Beagle Harrier
18 Months
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Zac
Beagle Harrier
18 Months

he is not good at recall and doesn't know his limit when playing with other dogs, he would steal their ball and won't let them alone

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Maz, To improve Zac's recall work on "The Reel In Method" from this article that I have linked bellow: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall "The Reel In Method" will reinforce the fact that Zac has to come when you call him, and not just when he feels like it. It will also allow you to practice "Come" in the presence of distractions while he is safely on the long leash and cannot run off. When he is doing well with the training, then you must take him places to practice it in order for him to improve. You can only expect him to come when he is distracted if you have worked on "Come" around other distractions beforehand. The outcome is worth it though! Also teach him an "Out" command, and use that command to interrupt his rude behavior with other dogs. He likely needs his interactions with other dogs to be more structured as well. Some dogs do not do well off-leash without structure or when toys or food is involved. Going on walks with other dogs, having play dates with very specific dogs that he will not be rude toward, where you can control the interaction better, and working on his obedience and attention in the presence of other dogs who are at a distance, are all better ways for him to interact with other dogs, and those types of interactions will encourage calm behavior more. Working on his obedience and having him learn a "Sit Stay" well enough for him to remain seated when you throw a ball may also help. When hunting dogs are taught to retrieve alongside other dogs, they are taught to "Honor" another dog's retrieve and remain seated in the presence of something extremely exciting, a falling bird! Such self-control would be beneficial for Zac too, but it will take a lot of practice on your end. To teach him an "Out" command, first call him over to you, then toss a treat several feet away from yourself while pointing to the area where you are tossing the treat with the finger of your treat tossing hand and saying "Out" at the same time. Repeat this until he will go over to the area where you point when you say "Out" before you have tossed a treat. When he will do that, then whenever you tell him "Out" and he does not go to where you are pointing, walk toward him and herd him out of the area with your body. Your attitude should be calm and patient but very firm and business like when you do this. When you get to where you were pointing to, then stop and wait until he either goes away or stops trying to go back to the area where you were standing before. When he is no longer trying to get past you, then slowly walk backwards to where you were before. If he follows you, then tell him "Out" again and quickly walk toward him until he is back to where he was a moment ago. Repeat this until he will stay several feet away from where you were when you told him "Out" originally. When you are ready for him to come back, then tell him "OK" in an up beat tone of voice. Practice this training until he will consistently leave the area when you tell him "Out". When he will consistently leave, then practice the training with other areas that you would like for him to leave, such as the kitchen when you are preparing food, a person's space when he is being pushy, an area with a plant that he is trying to dip up, or somewhere with something in your home that he should not be bothering. "Out" means simply means get out of the area. It is a spacial command. A dog does not have to stay or sit or lay down when he leaves the area, but he is not allow to return to that area until he is told "OK". When Zac is bothering another dog, then you can tell him "Out", to indicate that he should get out of that dog's space. You will need to be consistent though and enforce the command if he does not listen, so that he learns that "Out" is also not optional. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Princess
Chihuahua
3 Months
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Princess
Chihuahua
3 Months

I'm having a hard time getting the do to go outside to the bathroom and I take her out she goes but will come back in a piss or shit again...

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Allie, First of all, check out the article from the link I have included below, and follow one of those methods to prevent accidents outside, encourage peeing outside, and help Princess learn what she should be doing while outside. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-german-shepherd-puppy-to-poop-outside Pay special attention to a couple of things. First, make sure you are taking her outside on a leash to where you want her to pee. You may already be doing this but if not, that is likely the problem. Since she is still in the process of being potty trained she needs someone to teach her what to do and help her stay focused. Don't expect her to do it on her own when you let her out in the backyard unleashed until she is over six months of age and completely accident free inside. Second, when you take her to go potty tell her to "Go Potty". At first she won't know what that means but after awhile she will learn what that means and will understand what you want her to do when you tell her to "Go Potty". Third, when she does go potty outside, give her three or four small treats, like pieces of her kibble, and praise her enthusiastically. That is to help her want to pee outside more than she wants to pee inside. Fourth, supervise her very closely while she is inside. I highly recommend crate training and if you do not see her finish using the bathroom when you take her outside on a leash, then put her into her crate for thirty more minutes when you come back in, and after she has been in the crate for thirty-minutes take her back outside to go potty. Repeat taking her out, placing her in her crate for thirty minutes, and taking her back outside to go potty until she goes potty. The goal is for her to only be free in the house while her bladder is empty so that she cannot have an accident while she is still learning to hold her pee and poop inside. Fifth, use a potty encouraging spray outside if you are still having issues getting her to use the bathroom outside. The scent will encourage her to go potty where you spray it. Walking her around on the leash in your yard will also help her to poop. Whenever you feed her, expect her to need to poop ten to thirty-minutes afterwards, even if she already went potty before eating. Eating gets her digestive system going and makes her have to go. Exercise, excitement, and first waking up from a long nap are also times when she will need to go potty, in addition to regular, frequent intervals of every 1-2 hours while out of the crate, and every 3-4 or sooner while in the crate. She physically cannot hold her bladder for longer than four hours during the day right now though. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Mac
Maltese
7 Years
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Question
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Mac
Maltese
7 Years

My sniffing problem is a little different. When we are in the dining room eating, Mac is in the bedroom to prevent begging at the table. He starts sniffing under the door so loudly, it drowns out the tv in the living room. We have tried everything to try to stop this. I do not yell at or strike my dogs. Is there a scent to deter this behavior? This is making us crazy. We live in Wyoming and it's extremely cold with snow so putting him outside or in the garage is not an option.
Thank you, Bertie Sirrine
blsirrine@gmail.com

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Bertie, I suggest making a solution of white vinegar and water. About 1/4 vinegar and 3/4 water. When he starts to sniff, spray the vinegar on the other side of the door, in front of the opening at the bottom where he sniffs on the side of the door toward you and not his side. The smell of the vinegar should be strong enough to temporarily mask the smell of the food but it should also act as a slight deterrent so that he learns with practice that it's not very pleasant to sniff under the door. Once the vinegar dries, vinegar is odorless, so you do not have to worry about your home smelling like vinegar later still. Expect this to take several repetitions over several days and be consistent about doing it. You want to convince him that mealtimes always smells like vinegar now so that he will not be motivated to sniff right at the door anymore. If you only occasionally do it, he will think it was an isolated incident and go back to sniffing likely. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Jon
Labrador Retriever
5 Years
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Question
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Jon
Labrador Retriever
5 Years

Please don’t post picture.
Jon is my husbands seeing eye dog, he walks him daily in our neighborhood. He is well trained of course. Only problem is his sniffing, not always but when he does it takes sometimes manny time outs etc. to correct him. Is there a way to eliminate or at least make it less of a problem?
Other situation is when hubby calls Jon to come ( take him outside to go busy before bed) Jon lays there and ignores him until hubby gets stern. When he finally does one he gets a treat. I get upset, but not to intervene.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Judy, It sounds like pup understands what's being commanded, which is the first step in training, but is simply choosing to ignore commands when the reward is not viewed as better than what pup is doing right then (sniffing or lying down); in these situations there needs to be a gentle consequence. For the not coming when called, check out the Reel In method from the article linked below. Practice the Reel In method. When pup will reliably come again and understands what to do after practicing that method, then when pup chooses not to come occasionally, calmly go over to pup, clip on the long leash again, practice the reel in method in the same environment pup ignored you in, around the same type of distractions, until pup comes willingly five times in a row. Any of the times pup doesn't come while practicing, reel pup in with the long leash - making pup come. After making pup come a few times he should start coming without having to be reeled in. This method gently shows pup that you mean what you say and it's not optional - whether they want to or not - it gently builds respect in that area. Reel In method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall For the sniffing, the first step is teaching something like Out or Leave It - which it sounds like pup knows. Tell pup Out or Leave It. If pup obeys, give the treat. If pup disobeys and keeps sniffing, say "Ah Ah" calmly and give a fair correction - such as a quick tug using a correctly fitted prong collar (look up how to fit - most are not fitted correctly), a quick vibration from a remote training collar, a small spray with unscented, pressurized air at his side from a Pet Convinver (avoid his face and don't use citronella). You don't want the correction to be scary - just a little surprising, and unpleasant. If pup comes willingly, give the treat. Do all of this very calmly - without a lot of anger or acting sorry for him, just matter-of-fact, saying "Ah Ah" at the same time as you correct and always telling pup to Leave It or Out first - so that the correction is clearly understood - He was told not to do something using words he understood, he disobeyed, he was told disobeying was wrong (Ah Ah) and there was immediately a consequence for disobeying...Pup can then control whether he gets the consequence the next time because he knows what he did to cause it before. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Dottie
Beagle
4 Years
0 found helpful
Question
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Dottie
Beagle
4 Years

Hi,

My dog is often walked off lead when in fields etc so that she can run around and burn off energy. When not focused on anything her recall is usually pretty good for a Beagle. However, if distracted by a smell, I cannot get her to come to me. I might as well be invisible. If I go and get her, she just runs away from me. As a Beagle she sniffs everything so this is becoming quite a problem! We are currently in the process of clicker training but again, when sniffing, she doesn't even care about the prospect of a treat. Have you got any tips?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Ellie, First, start working on a reliable Come. Check out the Reel In method from the article linked below. The Reel In method is sufficient for most dogs but some dogs do need to be e-collar trained afterward as well to teach reliability around high distractions also, but either way the foundation of Come and practicing the Reel In method on a long leash is needed first. Reel In method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall More in depth article on come and the reel in method: https://www.petful.com/behaviors/train-dog-to-come-when-called/ E-collar Come info: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtJxSXu4rfs&t=331s Another activity you can practice is walking around places like your yard or a field and changing directions frequently without saying anything. Whenever he takes notice (at first because the leash finally tugs, but later just because you moved), then toss a treat at him for looking your way or coming over to you - without calling him; this encourages him to choose to pay attention to where you are and associate your presence with good things on his own, so he will want to be with you. This doesn't take the place of the Come training but can be a good addition to build attention and listening in that environment. You need to practice the above training in the field with the long leash until pup consistently comes on a 40-50 foot leash (You can start with a 20 foot leash or use a longer leash and coil part of it up when first training). Expect this to take a lot of sessions of practice. Be consistent and be sure to use the leash until pup is consistent also, so that pup doesn't learn that they can just ignore you when the leash is off and has to listen when its on - you want it to always be on at first so that pup is only learning that he always has to come, then when you are ready to stop using the leash, he is in the habit of coming by then. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Question
Penelope
German shepherd mix
6 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Penelope
German shepherd mix
6 Months

How do I get my dog to stop sniffing the ground when we go on walks? Also, she likes to sit down whenever she sees another dog or a person running by. How do i stop the sitting?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Jensen, Check out the Turns method from the article linked below. Work on building pup's engagement with you while walking. When she starts to sniff, tell her "Let's Go!" in an upbeat voice and quickly increase your pace to reengage her back to you - take off jogging if necessary to reengage her focus on you. Generally when she passes distractions, changing your speed or direction can help pup to focus back on you. Part of this is simply building a habit of focusing on you and staying with you. What you are describing is extremely common for puppies. Make sure you are being proactive with socialization. She is probably stopping because of the people and dogs because she is curious and uncertain of them. You want her to have so much calm and pleasant exposure to kind people and well mannered, tolerant dogs, that those two things are boring. Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Luna
Mx bread
9 Months
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Luna
Mx bread
9 Months

When I walk my puppy on the lead she Stops to sniff every 10/ 15 steps .? So we stop go stop go all walk. I pull her some of the time . What can I do please . ?

Darlene Stott
Darlene Stott
Dog Trainer and Groomer
104 Dog owners recommended

Hello, I have a dog that does the same thing - I have to keep her working and focused the entire time so that she continues to walk along. Train Luna to heel while you walk, and let her stop to sniff now and then since that is part of the fun for a dog! But yes, keep her moving along and therefore getting exercise by heeling. Try the Turns Method here which challenges her mentally, too, another good aspect of the training: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel/. All the best and happy training!

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Question
Sandy
Boxer / pit bull
3 Years
1 found helpful
Question
1 found helpful
Sandy
Boxer / pit bull
3 Years

The area we walk our dog is frequented by many many other dogs in the neighborhood. Our dog will sniff every single bush along the walk which makes the walk take a very long time. Furthermore when we are walking the dog to a destination She sniffs every tree and bush along the way and can be very stubborn when we are trying to get somewhere on time. What is the best way to train her to know when it is appropriate to sniff her surroundings and when she needs to focus on getting somewhere?

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Evan, I would recommend teaching Sandy a very focused, business-like "Heel" command. Have her walk right beside you in the heel position during walks with her head up. Be firm and do not let her pull you around or sniff things. Have her pee in your yard before you go on a walk so that she does not have to during the walk and you can feel confident that any peeing attempts are just her trying to mark and not a real need. When you get somewhere where you want to let her sniff, then tell her "Okay" or give her a "Go Sniff" command. Do this to indicate that she can sniff while you are standing there IF she does not pull you. When you are ready for her to stop sniffing, tell her to "Heel" again, and do not allow her to sniff anymore until you release her to sniff again. The general criteria for her for walks should be attentive, by your side, and in the heel position, an only being allowed to sniff when she has been specifically given permission and not at any other time. You will need to be more stubborn than she is on this and correct any attempts to sniff while heeling. You can also reward her for being in the heel position so that she is motivated to pay attention to you, in addition to correcting her for trying to sniff or pull. Your attitude should be, "Paying attention to me and following me is non-negotiable. I will reward you if you obey, but even you do not want the reward you still have to obey". A structured "Heel", where she works on focusing on you and following you, will also help with her rude pulling behavior and stubbornness by increasing her respect for you. Check out this article for teaching a "Heel" command: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel From that article, I recommend using either the "Turns" method or combining methods. Turning directly in front of your dog when he starts to move past you tends to work best to adjust your dog's attitude as well as his position if your dog is rude. If you are still struggling you can also use a training tool such as a Prong Collar, Gentle Leader, or No- Pull Harness. Do not use a choke chain though because they can cause trachea damage. Although it looks fierce, the Prong Collar is actually much safer than the choke collar and several other devices, but it needs to be worn at the top of the dog's neck and it needs to be tight enough to stay in-place without pushing into the skin. Loose might seem gentler, but Prong Corrections when fitted and used correctly should actually require smaller tugs and should simply create uncomfortable pinches. They should not worn as large mental links that are loose around the neck, that when suddenly tightened bang against the neck. Banging can cause damage. If you use a tool, do not simply pull on the leash whenever the dog starts to pull. You need to teach "Heel" and to utilize turns to so that your dog learns to pay attention to your movement. She will be automatically corrected when the leash tightens because she is too far away if she does not stay with you. Be very careful with your dog's head and neck if you choose to use a Gentle Leader though. You do not want to whip her head around too fast during a turn. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Digby
Cardigan Welsh Corgi
4 Months
0 found helpful
Question
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Digby
Cardigan Welsh Corgi
4 Months

Digby is a really smart boy. He will wait for his food until I say “okay” and if I leave a treat on the floor and say leave it and walk away, he will leave it. The thing is, when we are outside, he won’t stop sniffing and nothing seems to grab his attention. He doesn’t really get excited for treats (we have multiple kinds), and if I call him and he ~decides~ he wants to listen, he will slowly walk toward me while stopping and smelling everything on the way to me. I had a friend suggest to cut up small pieces of hot dog to train with but I’m worried that he’ll only listen if I have a hot dog with me lol.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Robyn, Know that it is normal for puppies to be highly distracted at this age. It sounds like pup is doing really well overall. I suggest using the Reel In method from the article linked below. When you call pup, try to act really silly and exciting to, so that you are a fun reward for pup too. You can certainly use more exciting treats, but you will also want your energy to be high and to use a long leash so that pup learns to come even when they don't want the treat. Motivation and follow through are equally important for teaching Come. I would also suggest using pup's daily meal kibble as training treats - subtracting the amount you will use for training for pup's daily amount, so that pup is actually hungry for the food. You can even mix this with tastier treats or things like small pieces of hotdog, chicken, or freeze dried liver, in a baggie so that the kibble tastes and smells more like the treats too. As pup improves, only give a treat for obedience that is better than average, then gradually require more and more of pup before you give the reward, so that you are phasing out the food slowly. As you do this, have pup perform the command they have learned throughout the day, to earn life rewards, like before opening the door for a walk, before setting down their food, before tossing a toy, ect...So that they are working for what they want and don't require the food so much. Reel In method for Come: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-whippet-to-recall Finally, work up to distractions slowly, intentionally looking for opportunities to practice a command like come around slightly harder distractions than before as pup improves at the current level. Pup simply won't have the skills to do a come in the middle of playing with other pups at first (for example), but they can work up to that by working on come at home, in the yard, the cul-de-sac, neighborhood, quiet park, busier park, pet store, ect...until they have mastered distractions. This is how higher levels of obedience are generally taught with all commands - the long leash will allow you to practice safely in a variety of places too. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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Mia
Australian Shepherd
1 Year
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Mia
Australian Shepherd
1 Year

We have been working on leash training with our 1.5 year old Aussie since we got her at 8 weeks old. It seems near impossible to stop her from pulling continuously as well as constantly sniffing which causes her to swerve from side to side. She also always needs to be in the front so forget walking with a group of people because if she’s not in the front it is a disaster for whoever is handling her which is always either myself or my boyfriend. We have tried the “change direction method” once she starts pulling as well as many different collars and harnesses. Any advice is much appreciated.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! That is a very typical behavior for a lot of working breeds. Their brains need extra stimulation, so they often seek an outlet. Which is sniffing and processing EVERYTHING while outside. This is something that will potentially correct itself as she ages. As age 2 approaches, the world will become less distracting. Ideally anyway! In the mean time, you can teach her some commands to help speed the process along. "Leave it" is the perfect one for this. This is a command you can give to teach your dog to break her attention from anything that is distracting her. Smells, birds, other dogs, people, etc. Teaching “leave it” is not difficult. Begin the lessons inside your home or in an area with very few distractions. Here are the steps for teaching “leave it”: Make sure you have two different types of treats. One type can be fairly boring to the dog, but the other type should be a high-value treat that he finds pretty delicious. You will also want to make sure that the treats are broken up into pea-sized pieces so it won’t take him too long to eat them. Put one type of treat in each hand. If you like to train with a clicker as your marker, you can also hold a clicker in the same hand that holds the high-value treat. Then, place both of your hands behind your back. Make a fist with the hand that is holding the treat of lower value and present your fist to your dog, letting him sniff. Say “leave it” and wait until she finishes sniffing your fist. As soon as your dog is done sniffing, you can either click with the clicker or say “yes.” Then offer her the higher-value treat in your other hand. Repeat until your dog immediately stops sniffing your hand when you say “leave it.” When you say “leave it” and she stops sniffing right away, leash your dog and then toss a low-value treat outside of her reach. Wait until she stops sniffing and pulling toward the treat. As soon as she does, either say “yes” or click and then give her a high-value treat from your hand. Practice this exercise a number of times. Over time, by practicing “leave it,” your dog should stop pulling as soon as you give the cue. When rewarding her with a treat, make sure that it is something good, not plain old kibble. By doing so, you are teaching her that asking her to leave some food doesn’t mean she won’t get anything, but that in fact she might get something even more delicious. When your dog is reliably responding to the cue, you can teach her that “leave it” can apply to other things as well, not just food on the floor. Repeat the exercise with five different items that are fairly boring to your dog. After using five different “boring” items, start using slightly more exciting items. You know your dog, so you alone know what items she would consider more interesting, but don’t jump to high-value items right away. To increase his chances of success at learning the cue, you want to work up to high-value items gradually. If Kleenex or a piece of plastic, for instance, would attract your dog on a walk, don’t start with those. Choose the items based on your ultimate goal: Anytime you say “leave it,” you want to be confident that your dog will indeed leave whatever you are asking him to leave. . The reward he receives when he leaves an item can change as well. If your dog has a favorite toy, squeak it and play for a moment when he comes running to you after leaving the other item of interest. Most dogs love interacting with us, so a moment of praise or play with a toy can be just as effective as a treat. Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thank you for writing in.

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Riley
Lab mix
2 Years
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Question
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Riley
Lab mix
2 Years

We struggle with Riley pulling very hard while walking. And constantly sniffing like she’s tracking another animal the entire walk. We live in a condo building, where she is on leash most of the day so it’s becoming a struggle for us.

Caitlin Crittenden
Caitlin Crittenden
Dog Trainer
833 Dog owners recommended

Hello Victoria, Check out the Turns method from the article linked below. Pay special attention to the steps on turning directly in front of pup as soon as their nose starts to move past your leg - don't wait until her head is all the way past your leg to turn in front of her or this will be hard to do. It should look like pup sitting beside you, slightly behind you so that head is behind your leg, step forward and as soon as she starts to move ahead of you, quickly turn directly in front of her. You will probably have to be fast at first and may bump into her until she starts to learn this. Practice in an open area, like your own yard, so that you can make lots of turns easily. You want pup to learn that she should stay slightly behind and pay attention to where you are going and where you may turn, instead of assuming she knows the way and can forge ahead. The turns keep her guessing and more focused. Turns method: https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-poodle-to-heel You may also find that you temporarily need a training tool that keep pup from being able to pull you over. This won't train pup for you alone, but it can help with management until pup responds to training well. A gentle leader or properly used prong collar tend to be the most effective with large dogs. I would avoid the use of choke collars though due to potential trachea damage with a heavy puller. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23zEy-e6Khg Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden

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bandit
?????????????
1 Year
-1 found helpful
Question
-1 found helpful
bandit
?????????????
1 Year

He keeps sniffing weird areas on people

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! You can start by teaching your dog the command leave it. Leave it is great for anything you want your dog to leave alone, or break their interest from. You can give this command any time Bandit approaches people in an undesired way. Here are the steps for "leave it" Teaching a dog 'leave it' Teaching “leave it” is not difficult. Begin the lessons inside your home or in an area with very few distractions. Here are the steps for teaching “leave it”: Make sure you have two different types of treats. One type can be fairly boring to the dog, but the other type should be a high-value treat that he finds pretty delicious. You will also want to make sure that the treats are broken up into pea-sized pieces so it won’t take him too long to eat them. Put one type of treat in each hand. If you like to train with a clicker as your marker, you can also hold a clicker in the same hand that holds the high-value treat. Then, place both of your hands behind your back. Make a fist with the hand that is holding the treat of lower value and present your fist to your dog, letting him sniff. Say “leave it” and wait until he finishes sniffing your fist. As soon as your dog is done sniffing, you can either click with the clicker or say “yes.” Then offer him the higher-value treat in your other hand. Repeat until your dog immediately stops sniffing your hand when you say “leave it.” When you say “leave it” and he stops sniffing right away, leash your dog and then toss a low-value treat outside of his reach. Wait until he stops sniffing and pulling toward the treat. As soon as he does, either say “yes” or click and then give him a high-value treat from your hand. Practice this exercise a number of times. Over time, by practicing “leave it,” your dog should stop pulling as soon as you give the cue. When rewarding him with a treat, make sure that it is something good, not plain old kibble. By doing so, you are teaching him that asking him to leave some food doesn’t mean he won’t get anything, but that in fact he might get something even more delicious. When your dog is reliably responding to the cue, you can teach him that “leave it” can apply to other things as well, not just food on the floor. Repeat the exercise with five different items that are fairly boring to your dog. After using five different “boring” items, start using slightly more exciting items. You know your dog, so you alone know what items he would consider more interesting, but don’t jump to high-value items right away. To increase his chances of success at learning the cue, you want to work up to high-value items gradually. If Kleenex or a piece of plastic, for instance, would attract your dog on a walk, don’t start with those. Choose the items based on your ultimate goal: Anytime you say “leave it,” you want to be confident that your dog will indeed leave whatever you are asking him to leave. . The reward he receives when he leaves an item can change as well. If your dog has a favorite toy, squeak it and play for a moment when he comes running to you after leaving the other item of interest. Most dogs love interacting with us, so a moment of praise or play with a toy can be just as effective as a treat. Keep it fun Even though you’re practicing “leave it” as a way to keep your dog safe, you want him to see it as a fun game you play. When your dog is proficient at the game in your home, start practicing in a variety of locations with more distractions.

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Bailey
Beagle
2 Years
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Bailey
Beagle
2 Years

When I’m on a walk with bailey I let him off lead he comes when I call but when he sees a dog he runs and there’s times where he will come and when I telling him off he runs away

Any idea on how I can help him

Thanks

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello! I am going to give you information on how to teach recall. Your dog is not too old to begin learning this command. Recall: STAGE ONE – 'Catching' or Charging Up the 'Come' Cue Start in a distraction free environment so that your dog can focus only on you. Whenever your puppy or dog is coming to you on his own, wait until he is a couple of feet from you and then say his name and the word 'come.' When he gets to you, make a big fuss. With this exercise, your dog will learn that coming to you is a really good thing. After a while, you can lengthen the distance between you and start using the word when he is coming to you from a greater distance. Coming to you should always be rewarded, whatever the circumstance and no matter how long it took your dog to respond. Motivate your dog to come by being exciting, running away from him, waving a toy, or having delicious food for him when he gets to you. This will show him that coming back to you the best thing he can do. STAGE TWO – Solidifying the Cue Through Play Make sure you play the Back and Forth game with another person that your dog is comfortable with. Start the game in a quiet environment so it is easy for your dog to focus on you. Hold your dog back while the other person calls him excitedly. Try not to use his name or the cue word but talk excitedly to ‘gee’ him up. Do not release him until the person calls his name followed by the cue word “come.” When the cue word is given, release your dog and let him go running to the person calling. As soon as he reaches them they should praise and reward him with a game of tug or a food reward. When your dog has had his reward, have the other person hold him back as you call him and release as you say his name followed by the cue word. When he comes to you reward him with another game of tug or food reward. Repeat this game back and forth but only do a few repetitions so your dog does not get bored or too tired. Keeping it fresh means the game is always fun to play. STAGE THREE – Adding Vocal Cue With Hand Signal Inside Now your dog knows what the word “come” means you can use the cue word to call him to you while adding a hand signal to the word. Hand signals are always good to build with vocal cues so that even if your dog cannot hear you he will understand what the hand signal means. This is good if your dog is a distance away from you. Start in a quiet environment. Walk away from your dog and call his name followed by the cue word and a hand signal. Praise and reward him when he comes to you. Start increasing the distance you call him from and praise for his compliance. If he does not respond, go back to the previous distance and repeat. Only practice this cue for a few minutes so your dog does not get bored. The secret to success is to always keep it fun, exciting and fresh. When your dog recognizes the hand signal, try calling his name and using the hand signal by itself without the vocal cue. You will then be able to use a combination of vocal cue only, hand signal only and the two together. Now your dog knows what the cue word means you can start to call him from different rooms or from areas where he cannot see you. This will encourage him to respond even when you are out of sight. STAGE FOUR – Adding Vocal Cue With Hand Signal Outside Now your dog is consistently coming to you in a distraction free environment you can proof your recall cue by taking it outside. Practice the recall in your yard and then gradually build up to the point where you can use it in the park or similar environment. The ultimate test is to use the recall when your dog is engaged in a different activity. Wait for a lull in that activity and then call your dog to you. Praise his decision to comply.

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Tucker
Labrador Retriever
8 Years
0 found helpful
Question
0 found helpful
Tucker
Labrador Retriever
8 Years

Living in an apartment. Walks are usually to go to the bathroom but recently he sniffs so much that it is painful and I find that I am always pulling him or dragging him. He is a very strong dog and often pulls me towards what he wants to sniff or plants his legs so that I cant actually pull him away.

Alisha Smith
Alisha S., Dog Trainer
225 Dog owners recommended

Hello. You will want to teach your dog the command "leave it". Leave it is great for anything you want your dog to leave alone, stop going after, getting into, etc. Here are the steps for "leave it" Teaching a dog 'leave it' Teaching “leave it” is not difficult. Begin the lessons inside your home or in an area with very few distractions. Here are the steps for teaching “leave it”: Make sure you have two different types of treats. One type can be fairly boring to the dog, but the other type should be a high-value treat that he finds pretty delicious. You will also want to make sure that the treats are broken up into pea-sized pieces so it won’t take him too long to eat them. Put one type of treat in each hand. If you like to train with a clicker as your marker, you can also hold a clicker in the same hand that holds the high-value treat. Then, place both of your hands behind your back. Make a fist with the hand that is holding the treat of lower value and present your fist to your dog, letting him sniff. Say “leave it” and wait until he finishes sniffing your fist. As soon as your dog is done sniffing, you can either click with the clicker or say “yes.” Then offer him the higher-value treat in your other hand. Repeat until your dog immediately stops sniffing your hand when you say “leave it.” When you say “leave it” and he stops sniffing right away, leash your dog and then toss a low-value treat outside of his reach. Wait until he stops sniffing and pulling toward the treat. As soon as he does, either say “yes” or click and then give him a high-value treat from your hand. Practice this exercise a number of times. Over time, by practicing “leave it,” your dog should stop pulling as soon as you give the cue. When rewarding him with a treat, make sure that it is something good, not plain old kibble. By doing so, you are teaching him that asking him to leave some food doesn’t mean he won’t get anything, but that in fact he might get something even more delicious. When your dog is reliably responding to the cue, you can teach him that “leave it” can apply to other things as well, not just food on the floor. Repeat the exercise with five different items that are fairly boring to your dog. After using five different “boring” items, start using slightly more exciting items. You know your dog, so you alone know what items he would consider more interesting, but don’t jump to high-value items right away. To increase his chances of success at learning the cue, you want to work up to high-value items gradually. If Kleenex or a piece of plastic, for instance, would attract your dog on a walk, don’t start with those. Choose the items based on your ultimate goal: Anytime you say “leave it,” you want to be confident that your dog will indeed leave whatever you are asking him to leave. . The reward he receives when he leaves an item can change as well. If your dog has a favorite toy, squeak it and play for a moment when he comes running to you after leaving the other item of interest. Most dogs love interacting with us, so a moment of praise or play with a toy can be just as effective as a treat. Keep it fun Even though you’re practicing “leave it” as a way to keep your dog safe, you want him to see it as a fun game you play. When your dog is proficient at the game in your home, start practicing in a variety of locations with more distractions.

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