The 3 D’s of Dog Training

dog trainingBy Stefani Fortney, ABCDT       Over the past two decades, dog training techniques have gone through quite a period of flux. As scientific and psychological knowledge has increased, the methods used in dog training have become more refined. Still… every day, we’re faced with differing views on how to most effectively get the behaviors we want from our canine companions. The amount of knowledge that’s available via the internet, cable tv shows, books, infomercials, and the like can become confusing. It feels as if everyone has a different opinion or method for dog training.

I feel that positive dog training techniques are the most scientifically-based, humane, and effective.  When training your dog using positive methods.

3 D’s of dog training:

  1. Distance
  2. Duration
  3. Distraction

Each of the three D’s  of dog training must be achieved individually and incrementally. While your dog is in the learning phase, to increase one value, the other two should decrease.


Picture the scenario: You’ve just taught your adorable puppy how to sit. Every time you ask, even. You say “sit” and your puppy sits. Then, you go into the kitchen for a snack and leave your puppy in the living room. From the kitchen, you ask your genius puppy to sit. He looks at you as if he no longer understands English. Instead, he runs to the window and starts barking at the neighbor. You fall to your knees and cry to the heavens. What have you done wrong???

Stay calm. It’s okay. You just tried to increase Distance too quickly and without decreasing Distraction. Instead, you should’ve worked on asking for his perfect sit from one or two steps further away, while keeping your curtains shut and offering Genius Puppy food rewards for good results. So—breathe deeply, decrease your Distance, start over, and take baby steps.


Next scenario: You’re teaching your dog to stay. Fido is doing great. You’ve worked on Distance with minimal Distraction and for short Duration. He’ll stay, even when you’re across the room. You decide to start working on increasing Duration. From across the room, you start counting the seconds off in your head. You get to 8. Then, he stands up, walks to the couch, and lays down for a nap. What happened?

Remember, when one D increases, the other two must decrease. Basic dog training algebra. The ad you increase Duration does so while staying close to your pip and minimizing the outside influence of Distraction.


Let’s say you’ve been working to get Fluffmuffin to “wait” at doorways before going through. At the door from the bathroom to the hallway, she’s perfect. Shell wait patiently at the soor—until she spots the fly buzzing in the hall. At that point, she becomes a charging bull, determine to scoot past you and go bug hunting.

To increase the Distraction, your dog can successfully work around; you must stay close to her and not ask her to ignore those distractions for too long.

By remembering the 3 D’s,  your dog training sessions will become more effective and enjoyable for both you bad your dog!  Guthrie Pet Hospital offers a variety of dog training courses.

border decoration
border decoration